1st hand info re: CP33 .22- it turns into a build and review

I shoot a lot of .22 both for practice and competitively in Steel Challenge. It’s inexpensive to shoot and I like that. Plus it gives others a reason to good naturedly claim I’m cheating by shooting .22 even if we only shoot on the same squad but in different divisions. :smiley: But some folks need the excuse and I provide that for them. Oddly enough when shooting 9mm PCC in Action Pistol I do just as good since everything but recoil transfers over to centerfire.

But I have a problem. I have old eyes and the handguns I bought 50 years ago just don’t work with my eyes. I won’t modify them because they just don’t make .22s “like that” anymore and I want to keep them as classics and pass them down through the family. So out with the old and in with the new. New replacements with at least one mandatory requirement - whatever I go with absolutely MUST be optics capable out of the box. The wife and I go for walks in rural Maine so it would probably see use as the companion that goes along with us; I always take along a firearm of some sort. Most times what goes along is a suppressed SBR or some such.

I’m in no hurry and I’ve been looking around. I like KelTec thinking and have a few of their guns that have always performed for me. Not jst at the range with static targets either, but for years in competition and nothing will shows flaws in a firearm faster than that. I’m looking at the CP33. The CP is an acronym for competition pistol and the 33 is the round count in the magazine. I’ve been doing online research and have yet to find anything negative other than the suggestion that the magazine needs to be filled properly. The .22 rimfire has a rim (surprise!) and the rims can’t be such that they jam. Yeah, I know, pretty basic, but some folks who had malfunctions seemed as though this was new information.

What I’m looking for is how do you like yours? If it’s crap I can take that and want to hear it, I just don’t want, " a friend of a friend told my uncles dad…" sort of “experience”. I’m looking for people who own one or have at least fired one.

I already understand that the first round from a full mag can be a bit of an issue to chamber but once fired the issue is gone for the rest of the mag’.

So anything you can tell me bring it on.

Thanks in advance gents!

Just a bit more info: I still don’t know if I’m going to keep it as a holstered handgun or arm brace it and sling it. So anything regarding that would be welcome also. I might use it for Steel Challenge but no plans for that at this time. I shoot a Ruger Charger SBR as a RFRO (I think that’s the designation) and that because I shoot a 9mm SBR PCC in Action Pistol. I actually already have a pretty decent RFPO if I ever want to shoot a handgun in Steel Challenge and get back to shooting a handgun in Action Pistol. But my mind isn’t closed to shooting the CP33 in competition.


I love mine.
I have two possible complaints.
1.) the grip can be a little big for some hands… try one on before you buy it.
2.) the balance with an optic can be tricky to get right. I had to go thru two different optics to find the sweet spot vs the balance point on the weapon.
Other than that its a great little plinker.


Thanks. The grip is always of concern for me since I do have smallish hands. I have already fondled one for some time and didn’t see a problem, but I intend to look things over with a fine tooth comb before counting out my $. If the depth of the grip were to stay the same and the grip were to get fatter it would have been a problem. But the thinness of the grip up front saved it for my hands in the short time I fondled it. The grip being sort of shaped like an upside down “V”.

Have you sandbagged yours and fired it for accuracy? I’ve seen folks on the 'net claiming great accuracy while only shooting at hanging gongs :roll_eyes: . They were testing themselves by not shooting from a rest or on paper and frankly what good is that when the subject is accuracy of the gun itself? I found only one review where the gent actually removed as many variables as possible to find what the gun alone would do*. But I never use one test as a basis for claims on thousands of items so while the review was of interest it was only one data point. It may have been an outlier to get the results reported. FWIW, it claimed pretty much 1/2"ish groups @ 25 yards for all the ammo tested.

*I’m a competitor and accuracy isn’t a problem for me since having competed in Bullseye decades ago and having the basics being indelibly imprinted into me, so the accuracy of the gun alone is extremely important to me. If the gun is capable of 1/2" groups @ 25 yards I know that anything over that is me. I need to have that information to know what the gun is doing and what I’m doing with it. So I only find accurate guns to be interesting.


50 yards is the most I have fired it at. Very good accuracy from a supported position. Sort of on par with a Ruger 10/22. No issues that I can find related to the weapon itself.


Thanks again. It sounds like what I’m looking for. So far I haven’t run across anything that tells me that it won’t be.


FWIW, we’re expecting an ice storm and the weather forecaster suggested that people stock up on essentials so I bought my black CP33 today and spent some time setting it up a bit and testing it. That’s what they meant, right? I put a Vortex Venom on it for a red dot and an HK 3 lug adapter. When the Rehv adapter is available I’ll arm brace it unless something better shows up in the meantime. I expect I’ll need to raise the sight a bit too. At this time I see no reason to SBR it. But if my times are found to be shorter with it in competition practice I will SBR it since arm braces aren’t legal for Steel Challenge (SC).

Arm braced I’ll carry it slung when the wife and I go for walks. That way I can put the sight anywhere on the rail and I won’t need to place it to accommodate a holster.

