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Old April 7, 2012, 09:08 PM   #1
Joe_Pike
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Okay, What The Heck Is Wrong With Kel-Tec?

Why in the world do they keep introducing new products that they can't possibly distribute in a reasonable and timely manner?

I have four Kel-Tecs (PF9, P11, P32, Sub2000), so, I don't have a problem with the guns themselves for the most part. I think they have generally been a good value. Here's the thing, though: All I ever see are PF9s, P11s, P32s and P3-ATs. I rarely see a Sub2000 and I never see any new stuff...ever.

I thought the PMR-30 might be fun. I have never been in a gun shop that has had one in stock. Most of the shops I visit have never had one. I hear they are selling now for $600. Forget that.

I thought the new KSG shotgun would be fun. Forget ever trying to get one of these. One shop in my area got ONE and he sold it yesterday for $2,000. You read that right...$2,000.

Now they have a RMR-30 announced and supposedly on the way. Yeah, right.

Why don't they concentrate on getting a few guns out to people that want them before they announce another gun they can't ship? Geez, it's not like I'm asking for a Kimber Solo.
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Old April 7, 2012, 09:21 PM   #2
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If you know what you want (meaning not having to look it over or get the feel of it) will your LGS order it for you? I would think distributors could special order it even if you had to wait a bit. Possibly the dealers do not feel they have a market for anything other than their tried and true selling products.

Have I misunderstood your issue?
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Old April 7, 2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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It's not a matter of ordering it - these guns are just not available. Most of the shops have them on order, but they just never get them.
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Old April 7, 2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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i see a few sub 2000's here and there...dont think those are very "rare"

as for a 2000 dollar gun there are alot of guns above the KSG on my list.
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Old April 8, 2012, 02:26 AM   #5
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Nothing is wrong with Kel-Tec. In fact, this may be a very shrewd business move.

The slow release of limited numbers of units has done amazingly well for generating orders and demand.

Also, such limited/small releases serve as a platform by which to beta test their products. Both the PMR30 and the KSG were found to have some design issues that need to be worked out before starting full production runs of the models.
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Old April 8, 2012, 06:46 AM   #6
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Keltec

Beats me, I agree with the OP. I tried to order one from CDNN recently. I was told their backlog for individuals was 12,000 pistols. Even the backlog for Dealers was SEVERAL YEARS LONG. Needless to say they refused to add me to any list. The PMR30 is a home run. A pistol that may have made Keltec a top line premier maker. It was a "game changer" kinda like the 1911, seems everyone wants one. And now they can't deliver. I think it's a huge mistake. Instead of kudos, they generate aggravation and harsh feeling in their client base.

Don't get me wrong, I like Keltec. I've owned 2 PF9's and the folding rifle ie sub type in both 9mm & 40. And thought them a great little arms. But they dropped the ball with their PF9's and other small pistols. Why did they never
proceed with the ascetics and make them more presentable? Ruger and pretty much everyone else copied the Keltec. Made it "pretty" and stole many of their customers. I doubt any small pistol is significantly superior to the PF9 in performance.
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Old April 8, 2012, 08:37 AM   #7
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Interesting article on just that issue. Kimber Solos, Sig-Sauer P-224s are like vaporware as far as the average person actually getting their hands on one. And Ruger has stopped taking orders to catch up, so they won't be backlogged into the 22nd Century!

As the author says, "Trust me, the gun manufacturers want to sell their guns to everybody who is lawfully entitled to own them."

Frustrating, but encouraging at the same time.
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Old April 8, 2012, 09:34 AM   #8
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You can actually get a Kimber Solo without too much difficulty. The Kel-Tec KSG and (to a lesser extent) their rifles are rather tough to acquire. The KSG had some initially issues while testing for reviews and had to have some things tweaked a little bit. However, it is still a bit ridiculous to have next to nothing available for sale. They need to have at least enough of them to put a few in people's hands and generate some actually owner buzz. I genuinely feel people will get fed up after such long waits and seemingly no product being delivered.

