Tag Archives: Hunting

Kel-Tec PMR 30: A Second Look

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This space-age pistol has a lot of uses. It’s a great pistol for hunting, personal defense, and target practice — and it’s also the fun gun of the century! Also, yes, at the time of the article being published Midsouth does have .22 MAG in stock. You can find it by clicking HERE.


Bob Campbell


Kel-Tec
This is a space-age pistol, but then it is a Kel-Tec! With modern construction, light weight and reliability this is one interesting handgun.

I came to the Kel-Tec PMR 30 in a different manner than I would have thought. My experience with their CMR 30 carbine solidified my confidence in the company and promoted my eager appreciation of this .22 Magnum self-loader. When I had the chance to obtain a PMR 30 pistol, I did not hesitate.

These handguns have been scarce on the market. The situation seems better now and I am seeing more PMR 30s in well-stocked shops. The PMR 30 is a unique and highly interesting handgun. This is a polymer frame pistol with a steel slide and barrel that works on the simple blowback principle. The first thing you notice after the space age appearance is that the pistol weighs less than 14 ounces. Even with a fully-loaded 30-round magazine, the piece weighs but 20 ounces. Yes, 20 ounces for a 30-shot pistol!

The pistol is quite narrow overall, although the grip must be deep enough to accommodate the .22 Magnum cartridge. Just the same, the handgun is manageable by all but the smallest hand sizes. The geometry of the grip is subtle until understood, and when looked at with an experienced eye the engineering is impressive. The safety is ambidextrous and offers ergonomic operation and easy reach.

The pistol is supplied with fiber optic front and rear sights. The sights offer excellent visibility and are precise enough for accurate fire well past 25 yards. The pistol is drilled and tapped for optics from the factory. The PMR 30 also features a light rail — unusual for a rimfire pistol. This rail accommodates popular lasers and combat lights including the LaserMax Spartan red laser.

Kel-Tec PMR-30 sights
Optics ready! Note fiber-optic rear sight — very bright — and the front fiber-optic sight is a good choice for rapid target acquisition.

Among the best features of this single-action handgun is the trigger action. The trigger is clean and crisp, breaking smoother than any factory trigger I’ve tried in recent memory.

The PMR 30 differs from most modern handguns in using a heel-type magazine release. While speed is better with the Browning-type button release, the heel-type magazine release is more secure. Just the same, with sufficient practice reasonable speed may be had with the heel-based system, and, with 30 rounds on tap, I do not foresee the need for a speed load. As heel-based latches go, the Kel-Tec is a good design and faster than most.

Kel-Tec
Note the heel based-magazine catch. With such a relatively long and heavy magazine this is a good choice, but it takes a little practice to perform efficient reloads.

Firing Tests
When loading the magazines, be certain to properly center each cartridge and bump the magazine every 5 or 6 rounds to ensure that the cartridges are seated. This improves reliability. The last few cartridges are rather difficult to load. For informal practice loading 15 to 20 rounds is a sound program and a little easier on the self.

Kel-Tec PMR-30 magazine
The 30-round PMR magazine is well-made of good material.

I have been able to test the pistol with a variety of ammunition, including the Fiocchi 40-grain JSP, Winchester’s 40-grain FMJ, the CCI 40-grain JHP, and Hornady’s 45-grain Critical Defense. There were no failures to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. Engineering a pistol to fire the rimmed .22 Magnum cartridge isn’t an easy task but Kel-Tec took the challenge and ran with it.

CCI
The PMR 30 eats a lot of ammunition quickly. It functioned flawlessly with all four different ammo selections I tried.

The pistol is a joy to handle and fire. Although the .22 Magnum exhibits a healthy muzzle blast, recoil isn’t a factor. A combination of a comfortable grip, excellent sights, and a crisp trigger make the pistol easy to land hits with. At close range, the pistol gave excellent results on the combat course, scoring X-ring hits at 5, 7, and 10 yards.

At a long 25 yards, I tested 3 loads. These were the Winchester 40-grain FMJ, the CCI Maxi Mag JHP, and the Fiocchi 40-grain JSP. Firing offhand, there was little difference in accuracy among all four. Boxes of 50 rounds each went all too quickly!

