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[Ultimate Build] Best KelTec Sub2000 Upgrades

The Sub2000 is a fun PCC, but adding a few extras takes this gun to the next level. Come check out what gear we used to deck out our Sub 2K.

    Some weapons are over-hyped, while others are massively underrated. The KelTec Sub2000, aka the Sub 2K, finds the perfect middle. 

    It might look like a simple pistol caliber carbine, but don’t be fooled. The KelTech Sub2000 is different than other PCCs on the market. 

    But how? 

    Kel-Tec Sub2000 Gen 2 9mm
    Kel-Tec Sub2000 Gen 2 9mm

    First, it folds in half. We think that’s pretty darn cool. But that’s not the only thing the Sub2000 has going for it. With a handful of aftermarket accessories, you can really kick this gun up a notch.

    So, let’s take a deeper look into the Sub2000, find out why you should have one, and dig into the best gear for the perfect build. 

    Table of Contents


    Perks of the Platform

    KelTec Sub2000 Folding
    All the fun, half the size.

    As I mentioned, I really like the folding capability. Aside from being a neat looking feature, it transports easy! Folding also opens up activities like camping or hiking, since it can slip stealthily in a hiking pack. 

    The Sub2000 further sets itself apart by accepting common pistol mags. Running a Sig pistol? Those mags work with the PCC.

    Carry a Glock or Smith & Wesson? No problem, you’re covered. Keltec’s PCC is even compatible with CZ mags. (Hipsters rejoice!)

    at Gunmag Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Swap magazine catches to accommodate a multitude of other mags.

    The KelTec Sub2000 is also quite affordable. Well, it can be. Online pricing may vary.

    Gen 2 models also come with the added bonus of modularity — a trait the older Gen 1 doesn’t have. As a big fan of the platform, I’ve decked mine out with a multitude of upgrades. 

    Read on for some inspiration on Sub2000 build-outs. 

    at Sportsman's Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    My Build Goal 

    Sometimes I bolt-on accessories just for fun. Other times I toss on extras just to test them out. But most of the time, I have an overall goal in mind when it comes to a “build.”

    “Build” is a controversial term, especially since I’m just tacking accessories onto the PCC. That said, it’s the easiest piece of nomenclature. So, we’re going to run with it.  

    With that in mind, my overall goal with my Sub2000 was simple

    Goals Punch

    I wanted to improve functionality without sacrificing folding capability. 

    As a potential home defense gun, I also need to ensure the weapon light remained in place. 

    This was going to be tricky…but not impossible. 

    Gear Rundown 

    If KelTec can be called anything, it’s creative. Their innovations are a blast, but the downside is their ingenuity often limits aftermarket parts. 

    Let’s be real here. The Sub2000 can be challenging to upgrade, but with the right parts and pieces, you can take a good gun and make it a great one.

    KT Sub-2000 On the Gun Bench
    On the operating table.

    When it comes to KelTec Sub2000 accessories, you want MCARBO on your side. This small, veteran-owned company does a lot of innovation in the Sub2000 field. When it came to decking out the PCC, I knew I couldn’t do it without them. 

    1. MCARBO Scope Mount

    Attaching a red dot to the Sub2000 seems easy. Pop it on the top rail and go, right?


    You can do that, but you lose the ability to fold the rifle.

    Borat This is Bad
    I trust him. He seems legit.

    What you need is a specialized scope mount that allows you to fold the optic out of the way if you still want a folder. There are a few options out there for this, but the MCARBO scope mount is clearly the best. 

    The MCARBO scope mount attaches to the rear of the handguard via four bolts. It’s available for both righties and lefties. Offering a small section of rail, you can toss on your red dot of choice without impacting the folding capability. 

    KelTec Sub2000 MCarbo Scope Mount
    MCarbo’s Scope Mount makes this build special.

    How does it accomplish this? A small pedal pushes down, swinging the optic out of the way when folding. Lockup is very precise and tight, so the optic mount returns the optic to the same place every time.

