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The Kel-Tec RDB Survival is a compact and portable downward-ejecting bullpup .223 REM magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle. Rearrange some of those words to spell RDB: Rifle Downward-ejecting Bullpup. The Kel-Tec RDB is a lineup of four arms, which includes the RDB Survival, sometimes just called RDB-S.

RDB Survival is the lightest because it’s the smallest. It was designed for portability, and thus has a folding sights, a compact for its class 16.1” lightweight barrel and an adjustable/collapsible stock that slides in and out as needed. Overall length is 26.1” and unloaded weight comes in at 5 pounds 14 ounces, or just under 6 pounds.

Bullpups trade aesthetics for balance. The RBD Survival’s modular architecture with the barrel ending in back and the magazine in back permits even weight distribution, albeit at the expense of anything remotely approaching refined looks. But it also means the gun can provide decent barrel lengths in compact packages.

Width is 1.8” and height is 4.6”. The .223 REM (5.56x45 mm/5.56 NATO) barrel has a 1 to 7” twist ratio. It’s made of AISI 4140 steel, has a Salt Bath Nitride QPQ finish and is, as mentioned previously, just 16.1” long. For comparison, its sibling RDB Hunter’s barrel is 20.1” long. The “Hunter” handguard is short and tapers unlike the various handguards on its three siblings that are either longer, rounder or both.

The RDB Survival’s grip, handguard and stock are all polymer and have an olive drab green finish with rectangular texturing on the forearm and grip.

The RDB Survival’s front sight flips up tall and looks like a phoenix in a searchlight. It controls elevation. Make 1/8 rotation clicks to adjust for 1” at 100 yards. The rear sight can be adjusted for windage where each click equals a 1” adjustment per 100 yards. A medium-length Picatinny rail crests the handguard up to the rear sight.

The adjustable gas system is above the barrel and in front of the handguard. It allows operators to adjust to different loads and/or a suppressor.

The trigger is smooth with little take up and breaks clean with a trigger pull of only 4 to 6 pounds. The cross-bolt safety is at the top of the trigger guard’s rear.

The gun comes with a 20-round magazine and is compatible with any STANAG 4173 (AR-15) magazine. And, of course, a key selling point is how this lineup ejects spent casings downward from the port that’s just behind the magwell.

The downward ejection is one of several features permitting ambidextrous operation. It also has a reversible operating handle and a nicely placed magazine release/catch.

The Kel-Tec RDB-Survival bullpup semi-automatic is made by Kel-Tech in Cocoa, Florida, so it’s Made in USA.

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