One theory I have about certain models from Kel Tec, is that they are being made in very limited quanities and being used as advertising platforms and to draw customers interest to the brand with the hope of selling them the other Kel Tec "bread and butter" firearms. This is what I feel is really starting to go on with Kel Tec.
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Old April 8, 2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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Maybe it's a regional thing. I too only see the PF9, P-11, P3AT and the P-32. Rarely, I see a carbine of theirs. I have never seen the KSG or the PMR-30 in any of my LGS.
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Old April 8, 2012, 05:38 PM   #10
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I contacted kel tech with a firearms design a few months ago and the reply I got was basically 'Our current production is way out of control. We have WAY too much going on right now to deal with anything new." Consider dev on these things takes a solid five years. Alll the guns you are complaining about were pretty much in development before any of them were released. I just don't think they planned well.

They will still sell a ton and make lots and lots of money. I am more than willing to wait on the PMR 30 until some have 5000 rounds through them.
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Old April 8, 2012, 05:48 PM   #11
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If you could order directly from Kel-Tec and they'd ship to your FFL then I agree it is a shrewd move. But they don't do that. They sell their limited numbers of firearms to dealers who then do a huge markup on them. If there is going to be a markup like that - why wouldn't Kel-Tec reap the profit?

If you look at what S&W is doing with their new "Shield" / "Something Big Is Coming" campaign, it's designed to create hype leading up to an actual release date. That hype will generate sales. If S&W created the hype last November... that hype WOULDN'T generate sales.

They should use Kel-Tek's marketing of the KSG in college text books as an example of how NOT to market a product.

They introduced at SHOT show 2011 and the things are still not really available to the public. A few trickle out here and there, show up at a gun show or something, but that's hardly saying they're available.

Their 7.62 RFB looks very cool. I might even have purchased one if I could have ever seen one at a gun show or gun store.

Can you really say they have a shrewd marketing policy in that they don't produce a product?

I don't think it would work for Toyota, Honda, Ford or General Motors, Coke, Pepsi, or McDonalds. I think business class 101 would tell you that you have to produce a product...

I think with Ket-Tec it starts with George. This is just my opinion, but I think George is basically an inventor, he's a heck of an inventor. but he's basically an inventor. There is whole lot more to running a manufacturering company than just inventing products, but I don't think that's where George's passion is.
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Old April 8, 2012, 05:59 PM   #12
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I think their marketing policy is very shrewd although their promotion policies are lacking. Marketing runs the gambit of understanding the market and I think they do that as well or better than any firearms company out there. How many of their products have flopped? Ruger MIGHT be catching up to them.

All the older models such as the sub2000 are available in my area, but you have to order them and wait a month or two. No big deal for most buyers.

Quote:
Toyota, Honda, Ford or General Motors, Coke, Pepsi, or McDonalds
These companies have tens of thousands of employees and thousands dedicated to marketing only. I would be surprised if Kel-tec has 100 employees and more than one or two dedicated to marketing. I am not sure about ownership, but my bet is it is closely held. The owners probably made more than they ever wanted on the PF9 alone and are now having fun making products they want to see in the market. Maybe not though.

By the time you can find these guns at your LGS they will have all the problems worked out. In the long run they will sell just as many as if they sold them all up front and they will have to fix/recall a whole lot less early models.
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Old April 8, 2012, 07:00 PM   #13
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I'll give an example of why this is not a good move for any firearm manufacturer. When the Rossi Ranch Hand was shown at the SHOT show I wanted one right away. I went to my LGS and told them to put me on the list. I think it was about a year before they got one in and it wasn't the caliber I wanted. By that time I was tired of waiting and no longer wanted one.

Kimber Solo, same thing. My LGS has only had two of those come in and they are a Master Dealer. They have a list about 30 people deep waiting for one. I am not on this list.

The KSG has had so much hype that I doubt that I'll ever see one for the price Kel-Tec intended for the gun to sell for. I will never have one because I am not willing to pay the premium. After all, a Remington 870 is a fine gun and they ARE available.

So, for me, I end up getting so irritated because the wait is so long that I decide to move on and do something else. I suspect that I am not the only one.
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Old April 8, 2012, 07:04 PM   #14
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^ Exactly

I was excited about the Kel-Tec KSG and if one would have shown up at my LGD for MSRP I would probably have purchased one.