    I had some slight concern with keeping a good and proper zero with all the movement, but I’ve had no problems. 

    KelTec Sub2000 Shooting
    Steady now.

    Targets still register as hits, and the red dot stays right where I placed it on the front sight. 

    Oh, did I mention this is the only Sub2000 scope mount that witnesses with the iron sights? 

    That being said, you need a low mount for this to work, but that’s not a tough type of optic to find. The MCARBO scope mount is a must-have component to any Sub2000 rifle. 

    2. MCARBO Cheek Rest

    Aluminum pipes are not the most comfortable piece of gear to rest your face. Luckily, MCARBO offers a simple and affordable solution for that problem, and it installs easily.

    More or less a tube cover, it’s cut to accommodate the charging handle and serial number.

    KelTec Sub2000 MCarbo Cheek Rest
    MCARBO brings comfort with its Cheek Rest.

    Pushing your face against the Sub2000’s cold steel pipe is now a little more comfortable.

    Worth mentioning, the stock and charging handle must be removed to install since it’s a slide-on design. This takes a little effort to get it squeezed on there. Once it’s on, though, it’s not moving anywhere anytime soon.

    at Sportsman's Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    3. MCARBO Recoilless Charging Handle

    Finishing up the MCARBO upgrades, we have the Recoilless Charging Handle. 

    The Sub2000 operates on a blowback mechanism that often creates more recoil than necessary for a 9mm rifle. A strong recoil spring keeps the bolt closed until pressure is safe to allow the gun to cycle. 

    KelTec Sub2000 MCarbo Recoilless Charging Handle
    KelTec Sub2000 MCarbo Recoilless Charging Handle

    The original charging handle is teeny tiny, while the Recoilless charging handle is a 3-ounce behemoth. 

    It may not seem like much, but the MCARBO charging handle decreases the impact from the blowback action and, ultimately, reduces recoil. 


    Simple to install, it’s an awesome upgrade that makes a huge difference in recoil reduction. MCARBO claims 68% recoil reduction.

    While I don’t have the means to measure that specific number, I can say the Recoilless Handle makes a huge difference in the felt recoil. 

    4. STNGR Axiom

    We have an optic mount, so we need an optic, right…

    A red dot makes a lot more sense than a magnified optic on a PCC. But when it comes to choosing a red dot, you have hundreds of choices at basically all budget levels.

    Cheap Red Dots, Side

    So, which red dot is the best?

    In short, you want something that mounts low. I considered a Bushnell TRS 25, but STNGR contacted me with an offer to test and evaluate their new red dot — the Axiom. It seemed perfect for the job. 

    Most Affordable Red Dot
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    The Axiom is a compact red dot with both a high and low profile mount. The Axiom co-witnesses perfectly with iron sights. 

    He’s also a little fella, perfectly suited for the lightweight design

    The Axiom has a 50,000-hour battery life and IPX7 rating. It also packs 11 reticle settings — including 2-night vision settings. The 2 MOA dot is perfect for the Sub2000. 

    Price on the Axiom? It comes in at a solid $115 MSRP.

    KelTec Sub2000 STNGR Axiom
    Look at the co-witness.

    Precision shoot out to 50-yards with ease with faster and on-point performance than iron sights could ever. 

    The Axiom fits perfectly on the MCARBO scope mount, giving you a simplistic option to maximize your Sub2000’s performance. 

    The bad news? Axiom isn’t quite available just yet. Keep your eyes peeled, though, as it’s set to hit the market very soon. 

    Waiting Black and White
    We’ll just wait, I guess.

    5. Steiner Mk4 Battle Light

    Steiner’s Mk4 Battle Light originally lived on my BRN 180 fighting rifle build. It got upstaged, however, by the Cloud Defensive OWL.

    Psst…Cloud Defensive offers a 10% off coupon with code “pewpewtactical” for Pew Pew Tactical readers.

    at Cloud Defensive

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Sadly, the Steiner sat in the parts bin for a bit.

