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

This is turning into a review. I’ll just go with that.

Loading mags WAS the biggest PITA with the CP33. I just received a NEST loader for the gun. I immediately loaded 2 mags and each one was loaded perfectly and loaded as fast as I could drop rounds, bullet first into the little hole in the loader. This loader has my seal of approval.

I think I mentioned how the mag spring needed to be jiggered to load the last few rounds when loading manually? That’s gone too. Just load the 33 rounds w/o stopping and playing spring games.

I’ll post a link, not to suggest buying it from there but only to show what it is. I think I got mine through Amazon.

https://americanspeedloaders.com/product/keltec-cp33/

And a video.

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The Nest loader sounds like a great help!

We had a warmup today, I saw the outside temp at 31°F so decided that I would do some shooting. I still needed to sight it in.

The open sights are barely seen over the base for the red dot, but it’s just doable. No big deal as they are only emergency sights anyway. My eyes no longer do open sights well at all. But I have to say that these are pretty good. I sighted them in @ 10 yards and that’s plenty for them.

Next up was the red dot. It’s no longer as seen a few posts above. Instead I’m getting ready for arm bracing it. I think I could have left the sight where it was by putting the brace as low on the pic rail found on the Rehv adapter as I could get it. I’ve seen others do that. But I want the barrel as low as possible to mitigate as much of the minuscule barrel flip as possible. That means raising the brace on the adapter and the sight also needs to be raised. It also means that the sight will have more stand off. Nothing is perfect and I reserve the right to change my mind somewhere down the road.

I shot it as configured here.

The Vortex Venom is on a 1/3 cowitness base and the gun is wearing the Ghost-M45 w/o a rubber wipe so a wipe wasn’t part of the equation. All mag’ loading was done with the NEST loader and I didn’t even look to see if the rounds loaded correctly. I had no malfunctions. FWIW, when a mag is loaded to full capacity it can take a few releases of the charging handle to close the bolt, but when a round is in the chamber and the gun is fired with a fresh 33 round mag inserted it loads the top round with no problem. So don’t be hesitant to load 1+33. The ammo was bulk Federal Auto-Match. I did put a M-Lok rail section on it, getting ready to sling it.

Since the line of sight is so high above the bore I figured that sighting it in for about 1" low at 25 yards should give me a dead on hit beyond 50 yards somewhere. Good enough for now. The point is that it’s point blank range for a rabid canine out to 100 yards and I would never take a shot at that distance anyway. I’ll fine tune it in the spring with probably a 50-75 yard zero.

I was most curious about accuracy, and shooting with the red dot at 25 yards with a lousy position from the side of my truck I was amazed at how accurate it is. Sarge said that it’s as accurate as a 10/22 and while I didn’t shoot from a great supported position the groups I was getting at 25 yards support that statement. It’ll probably be another 2 months before I can fire the gun from the bench, but at this point I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on walks. Of course I want to brace it first. But I was thinking to myself as I was seeing the groups that it’s possibly the most accurate .22 handgun I own and not by a small margin.

More on the NEST loader… I take .22 round nose ammo and turn the bullets into SGB (small game bullet) loads. They make the bullets deadlier due to the flat meplat, but not as damaging as a HP. The NEST loader states that it’s designed for use with round nose bullets. My SGB loads (Thunderbolt) were modified years ago and as such are no longer as polished as they were when new. Where I’m going with this is that they wouldn’t feed in the mags. At least one round wasn’t loaded correctly (rimlock) and would have malfunctioned in the gun. So be sure, before using something other than round nose ammo, for a use where it absolutely must function, to eyeball the mag to make sure it’s loaded correctly. Would the SGB rounds have fed correctly if they were freshly made and still had polished cases? I can’t answer that. Would they have fed if waxed with furniture (carnauba) wax (and wiped off) to make them slick? I didn’t try that either, but it would definitely lubricate them. Eventually I’ll get around to trying that but not today. I’ll need to load the mag manually, but I’m not going to plink with those loads so I won’t need lots of loaded mags with the SBG bullets. FWIW, CCI did make SGB bulleted loads at one time and still might make them.

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OK, I stole the Venom sight from a competition gun because I found an older sight with a huge window to go on it. I tested it and it appeared to have an LED bright enough for full daylight. But in sighting it in it turned out to be too dim. Maybe the cell was going dead? But anyway, I don’t want to go through a cell for each match. So the Venom went back onto the comp’ gun and I have a Holosun on order. (edit)The link is supplied to show the sight and for no other reason.

