In this Kel Tec RDB review we’ll be covering its specification and background. We’ll also provide some extra resources for you to check out if you’re interested in this Bullpup Rifle from Kel Tec.

Reliability: B
Customization: B-
Accuracy: B-
Ergonomics: A-
Value: B

Final Grade: B

Kel Tec RDB Background

Kel Tec RDB Spec

Kel Tec are a company known for releasing futuristic looking firearms. They have earned a cult following and popularity within the gun world due to the fact their firearms are featured in many different video games and movies. The Kel Tec RDB is a bullpup rifle, offered in the company’s usual eye catching style. But is it actually any good?

The purpose behind Kel Tec releasing the RDB was to solve some of the problems that are associated with bullpup rifles. Some have been designed in a way that make it difficult for southpaw shooters to safely operate. Gun University will give you our professional opinion on whether Kel Tec have succeeded in their aim of making an ambidextrous bullpup rifle.

So what else do you need to know about the Kel Tec RDB bullpup rifle?

Some of the innovative aspects you’d expect from Kel Tec are found here in the RDB. These include an ejection system that keeps your line of sight free from spent casings, allowing you to more precisely and safely operate the RDB. But, if you’ve read our other Kel Tec reviews here at Gun University, you know that things don’t always work as well in reality as intended.

If you’re thinking of buying the Kel Tec RDB, we’ve discovered a few things you really want to know first. Read on to discover what they are, along with our full review and grades for the Kel Tec RDB.

Kel tec rdb Features

1. Ambidextrous Magazine Release
The mag release on the RDB can be operated with either hand.

2. Adjustable Gas System
Allowing you to change the power of the propulsion.

3. Downward Shell Ejection
This method of ejecting shells ensures the Kel Tec RDB is suitable for both left and right handed shooters.

Kel Tec RDB Review – Our Take

Honestly, we’re torn on the Kel TEc RDB bullpup rifle. It is a really cool, simple, svelte, budget-friendly bullpup rifle. However, it is made by Kel Tec which usually means two things: A+ on innovation, D on execution.

If you’re thinking about getting the Kel-Tec RFB, get this RDB instead. Here’s why:

Things we like about the RDB rifle:

SUPER SIMPLE operation! Seriously, one of the reasons we want one of these in our personal collection is how clean the design is INSIDE the gun. It is a tiny bolt carrier, bolt, and op-rod. That’s about it.

The bolt extracts the empty case and instead of ejecting the case when the bolt reaches the rear of the next round in the magazine, it continues to pull the case rearward and ejects it down behind the magazine. This means that the bolt travels twice as far as any other semi auto rifle: far enough to feed and an additional case-length rearward to eject.

The KelTec RDB rifle is handy – it’s not super light, but it’s not too heavy either. The more you play with it, the more you realize what a handy package it is.

The RDB by Kel Tec is reliable. It just seems to work.

What we don’t like:

The Kel Tec RDB is NOT pro-grade. This is fine for a range toy but we could never recommend this rifle for defensive use. Why? Well, even though it has been reliable for testing, there will surely be a malfunction (even if it is ammo related). And, once there’s a malfunction (like a failure to feed, failure to extract, failure to eject, etc.) it is going to be near impossible to diagnose the problem and fix it.

The RDB is novel in that it doesn’t have an ejection port that allows you to see in the chamber and see the top of the magazine. That seems cool until you realize that you can’t diagnose and fix malfunctions.  Good motivation, bad judgment.

The trigger and mag release are nowhere near as good as the trigger and mag release on the Tavor X95. Seriously, this is a fun space-gun but if you’re looking for a serious duty bullpup rifle, I think you’re crazy to not get the IWI X95.

rdb left facing

Kel Tec RDB Pros and Cons



Novel Concept (Cool factor)


Not pro-grade

Impossible to diagnose and fix malfunctions

Poor trigger and mag release

Report card

Reliability Reliable enough but impossible to fix malfunctions


Accuracy Comparable accuracy to other bullpup rifles but on the lower end


Customization Picatinny rail on top and bottom.


Ergonomics Gun is comfortable to hold and shoot – mag release is wonky.


Value It’s a fun gun for the price and a good option for the budget-minded shopper.


Final Grade: B


Now that you know our full and frank take on the RDB, you probably want to know more about what it’s like to be a hands on owner.

Don’t worry, Gun University has got you covered.

We’ve gathered together all the most useful resources you need to know about the Kel Tec RDB.

These include:

  • A video showing the Kel Tec RDB in action. This will let you picture what it will be like to actually use the weapon.
  • The full owner’s manual for the RDB, straight from Kel Tec. This will let you get a more technically oriented insight into the RDB.
  • Answers to some of the most common questions we’ve heard here at Gun University about the Kel Tec RDB.

Consider this your one stop shop for everything you need to know about the Kel Tec RDB.


GUN Maintenance and Cleaning Process


Accessories and Upgrades for the kel tec rdb

Check out the official IWI accessories here.

Other Resources and Documents for the kel tec rdb

Kel Tec RDB Manual

What does the manual cover?

  • Safety Information and Warnings
  • Overview (description, nomenclature, specifications, ammunition, sling mounting)
  • Operating Instructions (Safety, Loading Magazines, Loading the Rifle, Firing, Adjusting the gas operation, Unloading)
  • Disassembly
  • Assembly (Cleaning and maintenance, Lubrication, Troubleshooting)
  • Exploded View and Parts list

Is the Kel Tec RDB suitable for both right and left handed shooters?

Yes, Kel Tec have designed the Kel Tec RDB with the intention of being a truly ambidextrous bullpup rifle. This has been achieved by ensuring key aspects of the firearm, such as the release clip, can be operated from either side of the weapon. Also, the RDB ejects downwards, meaning that it can safely be operated from either side.

What type of ammo does the RDB bullpup rifle use?

The Kel Tec RDB is chambered for 5.56 NATO ammo. It is also capable of firing .223 REM caliber.

What type of magazine does the RDB use?

The Kel Tec RDB takes STANAG 4173 (AR style) magazines.

How do I disassemble the Kel Tec RDB?

Kel Tec have designed to the RDB to be easy to operate.

Accordingly, the disassembly process consists of seven simple steps.

1 – First, ensure the RDB’s hammer is cocked and the safety is set to the ‘safe’ position.

2 – Push both forward grip assembly pins fully to the right. The pins will be held in place in the grip.

3 – Rotate the grip downwards, pull the barrel and bolt forward.

4 – Remove the bolt carrier from the barrel assembly.

5 – Use a pointed object to push the barrel forward. Remove the firing pin. Next, pull out the bolt bin. Finally, move the bolt into the forward position.

6 – Remove the assembly pin, then pull the operating handle back and out. The gas piston assembly can then be pulled back and removed.

7 – If you need to, you can now remove the rear assembly pin and the receiver and grip can then be separated.