The .308 Bullpup Survival Rifle: The Keltec RFB

  • Caleb Downing

The .308 is an old and well-loved cartridge. It’s versatile and extremely capable.

When someone says they own or have purchased a .308 rifle, the first thing I think of is a classic, bolt-action setup usually used for hunting or long-range shooting.

If they say the rifle is a .308 semi-automatic rifle, then I immediately think of the AR-10 or similar variants. Often, both bolt action and semi-automatic .308 rifles carry the stigma of being both heavy and long guns. Today, let’s take a quick look at a modern sporting rifle chambered in .308 that breaks the norm.

We are talking about the Kel-Tec Rifle, Forward-ejection, Bullpup (RFB)

First introduced in 2007 at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Kel-Tec announced the launch of the RFB and set a release date near the end of 2008. Due to some political issues, the actual release ended up being pushed back to March 2009. 

First, let’s look at the “R” in RFB. The “R” stands for rifle. This firearm is not chambered in the common 223/5.56 round that many modern rifles are chambered in these days.

Instead, Kel-Tec went with the time-tested .308 cartridge. This chambering takes the RFB and pushes it up into a “heavier” class of firearms. You won’t be limited to coyote hunting and pest control when fielding this rifle. With the .308, you will have a heavy-hitting, greater caliber cartridge that is fully capable of putting down the most medium-sized game and at a greater distance than many smaller calibers. 

Next, let’s look at the “F” in RFB. The “Forward-ejection” feature of this rifle sets it apart from many of its competitors. The proprietary bolt was designed to not just extract the spent case and chuck it out the side of the receiver, but instead, it ejects the spent cases out the front of the gun through an ejection chute.

Personally, I can see this feature being a great benefit for aircraft operations, whether that be for military/law enforcement or pest control such as aerial hog hunting. It’s pretty sweet, regardless.

Last but not least, let’s discuss the “B” in RFB. How does this rifle have an 18.5″ barrel and still have an overall length of only 27.5″? The RFB achieves this by being a Bullpup. A bullpup rifle has the action of the firearm behind the trigger. This change in the location of the action allows the firearm to be significantly shorter in overall length while still having a full-length barrel. 

There you have it. A short, full-power rifle ready for use by the hunter in the field or a law enforcement officer out on the street.

What do you think about the Kel-Tec RFB? Do you think it will stand the test of time? Let us know what your thoughts are down below.

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