Tuesday, April 13, 2010

FAB Defense KPOS for the Glock Pistol

I recently had a chance to try the KPOS for the Glock pistol.
You probably have no idea what I’m talking about so here’s a pic and clip.

If you read my book or read this blog for some time (old post about this is), you already know that I think that the pistol caliber carbine or subgun fills a certain niche that is of particular interest for the armed civilian that considers the possibility of serious civil unrest, lack of ammo and other problems. I’ll explain this better later on.
The KPOS converts your Glock 17, 19 or similar sized Glock in 40 and 357 SIG into a pistol caliber carbine. 

You replace the Glock’s backplate with one provided that has a cocking handle adaptor. You insert the Glock, lock it inside the unit, slide in the cocking handle and you’re good to go.
You have a folding stock which is effective for its compact size, and a forward grip that goes both vertical or horizontal. You have several rails for optics, and other accessories, so you can basically put any setup you want together like a Lego.

There are other carbine conversion units, but none are as ergonomically correct or as compact as the KPOS in my opinion. The HERA for example, its too square, the stock doesn’t fold and it lacks enough length upfront. Feels more like a stocked pistol than a carbine and doesn’t have much forward space to hold onto.

The bad news: This is a short carbine conversion unit and is taxed accordingly in USA (200 bucks I believe) This also happens with other conversion units but it has to be mentioned. If you are working with a limited budget and you want to keep your weapon collection at a bare minimum, you probably have other guns worth getting instead.

Now for the good part and why I thing it’s a serious carbine alternative.
Advantages common to many pistol caliber carbines:
1)      They can share ammo with your handgun, stocking only one caliber makes things easier.Pistol calibers ammo is easier to find too.
2)      Pistol caliber ammunition is usually cheaper and you can shoot more and train more as well. A serious advantage these days considering rifle ammo prices.
3)      Pistol caliber carbines with folding/collapsible stocks are usually small and can be carried in a backpack.
4)      Light recoil makes them ideal for novices or recoil sensitive family members.
5)      Unlike the popular belief says, it is not an over sized handgun and accuracy is far better even though the intrinsic accuracy of the weapon is the same. The reason for this difference is that you have a)More stability b) You can add optics. The key point here is stability. You can add certain optics to normal handguns as well but you can’t take advantage of it if you can’t keep it steady. Here’s where a) comes into play: With a handgun you just have one point of contact, both hands on the grip. With a carbine you have four: one hand to the grip, the other on to the forward grip, the shoulder and cheek on the stock. This is of course much more solid and makes 100 yard shots and beyond much easier and faster to perform. With a fast caliber like the 357 SIG and its straight trajectory the possibilities are even greater.

Now some advantages to the KPOS system itself:

1)      It’s simply the most compact carbine you’ll find, thanks to its small folding stock. Using the sling provided you can carry it all day under a loose fitting jacket.
2)      Something I’ve noticed is, because its essentially a Glock, its simplifies trainning in many ways. Most of the things learned in the pistol class apply here too and it makes the transition to rifle classes much easier.
3)      You don’t have carbine mags and handguns mags. Any magazine you reach for during training or a fight will work on either gun. This advantage shouldn’t be underestimated during stressful situations.
4)      Even in a civilian enviroment and wearing casual clothes, you can put a truckload of lead down range in a pinch with this system if you have a chest rig or leg rig with several magazines concealed under a large jacket.  This means: You are evacuating on foot, driving around keeping an eye on things with some neighbors for whatever reason. You don’t have to look all tactical, no one is going to call the cops on you or make the mental note of how much of a freak you are, yet you are much better armed than just having your concealed handgun. Certainly not a daily carry setup, I’m realistic, but would work excellent during known high risk situations.
5)      You don’t have rifle caliber power and that’s a disadvantage indeed, but with a caliber such as 357 SIG you are putting serious stopping power with good penetration down range. Get a slightly longer barrel from Wolf for the KPOS and you’re exceeding 357 Magnum ballistics thanks to the added length to burn more powder and get some more velocity.

