4 Kel-Tec PLR-16 Problems You Should Know

PLR-16 is best known for recreational shooting. Like many other firearms, there are a few Kel-Tec PLR-16 problems that you must know.

Most of its users face problems regarding ejection, recoil spring, carrying, and feeding.

So, knowing the solutions to these problems described in this article will help you keep it running smoothly while hunting small games or target practicing.

Features & Specifications of Kel-Tec PLR-16

Barrel Length9.2”
Magazine Capacity10/20/30 rounds
Overall Length18.5”
Rear SightAdjustable for Windage
Front SightM-16 Front
SafetyAmbidextrous Pushbolt
Weight3.4 pounds (unloaded)
Trigger Pull6.5 pounds
Common KEL-TEC-PLR-16 Problems

Common Kel-Tec PLR-16 Problems and Solutions

I have given you an overview of the problems and their respective solutions. Now, let me elaborate on them in the simplest manner possible.

Quick Overview of the Problems and Solutions

Ejection IssuePolish rough chamber, clean and lube the gun, or consult with a gunsmith.
Faulty Recoil SpringReplace the faulty recoil spring, or contact Kel-Tec for a solution.
Carrying InconvenienceBuy a third-party holster for easy carrying, or try a DIY solution.
Feeding IssueSmoothen out friction in the magazine if there is any.

1. Extraction Problem

In a new PLR-16, even if you use a factory magazine, and try recommended ammunition, you may face ejection problem.

I have seen some cases where the user used different bullets such as m855, m193, and s109. Still, the problem persisted.

The fired case may stay in the chamber and the next round tries to get into its position but fails.

Here, the probable reasons are dirt buildup inside the gun, unsupported brand of ammunition, rough chamber, or spring problem.

The Fix

I have told you some possible causes of such problems. But you have to take actions based on the certain nature of the problem you are having.

If you disassemble and notice a rough chamber, polishing will solve the extraction issue permanently.

Also, regularly cleaning and lubing the bolt along with the extractor ensures zero dirt and smooth operation.

While researching this problem, I have seen some users getting better results by trying different brands of ammunition; but not all.

Those who are not expert enough to deal with such fixes must take the gun to a local gunsmith or send it to Kel-Tec.

2. Faulty Recoil Spring

While scouting through various forums, I have seen one user mentioning the reason for the problem instead of the symptoms.

He may have faced issues such as erratic ejection, damaged case rims, feeding failure, or something else.

Upon further investigation, I figured out that it was probably the fault of the recoil spring.

Furthermore, I have also seen foul tube problems causing the cartridge to full battery position.

The Fix

If you are certain that the recoil spring is the culprit for the issues you are facing, you can replace it with a new one.

A new PLR16-575 Pistol Recoil Spring doesn’t cost much.

You can either replace it in your DIY setup or take it to a local gunsmith for expert help.

Due to insufficient information on the tube fouling problem, I can’t comment on how to solve this issue.

Consulting with Kel-Tec’s customer care team when you are in doubt is the best card to play.

3. Carrying Problem

Having no official holster for the gun, it is hard to carry the firearm around.

Old reviews (around 2016 or 2017) had such complaints. I read some forum threads on this particular issue too.

Due to no suitable carrying option, lots of people couldn’t consider it for serious shooting other than a fun-to-shoot gun.

The Fix

Things have changed a lot since the release of the Kel-Tec PLR-16. Besides some DIY solutions, there are some solid holsters on the market.

Here, this website sells PLR holsters that can carry 4-30 round magazine pouches. The cost will be around $125.

However, I can’t verify the authenticity of this manufacturer. So, if you are willing to pay for a piece, you will have to do it at your own risk.

4. Feeding Trouble

You have heard lots of things about gun jamming but all of the cases are not the same.

In this particular Kel-Tec firearm model, some PLR-16 units may be stuck while trying to load a new round.

To solve the feeding problem, pulling the bolt back and letting the firearm load again can fix it for a bit. But it is not a permanent solution.

Limp writing is another probable reason for this issue but I’m sure that you are aware of it.

After a close inspection, one may notice that the bolt is closing a little bit slower than usual in this case.

Shooting 30 round gen 2 Magpul P-Mags ensures that you are using recommended ammo.

The Fix

Due to more complexity, the user decided to send the gun to Kel-Tec for the best solution.

You should do it too or take the faulty gun to a local gunsmith who has enough expertise on PLR-16s.

The technician at the company deburred the mag, disassembled, examined, and re-assembled the gun.

Also, the technician smoothened friction in the magazine that was interfering with the bolt.

After trying P-Mag, things were better. Here, you should also make sure that the recoil spring is in good condition.

If you have the know-how on the gun and the necessary tools, you can give it a try to solve by yourself.

User Feedback on Kel-Tec PLR-16

Kel-Tec has a good reputation for making reliable and affordable guns. But all of their products are not as good as others.

While trying to make an affordable pistol with rifle-like power, the company has compromised on a few segments.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-mFwtL0sao

As a result, users are not very happy with the performance of PLR-16 in the long run.

Most of the customer reviews about this firearm are negative.

According to the users, the best use of PLR-16 is in target practicing or showing off to friends or newbies.

For self-defense, varmint defense, or serious business, there are better options out there.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Kel-Tec still make PLR-16?


Is the PLR-16 a rifle?

Power-wise, it is a rifle but comes in a pistol package.

Is a PLR-16 a pistol?

Yes; if you have seen a SU-16, you can realize that it is a gas-operated, semi-automatic pistol version of it.

What ammo does Kel-Tec PLR 16 use?

5.56mm NATO (.223 Remington) cartridge

What alternative magazines are compatible with PLR-16?

M16 and AR15 magazines

What safety measures should I take before shooting Kel-Tec PLR-16?

Wear hearing protection, and install accessory forend.


From the Kel-Tec PLR-16 problems and user feedback, it is clear that there are better options when it comes to serious business.

If you have a tight budget and need this kind of firearm for target practice, a PLR-16 will be suitable.

Other than that, I won’t recommend it because of durability issues. The number of cons is more than the gun’s benefits.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts