4 Main Kel-Tec PLR 16 Problems And How To Fix Them

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Hey there, folks! I’ve had the opportunity to field test the Kel-Tec PLR 16. During my time with this firearm, a few Kel-Tec PLR 16 Problems caught my attention. 

We’re talking about ejection problems, failure to fire, issues with the recoil spring, and feeding problems. 

Yep, quite a handful, but nothing we can’t tackle. I’m here to lay out these issues for you and give you some reliable solutions to help you get the most out of your Kel-Tec PLR 16. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it, shall we?

Overview of Kel-Tec PLR 16 Problems & Solutions

Extraction ProblemRegular cleaning, lubing, and possibly polishing the chamber.
Failure to FireClean the firing pin and bolt; use quality ammo.
Recoil Spring IssueReplace the recoil spring; consult Kel-Tec for tube fouling issue.
Feeding ProblemSend it back to Kel-Tec for a comprehensive fix or consult a gunsmith.

Top 4 Kel-Tec PLR 16 Problems & Solutions

1. Extraction Problem

So, there I was, all set to put this Kel-Tec PLR 16 through its paces, right? Factory mag loaded, recommended ammo chambered, but lo and behold; the gun decides it doesn’t want to eject the spent casing. I tried m855, m193, and s109 ammo types, but no dice. 

The spent casing would just chill in the chamber while the next round tried and failed to get into position. 

Talk about frustrating! I did some digging and found a few potential culprits: dirt buildup in the gun, a rough chamber, and maybe even a spring problem. 


Alright, so what’s the fix? First, you must get to the root of the issue. When I disassembled my PLR 16, I noticed that the chamber was rough. 

A little polishing and that issue was history. Regular cleaning and lubing of the bolt and extractor also made a world of difference. The gun worked like a charm after that. Some folks I know tried different ammo brands with mixed results. 

If you’re uncomfortable tackling this problem yourself, I suggest taking it to a qualified gunsmith or sending it back to Kel-Tec. Don’t let a stubborn extraction issue keep you from enjoying this otherwise great firearm.

2. Failure To Fire

Ah, failure to fire is the bane of any shooter’s experience. Let’s dive in. I was out in the field, Kel-Tec PLR 16 in hand, ready to have a good time. I pull the trigger, and what happens? Nothing.

The gun just wouldn’t fire. You can imagine how that takes the wind out of your sails, especially when you’re all set for some serious shooting. 

I looked into it and found that this problem could be due to a number of reasons: bad primers, a faulty firing pin, or even just simple dirt buildup. And trust me, I wasn’t the only one facing this issue; it’s a fairly common one.


So, on to the solution. The first thing I did was check the firing pin and the primer. Turns out, they were both okay. The real culprit? Good old dirt and grime. I took apart the gun and gave it a good clean, especially focusing on the bolt and firing pin. 

After that, the problem was as good as gone. It’s basic maintenance, but it’s often overlooked. If you still encounter issues, it may be a more serious problem, in which case a trip to a skilled gunsmith or back to Kel-Tec might be your best bet. And remember, always use quality ammo; it makes a difference.

3. Problem with the Recoil Spring

So, you’re out there trying to enjoy some target practice, and you start noticing some weird stuff. Erratic ejections, damaged case rims, and even some feeding failures. 

Yep, I experienced this, too. After looking into it, I zeroed in on the recoil spring as the most likely culprit. 

Oh, and let’s not forget the tube fouling issue, which could mess up the cartridge’s full battery position. These problems can really take the fun out of your shooting experience, and we don’t want that.


Alright, now for the solution. Replacing the recoil spring seemed like the best bet, and it’s not too hard on the wallet. A new PLR 16-575 Pistol Recoil Spring isn’t expensive.

In my case, switching it out solved the issue. You can do this yourself if you’re handy, but if you’re not comfortable, go see a local gunsmith. 

As for tube fouling, I can’t offer a concrete solution, but a call to Kel-Tec’s customer service might be your best move. These guys know their product inside out and can offer expert advice. It’s a no-brainer, really.

4. Feeding Problem

Alright, let’s talk about feeding trouble. I was at the range with my Kel-Tec PLR 16, excited to put some rounds downrange. But what happens? The gun decides not to cooperate.

Yeah, pulling the bolt back temporarily solved it, but it’s not like you want to be doing that every few rounds, right? The bolt was closing slower than it should, a clear indicator that something wasn’t right. 

I even switched to 30-round Gen 2 Magpul P-Mags to make sure it wasn’t an ammo issue. The gun was still acting up, and it was beyond frustrating.


Here’s what you can do to fix this. If you’re comfortable enough with firearms, you can take a look yourself. But to be honest, I’d recommend sending it back to Kel-Tec. 

That’s what I did, and they did an excellent job. They deburred the mag, disassembled the gun, inspected it, and then reassembled it. They even smoothed out some friction in the magazine that was messing with the bolt. Post-fix, the gun ran like a dream with the P-Mags. 

Also, make sure your recoil spring is in tip-top shape. If you’re not a DIY person, take it to a gunsmith who knows their way around the PLR-16. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Final Verdict

There you have it, folks! I’ve taken you through some of the most common issues you might encounter with the Kel-Tec PLR 16. 

From carrying inconvenience to feeding problems, we’ve covered it all. While these issues can be annoying, the good news is that they are fixable. 

With a little elbow grease, attention to detail, and sometimes professional help, this firearm can become a reliable partner for your shooting activities. 


Can a PLR-16 shoot 223?

Yes, the PLR-16 is chambered to fire both 5.56 mm NATO and .223 Remington cartridges.

How long is a Kel Tec PLR-16?

The Kel-Tec PLR-16 is a 9.2-inch long firearm.

What does PLR stand for in guns?

PLR stands for Pistol, Long Range.

Are Kel-Tec firearms good?

Kel-Tec firearms can be reliable but they do have quality control issues; it’s essential to test different types of ammo for function and accuracy to ensure reliability.

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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.