The market is flooded with homogenous looking AR-15s, but the 5.56 Kel-Tec RDB Survival stands out sharply. The gun lacks a pistol grip, but don’t let that turn you off, it’s actually a great feature which keeps the gun’s profile low for easy storage in a vehicle or backpack.
The RDB Survival is light and compact, weighing a mere 5lb 14oz and only being 26.1″ in length. In that compact package is a full 16″ barrel with a 1:7″ twist rate.
Similar to all Kel-Tec products, the RDB makes liberal use of injection molded parts. The rifle takes standard AR-15 magazines and has a lengthy picatinny rail for mounting optics. It has last round hold open which customers have come to expect on modern weapons.
The charging handle on the RDB is very G3/HK91 like, folding down when not in use and locking rearward with a notch. You can also slap the charging handle forward in the same manner as a G3 or MP5 style weapon.
The gun uses a bottom ejection port, with controls for the bolt and magazine release on both sides of the rifle, making it’s operation largely ambidextrous. The safety is a cross bolt that works very well and can be disengaged quickly.
The rifle comes with folding sights, the front is adjustable for wind, and the rear has adjustment for windage. The rifle comes apart easily with 4 takedown pins and features an adjustable gas piston.
Shooting the rifle is an interesting experience, the weapon does not have a pistol grip and the ejection port can only be seen from underneath, which is odd to work with when you’re accustomed to AR-15s.
While bullpup triggers tend to be gritty and awful, the RDB’s trigger feels like a mil-spec AR-15 trigger, which is acceptable, though the reset on the trigger is long and Glock like.
Most importantly, the rifle’s small form factor and light weight make it ideal for attaching or placing in a truck or bug out bag, it would even serve very well as a hiking weapon.
Author: Denny Wilkinson