Issue with field stripping the Sub 2000. Frustrated

Long post… sorry

I had some issues with my Sub 2000 field stripping it. I struggled with it when the M-Carbo recoil spring would not come out. It was stuck in it. I took it to the range that I go to regularly, but their gunsmith said to contact Kel-Tec which I did. They instructed me to send the firearm to them with documentation as to what the problem is. This is what I sent them…

I spoke with someone in your rifle technical department on March 30, 2022 about an issue I was having with my Kel-Tec Sub 2000. He recommended sending it in with a description as to what the issue is.

I had informed him that some modifications were made with M-Carbo parts, but none were internal such as the hammer, or trigger. The only internal change that I have made was swapping out the recoil spring with the M-Carbo spring in order to install their Recoilless Charging Handle. The M-Carbo spring has a locking pin that inserts into the handle.

I have used the Sub 2000 almost weekly since purchase with zero incidents with field stripping in order to clean it until recently.

1) Three weeks ago I field stripped it and had a hard time getting the bolt and bolt head to slide through the receiver and drop out. Then it was challenging to get the bolt head to reengage when reassembling. Once together the charging handle worked fine.

2) Two weeks ago it shot fine. But when I field stripped it I ran into similar issues with the bolt and bolt head getting them out. When I lift on the charging handle it seems as if it is binding on something at a certain point. I was able to get them out and did a good cleaning and even attempted cleaning inside the receiver tube. Afterwards it was hard to get everything to drop into place, but once it did the charging handle worked fine.

3) One week ago, again it shot fine. Probably 150 rounds through it with no issues. This time after I pulled the stock off and lift the handle again it binds at a certain point, but now I can’t get the M-Carbo recoil spring out in order to remove the handle to even attempt a cleaning.

It almost feels as if the receiver tube is smaller inside or the bolt or bolt head are swollen. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’m no gunsmith. Hopefully it’s not a big deal.

All my information is at the top of the letter. Contact me for any further information. Appreciate it.


I received it back today. On their Repair Work Order these were the notes:

  • Disassembled, cleaned & inspected
  • Repaired M-Carbo locking pin (Recoil Spring Assy). - NOTE: I had to file a large burr off the locking pin stem. I suggest checking during cleaning/maintenance and after every range-trip to make sure it doesn’t happen again or worsen.
  • Replaced damaged Left & Right Forends
  • Reset Front Sit Assembly
  • Reassembled & test fired
  • NOTE/HELPFUL TIP: Use a 12g Bore Mop to clean the Bolt/Tube Receiver after every range-trip and keep the Bolt/Bolt Head combo lightly coated in a lubricant/protectant i.e., Lucas Oil CLP)

I haven’t fired I yet but decided to field strip it to see how it was. As I slide the M-Carbo Recoilless Charging Handle back it still binds. To top it off, I have the same problem AGAIN. The Recoil Spring will not come out. I can tug and tug on it. It is jammed in there. That’s why I sent it to them. The picture below is as far as it will come out. Wonder if they were able to remove the spring, clean it, get it working okay. Then they test fired it, but didn’t try to field strip it again. I’m thinking after they fired it, the issue repeated itself.

Any thoughts on how I can get this spring out?
Should I buy another Recoilless Charging Handle/Spring (which was a pain in the ass to compress to get the locking pin on)?
Should I send it back to Kel-Tec?

Very frustrated.


I believe you have to remove the charging handle to remove the spring.


The spring has a clip on it that connects to the handle (I have the M-Carbo Recoilless Charging Handle)
[KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Recoilless Charging Handle - KEL TEC SUB 2000 Accessories by M*CARBO! (](KEL-TEC SUB-2000 Recoilless Charging Handle - KEL TEC SUB 2000 Accessories by M*CARBO! (
You pull the spring out first, then the handle drops out. Problem is… the spring is stuck.


Have you tried rotating the charging handle back and forth?


@Tphillips yup. This spring is seriously jammed in. The same as it was when I shipped it to Kel Tec


Just the Opposite.
Try this @metalshock

Do not rotate the spring, it may disconnect the pin side while its still in the charging handle, and launch the spring outward…

  1. Push the charging handle forward enough to see the locking pin in the handle through the slot.
  2. Use a small pick, flat screwdriver, or punch to pry the pin rearward from the handle while pulling slightly on the spring.

This happened to me once, and i didnt see any burrs on the pin, it was just a really tight fit in the handle.


I would call MCarbo and ask them. I have the same set up and haven’t had any problems.


You are correct,I had the process backwards.


@Stircrayzy will give this a try at some point today when I can make my way out to the garage.


@Stircrayzy and @Tphillips I wasn’t able to even see the locking pin when charging handle was pushed forward or back. I did get it out, but ended up putting a towel over the spring, clamping vice grips to it, positioning the rifle between my legs with the grip assembly under my thigh for leverage and yanked hard as f**k on it. It came out. It looks as though there was damage to the locking pin. I have always inspected it when I clean the weapon and had never saw any damage. Thinking that perhaps this damage occurred before it was ever sent to Kel Tec for repairs as I couldn’t get the spring out prior to shipping. Some pictures of the locking clip are below.

