5 Common Kel-Tec PMR-30 Problems You Must Be Aware of

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I’ve had the pleasure of taking the Kel-Tec PMR-30 out for a spin, and let me tell you, it’s been an enlightening experience. 

This lightweight, .22 WMR semi-auto pistol caught my eye for various reasons—its high capacity and ergonomic design among them. But no piece of gear is perfect, right? 

The Kel-Tec PMR-30 Problems I’ve come across while testing the kel-Tec PMR-3o are; the keyholing issue, feeding failure, problem with the manual safety. I also ran into instances of failure to fire and ejection failure, which can be super frustrating, to say the least.

In this article, I’ll break down these issues one by one and provide some tried-and-true solutions for each.

Overview of Kel-Tec PMR-30 Issues & Solutions

Kel-Tec PMR-30 ProblemsSolutions
Keyholing IssueReplace the barrel with an upgraded one from Kel-Tec.
Feeding FailureImprove your magazine loading technique and consider polishing the feed ramp.
No Manual SafetyAdopt gun safety best practices like using a holster with a trigger guard.
Failure to FireThoroughly clean the gun, especially when it’s brand new. For persistent issues, consult Kel-Tec or a gunsmith.
Ejection FailureUse recommended ammo, properly load the magazine, and avoid limp wristing. Check for any burrs or irregularities if the issue persists.

Top 5 Kel-Tec PMR-30 Problems & Solutions

1. Keyholing Issue

Alright, let’s dive into the first big issue I encountered: keyholing. So, keyholing is when the bullet doesn’t stabilize properly in flight. 

This happens because the barrel’s twist rate isn’t doing its job, making the bullet tumble through the air instead of spinning smoothly. 

Trust me, this is not something you want to see at the range or anywhere else. It seriously messes with your accuracy, and your shots just won’t go where you intend them to. 

In technical terms, the issue lies in the barrel’s twist rate, which simply can’t maintain a stabilized flight path for the bullet. It’s frustrating and makes you doubt the firearm’s capabilities.


Now, here’s the good news. Kel-Tec realized the flaw and revamped their barrel design. I got my hands on one of the new barrels and let me tell you, the problem’s gone. 

Replacing the barrel was straightforward, no hiccups. So, if you’ve got an older PMR-30 with this issue, just get in touch with Kel-Tec for a barrel replacement. 

You’ll notice a marked improvement in accuracy, and those keyholing issues will be a thing of the past. As of now, the PMR-30 is still in production, and the new units come with the upgraded barrel, so new buyers, you’re in the clear.

2. Feeding Failure

Okay, let’s tackle another hurdle: feeding failure. Now, this one is especially annoying. Picture yourself all geared up, ready to take some shots, and bam! The firearm jams. 

That’s exactly what happened to me. I was out on the range, and I noticed that the rounds just wouldn’t feed properly. It was especially problematic when I was using a fully loaded 30-round magazine. 

I even tried manually jacking a round and, you guessed it, still jammed. From what I could tell, the rim was getting caught on the extractor, and in some instances, the extractor’s spring seemed to bind. I got pretty frustrated; let’s leave it at that.


Alright, so how did I get around this issue? First, I had to get my loading technique right. I found a really helpful video that walked me through the entire loading process. 

After watching it, I was more cautious about how I loaded the magazine, and lo and behold, fewer jams. Cleaning the gun thoroughly also helped a lot, as did trying different ammunition brands. 

And if you want to take it up a notch, consider polishing the feed ramp. Trust me, it makes the feeding process so much smoother. 

3. No Manual Safety

Next up is a concern that can’t be ignored: the lack of a manual safety on the PMR-30. While out on the range and in various other settings, I found myself constantly double-checking to make sure I wouldn’t accidentally discharge the weapon. 

That’s never a feeling you want, especially when handling a firearm designed for self-defense. 

Without a manual safety, the chances of an accidental discharge could be higher, and let’s be honest, no one wants to be in that scenario. It’s a significant issue that adds an extra layer of caution each time you handle the gun.


Alright, there’s no real way to retrofit a manual safety onto the PMR-30; it’s just not designed for it. But there are some best practices you can adopt to mitigate risks. 

For starters, always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire—that’s gun safety 101. In my experience, using a holster with a trigger guard also helps to prevent accidental discharge. 

And, of course, always treat the firearm as if it’s loaded, even when you think it isn’t. By adopting these safety measures, you can make handling the PMR-30 safer, even without a built-in manual safety. 

4. Failure To Fire

Alright, let’s delve into yet another concern I ran into: the gun not firing. This issue is seriously unnerving, whether you’re at the range or considering this firearm for self-defense. 

You pull the trigger, and nothing happens. This can be particularly stressful, considering that you have a firearm in your hands that’s not doing its primary job. 

Multiple factors could be at play here, and diagnosing the issue isn’t always straightforward.


So, how did I tackle this issue? For a new unit, I’d strongly recommend giving it a thorough cleaning right out of the box. I did this by disassembling the firearm, cleaning it meticulously, and then reassembling it—avoiding the use of factory grease or oil except on the slide contacts. 

And let me tell you, this simple act worked wonders. For older units, the story might be a bit different. 

You may need to consult with Kel Tec or a gunsmith to get the issue resolved. Either way, don’t ignore this problem; address it right away to ensure your PMR-30 is reliable when you need it to be.

5. Ejection Failure

Let’s get into another hiccup I’ve encountered: ejection problems. Now, when you’re in the middle of shooting, the last thing you want is for your gun to have an extraction or ejection issue.

It can throw off your rhythm and honestly, it just doesn’t feel safe. While trying out the PMR-30, I found that unsupported ammo and improper magazine loading could be culprits. 

New shooters might also experience this due to limp wristing. It got me wondering if the issue was an engineering oversight or something else. To be clear, these issues aren’t something to shrug off.


So how do we get this sorted? First off, always use recommended ammunition.

Properly loading the magazine also makes a significant difference. And guys, seriously, avoid limp wristing. If the issue remains, you’ll want to take apart your firearm and check for burrs or irregularities on the slide rail or extractor. 

On my end, I even had to replace the extraction spring once. Also, don’t overlook the magazine lips; they can get bent and cause these kinds of problems. 

And finally, if your gun’s still under warranty, reach out to Kel-Tec. Getting professional help is often the safest bet.

Final Verdict

Alright folks, we’ve covered a lot of ground here. Now, the Kel-Tec PMR-30 isn’t a perfect piece of gear—no firearm is. We’ve discussed everything from keyholing and feeding failures to the lack of a manual safety and even failure to fire. 

Each of these issues comes with its own set of challenges and frustrations. That said, in my experience, these problems can be addressed, turning this firearm into a reliable shooter. 

Whether you’re swapping out the barrel to eliminate keyholing or changing your magazine loading technique, most of these fixes are doable for even a novice gun owner. 

With the right maintenance, ammunition, and some attention to detail, the PMR-30 can prove to be a worthwhile investment. 


What is the controversy with Kel-Tec?

Kel-Tec’s controversies often relate to their heavy use of polymers, causing some QC and design issues.

What ammo is best for Kel-Tec PMR-30?

Recommended ammo includes CCI Maxi Mag 40gr and Winchester Super-X 40gr.

Is the PMR-30 a good self-defense weapon?

The PMR-30 may not be the best choice for self-defense due to its limitations in ammo effectiveness.

Where is PMR-30 made?

The PMR-30 is manufactured in the United States by Kel-Tec

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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