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Kel-Tec P17: The Best Cheap .22LR Gun You Can Buy?

Kel-Tec P17
Kel-Tec P17. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Kel-Tec P17 – A 2 Minute Review: Gun owners are no strangers to Kel-Tec firearms. They have some wild weapons out there and not all of them are good. We know their arsenal is a mixed bag, but the P17 might be a winner. Read on to find out why.

Like many other gun enthusiasts, I was extremely disappointed by Glock’s .22 outing. As a result, I’ve been on the lookout for something to fill that void. The Kel-Tec P17 popped on my radar as more positive reviews started pouring in. No doubt I had to pick one up and see for myself.

This firearm is amazingly cheap. It clocks in at under $200 dollars which is a drop in the bucket if you’re into guns. That’s not even mentioning the value you get out of it. It might look ugly and cheap (and it is), but it sure feels good to shoot.

I was able to shred through magazines without much issue. There were a couple of hiccups here and there, but nothing major. This was my biggest concern after seeing the price and the disastrous Glock 44, but I’m happy to report that this is not an issue with the P17.

Now, I do need to mention that I’m not fond of the look of the P17 at all. The seams where the polymer was put together are obvious and somewhat of an eyesore. It just looks cheap. The good news is that its looks are the biggest negative, everything else is on the up-and-up.

I find the size to be pretty good for a bigger guy like me. The pistol doesn’t feel hard to handle due to its small size. It makes it easier to have consistent shots and not be miserable shooting a tiny gun. It should be a breeze to shoot for hands of any size.

It’s light too, coming in just shy of a pound. The P17 is low profile, with an overall length of under 7 inches, making it a solid choice for concealed carry if you insist on carrying a .22. I personally had no inclination to carry such a small caliber.

For me, the P17 is just a great pistol to pull out of the safe and get to plinking with. The trigger feels serviceable. No grittiness or stickiness here. Reloading is very much the same as you’re used to. The magazine size is faithful to its name with a 16+1 capacity.

I got exactly what I wanted out of the Kel-Tec P17. It’s a fun little .22 that covers all the bases of a fun range toy. It’s super affordable, works like a charm, and feels pretty good in the hands. It’s a good size for concealing if you’re into that, but really shines when you’re out on the range plinking. The visuals leave a lot to be desired, but the looks are insignificant when you look at the bigger picture. It’s definitely worth a buy if you have even a passing interest in a .22 handgun.

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared in large publications like The Armory Life, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.  

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Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.