    I pondered how to equip the Sub2000 with a light that didn’t add a ton of bulk. I experimented with adding rails to the side and lights on the bottom. That didn’t pan out, though.

    Then I came across the Mk4 light. Suddenly, it dawned on me. 

    Ohhhhh kid

    The Steiner Mk4 is a 500-lumen rifle light with an integrated mount and tail switch compatibility. It’s got a max effective range of 300 meters, well beyond the Sub2000’s range.

    It mounts very tight and almost completely forward of the barrel. 

    Since this light sticks so close to the frame, maybe just maybe, it could achieve the compact design I wanted. 

    I had another slight problem to solve, though. Mounting it on the 12 o’clock position meant the KelTec would no longer fold.

    KelTec Sub2000 Steiner BattleLight
    Sometimes you have to switch it up.

    So, I went with a 6 o’clock position. Setting it up this way eliminates barrel shadow and gives you a clean and clear light. 

    The light mounted on the gun’s left side and the Sub2000’s small handguard made it easy to access. Overall, this addition kept the profile light and tight…perfect for this folding rifle. 

    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Steiner’s light itself is blue-toned. This cooler tint makes it a little more comfortable to the eyes. Very important for indoor use! 

    The light is nice and clear, with a little spill. 

    Overall, the Steiner Mk4 is an excellent light and a welcomed addition on the Sub2000. 

    6. Vickers One 

    I used a Vickers One Sling on my CZ Scorpion pistol and really feel it’s the perfect choice for most PCCs. So, I bought another one. 

    The One Sling is a Vickers Combat Application Sling that’s only 1-inch in width. Cutting off 0.25-inches reduces weight and makes it perfect for lighter weapons. 

    at Blue Force Gear

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Sharing all the features of the VCAS Sling, the One sports a fantastic quick adjust pull tab. 

    Why is this important? 

    It allows the sling to shrink and expand as needed.  

    Having a quick-adjust pull tab ensures you can pull it tight, letting it hang safely while your hands are occupied. In an instant, it can adjust for maximum mobility. 

    KelTec Sub2000 Vickers One Sling
    A sturdy, worthy sling.

    Vickers’ durable slings have been my sling of choice since I was issued one a decade ago. (By the way, that first Vickers sling of mine is still in use to this day. Can you say durable!)

    7. STNGR QD Port 

    The Sub2000’s stock comes equipped with a sling loop but no forward option.

    I’ve used the STNGR M-LOK QD ports before and found them to be tough and reliable. It’s a simple fix to add the One Sling to my Sub2000 with the STNGR mount.

    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    8. KAW Valley Precision Linear Compensator 

    If you give me a threaded barrel, I have to find something to stick on the end of it. I’ve tried a few muzzle devices and eventually settled on the KAW Valley Precision Linear Compensator

    Since my Sub2000 is a 9mm PCC with a 16-inch barrel, there isn’t a lot of need for a traditional muzzle brake or compensator. 

    KelTec Sub2000 KAW Valley Compensator
    Nice comp, man.

    If not a traditional comp, then what? A Linear Compensator!

    This style works by pushing sound, noise, and muzzle flash forward — away from the shooter. Overall, it brings more comfort to indoor shooting.

    It also performs well in self-defense roles.

    at AR15 Discounts

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pairing the Linear Comp with a 16-inch barrel and subsonic 147-grain 9mm makes for one fantastically comfortable firearm. 

    As far as unsuppressed guns go, this is about as comfortable as it gets outside of a .22 LR rifle. The KVP Linear Comp is lightweight, short, easy to attach, and, most of all, it’s affordable. 

    9. ETS 31-Round Magazines

    KelTec Sub2000 ETS Mags
    Peep all those rounds.

    My Glock model Sub2000 came with a single 17-round Magpul magazine. 