“SO FerFAL, how many FAB Defense stock market shares did you buy?” 

None. :-) I just like the pistol caliber carbine concept in general and think the KPOS is an excellent conversion unit, that’s all.
The PDW concept is gaining more and more acceptance, and I believe there’s a good reason for that. Its clear that fights are getting more “urban”, fast and at short range. Weapons such as the Heckler & Koch MP7 and FN P90 are proof of this trend.
Again, not a must have, but worth considering and certainly worth trying out if you have the chance, see someone using it at the range or so.

Take care guys, have fun!



theotherryan said...

To me carbines are cool but not particularly useful. Then again if you can shoot it more accurately and it isn't much bigger than the pistol itself there could be a niche. Suppose like most guns and gear it isn't if it could be useful; it is if it is more useful than other items competing for your limited funding.

The way I see PDW's as useful is that they are very compact but still capable of defeating (I believe by definition) soft body armor. A Glock .357 SIG version of this would fit that role, particularly with an aftermarket 6 inch barrel to give some more range. Toss in some of those big stick mags and it might not be a bad thing to have in a backpack in the car.

David said...

As you note, while U.S. residents can mail order some of these shoulder-stock units, the mere possession of one on the same property as owning a handgun they fit is an immediate violation of the Gun Control Act of 1934 and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. It's the same law that regulates sound suppressors among other things and the BATFE is infamous for zealous prosecution of unsuspecting citizens.

Residents in most states CAN obtain the necessary permit (including a $200 tax stamp) but the process is pretty ugly. There are threads on websites detailing how it's better to establish a legal trust and title the gun/suppressor/whatever into that (a trust or corporation can't be finger-printed and any trustee of the trust can be in possession).

Also know that you'd need BATFE permission to take an SBR (short-barreled rifle) across state lines (e.g. for training).

Some people (like residents of Illnois & Wisconsin) are prohibited entirely from owning SBRs & suppressors by state law.

FerFAL said...

Thanks David,
CAREFUL guys! Even having these at home, along with a Glock, even if you dont put it together its considered breaking the law, "intent of building a SBR"

Theotherryan, yes, that's pretty much what I have in mind. Also, you can kill medium sized game with this. Not very sporty but it can be used if needed. Again, the contact points make accurate shots at longer distances easier.


Anonymous said...

If you guys are going to go the carbine route, this is OK, but the lack of a rifle caliber AND the fact that here in the USA you have to jump through hoops because it changes a semi-auto to a full auto AND makes it an SBR (maybe I misunderstood it being full auto?) makes this choice not as desirable as say an AR15 or AK47 pistol. I've owned the AR15 pistol, I just don't like the caliber (if it doesn't start with at least a '3' I pass).

My AK47 pistol is a Romanian Draco.


I can't address the laws of Argentina or anywhere else for that matter, because I don't live there. BUT you can purchase one of these for less than $400 shipped(if you can find them in stock - which can be a challenge) .

Can't go wrong with a carbine that will chew up concrete walls with impunity. And it takes regular AK mags, so it is good to go. With a five round mag or a 75 round drum.

No, I don't work for Centerfire. Nor do I work for the Cugir factory where the Draco is made. It's just one bad mo fo... Don't forget to add a muzzle brake, otherwise that sucker has to be dragged back onto target with every round. With the muzzle brake that problem disappears. I particularly like the AMD65 muzzle brake.

If you want more to 'grip' on your carbine, consider the AMD65. They are a shade more expensive but are just perfect as a car gun. OR get out of the car, pull the stock out and you are good to go as a rifle.


FerFAL said...

Thanks Anon, Glock and AK makes a basic battery. You need that before even considering the kit I mentioned.


Blackeagle said...

