Sunday, November 17, 2019

Keltec CMR30 First Impressions

Several years ago, Keltec piqued my interest when they announced the forthcoming RMR30 semiauto carbine in .22 Magnum. As with a lot of Keltec guns, it took awhile in coming to market and a couple years after that in becoming widely available, by which time it had been renamed the CMR30.

Yesterday I took several military suplus rifles that were gathering dust in my closet and traded them in towards a CMR30 and 500 rounds of .22 Magnum ammunition. This post will provide my first impressions of the gun.

Here's a pic along with my CZ Scorpion Micro, which we also shot today:



For those unfamiliar with the CMR30, it's a semiauto carbine chambered for the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire cartridge. It feeds from the same 30 round magazines as the Keltec PMR30 pistol. The operation is straight blowback.

The upper receiver is an aluminum extrusion while the lower is polymer. There is a full-length Picatinny rail up top, while the bottom of the forearm also has a rail. The 16" barrel is threaded 1/2-28 at the muzzle and comes with a thread protector.

Keltec gives the unloaded weight as 3.8 lbs, with a 5 pound trigger. OAL with the stock collapsed is around 23".

All the controls are ambidextrous except for the bolt release. As a lefty I appreciate this.

This afternoon I took the CMR30 to a friend's place where we put 100 rounds through the rifle. We shot two types of ammo, which I got yesterday with the gun. The first box was Speer 40 grain Gold Dot JHPs, intended for use in handguns. The second box was Hornady 30 grain VMAX.

I should note that Keltec states in the owner's manual to shoot 40 grain ammo. They warn that cartridges with lighter weight bullets may not have enough recoil impulse to operation the action.

In 100 rounds we had 4 failures to feed. The first malfunction was on the second round of the first magazine, with the Speer loads. The remainder were with the 30 grain Hornadys. For a new gun that's not broken in, shooting ammo that the manufacturer specifically recommends against, I won't complain.

We were shooting offhand from about 20 yards at an 8" gong and a 5" Caldwell stick-on target on a cardboard backer. The rifle needs to be zeroed from a bench; it's shooting low and right. However, once I figured out where the point of impact was, I was able to use Kentucky windage and elevation to reliably hit the gong.

The recoil impulse is almost nothing with virtually no muzzle flip. It's very easy to do double taps or even longer, rapid fire strings and keep your bullets on target.

As mentioned above, I am a southpaw. One thing I checked online before getting the CMR30 was whether it was lefty-friendly, specifically whether I'd be getting gas in my face from the ejection port, or get hit by empties. The reports I saw online indicated shooting lefty isn't a problem.

I did get a little gun schmutz on my right cheek when shooting, and I think one empty bounced off my right shoulder, but neither of these was a major issue. I experienced worse with my Remington 550-1 .22 LR autoloader before I installed a gas deflector on it. I might make something for the Keltec because I think it might bother my daughter more (she also shoots portside).

I like the Magpul MBUS sights that come on the gun from the factory. I expect most owners mount some kind of red dot sight and I'll be no exception. One thing I noticed is that the front sight is close enough to my eye to make it a little hard to focus on. Ah, the joys of being in my early 50s. (That said, it's not as bad as on the CZ Scorpion Micro.)

My overall first impression is very favorable. Although I experienced 4 malfunctions in the first 100 rounds, three of those were with ammo that Keltec warns against. The trigger is nice and the overall shooting experience is fun.

Last night I placed an order with MidwayUSA for 2 more magazines, a rifle case, a Maglula, and two boxes of Federal Champion 40 grain JHP .22 WMR.

Next up will be to get it to a range with a proper benchrest to get the sights zeroed and check the accuracy potential.



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