Kel Tec RFB Review [2022]: Worthy Bullpup?

by Dave Chesson

April 2, 2022

5 comments

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In this Kel Tec RFB review, we’ll be covering what we think of the RFB rifle, its pros and cons, and its specifications. We’ll also provide some extra resources to help you decide whether the RFB is the right Bullpup rifle for you.

Kel Tec RFB Specs

  • Barrel Length 18″
  • Caliber 7.62×51 NATO
  • Sights Rail Mounted
  • Action Semi-Auto
  • Overall Length 26’’

Kel Tec RFB Background

Kel Tec are known for producing futuristic looking weapons, and the Kel Tec RFB is no exception. But aside from its video game like aesthetic, is the Kel Tec RFB actually a good bullpup rifle to own? And what is the purpose behind Kel Tec releasing this particular bullpup rifle?

Kel Tec’s stated aim in releasing the RFB is to offer a truly ambidextrous bullpup rifle that is easy to operate. It has been designed to be suitable for both left and right-handed shooters. 

Although most modern bullpup rifles are ambidextrous, and the RFB is no exception, one of the biggest complaints for left-handed shooters is the rearward location of the ejection port due to the bullpup design. This often shoots ejected brass into, or very near to, the shooter’s face.

One of the unique designs of the RFB is that it ejects the brass out the front of the rifle. That’s right…out the front. We’ll cover this more in our KelTec RFB review below.

Kel Tec RFB Features

Kel-Tec-RFB-Features
1 Forward Ejection Chute

The RFB’s forward facing ejection chute prevents the side ejection problems that come with other similar weapons.

2 Ambidextrous Magazine Release

The Kel Tec RFB can be operated by left or right handed shooters alike.

3 MIL-SPEC Picatinny Rail

You can fit sights and other upgrades to your RFB with this Picatinny rail.

Kel Tec RFB Review – Our Take

The Kel Tec RFB is, well, weird.

Like some other things Kel Tec, it is a novel concept executed poorly.

That may sound harsh, and maybe it is. However, we think Kel-Tec is on the cutting edge of unique firearm designs, and we hope that they never quit. However, their end-result products sometimes seem to be an afterthought. On paper, they might seem like the best idea ever, but in your hands, they sometimes feel… well… cheaply constructed.

As a bull pup rifle, the RFB has some merits. It is lighter weight than some other options (we’re looking at you IWI X95) and it really nails the “space-gun” look.

The really novel part about the RFB rifle is the forward-ejection… this just doesn’t exist on any other commercially available rifle.

As you know from our Gun 101 series, there are 8 cycles of function for most firearms. One of the functions that is responsible for a large proportion of malfunctions is “ejection” whereby the spent casing is moved away from the firearm to make room for the next round of ammunition to feed into the chamber. For newbies, ejection is what causes the empty brass to fly out of the side of a firearm.

With the Kel Tec RFB, however, the empty cases aren’t ejected out of a side ejection-port like most rifles (because the RFB doesn’t have a side ejection port!). Instead, the empty cases are pushed down a tube above the barrel until they reach the end of the handguard where they fall out and to the ground.

It is really… different… to witness. It almost appears as if brass is falling out of the end of the barrel.

So, for ingenuity, A+. However, for execution, D-.

Why the low grade? We already covered that many malfunctions on rifles are due to ejection, and this forward ejecting system of the RFB complicates the process. Furthermore, it also blocks your easy access to the working mechanism of the rifle to manually clear the malfunction – or, for that matter, even see what the problem is (or if the gun is loaded).

Other common sources of malfunction in rifles are from failing to feed the round into the chamber and failing to extract. The RFB’s design also causes an issue in diagnosing and correcting these other potential issues as well.

Although the ejection port might be a complaint for some, for the rest of us, it is an easy way to see what’s going on with a malfunction and to clear it.

The rest of the Kel Tec RFB: The trigger is on par with a mil-spec trigger (not good), there are no options for aftermarket grips, buttstocks, nor foreends, and the accuracy is good enough for a battle rifle, but we wouldn’t call the RFB rifle accurate.

Takeaway: if you’re looking for a novel/unique space-age-looking gun, you should check out the RFB. However, if you are looking for a more reliable and serious duty bull pup rifle, you’d be better suited with the IWI X95.

Something about this gun just feels like a concept-rifle or a prototype.

Kel Tec RFB Pros and Cons

  • Bullpup design/short overall length
  • Looks cool
  • Unique/Novel Concept
  • Difficult to diagnose/clear malfunctions
  • No upgrade options
  • Falls behind performance of other similar rifles

Report Card

Shootability

Shootability is adequate

A
Reliability

Yes, the gun generally works well, but if there’s a problem, you’re screwed.

C
Ergonomics

Feels ok, but no options to improve.

B
Accuracy

Decent accuracy

B
Value

Better options for the money

C

Our Grade

B-

Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade

B+

Based on 13 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Rifle? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Kel Tec RFB Ammo

Winchester 149 gr FMJ 7.62X51

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Palmetto State Armory $1.25

PPU Rangemaster 145 gr FMJBT 7.62X51

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Palmetto State Armory $1.00

Kel Tec RFB Starter Pack

If you’ve decided to pick up the Kel Tec RFB, or found another firearm that suits your needs, there are some bare essentials you’re going to need to pick up in order to maximize its potential and your safety regardless of if it’s your first firearm or not.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon, or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
  • Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full length review.
  • Storage: Check out our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
  • Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.