"This is a short carbine conversion unit and is taxed accordingly in USA (200 bucks I believe)"

One important thing to note is that it is the pistol frame that needs the tax stamp, not the conversion unit. That means that your pistol now comes under the restrictions on Short Barreled Rifles (cannot take them to another state without ATF permission, cannot transfer to anyone else without paying the tax again, etc.). If you have more than one pistol you'd like to be able to use with the conversion, you need to pay the tax for each one.

Anonymous said...

I've looked at the Glock Mec-Tec conversions for my G21, but never got around to buying it. Like you intimated, these aren't really very compact at all.

Glock should really consider manufacturing some hi-cap magazines for their .45s, like they already do for their 9s. I have a Scherer 29 round (iirc), but do not fully trust it. It so far has not produced any misfeeds, but a couple of boxes does not trust make.

I was not aware of this Glocks existence, thanks for posting about it.

Bones said...

Here in the US the legal barriers to ownership make this an expensive range toy. It is a very nice, compact package with improved control over a pistol, but why would you actually choose this over another weapon? It can't be concealed like a pistol. At nearly $500 USD MSRP why wouldn't you simply buy a rifle? You still need to buy the glock - and in the US that glock must be permanently designated for use with this kit. As noted, you also need to buy a longer barrel separately to get improved ballistics - and in 9 or 45 the improvement is unimpressive. (See the "ballistics by the inch" website) Magnum calibers do better in long barrels but their ballistics still fall well short of rifle calibers.

I just can't conceive of any situation where this would be preferable to a rifle caliber carbine, particularly here in the US.

LFMayor said...

They look sweet, but I think the combined cost of the pistol and unit are prohibitive. The SUB-2000 Kel tec models use the same mags and can be had for under 300.00 (CDNN out of Texas). The kel-tec's also have 16" bbls, so you don't have that transfer stamp B.S. to contend with.
I have to give Anon cred, I have an AMD myself and given a choice would bank on the 7.62 round over any pistol caliber. That being said, I am planning on buying the G22 version kel tec in order to have a weapon that uses .40 cal and glock mags... both of which should be somewhat plentiful no matter what happens in the future.

Pitt said...


You are right, this is a nice rig and great if it is legal in the country you live in, but here in the US, its a big ole problem.

I like the Anon that suggested the Draco AK pistol. I've considered doing an sbr based on that weapon. I might just run it as is. If I sling it up right, I might not need the stock.

LFMayor said...

Pitt, my MPA m-10 works good with a single point sling. Just push out tight and it sits solid with a good sight picture.

Anonymous said...

Hi-Point .40 carbine is the option I would go with. Under $250 and no special req.

Keep in mind that this kit turns your legal pistol into a ’short barreled rifle’ and you would require an ATF tax stamp to legally install the kit. I’ve never understood this legal requirement, but then I’m just a guy trying to insert common sense into a federal agency. Don’t even think about adding anything that looks like a sound suppressor.

Anonymous said...

"I just can't conceive of any situation where this would be preferable to a rifle caliber carbine, particularly here in the US."

A handicapped and or weak person who cannot handle the recoil of a large pistol caliber (insert story from GTA about girl being hit in forehead with pistol after shooting it) in a crowded house - a large one? - with narrow doorways and hallways might find this GLOCK add-on more useful than any other.

Getting around objects or through doorways, attempting to retreat while covering the rear, even with a short .22 Ruger rifle a person would have to lower or raise the barrel to get around, taking aim away from what's in front of you, something that might be avoidable with the GLOCK add-on?

Is a decent self-defense carbine rifle heavy compared to the GLOCK add-on and more importantly what does the person using it think and feel, is it heavy, too heavy? Too heavy to practice much or to be of good aim?

Which is going to be more accurate and by how much, a GLOCK with add-on at hip level firing, or a carbine rifle at hip level firing?

The AK47 pistol does look like a good work-around for some people, however; that self-defense gun still looks a bit heavy and of high recoil for the, as they say, limited market.

Just some thoughts.

It does seem to be true that, "Here in the US the legal barriers to ownership make this an expensive range toy."

