KelTec P17 Review: A 17 Round Compact .22LR Pistol

The Kel Tec P17 is simple, affordable, and reliable. If you’re in the market for a 17-round, compact .22LR pistol with more bells & whistles than a Christmas Day parade, then this .22LR pistol is definitely for you!

Don’t let the compact size fool you. The compact KelTec P17 pistol is a tack driver. The excellent trigger, fiber optic front sight, and adjustable rear sight help you extend the range of the P17.

It’s a handy little .22LR pistol that builds confidence and burns the bull’s eyes.

Every tool has a purpose and having the right tool for the job sets you up for success. The size, weight, and caliber create the perfect storm when training that new shooter in your life.

For more experienced shooters looking to hone their skills, the KelTec P17 is a great training tool for when you’re on a budget.

KelTec P17

Prices accurate at time of writing

We’ve recently seen several new rimfire pistols chambered for .22 LR arrive on the market, many of which are competing at around the $300 price point.

Kel-Tec undercut that competition with the P17, a compact semi-automatic that doesn’t skimp on features while rocking an eye-catching MSRP of $199.

Although you’re going to be hard-pressed to find the KelTec P17 for sale at that price point nowadays, it’s still worth the $200 to $300  price range that you’ll find it available in.

Kel-Tec P17 Construction

The KelTec P17 is a blowback-operated semi-auto 22 pistol that uses a hammer-fired system and weighs in at 11 ounces. The P17 designation is derived from its 16+1 round capacity.

Overall, its design has been simplified with the extensive use of polymer components to reduce both weight and production costs.


Instead of a one-piece molded frame, KelTec opted for a two-piece clamshell design. The internal components are sandwiched between the two frame halves, which are secured to each other using two bolts and eight frame screws. Some say the pistol is extremely ugly, but I’m going for function and reliability; not looks.

The styling of the P17 trigger guard and waffle pattern texturing on the grip frame follow KelTec’s typical M.O. The frame sports a molded-in 1.25", three-slot Picatinny accessory rail for light and laser modules.

The front of the trigger guard is textured to act as a finger rest if that’s your grip preference. Pull-down, Glock-type takedown levers are located just above the trigger guard finger rest.

keltec p17 frame


The slide on the P17 is an exercise in minimalism, consisting of three major components. A flat, one-piece steel stamped slide, a pinned breechblock/bolt, and a wraparound polymer housing are secured to each other using two top-mounted, 2.5mm hex-head screws.

The one-piece stamped steel slide, which has a matte-black finish, is bent and ported to fit over the muzzle end of the barrel. The slide also contains the fiber-optic front sight which is secured with a pair of screws.

keltec p17 slide

The breechblock or bolt has grooves on both sides that match up with two short frame-mounted rails located at the top of the magazine well.

The wraparound polymer housing acts as a cover for the breechblock/bolt, providing cocking serrations, and contains a fully adjustable, square-notch rear sight.


The 3.8" barrel is fixed onto the frame, allowing it to serve double-duty as the pistol’s guide rod, with a single, round-wire recoil spring fitted over it and secured in place by a flush-fit barrel nut.

A special wrench is shipped with the pistol to remove the barrel nut for cleaning or to install the provided threaded barrel adapter.

keltec p17 barrel

The thread pitch of the adapter is 1/2×28 for compatibility with muzzle devices such as flash hiders, muzzle brakes, and suppressors.

Banish 22

at Silencer Central
Prices accurate at time of writing


Like Kel-Tec’s other rimfire pistols, the trigger of the P17 is quite good, especially given the low price point of this polymer pistol. The single-action pull is listed at two pounds seven ounces (measured).

There’s a fairly long, smooth take-up before encountering resistance, followed by a bit of creep but then a surprisingly crisp break at just two pounds, seven ounces on average.

KelTec P17 Features


At less than 14-ounces fully loaded, and barely longer than a dollar bill, the P17 is concealable for pretty much anyone. Just don’t forget it’s there when you need it!

keltec p17 size

The threaded barrel, Picatinny-style accessory rail, ambidextrous safety, ambidextrous magazine release, and three 16 round magazines come standard.

That’s a ton of value-added in such a small package.


Don’t let the small size and light weight fool you when you handle this pistol. The Kel-Tec P17 is a tack driver. A few things contribute to the exceptional accuracy of the P17. The excellent trigger is at the top of the list.

The second is the fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight.

The third is the fixed barrel, meaning that the barrel does not move during the operation of the pistol. This inherently makes the pistol that much more accurate.

Those three features in the right hands will burn down targets on the range and outperform other .22LR pistols that are two or three times more expensive.

KelTec P17 accuracy


Every tool has a purpose and having the right tool for the job sets you up for success.

The size, weight, and caliber of the Kel-Tec P17 are the perfect combination for training that new shooter in your life. For more experienced shooters looking to hone their skills, the P17 is a great training tool for when you’re on a budget with ammunition.

I call my P17 the ‘skunk gun’ as I use it for controlling the skunk population on my property.

keltec p17 suppressed

With the fiber optic front sight and a weapon light attached to the rail, The P17 works really well in the role of rodent control. Add to that the option of a can and your neighbors will never know what’s going on.

KelTec P17 Specs

KelTec P17 Specs

Kel-Tec P17 Disassembly and Cleaning

Disassembly of a pistol does not get any easier than the KelTec P17. Three simple steps and the pistol is field stripped.

