Kel Tec RFB Review [2021]: Worthy Bullpup?

by Roy Chesson

January 11, 2021

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In this Kel Tec RFB review we’ll be covering the RFB and its specification. 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 .762×51 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. 

It has a forward ejection chute and ambidextrous mag release to make it suitable for left or right handed use.

However, if you’ve read Gun University’s other reviews of bullpup firearms, you’ll know there are some common problems that often crop up.

You know that we present the full and honest truth about the firearms we review, including any problems we find. So you’ll definitely want to keep reading to discover if the Kel Tec RFB suffers from the issues that crop up time and time again with bullpup rifles.

Without further ado, here’s our full unbiased review of the Kel Tec RFB bullpup rifle, complete with pros and cons as well as full grades.

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.

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.

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

Reliability

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

C
Accuracy

Decent accuracy

B
Customization

No options

D
Ergonomics

Feels ok, but no options to improve.

B
Value

Better options for the money

C

Our Grade

B-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

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Success Your Grade Has Been
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There’s a few things you’re definitely going to need to pick up when you purchase your KelTec RFB. Here’s our list of must-haves:

Now that you’ve picked up the basics, let’s get to making this RFB the best gun it can be.

Best Sights for the Kel Tec RFB

I could literally put any sight on here, and it would be better than the stock sights. That’s simply because the KelTec RFB doesn’t come with any sights. No optics and no irons. However, there’s a full length Picatinny rail just waiting for your favorite choice of aftermarket optics.

Our Editor’s Choice is the Leupold VX-R. I mean really…it’s a Leupold. You know it’s gonna be quality. What we really like about this particular model is the FireDot reticle. Honestly, you might wonder why you’d want an illuminated reticle in full sunlight. But after seeing how bright this sucker really gets…You wouldn’t want it any other way. Plus, it’s ruggedly built and fog/waterproof. Truly great optics here. CHECK AMAZON PRICE

Another sight we like for the KelTec RFB is the Mepro Tru-Dot RDS. It’s a lightweight, but durable red dot that provides 4 different brightness levels. It has a nicely sized window for the best optics so you can have a clear field of vision at whatever you’re aiming for. And let’s not forget, it’s super energy efficient. It’s able to operate for thousands of hours on just a single AA battery.

CHECK PRICE

Best Accessories for the Kel Tec RFB

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.

This is our number one pick for extra accessories for the RFB. You’re gonna need an oversized charging handle for this weapon. The one provided just doesn’t feel natural and can be difficult to operate. The RFB charging handle is sold by KelTec so…perhaps they understand exactly what I’m saying. CHECK PRICE

One of the biggest downfalls to the KelTec RFB–aside from ejection issues–is it’s lack of customization options. But you can amend that by installing this handguard picatinny rail. This will allow you to put a Picatinny on the bottom of the gun vice just the top.

CHECK PRICE

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.comGuns.comPalmetto 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
  • Ergonomics C
  • Reliability A+
  • Value C
  • Accuracy B

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 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

Sold at palmettostatearmory.comGuns.com

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

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Variation? 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.

Check Latest Price

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

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Variation? 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 breakdown and reassemble. You can actually completely break down the gun in a matter of seconds without any tools. This allows for an easy clean.

Important Links And Manuals For Your KelTec RFB

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About Roy Chesson

Roy 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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1 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.

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