Bob Campbell
The PMR 30 is accurate in offhand fire. Firing quickly the Kel-Tec PMR is a controllable handgun. Get sighted on a target out to 50 yards and chances are you can hit it with a handgun that shoots as flat as a wire.

Shooting from a solid bench-rest firing position, the Kel-Tec was more than accurate enough for small game or pest control. The fastest load tested was the CCI Maxi Mag at a strong 1440 fps. The best group for accuracy was the Fiocchi 40-grain JSP at 3.5 inches, with the Winchester and CCI each cutting just below 4.0 inches. I suspect that with practice, the pistol may be more accurate, however, it is a light pistol and it takes practice to stabilize the piece.

Personal Defense
While I prefer a larger caliber, there is something to be said for a bullet with plenty of velocity. Hornady’s 45-grain Critical Defense load is designed for defense use and exhibits good penetration and expansion. I would recommend this load, and it is completely reliable in the Kel-Tec pistol. For the recoil-shy this is a first-class alternative to a larger caliber handgun.

Barber Leather Works
The Barber Leather Works Chameleon works well for concealing the PMR 30.

I, frankly, would rather have this pistol loaded with Hornady’s ammunition than a .32 or .380 pistol. Accuracy is good, hit probability is excellent, and you have a good reserve of ammunition. For those who like to practice, the PMR 30 is an alternative to harder-kicking pistols.

The PMR 30 is a surprising piece, well worth its price and one of the top fun guns of the century.


Calibers: .22 Mag. (.22WMR)
Action Type: semi-auto, hybrid blowback/locked-breech system
Frame: 7075 aluminum covered by glass-reinforced Nylon
Barrel length: 4.3″
Rifling: 1:16″ RH twist
Magazine: 30+1 rounds
Sights: Fiber Optic
Trigger pull: 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Overall Length: 7.9″
Weight: 13.6 oz.
Width: 1.3″
Height: 5.8″
Accessories: owner’s manual, hard case, trigger lock, and two magazines
Suggested Retail Price: $415

Kel-Tec.com


Bob Campbell is an established and well-respected outdoors writer, contributing regularly to many publications ranging from SWAT Magazine to Knifeworld. Bob has also authored three books: Holsters For Combat and Concealed Carry (Paladin Press), The 1911 Semi Auto (Stoeger Publishing), and The Handgun In Personal Defense (The Second Amendment Foundation).

CORE 15 Scout Evaluation

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As an all-around, go-anywhere, do-anything rifle, the CORE 15 Scout carbine is a top contender. Accurate and reliable, this is also an affordable AR15.


by Bob Campbell


The AR15 rifle is, to me, the Winchester ’73 of this century. Useful for hunting or personal defense, useful as a lawman’s gun, and also a great all-around rifle for building skill, these rifles serve thousands of Americans well. There are more-powerful rifles and a few more accurate, but none as versatile as the AR15. The rifle illustrated is the newest addition to my modest AR15 battery. While “best” is a relative term, I do not own a rifle better made than CORE Rifle Systems CORE 15 Scout. Some have more features, but then so do the higher-grade CORE rifles.

AR15 carbine
The CORE rifle demonstrates classic lines. I added a rail mounted carry-handle to provide a back sight. Compact, powerful, and reliable the AR15 is quite an all-around rifle.

I have been prodded for the last year or so, not to test and evaluate this rifle, but to own and use an example. My oldest son, Alan, can do things with a rifle — and a lathe and press — I could never do, although I can still shoot with the best of them. Alan is also the best shot I know. Several times he has mentioned the fit and finish of the CORE rifle. The CORE slogan, “Where mil-spec is just a starting point” seems to be true.

The rifle illustrated is one of several models offered. The Scout is the base model. However, this is similar to a Colt 1911 Series 70 in concept. If you begin with a great handgun, you may upgrade the barrel and barrel bushing and have a match gun. You may add combat sights and have a good combat gun. On the other hand, you can just purchase a Combat Elite out the door.

The CORE rifle offers much the same options. If you buy a cheap 1911 or a cheap AR15, you will have to replace it at some point when you reach the skill level at which the firearm is limiting your performance. With the CORE rifle, you may add a superior optic or front rail at a later date. In my case, I already own a heavier AR15 with a heavy forend and a good quality scope. I like the Scout rifle for faster work and will probably leave it as issued.