I have a number of mil’ spec’ Holosun solar tube sights, all the same model (not the one pictured), like them, and would trust my life to them. I shoot them in competition and can’t begin to estimate the round count I have with them, but it’s a lot over a period of years. The solar option works great but has the same failings as other brightness self adjusting systems if that option is chosen. If the sight is in bright light the reticle can be too bright for a target in shade. That happened once to me in competition. I guessed where the A zone was and still connected with A zone hits, but the failing needed to be mentioned. I assume the other way around can also happen but that hasn’t happened yet. So why the solar sight on the CP33 and not keep things as they were (Venom on the CP33 and the new sight on the comp’ gun)? The CP33 will go with the wife and I on walks to protect against rabid animals. Yes, I’ve killed more than a few over the years. It’s not an everyday occurrence but it does happen. The sight needs to work and the solar option means that it will work even with a dead battery (very unlikely for that to happen). It doesn’t take much light to get it to work either. So the comp’ gun gets the sight that requires a battery (competition normally doesn’t result in deadly bites) and the gun that is there for protection gets the sight most likely to work. Survival isn’t a sport, and one stacks the deck as much as possible in ones favor. It’s just common sense. FWIW, all of my critical firearms carry sights that don’t absolutely require batteries to function, again, it’s just common sense.

The new sight should be in my hot little hands not later than Tuesday but USPS tells me to expect it on Monday. It’ll arrive when it arrives.

Still waiting on the REHV adapter to finish the build.

I did put a TandemKross extended safety lever on it in red. IMO, guns for serious use require a safety that is easy to wipe off. The fact that this also gives a place for my thumb to rest doesn’t hurt. It works nicely.

https://www.tandemkross.com/CornerStone-Thumb-Ledge-for-KelTec-PMR30-CMR30-CP33_p_578.html

(edit) I’m trying to decide what to load it with, supported opinions regarding what you’d use are welcome and desired. Rabid fox are fairly common, but I don’t think a coyote would be out of the question. I just never saw one. Those would generally be the biggest animals. I was thinking about hypervelocity ammo, but that gives up a lot out of a 5" barrel and is impressive when the barrel is uncorked. But noise and flash doesn’t get the job done. I’m thinking just regular hi speed ammo that I use in competition (bulk Fed’ Auto-Match). It’s not the fanciest, but I can perforate a target quite rapidly with it, and what it gives up to sexy state of the art ammo, numbers of slugs on target will make up for. I think the mouse gun will even drop a coyote with half a dozen or so .22 bullets in the boiler house. Of course I don’t stop firing until the target drops so even if it takes 20 or more rounds, who cares? Ammo’s cheap. The gun holds 34 rounds (33+1) so I’ll have plenty. Yes, a head shot would be instant, but I prefer to keep the head intact if possible to confirm rabies.

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I contacted CCI to inquire what they would load a .22 handgun with for close shots in dispatching rabid animals. The answer was regular CCI HP ammo. They claim that it works spectacularly in their gel tests. I was intending to try more exotic and more expensive ammo but their answer didn’t support that. Frankly, the limited info’ I have regarding hyper velocity .22 is that it loses a great deal out of a short barrel. .22 isn’t exactly a powerhouse. OK, let’s get real, it’s a mouse gun cartridge, but what each individual cartridge lacks in power I’ll make for in numbers of bullets perforating the sick animal*. Shots will be close in, 25 yards and less in all likelihood. Any further than that and the animal can’t really be seen to be ill. Most times the shots are measured in feet and not yards so the mouse gun should work fine. If it only held 10 rounds I would want more just in case there are 2 of them, though I’ve never seen or heard of that with rabid animals. They aren’t zombies.

*I try not to hit the head since the state might want to examine it and a head shot means rabies can’t be confirmed.

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1/31/2020
It’s finished. The last piece came in today, it was the adapter that goes between the handgun and arm brace and allows the use of the arm brace. The manufacturer had 2 runs of 50, then this run of 100. I bought adapter #102.