In the meantime I've started thinking the Mossberg 930SPX would be better use of my money, and if I were going to pay some of the prices I've heard thrown around for the KSG - I'd buy a Benelli M4 instead.
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Old April 8, 2012, 07:21 PM   #15
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ditto count0

I also have wanted a KSG but share similar concerns.
If what I'm reading here is accurate I'm not so sure a KSG is in my future.
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Old April 9, 2012, 06:15 PM   #16
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What is the production cost of a KSG? The margin?
A PF9? It may be as simple as they figure in the mass market they make more money off of PF9s. It just isn't as simple as I want the gun at MSRP, why don't they make me one?
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Old April 9, 2012, 07:37 PM   #17
Joe_Pike
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Quote:
It just isn't as simple as I want the gun at MSRP, why don't they make me one?
Sure it is, and if it isn't then they need to raise the MSRP. If you pump up everyone with the announcement of a new product, then advertise that product at a certain price, then say you can't deliver that product in a reasonably timely manner then what are you doing wrong?

And, to be fair, it's not just Kel-Tec. I would have liked to have had a 100th year Colt 1911. Not the fancy one, the most plain one that they made. I never came across one. One of the LGS that I frequent told me that they had them on order with several distributors and never received one. A customer walked into that shop one day late last year and told them that he wanted one and that he had talked to Colt and they told them that they were available and to just order one at the LGS. They promptly called one of their distributors and he just laughed. He told them they would never get one even though they had made previous orders for them and that there were at least 7,000 back orders.
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Old April 9, 2012, 09:53 PM   #18
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I too would love to be able to find some of the newer kel-tec firearms, but what're you gonna do?

And a good point about Colt, or even 1911s for that matter. I bought a SA Range Officer about a month ago only because they had one in stock that someone else had ordered, got tired of waiting for, and than changed their minds about. All of my first choices were nowhere to be found. They couldn't order one and I couldn't even find any of them online.

I definitely won't be suprised if it's another 4-5 years at the least before you can walk into a shop and have them order you one of kel-tec's newer designs without waiting 7 months.
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Old April 20, 2012, 02:38 PM   #19
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I was in a LGS yesterday and they had just received a Kel-Tec RFB. I was shocked to see it. Price - $1.389. I went back today to handle it some more and put some money down on it only to be told that there were back orders going back to 2009, leaving me out of luck.

I think I'll start collecting PEZ dispensers again.
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Old April 20, 2012, 02:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
I would be surprised if Kel-tec has 100 employees and more than one or two dedicated to marketing.
That's it right there. It's a small company and they want to stay a small company. They like inventing cool new things and making them. They _could_ build a big new plant built and hire hundreds of new employees and start cranking out lots of new product but that's just not what they want to do. They are making and producing as many guns right now as they are interested in making. Period, end of story!

It's like a boutique company. You can't really look at them like Ruger or S&W.

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Old April 20, 2012, 11:54 PM   #21
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manufacturing

I'm guessing its WAY easier to design a unique product than it is to purchase, tool up, staff and manage a whole new factory.
It is frustrating to read about the cool new guns we can't get. But would we like it if they outsourced the factories to China, or maybe, Brazil?
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Old April 23, 2012, 11:27 AM   #22
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I agree with GTLefty, but I would be okay with a gun made in Brazil (have been happy with the Taurus guns I've owned). Probably wouldn't by the China version.
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Old April 26, 2012, 10:06 AM   #23
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Well, their marketing genius has not worked on me. I've totally given up on KelTek. I don't even care what they come out with next. There are plenty of other manufacturers out there who can make stuff that will actually show up on a shelf. I had a P3AT that ran flawlessly, didn't cost much, and was a solid design, but I'm not going to spend the next 3 years pining for a KSG that will never come. I'm not a gun spinster.
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Old April 26, 2012, 06:07 PM   #24
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From what I have read, at least in the past, batch numbers of their guns were purely a regional thing and when they were around you had to get it then. I bought my PF9 only about a year ago and I hadn't really seen them around at all. My copy was the first I remember even hearing about locally (it was in a sales ad I got in my email) but I had probably forgotten about NIBs that were a little higher than I was willing to pay for what I considered a last ditch pocket piece. I'm just not the type of guy who feels the .380 is sufficient FOR ME. I am still seeing them around the Chicago area as used, however, mostly NIB. I have seen a few of their pistol carbines around, also NIB, so I know they are still around.

Now, of course the rarer pieces I have never seen around, such as their shotgun and probably all of their rifles. I am greatly interested in some of their bigger bore rifles but my only option is gunbroker, and from what I had researched, my choices were slim up there, too. You're not going to get these on the cheap-o anymore.
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Old April 28, 2012, 08:54 PM   #25
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One thing that I think about is, if they're so hard to find, just how hard are they to fix if something goes wrong?
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