Curious if those in the forum would get replacement locking clips? Get an entirely new Recoilless Spring and handle (pain in the butt to compress the spring)? Put the stock handle with no locking pin back in it?

The issue is really not resolved even with the spring out. In order to get the bolt out, before all I had to do was slide the handle back pull the handle off and tilt the firearm and the bolt and bolt head would slide out. No more. The handle still binds and if I want the bolt and bolt head out I have to turn it upside down and tap it on the ground (obviously not on concrete or anything that could damage the receiver). Here is a link to a video of it.

My YouTube video Kel Tec charging/binding issue

1 Like

Can you tell if it’s catching on something in the receiver?


Not at all. Can’t see a thing. I realized that the original recoil spring is the one I used for the M-Carbo Recoilless Handle, so I can’t even try to use the stock handle without the pin. I’m gonna have to order another locking pin before trying it out again.


By the look of that pin, my guess is that it wasnt seated fully into the charging handle during a prior round of firing.
Could be that there is some frag still lodged, or marring of the receiver tube interior causing the bolt to bind up.
Call or email to Mcarbo help with a link to this thread, and see what they have to say. Too bad they dont have a cust service rep browsing the forum…


I’ll need to field strip it again and run a bore brush through it or at least a bore mop.


You may be correct. That would suck. If I need a new receiver I’m not really worried about the money, but if I am correct the Kel Tec website shows that they are out-of-stock on the receiver.


What you might try is shoving a large cotton ball down the receiver tube to check for any rough spots. Also check the charging handle slot for burrs. They do not sell receiver tubes, only exchange them because that part is serial numbered.


@Don68 thank you. I was wondering why it said (exchange) in the parts manual for the Sub. Didn’t even think of the SN. I will try your suggestion about the cotton ball. Nothing is on the charging handle. It’s smooth.


This idea might sound like crazy.
And a lot of newer phones you can accommodate an endoscope attachment.
And they are not expensive.
Might come in handy on your current and ongoing issues.
Also good for several other uses.
Good luck, it does sound like metal has smeared off someplace causing drag.


Following up. It appears that my Sub 2000 is repaired although I have not fired it as of yet. I did have to send it back to Kel Tec for a second time. I will say this, their customer service and response to my phone calls has been terrific, so props to them.

Before I sent the firearm back for round 2 I wrote down what I thought was wrong, explained that I had thoroughly cleaned the receiver and that the bolt was still binding. Informed them I thought it was the bolt (although I am no expert). Their service notes stated…
Cleaned/De-burred Bolt Tube (Receiver)
Replaced Bolt
M-Carbo Installation (Locking Pin, Recoil Assy)
Function tested & test fired

Not sure how much they could’ve Cleaned/De-burred as the tube was cleaned prior to shipping and there was nothing rough or anything grabbing inside as I ran a bore mop with a cleaning pad on top of it and nothing even slightly snagged. It was smooth. I had a feeling something was wrong with the bolt.

The M-Carbo locking pin was another issue since the firearm was returned the first time. I will say that the picture above of the locking pin was not from my misuse. I know that. When ever I have cleaned the rifle I have never seen any type of problems with the pin. I believe that was from when the service department “filed a burr” off the pin. I purchased a new locking pin from M-Carbo and attempted to install it (I did it the first time and it was a royal PIA) but this time I had no luck. The original top of the spring came off during “installation” and the spring fully expanded and I was unable to compress it. That locking pin has to be one of the most frustrating little upgrades. They meaning Kel Tec should just have a locking pin with a better handle in their stock rifle. Another option would be M-Carbo giving customers the option to purchase just the locking pin and install themselves (which they currently do) or sell an all-in-one already assembled recoil spring with locking pin.

Again I have not fired it since I got it back but I did disassemble it and the bolt dropped out which it wasn’t doing prior to this second repair. This time during disassembly the recoil spring came right out. I have a couple other rifles and handguns, but I really enjoy my Sub 2000. Have loved it since day one, so I am happy it is fixed.

I went to the range yesterday with my daughter, but when we got there they were understaffed and only had employees in the retail section, so the shooting range was closed. That was a bit frustrating but instead I turned it into a positive. My daughter loves the Kel Tec too from the few times we’ve had a father/daughter outing at the range. I asked if she was interested in owning one as a birthday gift and a huge smile lit up her face. We went back into the range retail section and they had one left for sale. A blue version (which is perfect for her). She is stoked.

When I sent mine to Kel Tec for repairs I had them install another locking pin on a second spring for me as a backup. I ended up installing that spring with the extra M-Carbo recoilless charging handle I had on hers. She lives about an hour and a half from me, so I won’t get to see her fire it the first time. She’ll end up hitting a range out her way with her husband. I gave her a couple hundred rounds of ammo. She’s pretty happy. Now it’s time for some M-Carbo upgrades. Love my daughter!