There is no doubt about it, the KelTec P50 is the coolest new gun of 2021. When I first laid eyes on this crazy movie-ready pistol, it struck me as a perfect throwback prop of the 1980s.
My reaction to the P50 was reminiscent of the excitement I felt standing in the GI Joe aisle as a ten-year-old. The innovation in design is incredible. The potential for becoming my new personal favorite is undeniable. I was itching to get out and play with this striking new pistol.
There’s no better place to start a breakdown of the KelTec P50 than the way it looks. The P50 is a wicked-looking pistol, with an ultimately aggressive appearance. The long look of the generous top rail is combined with a vented barrel. Another 3” of rail on the lower receiver creates an over-under accessory free-for-all zone to allow for incredible customization. The best optics in your armory can take your accuracy game through the roof on the P50. Honestly, that lower rail looks like a perfect place for a foregrip. Don’t be tempted though. That’s an accessory that would look cool, and would completely violate federal law. Sandwiched between those handy rails is the star of the P50’s aesthetics, the 50 round translucent mag that runs right through the middle of this retro beauty.
The KelTec P50 is one of a kind, and the embedded mag is unmistakable at any gun range. The top-break access to the pistol-chambered firearm is a one-of-a-kind feature. Hinged at the front, the top of the KelTec P50 breaks completely open for loading and unloading. The lever mechanism is just above the V in your hand as you’re gripping the gun. The safety is just forward of the lever, in easy reach just above my thumb. When safety is on, the safety is back, pointed towards the imprinted “O.” When pointed downwards, towards an imprinted triangle, the P50 is ready to fire.
Included with the KelTec P50 are two 50 round mags for the 5.7x28mm ammo. Created by FN for the P90 PDW, the P50 uses the same clear mags as P90. The ballet dance of the mag to the chamber for each bullet is incredible in its movement. Thankfully, 30 years in use with the P90 proves the cross and spin round to chamber is reliable.
A pleasant center balance when empty or loaded allows for good comfort in hand. The recoil is easy to work with. Mostly 1.8” wide, the round end of the KelTec mag is 2”. Steel wing “magazine keepers” at the front measure 2.2” wide and are the P50’s widest area. If you are thinking to carry a concealed weapon this may be a great choice. If you are like me, and would rather trick out the KelTec with great optics and accessories, you will likely ruin the concealability. For me, the added fun and function of accessories are worth the loss of concealment.
With the KelTec P50, fun and function are what it’s all about. With the super unique aesthetics and the mechanical functionality differences of the P50, there is nothing else like the P50. Being able to personalize this KelTec to the max, all accuracy points are amped up significantly. There is no way a home intruder wouldn’t take one look at this gun and run for the hills. The P50 is also a gun that I’ve been asked about every time someone has laid eyes on me with it. Unique, buzzworthy, and the all-around coolest new gun of 2021.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications. This first appeared in the National Interest.