KelTec’s name is associated with some of the most innovative firearms available on the market today. In 1991 George Kellgren established the firm in Cocoa, FL, as a supplier of precision CNC parts for other gun companies.
Swedish-born Kellgren previously worked as a designer for Husqvarna, Swedish Interdynamics AB and Intratec, so it didn’t take long for those skills to shine above other OEM competitors. The company’s first pistol—the P-11—hit the market in 1995. The polymer-framed semi-auto, chambered in 9 mm NATO, proved to be a big success. Shortly after, the P-32 appeared, a .32 ACP version of the reliable handgun.
Since then, Kel-Tec has produced a wide variety of innovative, budget-friendly guns that perform. Its Sub-2000, for example, is a 9 mm NATO carbine that became available in 2001, years before the current pistol-caliber carbine craze. One of the gun’s most innovative features is a folding stock that reduces overall length by roughly half. It’s even capable of running several different handgun magazines, including those for Glock G17s and G18s. A .40 S&W chambered variant of the carbine was introduced later and available on Gen2 models. On Jan. 1, 2024, the company introduced a Gen3 version with rotating forend for even more compact storage.
In 2011, KelTec dove headlong for the first time into the shotgun market. Demand for its KSG—a 12-gauge pump-action bullpup with a pair of rotating magazines capable of storing seven 2 3/4-inch shotshells in their tubes—was so great after its introduction at the SHOT Show that the model was on backorder almost overnight. The factory started working overtime to fill the orders, but it was almost impossible to find one on the shelves for months.
The company has subsequently introduced the KSG-25—with a shotshell capacity of 24+1—and the KS7. The company’s .410-bore version, the KSG410 was unveiled at the 2023 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show. The firm’s entire line of rifles, pistols and shotguns continue to be a popular choice among enthusiasts, for good reason.
In July 2022 KelTec CNC Industries acquired a 33,000-square-foot facility in Rock Springs, WY, to augment its 125,000-square-foot industrial space in Cocoa, FL. The expansion increased the company’s production capacity and addresses demand for its firearms and accessories.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this new adventure in our story,” said Adrian Kellgren, company director of industrial production. “Wyoming has a rich history as part of the American frontier and it’s fitting for our brand, being that we constantly explore the limits of performance and design, to expand out here.”
“The future of our company is tied to the future of the American free spirit,” stated George Kellgren, KelTec founder, chairman and CEO. “Wyoming has been a leading example of liberty and freedom for America, and it is right that we become part of it.”
KelTec remains headquartered in Cocoa, FL, where it has grown from a small, relatively obscure company, into one widely recognized as a leader in the firearm industry. It currently employs roughly 300 people in Florida.