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The design of the Kel-Tec RDB-S carbine is outside of the traditional box, but it performs well and

Scot Loveland - August 31, 2020

“What the %#@! is that?”

“Is that a rifle?”

“That is the ugliest gun I have ever seen.”

“Is that real, or is that a movie prop?”

“How are you supposed to hold it?”

The previous questions/statements were actual words straight from my friends’ mouths upon seeing the Kel-Tec RDB-S for the first time. Some were long-time gun enthusiasts, and some were casual observers of firearms esoterica. And I heard many variations of the first inquiry, mostly unprintable. In the marketing and advertising world, eliciting a strong reaction is what you are seeking (the fact that these folks had never seen this design before, despite it being on the market for several years, is something else entirely). Good, bad, or otherwise, a strong reaction is never the less memorable. Do you remember where you were when Chrysler first introduced the K-car? No, me either. It was the platform that saved Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s, but it was entirely forgettable. The Tucker Torpedo? Way outside the box. Laser discs? Outside the box. Google Glass? Yup, that too. Of course, those three were mostly abject failures, but…In a gun world vastly overpopulated by AR clones (a design itself that was waaay outside of the box in 1956) churned out by boutique AR manufacturers and large, typically staid corporations that want to be boutique AR manufacturers, I am pleased to see that someone is willing to roll the dice and take a risk on something different. That the someone is Kel-Tec CNC Industries Inc. of Cocoa, Florida, should come as no surprise. Kel-Tec has been eliciting strong reactions in the firearms community since its inception in 1991.

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