For those who don’t know, what’s an arm brace? It’s a sort of stock that wraps around the arm so that folks who don’t have full use of their arms can still use handguns. But not strapped to the arm it can be shouldered and used as a sort of stock. Totally legal at this time and because it’s still a handgun there is no $200 tax to turn it into a short barreled rifle. I write “at this time” because it’s an ATF determination and those can change. If it does change I’ll just pay the $200 to SBR it. It’s too handy to ever give up. But at this time I have no intention of SBRing it. That too can change if I find that it’ll work in Steel Challenge better than what I’m presently shooting. This is a feather and swings very fast.

The point of the gun as pictured with the arm brace was a very lightweight handgun with better hit potential than a handgun normally gives. When I first saw a CP33 I thought, “What a fantastic arm braced gun this would be.”, clearly I wasn’t alone in thinking that. The target for the gun being rabid animals when the wife and I go on our walks. Over the years I’ve killed a half a dozen or more. I can’t run, only stand my ground, so I’m going to carry something and this beats a stick or harsh words. Yes, I have other guns I can use in this role, but nothing as feather light as this with the same hit potential (as good as I am with a handgun). It’s a .22 but holds 33 rounds in the mag’. .22 isn’t known to be a wonderful round for animals up to coyote size, but many of them launched as fast as possible, and I can launch them very fast with accuracy, will do the job. With the can in place it can be exceedingly quiet. With the right ammo there are air rifles that are significantly louder. I did contact CCI to find out what they would suggest for fox and coyote and was told their regular CCI Min-Mag HP ammo. I was told that it performed quite nicely in gel out of a handgun.

The arm brace folds to the left side for storage and it can be fired with it folded, but why would anyone want to? It’s my first arm braced handgun and I thought maybe it would be too short but I don’t find that to be so. It could actually be a little shorter to be perfect for me. One benefit to being of small stature.

Weight w/o the K configured can or any ammo load is 2# 13 oz and the short K configured can is another 10 oz. . Slung it doesn’t even feel as though anything is there. Yeah, it’s a feather on the shoulder or in the hands.

The trigger is quite good and I write that from the perspective of one who is very trigger sensitive, OK, I’m a trigger snob. And in my informal accuracy testing the CP33 it appears to be rifle accurate, very unusual for a handgun, but not surprising for the design of this one. It could easily be used for head shots on squirrel. It’s built with an upper and lower held together with 1 pin. The lower is the serial numbered part and the upper has a rigidly held barrel with a bolt that reciprocates. It’s sort of like a blowback pistol caliber carbine AR15 in operation. The worst part of the design is loading the magazine but there is a mag loader that really speeds the chore up as long as one is using round nose bullets.

The red dot is a Holosun 507c and mounted like that the open sights are still usable if one can get the eye down far enough to use them. With the arm brace folded or the gun not shouldered that works but not with it shouldered. It doesn’t come with a cover but they are available 3D printed.

The sling could be on there using hardware, but I find the para cord to work fine, is silent (I like silent a lot!), and is lightweight.

Many online reviewers mention that the magazines don’t drop free and that it has a heel release. They’re correct they don’t drop free and it does have a heel release. But unlike those other reviewers I don’t see either as a negative. I have to ask myself, what is the mission of the gun? If it’s a self defense gun for 2 legged animals then yes, those qualities might be a negative. But I don’t see it as that at all. I see it as a competition gun where rapid recharging isn’t required and as a hunting gun where it’s also not required. Too, if one is carrying it in the puckerbrush an easily hit mag’ release coupled with a drop free magazine is a liability. IMO it has exactly what it needs to fulfill it’s role. I have a mag’ heel release on another gun and it too doesn’t have a role where a rapid mag’ change was never in it’s future.

2/1/2020
I apologize in advance for any out of focus pix and there are some here.

I sighted in the Holosun 507C today, again from a lousy shooting position hunched over the side of the truck. It’s still too cold to spend any time at a bench to do it right. Again, I’m impressed at what I saw for accuracy of the gun when I did my part. I was only really getting it close to being sighted in at 25 yards and some 3 round groups had all bullets touching. I think when I finally get around to testing the guns accuracy I’m going to need to put a scope on it to remove myself from the equation as much as possible and only test the gun. Ammo was bulk packaged Federal Auto Match. Temperature was in the mid 30s and the air was still.

Here is the gun set up as discussed here.

Sarge called it’s accuracy “rifle like” and I would agree from what I’m seeing yet again with my less than wonderful shooting position.