Upgrades and Accessories

I know I’m gonna catch some flak for this, but… this gun really needs some help to make it more desirable. And I’m not just talking about cool light or laser. But things that actually help with the gun’s operation or the ability to optimize.

Kel Tec RFB Accessories

Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4X20mm
  • LPVO
  • Perfect For Hunting
  • Pig Plex Reticle
Check Price
Trijicon RMR Type 2
  • 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED RMR
  • Automatic mode to prevent accidental adjustments
Check Amazon
Viking Tactics VTAC Padded Sling
  • Adaptable and Comfortable
  • Wide Shoulder Strap
Check Amazon
Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs
  • Great In-Ear option
  • Custom molded – super easy and comfortable
  • NRR: 31
Check Amazon

Other Bullpup Rifles of its Class to Check Out

In our opinion, there’s just so much more out there than the KelTec RFB when it comes to bullpup rifles. Don’t get me wrong. I love the way they look and some of the progressive thinking that KelTec has. I just think they fell a bit short when it came to the RFB. However, there are some other seriously nice options available.

#1 Steyr Aug A3 M1

Steyr Aug A3 M1

Sold at EuroOptic.com, Guns.com, Palmetto State Armory

The Aug is a modular firearm and comes in many configurations to include those that fire in the open bolt position as light machine guns.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability B
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics C
  • Accuracy B
  • Value C

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade

B+

Based on 8 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

This is our favorite bullpup rifle we’ve gotten our hands on. It shoots reliable and accurate. Also, it fires common ammo with easy to find mags–unlike the PS90, As a matter of fact, the thing we liked the least is its price. But… you do get what you pay for…READ MORE 

#2 IWI Tavor X95

IWI Tavor X95

The Tavor X95 has by far earned the Best Overall Bullpup Award. You can see below why we made that decision.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A

Our Grade

A+

Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 28 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

This right here is the Mack Daddy of Bullpups–until somebody can change my mind. The IWI Tavor X95 tops our list of best bullpup rifles and shotguns for good reason. It’s sleek, reliable, accurate, and durable with minimal issues. It’s pretty much everything you could want in a bullpup… READ MORE

#3 IWI Tavor SAR

IWI Tavor SAR

Sold at PalmettoStateArmory

If you’re worried about the durability of the Tavor SAR, you should know this is the bullpup rifle of choice for the Israeli Armed Forces.

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  • Shootability A
  • Ergonomics B
  • Reliability A+
  • Value B
  • Accuracy C

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 6 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Rifle? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

If you’re looking for something a bit heavier, check out IWI’s Tavor SAR. The SAR is actually standard Israeli military issue, but we can get a civilian-approved version of it. It’s tried and true on the battlefield and has even won a Golden Bullseye back in 2014. Either way, we’d definitely choose this over the RFB… READ MORE

How to Care for your Kel Tec RFB

If there is one great thing to say about the RFB is how easy it is to break down and reassemble. You can actually completely break down the gun in a matter of seconds without any tools. This allows for an easy clean.

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About Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I never understand the reliability comment from the article. Why a ‘C’ if you have not had an issue yet based on “what ifs”? That is like saying,” that big guy over there has not committed a crime yet, but if he beats the murder you, you are screwed”. I have not heard of anyone having feeding problems like some AR’s. Maybe you should have a separate reliability breakouts like, “Range Test Performance” and “Long term Maintenance & Accessibility”. Reliability can be construed too many ways.

  2. There is another rifle with forward ejecting cases and it was designed, built, sold, etc before the RFB. The FN F2000/FS2000 ejects shells in the exact same way as the RFB. FN started designing that rifle in 1995 and it was released to the US market in 2001.

  3. Mr. Roy Chesson, what part of 7.62×51 do you not understand?
    All your ratings below is compared to WUT? High end .22s?

    RELIABILITY – Yes, the gun works well, but if there’s a problem, you’re screwed. = C
    Your one (1) gun test verdict was not buy a jury of its peers.
    ACCURACY – Decent accuracy = B
    Did you Break-in (seasoning) the barrel?
    CUSTOMIZATION – No options = D
    A bullpup is CUSTOMIZED a rifle, by design.
    ERGONOMICS – Feels ok, but no options to improve = B
    If it is OK, there are no improvement/s to be determined.
    VALUE – Better options for the money = C
    This doesn’t even make sense to me “)

  4. >”The really novel part about the RFB rifle is the forward-ejection… this just doesn’t exist on any other commercially available rifle.”

    It’s hard to take a 2022 bullpup review seriously if you’ve never even heard of, let alone reviewed, the DT MDRX which is the obvious direct comparison to this gun (also can be chambered in 308 or 6.5, forward eject and easy swap of ejection side is a big feature). I’d hoped to see those contrasted in this review, the KT is somewhat cheaper though still a pricey item. It would have been enlightening to see two FE 308 bullpups directly compared :(.

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