CORE 15 Scout
The CORE 15 rifle is tight and demonstrated excellent accuracy. It is indeed a step beyond mil-spec. The fit and finish is outstanding.

I don’t think it makes horse sense to start with a cheap rifle. I have also seen many, many parts guns that simply did not work. It is fine to build your own if you use quality parts but so many do not. When you consider the amount you will expend on ammunition and training during the course of a few years, the price of a good rifle over a cheap rifle isn’t that great. Besides, the CORE rifle is affordable and well made of good material.

I began my examination by popping open the receiver and checking the bolt. The bolt carrier key must be properly staked or the rifle simply isn’t worth having. The CORE carrier looks good. Next, I checked the trigger. The compression is smooth enough with some take-up and a clean break. The rifle is delivered without sights, so I added a carrier handle with aperture sights. A good fit and all looked well.

The rifle is supplied with a single magazine. I added a stack of Magpul PMAGS and various aluminum magazines from the ready drawer. They have been proofed by previous use, so any problems would have been due to the rifle or ammunition, not the magazines.

Choosing my ammunition wasn’t difficult. The Winchester 55-grain FMJ USA White Box load is a great place to start. Accurate, clean burning, and always reliable, this is my number one resource for checking function in a new AR15 rifle. I lubricated the rifle well and locked the first magazine in. I loaded 25 rounds in the 30-round magazines. These first 25 rounds were far from boring but uneventful. Every load fed, chambered, fired, and ejected normally.

The rifle was sighted in at 25 and then 50 yards. Fifty yards is about the limit of my ability to register excellent groups, but the 100-yard groups are not bad, just below the potential of the rifle. It is no mean trick to keep three shots in two inches at 50 yards with iron sights, which I consider good off the bench rest. I fired a few of the Winchester Ballistic Silvertip loads. These are excellent choices for all-around use in.223. The Ballistic Silvertip is offered in 50- and 55-grain weights.

CORE 15 Scout
The CORE 15 is light in the hand and well balanced. It’s a joy firing offhand.

Frankly, with an iron-sighted rifle, it is almost just making empty brass to test such a load at long range. However, each load proved more accurate by a margin than the FMJ load. I like to confirm zero with a new rifle — just in case I get a shot at a coyote or broad-side a deer. I also fired five rounds of a dwindling supply of the Winchester 69-grain MATCH loading. This is a credible loading with much to recommend at the football-field mark.

Settling into a solid firing position off of the benchrest, I kept the rifle as solid as possible and squeezed the trigger straight to the rear with concentration on the sights. I took about a minute per shot. I usually fire three shots at 100 yards, but fired five and took the long walk with anticipation. I did not earn bragging rights, but three of the five rounds were in two inches, the other two opened the group to a full 3.5 inches. The dog will run, but it needs good glass to see the way.

Once I confirmed the zero, my grandson and I fired four magazines at targets at known and unknown ranges. Paper is good to confirm sight regulation, but firing at this type of target builds field skill. The CORE rifle handles quickly and has proven completely reliable. You cannot ask for more than that.

Contact CORE AR15 Rifle Systems


Bob Campbell is an established and well-respected outdoors writer, contributing regularly to many publications ranging from SWAT Magazine to Knifeworld. Bob has also authored three books: Holsters For Combat and Concealed Carry (Paladin Press), The 1911 Semi Auto (Stoeger Publishing), and The Handgun In Personal Defense (The Second Amendment Foundation).

The Gutless Method

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We saw this on YouTube was intrigued enough by it to share with our fellow Midsouth shooters, even if it is out of season. Really, there’s no closed season on learning better ways to skin a cat, or in this case, a deer. The video is by Randy Newberg.

This video shows you how to break down an animal, in this case a deer, and convert it to manageable pieces you can haul out on your back. The “gutless method” is the most efficient manner to get all useable meat off the carcass.

It’s easy to see why a gutless method of field-dressing a deer or elk is becoming more popular, in part because keeps the cape and head in good shape for trophy mounting.

Do you use this technique?

Ruger’s Kit Gun with a Wallop

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BY R K Campbell

Over the years, among the most useful handguns I have used have been five-shot revolvers. Light, handy and powerful enough for Continue reading Ruger’s Kit Gun with a Wallop