I started the shooting session with one in the chamber and a full mag of 33 in the magazine. Others have shown in their online reviews that chambering a round from a full mag is difficult, and it is if done by the charging handle. But chambering the first round from a less than full mag’, then inserting a full mag’ results in no problem with chambering the top round from a full one. The bolt goes back further than the charging handle can take it or the bolt hits the buffer and rebounds with more velocity. Whatever the reason it just works. This is the 2nd time I tested this with success. Yes, my CP33 also has problems loading the top round of a full mag’ using the charging handle. The solution is let the action of the gun load the top round from a full mag’. At the end of the sighting in I had 18 rounds left in the mag and rather than doing a mag dump decided to just leave them in it for whatever comes next.

That “problem” with not loading the top round is part of the design that allows the gun to reliably cycle CCI Quiet 710 fps ammo and also ammo with lots more power. The 710 fps ammo requires a lubed bolt and the brass just “drools” out of the action when it’s ejected, the action cycles and bolt comes back far enough to pick up a new round. If the recoil springs were stronger they wouldn’t work for the 710fps butterfly fart ammo. Too, with stronger springs the overhang beyond the grip wouldn’t be needed but then you’d have the same .22 handgun everyone else thinking inside the box makes. I call this design a long recoiling blowback action. I have no idea what KelTec calls it. But KelTec thought outside the box as they are known to and came up with this gun that has a huge latitude in what it will run reliably. That’s pretty much an unknown for a semi-auto. I know of no one who has mentioned that facet of the gun yet.

The more I shoot this gun the more I like it. I especially like it set up with an arm brace. It’s a feather when slung.

The Rehv Arms brace adapter is a nice unit and there is no slop between the gun and adapter. The SB Tactical brace is nicely made but you won’t be butt stroking anyone with it. It’s a minimalist brace and therefore lightweight yet gives a decent cheek weld. It too has no slop in it and the pair of parts works wonderfully together. The tolerances between the adapter and brace junction are tight and that’s exactly what you want. It can be a bit snug when assembling, but that’ll only happen once. After assembly the brace folds to the left side for storage or transportation.

I doubt that I’m going to change the configuration in a permanent way, I might slap a scope on it for accuracy testing but that will come off right after. So let’s figure out cost. I have $500 in the gun with state tax, the sight cost $225, the UTG riser mount I had on hand and I don’t know what it cost me but it wasn’t a lot; I’m allowing $15 for it. The brace adapter cost $72 from Rehv Arms and the brace was $139 (I shopped around and wasn’t in a hurry, it’s made by SB Tactical and is their 1913 rail model). I’m not adding in the HK 3 lug adapter since not everyone will want or need one. So I get $950. The components will cost more if you don’t shop around. I potentially saved a hundred or more dollars by not being in a hurry and shopping around. The hardest part to find was the Rehv adapter, the only source for it is Rehv Arms and I had to wait for the 3rd production run. They had 2 previous runs of 50 units each and this run was 100 units. I got #2 of this production run. :smiley: I wasted no time in placing my order once I knew they were once again available. Once parts are in hand assembly isn’t at all difficult. One wants the brace in the lowest position to give required clearance for the charging handle. That also lowers the line of bore lessening muzzle flip of the mouse cartridge, but it also requires the sight to be on a riser*. Would a 1/3 cowitness mount work if one had a sight with one? I’m pretty sure it would.

HK pattern 3 lug adapter that makes can attachment extremely fast. The problem is that no .22 specific cans use it. I use it for my Dead Air Ghost-M can.

Not figured into cost is the cover for the 507C (it doesn’t come with one) that I got from Amarok Tactical. I think it was less than $15.

*I did watch a youtube video that had a sight mounted low on the rail with a brace. I don’t remember it actually being fired. I don’t understand how they could get their eye in place without having their cheekbones surgically removed. Maybe if they used a “ghetto hold” that sight placement would work.

I did put a TandemKross “CornerStone” Thumb Ledge (for right handed folks) on the left side of the gun, and that isn’t in the price above. It’s an extended safety and as the name implies is a ledge for the thumb. It also makes the safety much easier and faster to wipe off. I wish TandemKross had one for the left hand also, but they don’t. (at this time? I didn’t inquire if they ever will.) I might like to add a lefty thumb ledge at some time but it’s not a must. I can still access the safety for the left hand as it is, just not as easily if a ledge was there. I chose the red anodized thumb ledge since it’s a safety and I thought red to be appropriate, but it’s also available in black.

