KelTec 5.56 Nato (.223) SU-16D12: considering

KelTec 5.56 Nato (.223) SU-16D12: considering

This is a discussion on KelTec 5.56 Nato (.223) SU-16D12: considering within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Am considering the Kel-Tec SU-16D12 or SU-16D9, the short-barrelled, lightweight 5.56x45mm rifle. Questions: 1. Does anyone have specific experience with either of these, the 12" ...

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Thread: KelTec 5.56 Nato (.223) SU-16D12: considering

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    KelTec 5.56 Nato (.223) SU-16D12: considering

    Am considering the Kel-Tec SU-16D12 or SU-16D9, the short-barrelled, lightweight 5.56x45mm rifle.


    1. Does anyone have specific experience with either of these, the 12" or 9" variant? Pros/cons, from having used it?

    2. General comments on the suitability of a 2500fps 5.56 round, in terms of fragmentation and performance?
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I do not personally have any experience with those weapons,they do look pretty cool,I do know the AR15 family of pistols are very loud,but my friends M16 with 10" barrel isn't too bad.What really sux is $200 tax stamp for SBR and whatever class 3 dealer charges for transfer

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Will the 55gr .223 even fragment at 2500fps? I though 2700ish fps was what you needed for fragmentation. If that's the case, that's the biggest con imo.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    With regard to question #2, perhaps I can offer some insight/opinion. Bear in mind, my experience with 5.56mm from a short barrel is primarily with a 10" barrelled M-4 platform. Still, much of the information should be of some interest to you.

    I briefly perused the Kel-tec website and saw a few items of interest. First, the 2500 fps figure listed is for M855 ammo. In the interset of full disclosure, I am skeptical of the whole "fragmentation-theory," but since you mentioned fragmentation/performance I assume you subscribe to it.

    Unfortunately, they failed to list the distance at which that velocity was achieved and it appeared to me that they did not disinguish between the velocities of the 12" and 9" versions, though I suspect the velocity was measured at the muzzle of the 9" barrel. M855 is generally good for about 2900 fps out of a 14.5" M-4 and 400fps seems to be too much of a velocity loss for a reduction of only 2.5" of barrel. Just my educated guess.

    I expect a 55-grain round would be pushing better than 2700 fps, but I can only speculate as to how much better. I would not expect to maintain 2700 fps beyond 50 yards and 25 yards may be more realistic.

    Which brings me to my next point. In my experience, the 77-grain OTM and 75-grain TAP rounds yield a much better terminal performance from shorter barrels. Unfortunately, they require 1:8 or 1:7 rifling to stabilize the bullet and I was unable to determine the rifling rate from Kel-tec's website. I suspect it is 1:9.

    I would add that in my experience, there are few situations where a 10" barrel offers any real advantage over the 14.5" barrel of an M-4. The shorter barrel quickly robs the 5.56mm round of velocity, greatly reducing its utility, while offering very little in terms of improved handling. All it really offers is a better CDI factor, and even that is subjective.

    Were I fully committed to purchasing one of these rifles, I would opt for the 12", hope it would stabilize the heavier rouns and load it with some 75-grain TAP. Lacking the appropriate rifling, I would load it with a good 55-grain round (I like Federal's 55-grain TRU), chronograph it and determine exactly what ranges the rifle is going to be of use at.

  6. #5
    New Member Array outlaw_6's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    I have an SU-16C and I think it's a great gun.

    The thing is so light, it's shocking. I put an AK-74 muzzle brake on it and there is barely any recoil.

    The folding stock (C model) is pretty slick but the bipod forend, while functional, is not very sturdy at all (easily replaced with the optional tactical forend). The sights are decent but with the rail on top, you've got plenty of optic options. I haven't put a lot of rounds through it so I have no insight as to longevity.

    If I was running off to combat today I would take my AR or one of my AKs first but I still like it.

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