CMR-30 (take two)
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  1. #1
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    CMR-30 (take two)

    Larry's PCC Requirements:

    These are *my* requirements. If they're not the same as yours, that's fine -- just don't be bust'n my chops about it . . .

    I like the idea of a Pistol Caliber Carbine. However, most implementations leave me lacking. Just being able to shoot pistol calibers from a rifle doesn't cut it for me. The rifle needs to be able to be stowed compactly and deployed quickly. That means "take down" doesn't cut it for me. In an emergency situation the last thing I want to be doing is messing around trying to reassemble the rifle. What I want instead is a folding / collapsible stock.

    I also don't want a pistol with a brace. I have it in my mind that a "brace" could easily be reclassified as a "stock" by ATF (similar to what they did with bump stocks). I see far too many videos were guys shoulder fire their "pistols" via the brace to think otherwise. I don't want to have to get a tax stamp at some point in the future. In addition, many pistols used as the basis of pistol caliber carbines do not have the magazine in the grip. Such pistols were targeted by the 1994 AWB, and could be targeted again by a future AWB.

    An AR based pistol caliber carbine is also not what I'm looking for. The buffer tube on AR type firearms precludes a folding stock or collapsible stock. I also want the magazine in the grip, as this typically shortens the overall length. However, this isn't a "must have".

    So what I want is the magazine in the pistol grip and a folding / collapsible stock. It's surprising how few options there are available with these two basic criteria.

    CMR-30 Overview:

    The CMR-30 looks clean, with the magazine in the pistol grip and not a lot of extraneous things to catch on branches, etc. The telescoping stock allows the package to be stowed compactly when not in use. The trigger is smooth, light, and breaks cleanly. And it's super accurate -- first time out mine shot better groups than either of my Marlin 60s. The built in picatinny rail allows for easy mounting of optics for those of us old timers with bad eyes. But if your still able to use iron sights with ease, CMR-30 comes equipped with superb MagPul flip up sights. Oh, and the CMR-30 is light -- really light. 3.8 lbs unloaded weight light. Which is another reason it makes a great "backpack gun".

    The CMR-30 has been described as the "poor man's MP7", because the looks are similar and so is the firepower. The MP7's 4.6×30mm boasts delivered energy only slightly more than the CMR-30's .22 Magnum. Of course nobody would have the chutzpah to claim the CMR-30 is even in the same zip code as the MP7 -- but until Heckler & Koch brings a civilian legal version of the MP7 to the US market, the CMR-30 will have to do.

    Ergonomically, this little rifle was pretty good. Even putting my cheek against the stock rails was OK. The only thing I might want is a little larger butt pad. On mine I mounted a low cost slip-on butt pad originally for the Magpul MOE stock. I put a small piece of rubber in the bottom tip, slid it on and affixed it in place with a little Silicon. Not the prettiest, but much more comfortable now!

    CMR-30 Reliability:

    Some folks may have reservations about using a rimfire cartridge for serious work, as the feeding and ignition problems are well documented. True to form, the reliability department is were this little rifle let me down: Out of 150 rounds of Federal and Armscor 40 grain ammo we put downrange on our first range trip, we had over dozen failure-to-feeds. Not good, not good at all. There are a number of solutions being talked about online, but here are some of them I implemented:

    1) I hear these rifles need to be broken in, so I cleaned and lubed it hoping for better results next time out. One reviewer claimed his was too dirty too run after 160 rounds. That wasn't my experience. I was surprised with just how clean mine was when I broke it down. I'm not sure if dirt contributed to my issues or not, but a clean and lube can't really hurt.

    2) Loading these magazines correctly is not easy. Even when I was exceptionally careful, I could see rounds getting crossed up inside. The solution is the "Nest Style Speedloader" from American Speedloader. I still tapped the magazine occasionally against the palm of my hand. I loaded up two mags with my speed loader, then I hand cycled 50 rounds through my rifle (pointed in a safe direction, of course) -- No hiccups or jams.

    3) I was only able to fit about 20 rounds in with my speedloader before binding. The manual says "brand new magazines may be difficult to fully load. If this is the case, load to 20 or 25 rounds for the first 5 or 10 uses before fully loading the magazine." I saw online where some folks were hosing down their magazine internals with silicone spray. After lubing mine, I was easily able to fit 25 rounds in with my speedloader. Didn't try more, as there are 50 rounds in a box -- two mags worth.

    4) The CMR-30's Magazines do not fit the rifle particularity well. The magazines are somewhat loose and allows a gap of up to 1/32" between mag lips and bolt rail. The trick is to do the "5-second Fix" magazine fix (you can find out more about online). But basically, you place a bead of glue under magazine's catch. This raises the body up, closing the space the between lips and rail.

    Second Time Out:

    I was shooting one 1" groups of 25 @ 25 yards, and I'm not the kind of guy who will win a marksmanship award any time soon. For comparison, I was was shooting 1-1/2" groups with my Ruger 10/22. The CMR's reliability was greatly improved:

    1) Magazine #1, 25 rounds Armscore 40gr JHP - No failures.

    2) Magazine #2, 25 rounds Armscore 40gr JHP - No failures.

    3) Magazine #3, 25 rounds CCI MiniMag +V 40gr HP (25+ years old) - Multiple Failures to feed, until I noticed "5-second Fix" magazine fix wasn't holding the magazine high enough. I had zero addition failures once I held the magazine in place with my off hand. +V ammo shot about 1" high at 25 yards.