At this time is there anything I would do differently on mine? The answer to that is no unless it’s already been mentioned. I might play a bit with slinging it or maybe moving the sight a bit, but I’m fairly certain that it’s set up the way I want it and better than the way I envisioned it when I first fondled it as a stripped down handgun at the LGS. It just took me some time to find the right components and frankly some components I that hadn’t thought of.

Unless someone has questions or I left something out I think this will be the last update until I have accuracy results in a few months. I might add some additional pix if required between now and then.

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The CP33 comes from the factory with a pretty good trigger but I spied an upgrade that took care of some issues ans it was only $20. How could I resist? Here is the post I put on the KTOG forum regarding it.

So that everyone knows what I’m discussing…

KT= Kel-Tec GP=Galloway Precision

Hopefully I took enough measurements before and after…

I want to state right up front that the stock CP33 trigger is pretty good from the factory, but it’s the extremely expensive gun that can’t have a better trigger.

I received the GP trigger and even after watching the video on their website I had misgivings because I went down the road of installing a better trigger (MCarbo) in the sub2k and while the trigger was substantially better getting the gun back together was a nightmare. That was no fault of MCarbo, but the design of the sub2k and myself. I expected the same sort of nightmare with the CP33 and was pleasantly surprised that the nightmare was missing. It took possibly 1- 1 1/2 hours to install, but I really didn’t keep track and some of that was testing it. It wasn’t difficult at all.

Distance from backstrap to trigger: KT: 2 3/4" (center of bow): GP: < 2 3/4" by a hair (center)

Trigger pull, avg of 5: KT: 2# 13.2 oz GP: center 3# 6.6 oz end 2# 13.2oz

Trigger travel to break: KT: 3/16" (center of bow) GP: center 1/16"

With the GP trigger overtravel was greatly reduced but I didn’t measure it before and after. I did adjust the pre-travel and that might have been responsible for the greatly reduced trigger travel before the break. I don’t see the slight difference in trigger pull weight to be significant. But the feel to my hand is that of a shorter trigger and I don’t understand how such a small difference can yield such a difference in fit. Maybe because of the flat face on the trigger I’m holding higher on it shortening the distance even more? That’s all I can come up with. The gun fits me pretty good now. The trigger is an entirely different animal now. What was a pretty good factory trigger before is even better now IMO. So was it worth the $20? $20 is nothing when it comes to a better trigger. I’m spoiled since when I started using really good triggers many decades ago I got spoiled and every gun of mine has had the triggers made better, so I have to answer that a “yes”. Will it make a difference to you? I can’t answer that. But for $20 it’s worth a try. If you shoot competition it’s sort of a no-brainer to my way of thinking. The overtravel adjustment alone is worth the $20.

If you do decide to adjust the pre-travel the way the gent on the video suggests doing it is to disassemble it to adjust. Basically it will be hit or miss and while not a nightmare to get back together it can be time consuming. I found it much easier to just back off the overtravel adjustment so that the trigger pivoted down more giving access to the pre-travel screw. With the hammer uncocked screw out the pre-travel adjustment (counterclockwise) then cock the hammer. The mechanism shouldn’t reset, then screw it back in until it does and the hammer falls when the trigger is pressed. Give it a bit more to make sure it resets every time. BTW, cushion the hammer fall to prevent damage to the frame. Then cock the hammer again, yes it’s a bear to cock, and screw the overtravel adjustment in too far, so that the hammer doesn’t fall. Then screw it out until it just falls. Then give it 1/4 turn more. You’ll see that with the trigger pressed and the overtravel adjusted correctly access to the pre-travel screw has been cut off. If you need to adjust the pre travel again just unscrew the over travel to gain access. It’s much easier and faster than disassembling the gun and hoping it’s adjusted right before reassembly.

After installing and testing I put the can on it and fired 20 rounds rapid fire just to make sure it worked. It did.

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looks like you made a 22LR CMR30. The CMR30 seems like it would do everything better at a slightly bigger size, still light and shoots a more powerful round.

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:smiley: I also could have used any number of firearms I already own (and I have). The CMR30 will definitely not do what this will do for precisely the reasons you stated and the reasons I already gave in the thread though I didn’t run down the list of firearms that wouldn’t do the job. I more concentrated on the one that would do what I wanted done. It just made sense to me to do it that way.

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