Pop said...

I have actually run both systems and I preferred the hera, it was much more solid and just felt better even thought the slide release was hard to manipulate. The kpos was hard to get use to with the iron sights as they were in a "tunnel" and much closer to my eye than I am use to. However exiting a vehicle or shooting from a vehicle was much easier than a carbine, recoil was almost canceled out, and shots out to 100yards were hitting a 12 inch gong really fast and repeatably. There is a niche for this system and with even a cheap optic (vortex strikefire) the speed increase over a simple glock is dramatic. I'll give you the fact that the kpos can just snap on to a pistol as an advantage over the hera, which says it requires the rear sight to be changed out but we never did and it must have a pin replaced to stay in the system. The hera takes a little time to assemble but it had much less play and I just shot it better (we had a short foregrip which really helped.)

jj in sc said...

Please don't take anything I say as qualified legal advice, but here are some options:

A lot of small SMG weapons (sub 16") are being sold these days as "pistols" some are simply M-16s that have had the stock removed or reduced to min length. Others are .223 with different operating mechanisms (hence no spring tube coming out the back, hence even shorter). Others are in pistol calibers.

The folding stock AKs are also a good option. I particularly like them because their shape is burned into our national consciousness, and they are intimidating looking. I've also noticed that they seem to be enjoying a lot of popularity right now. I suspect that they will retain a high resale value across all demographics.

Another option that I've seen lately is the STG 556. It's basically a civilianized Steyr AUG. Good points: it's very compact for a rifle, but still has a 16" barrel (which will give it better ballistics than a .223 pistol). It also handles, by design, both 5.56 and .223. Bad points: The civilian version has NO iron sights, only a rail for mounting optics (or at least the version I saw did). I'm sure you could find rail mountable iron sights, but I still think it's an inexcusable mistake. Also, it is of course a bullpup design, which I'm still not sold on. For my money, I'd lean towards the AK.

PetrolClock said...

looks like something i'll have to add to my wish list

Tom Simpson said...

I like the pistol caliber carbines, they are extremely useful, however, the cost of the stock plus the ATF Tax stamp on my Glock would preclude me buying one of these here in the USofA. With that being said, I prefer my HK MP-5 40 pistol any day of the week over any AK or AR. I can attach a shoulder sling, and then shoot the gun European style by pushing forward on the gun, and take the slack up on the sling. It can still be concealed under a jacket, if needed, and it has 30 round mags.

And when you do the HK slap, it gets peoples attention quickly!

Anonymous said...

It looks like there's some objection here to the KPOS system. From where I sit it seems to be worth the trouble. The short length even while unfolded is SUCH a boon in close quarters which I've learned in force on force simulations. As a carbine it eats cheap bullets, and it doesn't flash, recoil, and resound like a rifle when fired. Most importantly it has the good ol reliable and ubiquitous glock at its foundation, and it takes out the difficulty of shooting a weapon with, like ferfal said, one point of contact. Having some sort of stock improves stability, but I've found it also improves speed and confidence which is why I believe the KPOS would handle so much better and is very comparable in utility compared to a rifle, especially if it's lightweight and rugged like the glock itself.

Ferfal you're absolutely correct in your observations about this system. This comment is years late but your reasoning is so much like mine so I couldn't keep quiet! Take care, sir.

Anonymous said...

I work as armed security/law enforcement at a small international airport here in the U.S. We are armed only with pistols with nothing else to back us up. The KPOS system would be an excellent option for us to simply convert one of our already owned and issued weapons at a much lesser cost than buying a new carbine, training and ammo. The KPOS would give us that extra advantage of range with stability that may be needed some day inside the building, but not scare management enough to not allow it. I see it as a win-win.

Would I rather have a fn90 or good AR? Sure, but there is no way in hell we'll be allowed to purchase or carry either of those here until after someone goes off the deep end. I'd rather have something simple like the KPAS,RONI, or HERA right now.