The Kel-Tec PMR-30: The Most Deadly Handgun on the Planet?

    Kyle Mizokami

    Security, North America

    You decide. 

    The Kel-Tec PMR-30 is a rarity among handguns on the market today: a pistol with a magazine holding more than seventeen rounds. The PMR-30 actually holds thirty rounds and does so with some clever engineering that reduces it to a lightweight package attractive to casual shooters, backcountry shooters, or people interested in a firearm for home defense.

    High-capacity handguns have traditionally been a difficult engineering proposition. The first, if not one of the first, was World War I’s Luger P08 with thirty-two-round drum. Meant to provide plenty of firepower to clear trenches, the Luger with drum magazine was wieldy and heavy, and dropped from German arsenals shortly after the war. The next major advancement occurred decades later, when the Glock 17—with its seventeen-round, 9mm Luger magazine—hit the market in the early 1980s.

    The Kel-Tec PMR-30 blows every other gun out of the water in ammo capacity. The gun’s double-stack magazine holds thirty rounds of .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR) ammunition. That’s five times as many rounds as the typical revolver, more than four times as much as a M1911A1 handgun and 70 percent more ammunition than a Glock 17.

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    All of that comes at a price, though: while the PMR may hold five times as many rounds as a Smith & Wesson 686 revolver, the .22 WMR is far less capable of incapacitating a target as the .357 Magnum. That having been said, the guns are completely different and there are different reasons for owning each.

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