CCI subsonic suppressor ammo, 900ish FPS, just doesn’t like the gun very much and turns it into a single shot. Maybe after a break in period it’ll cycle the gun. Also the Ghost-M in “K” configuration sounds to the ear as though it works just as good as the full length version for .22. How odd that I never even tried it in the short configuration for rimfire. But the extra length just doesn’t appear to be required.

I did put 32 rounds of Federal supersonic through it. Why not 33? I couldn’t get the 33rd round in the mag’. As it was I was denting the brass by trying but the follower was bottomed out. Maybe there are mold marks or parts that need to be removed for the 33rd round. I fired it with the full length Ghost-M and only the firearm end of the can warmed up very much verifying that the full length serves little purpose.

The pitter patter of retreating feet is heard. Then some time later heard coming back…

I took a mag’ apart. OK, no mold mark interference is possible, but I did find the problem. The spring was bunching up near the follower and binding. Since the mag’ has slots I just reached in with a tool and pulled the spring down and that solved the issue. I’ll leave them loaded overnight. If it keeps happening I’ll spray the spring with a dry PTFE coating.

I agree with the YouTube videos where it was mentioned, loading the mags is the worst part of the gun. There’s a speedloader available that’s said to work fantastically. When they are available again I’ll get one.

I had an older BSA red dot that I was going to put on it, but that red dot has a huge window. I had an “Ahh Hahh!” moment, so I put it on my Steel Challenge RFPO gun and put the Vortex Venom it was wearing, which has a much smaller window, on the CP33. With an arm brace on the CP33 the smaller window will be meaningless and the larger window on the SC gun will be welcome.

I like the gun and the promise that it holds. But for now it’s too soon to write anything more than it holds promise.

If anyone wants me to update this after I shoot for accuracy and arm brace it let me know, otherwise this will be the last post.


More info as you have it please.


Yes, please keep the information coming please.


OK, as I get it I’ll post, but have patience with me. I have lots of irons in the fire. Plus it’s winter and cold and I no longer brave the elements to shoot. Or at least not often.

I was hoping that KelTec was going to come out with their rumored 50 rnd mag, but the rumor mill is circulating the new rumor that it wasn’t reliable enough and was shelved. It’s certainly possible to shoot one Steel Challenge stage with a 33 round mag. Even though I almost never miss it’s too close for me, just in case something goes to the left and really screws up I want more rounds and not to even come close to running dry.


Both my wife and myself participated in the rimfire division of steel challenge for many years.
My wife is kind of cross-eyed and the arrangement that proved the most effective for both of us was a Ruger 22-45 with a tube type dot scope.
And lots of preloaded extra magazines for quick reloading between runs.
The tube type scope, rather than a reflex one greatly helped her align her vision, in addition to providing a reliable sighting system even if the battery failed.
Hope this helps.


Thanks. I don’t know what it’s supposed to help, but maybe someone can use it. That’s the whole idea of a public forum in the first place.

I’ve been using red dots for years once my older eyes started to go left (not south, not poop the bed, but left to indicate what I equate the left with, just like when I would ask someone coming out of the mens room if they wiped their obama). I am left eye dominant and shoot right handed, and a rifle ‘scope is best for that, but I find any type of red dot to be better than open sights, esp’ with my eyes that no longer focus in 3 planes anymore. It sux to age.


Tonight I just put ammo through the gun to function it. It was dark and I didn’t even turn the sight on. Heck, I’m surrounded by thousands of acres of forest, no one living there, so I just fired into the air so that the impact would come down on trees and any supersonic crack wouldn’t echo back and maybe wake the wife up. The ammo was supersonic Federal bulk auto match and it was suppressed. All mags fired without any malfunctions of any sort.

Then I tried some really quiet ammo, all CCI. I’ll just use velocities, I don’t remember the actual names. the 1050 fps ran flawlessly, so did the 710 fps ammo. The brass normally gets thrown quite a distance and the brass from the 710 fps ammo didn’t go very far at all. The (I have the plastic package in front of me) CCI Suppressor subsonic HP 45gr’ 970 fps ammo that I had problems with yesterday gave me no problems at all tonight. What did I do? I did lube the gun but I don’t remember if I lubed it before or after it wouldn’t run the stuff. I think probably after. The only other thing I did was to run ammo through the gun before testing it again (130+ rounds). It was dark and I had the deck flood lights on, but again, I didn’t fire for accuracy or anything, just to run ammo through it for function.

I watched Hank Stranges video and I’m convinced that their malfunctions were all or mostly caused by not being meticulous when loading the mags. They are NOT the typical 10 round mags found on the typical .22 (as Hank mentioned) . I’m meticulous when loading the mags and I have yet to have a malfunction after the first short learning curve, heck, I didn’t even fire that 1st training magazine of ammo. By the 2nd magazine I had it down pat. After putting the cartridge under the mag lip I use the next cartridge or screwdriver to seat the round all the way to the rear. The finger can be used if there isn’t much spring tension. The biggest problem I had was when I rapped a mag’ today to settle the rounds to the rear as I would with 5.56. Huge mistake that, as it repositioned enough rims so that I would get rimlock, as seen through the clear mag’. I never even fired that mag’ but just emptied it and started all over.