    4) Magazine #4, 25 rounds CCI MiniMag +V 40gr HP (25+ years old) - One failure to fire, which I attribute to the age of the ammo (I ran it through twice just to make sure). +V ammo shot about 1" high at 25 yards.

    5) Magazine #1, 25 rounds Winchester 40gr FMJ (25+ years old) - No failures.

    6) Magazine #2, 25 rounds Winchester 40gr FMJ (25+ years old) - As a test, I didn't periodically tap the magazine against the palm of my hand. Two failures to feed.

    Conclusion:

    This little rifle fits my requirements for a pistol caliber carbine: It's light weight, ergonomic, stows compactly, is exceptionally accurate, and has a great trigger. Using good, fresh ammo and *carefully* loading the mags gets the reliability where it needs to be. I think this will be a keeper.

    However, is anybody from KelTec is listening, I would suggest you bring out a version of this little carbine in 9mm using reliable metal magazines. That would alleviate many of my concerns about reliability. And if anybody from Heckler & Koch is listening, please bring a US legal version of the MP7 -- preferably in a common caliber like 9mm instead of 4.6×30mm.

    Photo:

    CMR-30, Bushnell Banner scope, slip on butt pad, angled fore grip, and barrel shroud (aka faux suppressor, just for giggles):


    CMR-30.jpg
    Last edited by LESchwartz; 03-21-2020 at 06:00 PM.
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  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
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    Thanks, I haven't heard many first hand stories about this. I have a Keltec P11 that is reliable, and a P3AT that is also, and I was interested in these too.. The 30 round idea appeals to me if it works, that is.
    Last edited by reivertom; 03-21-2020 at 07:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by reivertom View Post
    Thanks, I haven't heard many first hand stories about this. I have a Keltec P11 that is reliable, and a P3AT that is also, and I was interested in these too.. The 30 round idea appeals to me if it works, that is.
    I had a SUB2000 that seemed really reliable. But the ergonomics and trigger were so bad I sold it after about a week of ownership. So as you can imagine, I wasn't super thrilled with the initial reliability of me CMR-30.

    Larry
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    I'm surprised to find many aren't aware that Kel-Tec makes a pretty affordable bullpup style in 7.62!
    Not a pistol cartridge but technically neither is 22 WMR
    There is also a few kits to make a Ruger 10/22 into a compact bullpup.
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    My CMR-30 is beyond accurate. Out of about 500 rounds it's only failure is not stripping a round from the magazine on about 6 occasions. I did the 5 second fix on all 4 of my magazines and it has run flawless since. Not sure how long the 5 second fix will last. I really wish Kel-Tec would address this issue. I know the 30 round capacity was a great marketing too, but I really wish they would have made a 15 round single stack and a 30 round double stack standard.

    Otherwise, I believe the carbine is flawless in design and function. Glock did it right with the G44 being a 10 round single stack. It's always been difficult to get rim fire rounds to function properly out of double stack mags.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaJon View Post
    I'm surprised to find many aren't aware that Kel-Tec makes a pretty affordable bullpup style in 7.62!
    Not a pistol cartridge but technically neither is 22 WMR
    There is also a few kits to make a Ruger 10/22 into a compact bullpup.
    The RFB is sweet, but isn't even in the same zip code as a PCC. And it's at least triple the price of the CMR.

    I think the RDB in 5.56 is closer to a PCC. It looks sweet and the reviews are good -- but at 2x the cost of the CMR, I still can't justify the price.

    Larry
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassetman1974 View Post
    My CMR-30 is beyond accurate. Out of about 500 rounds it's only failure is not stripping a round from the magazine on about 6 occasions. I did the 5 second fix on all 4 of my magazines and it has run flawless since. Not sure how long the 5 second fix will last. I really wish Kel-Tec would address this issue. I know the 30 round capacity was a great marketing too, but I really wish they would have made a 15 round single stack and a 30 round double stack standard.

    Otherwise, I believe the carbine is flawless in design and function. Glock did it right with the G44 being a 10 round single stack. It's always been difficult to get rim fire rounds to function properly out of double stack mags.
    The internals of the KelTec are essentially *two* 15 round single stacks side by side. Here's a video showing why the KelTec doouble stacks work as well as they do. The only thing I might have done differently is put a divider wall at the front of the magazine as well.

    Larry

    Last edited by LESchwartz; 03-25-2020 at 11:11 PM.
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    Third trip to the range . . . I didn't have a lot of time, but I did put another 100 flawless rounds down the pipe. This little carbine is rapidly becoming one of my favorite firearms!


    Larry
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    Quote Originally Posted by LESchwartz View Post
    Third trip to the range . . . I didn't have a lot of time, but I did put another 100 flawless rounds down the pipe. This little carbine is rapidly becoming one of my favorite firearms!


    Larry
    I've been looking at these for awhile and still undecided. A friend has one and had some issues early on when it was new but says it's been fine after some break-in. Local shop has had one for awhile and keeps marking the price down. Not sure what's a good price but I'm awful tempted. I have the PMR pistol so the carbine to go with it is drawing me in....
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    Quote Originally Posted by LESchwartz View Post
    The internals of the KelTec are essentially *two* 15 round single stacks side by side. Here's a video showing why the KelTec doouble stacks work as well as they do. The only thing I might have done differently is put a divider wall at the front of the magazine as well.

    Larry

    I totally agree. Perhaps someone here with a 3D printer can make such a magazine. If so, I would buy 5 to start.


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