Range Review: KelTec P50

It’s rare to see anything truly unique in the handgun world, so it’s interesting to check out the KelTec P50, which really is a different kind of gun. In this video review, YouTuber Caleb Downing tries it out for himself and gives you his take on its design and overall performance. Haven’t heard of the KelTec P50? Check this out. We think you’ll end up wanting a closer look.

Caleb Downing takes a look at the KelTec P50.
Caleb Downing takes a look at the KelTec P50. (Photo credit: Caleb Downing)

What is the KelTec P50?

The KelTec P50 is a handgun chambered in 5.7x28mm. This description makes it sound basic, but it is anything but basic. It has what the manufacturer calls a “retro” appearance and is bulkier than traditional handguns. The P50 is a handgun you’re not likely to want to shoot one-handed, and you’re definitely going to want some trigger time with it.

The KelTec P50 is a unique handgun, as you can see by the way the magazine is inserted. (Photo credit: KelTec)

Downing runs through some live fire with the P50, which he calls a “space gun” (understandably). This all has to start with loading the magazine, which is probably the gun’s most unique feature. It’s a 50-round FN PS90/P90 magazine and is loaded into the gun’s frame horizontally. 

KelTec P50 GIF.
Source: KelTec

Loading it with rounds of ammunition is an interesting feat that involves getting the hang of using the base of one round to press the nose of the bullet of the previous round downward and to the side, allowing it to rotate into place. According to Downing, there is a speed loader available and it looks like it would be a good idea to use one.

loading P90 magazines for KelTec P50
Magazines for the P50 don’t load from the top like a standard handgun magazine. Using a speedloader makes things a lot easier with this design. (Photo credit: Caleb Downing)

As for performance, the first round through Downing’s review gun failed to eject, but after that, it appears to have cycled reliably. He also discovered during his time running the handgun that it will fire a chambered round with the magazine out of the gun, which is nice to know. Overall it looked like he had fun with it.

Interested in finding out more about the P50 and seeing Downing load that magazine himself? Check out the video:

What’s the Purpose of the P50?

The first use for the P50 is to have fun plinking with it. It is, after all, a cool gun. In this caliber, it could be used to handgun hunt varmints and pests, and there are those who would probably consider using it for some form of home defense. Overall this is one of those guns that’s just fun to own and a joy to shoot, and there is nothing wrong with that.

YouTuber Nickademus77 mentioned some other simple purposes for the KelTec P50 in the comment section for this video, including:

  • Home defense when the number of invaders and overpenetration are a concern.
  • Secondary sidearm. ‘Perfect pair’ for the PS90/P90.

Would you want a KelTec P50 of your own? Why or why not? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: KelTec
  • Model: P50
  • Caliber: 5.7x28mm
  • Capacity: 50 rounds (standard magazine)
  • Barrel Length: 9.6 inches
  • Barrel Threads: 1/2×28 TPI
  • Overall Length: 15 inches
  • Height: 6.7 inches
  • Width: 2.0 inches
  • Trigger Pull: 5.0 pounds (factory)
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds (empty)
  • MSRP: $995
Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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