  1. Remove the threaded barrel adapter, if installed, and reinstall the barrel nut
  2. Ensure the safety is on and lock the slide to the rear
  3. Pull down on the disassembly levers above the trigger guard. While holding the levers down, pull the slide back and lift the rear up. This disengages the slide from the frame and allows you to slide it forward over the barrel.

The only caveat to the disassembly is the threaded barrel adapter. You’ll need to remove the threaded barrel adapter and reinstall the barrel nut prior to disassembly.

If you do not reinstall the barrel nut after removing the threaded adapter, the recoil spring will dislodge once you remove the slide.

You’ll literally be done cleaning the P17 in about 10 minutes tops and that includes the disassembly and reassembly.

KelTec P17 In Stock at

KelTec P17

Prices accurate at time of writing

Recommended 22LR Ammo For The KelTec P17?

CCI Mini-Mag seems to be the go-to ammunition selection for the Kel-Tec P17.

CCI Mini MAG 100 Rounds

at Kentucky Gun Co
Prices accurate at time of writing

CCI Stinger 22LR is also known to work well, be accurate, and feed consistently with the KelTec P17.

CCI Stinger 50 Rounds

at Kentucky Gun Co
Prices accurate at time of writing

If you’re looking for a cheaper yet still reliable option for target shooting, then we suggest Federal Champion 22LR ammo.

Federal Champion 50 Rounds

at Kentucky Gun Co
Prices accurate at time of writing

KelTec P17 Accessories

There are very few things that you really need with the Kel-Tec .22LR, but I wouldn’t go to the range without a mag loader, CCW holster, and I use a tactical light with every pistol.

Sunfire P17 Mag Loader

There’s really not much to say about a mag loader that hasn’t been said before. From what I’ve seen with this specific speed loader, it works well, reloads my magazine within 20 seconds, and is durable enough to be rough with it without worrying if it’s going to break or not. For me, that’s all I care about with a mag reloader.

Sunfire Keltec P17 Magazine Loader

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Aggressive Concealment  KelTec P17 Holster

This is their “LP" Low Profile IWB (inside the waistband) Kydex holster and fits the Kel Tec P17 rmfire pistol. These kydex holsters are handmade in the USA. Great concealment holster for everyday carry (EDC).

Can be appendix carried or small of the back with ease. All components are sourced from USA suppliers. Aggressive Concealment holsters carry a lifetime warranty. Features: .08 Kydex User adjustable cant, User adjustable Retention, Low Profile belt clip (fits 1.5"-1.75" belts) Lifetime Warranty Made in the USA.

Aggressive Concealment Kel Tec P17 Holster

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

TrustFire GM23 Pistol Light 

There are many different reasons to like the TrustFire GM23 pistol light, but there are 3 features that stand out most to me. First, this light provides 800 lumens, which is more than enough to cause damage and completely disorient your target. Second, you can recharge the light with a USB connection, so you can always charge your light without having to spend money or worry about batteries. Finally, I love the quick-release button on the housing. You can easily remove the light from one pistol and attach it to another without any added tools.

TrustFire GM23 Pistol Light

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing


Does Kel-Tec P17 have a safety?

Yes, the Kel-Tec P17 does have a safety feature. Specifically, the P17 includes a manual thumb safety located on the left-hand side of the frame, which allows the user to prevent the firearm from discharging accidentally. This safety lever is easy to engage and disengage and provides an added level of security for the shooter.

Is the Kel-Tec P17 double action?

No, the Kel-Tec P17 is not a double-action pistol. Rather, it is a striker-fired, semi-automatic handgun that utilizes a single-action trigger mechanism. This means that the trigger only performs one action, releasing the firing pin to strike the cartridge primer and ignite the round. The P17 has a relatively short trigger pull with a crisp, clean break, which allows for quick and accurate shooting.

Can you put a red dot on a Kel-Tec P17?

a collaboration with Crimson Trace has resulted in an optics slide option for your cherished Kel-Tec P17. This package includes a fully assembled slide that can be easily swapped with your existing one, allowing for a hassle-free installation. After zeroing your dot, you’re all set to go.

The Crimson Trace CTS-1500 reflex sight is an excellent complement to the raised front sight that comes pre-installed on the new P17 slide assembly, resulting in perfect co-witnessing.

Is Kel-Tec P17 threaded?

Yes, the Kel-Tec P17 is available with a threaded barrel option. The standard P17 barrel has a length of 3.93 inches, while the threaded barrel option extends the length to 4.1 inches and includes 1/2×28 threading to accommodate suppressors or other muzzle devices.


Overall, the Kel-Tec P17 is a consistently reliable, accurate pistol suitable for target shooting, as a gun for outdoor rodent control or even small game, and possibly as a rimfire competition pistol.

The high reliability, good accuracy, and lightweight level the playing field when competing against custom 22 pistols.

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Table of Contents

  • Kel-Tec P17 Construction
  • Frame
  • Slide
  • Barrel
  • Trigger
  • KelTec P17 Features
  • Compactness
  • Accuracy
  • Versatility
  • KelTec P17 Specs
  • Kel-Tec P17 Disassembly and Cleaning
  • KelTec P17 In Stock at
  • Recommended 22LR Ammo For The KelTec P17?
  • KelTec P17 Accessories
  • Sunfire P17 Mag Loader
  • Aggressive Concealment  KelTec P17 Holster
  • TrustFire GM23 Pistol Light 
  • FAQ
  • Does Kel-Tec P17 have a safety?
  • Is the Kel-Tec P17 double action?
  • Can you put a red dot on a Kel-Tec P17?
  • Is Kel-Tec P17 threaded?
  • Conclusion

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