Earlier in January someone leaked a product sheet for two new Kel-Tec bullpup rifles named the RDB and M43. I heard Kel-Tec was pretty ticked off about the leak, but the flier circulated the gun blogs quickly. I wondered if maybe Kel-Tec was mad because the rifles didn’t exist, but sure enough, Kel-Tec unveiled prototypes of the M43 and RDB at SHOT Show 2014. Both rifles operate on an adjustable short-stroke gas piston system and are chambered for 5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington. Both bullpups have a longer bolt travel than you are more likely used to, but this helps with controlling full-auto versions. Three of the awesome features that jump out of both the M43 and RDB are the downward ejection, fully interchangeable parts between the bullpups and 100 percent ambidextrous controls. Both feature a 17.5-inch barrel with a ½x28 thread ready for a muzzle brake or suppressor.
The differences in the two are the furniture. The RDB—which Kel-Tec says stands for Rifle Downward Ejecting Bullpup— is polymer with a Picatinny accessory rail and top and bottom and the M43 has folding sights and a wood pistol grip and handguard with vented top heat shield. Kel-Tec called the M43 the “collector’s edition.” Both accept standard AR-15 magazines. In fact, the RDB had a Magpul PMag inserted.
The RDB is 27.4 inches long, while the M43 is 26.2 inches overall. The weight on the RDB is about seven pounds, with the M43 is one pound heavier. Kel-Tec expects the rifles to retail for $1900 to $2000.
The leaked flier says the RDB and M43 will start shipping in late 2014 with 6.5 Grendel and 7.62x39mm not soon to follow (I added that part myself).
Kel-Tec has again given us two new guns we are desperate to get our hands on. However, I don’t advise you to hold your breath.