    That works fine, but the ETS mag models offered me an affordable option for a higher capacity. ETS 31 rounders are clear, so this allows me to see the exact load in the magazine. 

    A clear design is helpful if you’re like me and tend to leave mags loaded. 

    at Gunmag Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    These magazines are affordable, available, and seemingly very durable. 

    I’ve heard they have issues here or there, but I’ve used the same three mags for years now without issue. 

    I keep them on hand to run through different rifles and handguns. They’ve yet to let me down. 


    At its core, KelTec’s Sub2000 can be used as a fun gun or an excellent home defense weapon. On its own, the Sub2000 is a solid PCC, but adding a few extras takes this already exciting PCC to the next level. 

    You can even do so without losing the ability to fold the gun or adding tons of weight and length to the weapon. 

    at Sportsman's Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    What add ons have attached to your KelTec Sub2000? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments. Ready for more folding action? Head over to 5 Best Folding Truck Guns: Portable Firepower for the best-of-the-best folders. Also, make sure to check out our list of the best 9mm PCCs on the market. 

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    10 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar

      So I’m not in agreement on many of these points. For starters, a $300 light on this gun, a bit much. The M-CARBO optic mount is not well thought out enough IMHO and not worth it. Having your $300+ optic sticking out the side of the gun in a backpack seems undesirable. I went with a detachable optic mount with a QD lever. And when closed I lock it in f to the bottom rails so it’s in line with the gun width. That way on quick open the iron sights are free to use. Finally, the performance trigger upgrade is a must. Hands down worth almost the price of the gun to get such an improved trigger and internals.

      June 28, 2023 6:13 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      an olight baldr light/laser combo can be mounted underneath and can be had for about 120 bucks with super bright light and laser in a tiny case. fully rechargeable and holds a charge for several months. you wont need a top sight with one of these.or add a top red dot on a 45 degree mount and you can still fold the rifle.

      May 12, 2023 9:05 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jason P Reinke Sr

      Perspective: Dont have dough? Find a compairison you can jump into in the $350-400 range (right now). Complain all you want, but in a crunch, you wouldn't be complaining too much. Have a few extra bucks? Spend $100 or $150. For $500-600 it now makes for a pretty nice shooting, dependable, adaptable, comfortable and reliable shooter. Sure, there are other options out there that you can get that are pretty good for that $600 range you can buy now, but if you dont have the dough, then maybe you get what you can and work you're way up. I like it!

      May 7, 2023 11:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Good article. A few things: the new Missouri tactical butt pad for the stock makes a huge difference in ergonomics. Performance Services trigger upgrade gives you a flat metal trigger. Mcarbo polished feed ramp. And red lion front sight.

      October 3, 2021 9:33 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Chuck Coan

      I shouldered a sub2000 today. I absolutely can not align the front and rear sights. Using the closest to normal cheek weld all I could see through the rear sight is the base of the front sight. I had to put the stock on top of my shoulder to actually get a sight picture. What optic mounts high enough that I can actually look l through it while shouldering the PCC in a normal fashion?

      August 12, 2021 7:30 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Christopher Lyman

        I would definitely recommend getting the MCarbo enhanced rear sight with the notch option. The new sight is slightly higher which helps to get your face off of the buffer tube.

        February 3, 2022 3:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Steve Kroll

      When upgrades equal or exceed the cost of the base weapon I lose interest. Either the weapon isn't as good as it should be (in which case why buy) or the accessories are unnecessarily expensive or actually needed to have a good shooting experience.

      November 16, 2020 10:16 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Francisco J Zuleta

        Totally agree.

        January 10, 2022 5:50 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Kevin Lane

        I agree. Oen thing dislike about my Sub2000 is the stock. Very hard to get a sight picture, and sling attachment points are for the birds. KelTec needs to do some work on stock to correct these problems. One would be to put a QD hole for sling mounting.

        June 26, 2022 3:15 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        James D Crawford


        May 3, 2023 10:50 pm
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