I’m liking the gun so far and I’m mystified by the folks having problems. KelTec did a really good job designing a gun that will function with velocities from (so far) 710 fps to 1200fps. I need to get some hypervelocity ammo to test that. My plan is to have that in the gun when the wife and I go for walks. I’ve killed numerous aggressive, and many were obviously sick, animals and I really don’t want either of us to get bitten by a rabid animal. It’s fairly common to see them when one is living surrounded by forest. I’ve also been chastised by a game warden once when I didn’t shoot one of the governors obviously ill animals; I just reported it . The warden was pissed when he found out I had a gun at the time because he was going to have to pound the puckerbrush looking for it and he wasn’t thrilled by the prospect. From then on when I saw one I took care of it, left it where it lay, and reported the location.

Not me BTW… These are just recent cases.

Oh yeah, I’ll give up my guns. Sure. That’ll happen. City folk with their effed up ideas haven’t a clue.


Good report. Sounds like it’s running well so far.

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Thanks. It is. If I haven’t stated it often enough one must pay meticulous attention to mag’ loading. Sloppiness means malfunctions. Don’t get the round all the way to the back of the mag and it can nosedive. But get it right and they assume a nose high posture that always hits the feed ramp built into the mag and it works. I learned that without even firing ammo, just by paying attention. But I have decades of experience too and not everyone does. I think not everyone will have the mindset to load the mags properly and KelTec will take the rap for it (who blames themselves anymore?). But I absolutely love KelTec designs. This will be my 3rd that runs flawlessly.

I need to sight it in and bring it back to the shop where I bought it. They have them in stock but have yet to fire one. I can make that happen. We’ll just walk out back, 300’ from other abodes is the legal requirement, and with a can on no one but busy bodies will mind. Yeah, there’s one right next door to the shop who has to be a hard ass (he called the cops, who made sure they at the shop were legal; a middle finger salute to the neighbor), so I’ve been told. He needs to move back to the city where everyone seems to have their noses up each others butts to detect what they had for dinner the night before. Where everyone has to put their nose into everyone elses business and forgot what the word liberty means, if they ever knew at all. My GOD, I’m so thankful that I live exactly where I live and with the neighbors that I have! We’re all different but we all revel in each others differences and don’t try to make others do what we want them to do and be what we are as a form of self affirmation.

There is a thread on the forum stating that 75% of adults don’t know their neighbors. Not where I live. Sure there are transients and folks who can’t be bothered, but the folks who actually have a stake in where they live, we know each other quite well, allow each to follow their own drummer, but we also work together to help each other when there’s a need. When the cop killer was here we all locked and loaded within minutes of each other to form a common defense. There was no coordination of that, we just knew what had to be done and did it.

But I derailed the thread. Back to it. I should have more in a few days. Hopefully I get the time this week.


.22 in a detachable magazine are the forgotten stepchild in the rifle/ammo world and what we learned years ago has to just be re-learnt .Kudos to Keltec in figuring out how to make a working multi staggered box magazine seeing that they are still having issues with that style and rimless

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Just a pic’.

In the hand it brings to mind a love child of Borchardt and Welrod parents or maybe just Welrod parents? With CCI 710 fps “quiet” ammo it is quieter than hellywood quiet and quieter than any air gun I’ve ever heard, maybe Red Ryder BB gun quiet. But I think the Red Ryder is louder from what I remember from decades ago. The hammer falling is the predominant sound. Here it is with the K config’ Ghost-M in place using a H&K 3 lug adapter. I don’t have a proper .22 can since with adapters I can use the Ghost on so many guns and change from one to the other in literally a heartbeat. OK, maybe 2 heartbeats.




Can you possibly post a pic of the mag? Unloaded, then loaded properly & improper

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srdiver, I think you’re absolutely correct on the mag’ loading. The masses have been spoiled by rimless cartridges and need to learn.

LWMcQ, I might be able to take one, but the manual does a really good job of it, done professionally, and it’s available on line. It’s much better than what I’d be able to do. Plus my mags are pretty dirty right now and I don’t know how clearly they’d show what needs to be seen. All of the shooting I’ve done has been suppressed and that really gets things dirty. Let me get a link. FWIW, I did a lot of research before spending $ and I had the manual in hand to study long before even fondling a CP33. But that’s me. I “knew” the gun long before buying it. What you want starts on page 9. FWIW, rap the magazine as one can with a 5.56 mag to seat the cartridges to the back of the mag’ and it does NOT unload as easily as pictured in the manual. One gets rimlock to the max’ and needs to be creative in fixing the problem. That’s a warning to never smack a loaded CP33 magazine. :smiley:



What I can do is post something not covered by the manual. If the round isn’t fully to the rear when loaded it has friction on the meplat of the bullet and might not rise into this attitude. The round is seen (below) with the rim end down and the bullet up with the lips of the mag’ pointing it toward the center of the feed ramp that’s built into the mag. The tracks of previous bullets can be plainly seen on the feed ramp. When it looks like that, assuming no rim lock, it’s going into the chamber. It’s out of focus, but the rims can also be seen with the rim of the cartridge above having its’ rim ahead of the lower cartridge.


Thank you for the additional info the manual left out.

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