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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Palette's Product Reviews: the Sub-2000 extended cocking handle by Twisted Industries, Inc.




Some of you no doubt recall that when I first got the Kel-Tec Sub-2000, I immediately took a dislike to the cocking handle due to its small size and awkward construction:

The second problem I have with this weapon is the manner in which it is cocked. The bolt assembly lives in the buffer tube to the rear of the action, so cocking it requires me to curl my index finger around the operating handle which protrudes underneath and pull it to the rear. As you may imagine, this requires a fair amount of force (akin to releasing the safety on a Mosin-Nagant) and all of it is concentrated on the crook of my finger. This is not only unpleasant, it's poor ergonomics, and something my mother (who has arthritis) would have trouble with.


I plan to coat this in black plasti-dip to give it a more uniform appearance. 

Fortunately, the fix for this is simple. I took the head from an old Mini Maglite and used epoxy putty to pack the cavity. This simple modification allows me to wrap three fingers and a thumb around it, giving me much greater leverage. While I had no problems with this extension when shooting, it is entirely possible that men with large hands might find it striking them on the back of their wrists. I don't think this is likely, as you hold the S2k like a rifle (forearm held at an angle) rather than like a pistol (forearm straight back from the pistol grip), but be aware of this possibility and test it before you permanently modify your S2k!
Each square is 1 inch.
Some of you may be wondering why I don't talk about my fix more, or why it doesn't show up in pictures. The sad, embarrassing truth of the matter is that my fix... well... broke. Catastrophically so. Apparently I packed too much epoxy putty into the bulb, which made the end significantly heavier than the material's tolerances. After several magazines' worth of moving back and forth, my kitbashed handle broke at its weakest point, which (as you can see in figure 1, above) is a cut in the handle's shaft where the recoil spring holds it in place via tension.  That part bent under pressure, fractured, and then fell off -- fortunately, while I was cleaning the gun. It could have been tragic if it had failed while I was operating the firearm. 

The take-home lesson here is, "If you attempt engineering without an engineering degree, be prepared to suffer the consequences."

But I maintain that my principle was sound, dammit, and it appears that someone agrees with me. Harry Perrette over at Twisted Industries -- the guys who make .22 LR conversions for Kel-Tec pistols, and who hosted the "Execute a Zombie" party I attended with Oleg -- makes an extended cocking handle for the Sub-2000, and because Harry is someone who actually worked at Kel-Tec, he knows how to make it right.

Left:  Stock cocking handle from Kel-Tec.
Right: Extended cocking handle from Twisted Industries, Inc.

The first time I saw this product, it was on Harry's S2K which was sitting on the "table of guns" I mentioned in this post, and the moment I saw it I knew I had to have it. It took all of my patience and social grace not to demand that Harry take it off his gun and give it to me immediately. Instead, I settled for badgering him constantly until he gave in and made me one.

Let me first say that I haven't shot with this yet, and given the increasing price of ammunition, it might be a while. That said, I don't expect there to be any issue, since as I said earlier, it was designed by one of the original Sub-2000 machinists.

I'm not a machinist, but the diameters look and feel identical.


That said, I love everything about this handle. By making it long enough for two fingers to grasp instead of just one, TI has made cocking the S2K a pleasure. I'm able to exert more force with less effort and less strain on my hand and finger. Even my mother, who has arthritis, had an easier time with this new handle.* Plus, it won't break like my homemade fix did.

It's brilliant, it's comfortable, it's everything I ever wanted in a cocking handle. Every Sub-2000 owner should have one.

How much will it cost you?  I'm sorry to say that I don't know. When I emailed Harry asking him about it, he said that he was ready to start production on it but was unsure of the price. (I recommended a price point of about $20 because people would snap it up at that price, but I don't know if that would cover their expenses or not. I can't see it costing more than $50 at the most.)

If you want one of these handles -- and believe me, if you own a Sub-2000, you want one -- then I suggest you contact Twisted Image and ask them to make one for you.

UPDATE 3/01/13: I am pleased to announce that the Extended Cocking Handle for the Sub-2000 is now available for sale by Twisted Industries. They are calling it the Double Finger Operating Handle and are selling it for $44.99. Trust me, it's worth it.

UPDATE 11/08/2013: I just noticed that the operating handle has been reduced to $24.99. This is a much better price, and if you own a Subbie you now have no reason NOT to get this. The upgrade in comfort is easily worth 25 bucks. Get it -- you won't be sorry.

UPDATE 9/22/2014:  Twisted Industries has changed its web address and updated their Sub-2000 Operating Handle designs to be stronger. They cost between $24.99 for the graphite black version and $29.99 for a stainless steel version.



Phone: (321) 631-6133 
Email: sales@twisted.industries



* Which isn't to say that she finds it easy, mind you. But the added width means that she's able to grasp the handle like a knife and, resting the stock against her knee, is able to use her entire arm and shoulder to work the bolt. This extra inch of length imparts extreme mechanical advantage. 

4 comments:

  1. Outstanding write up. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Found your page with the fail-charger and the link to this write-up. Goooood stuff!!


    Interesting that it was made by someone who had worked on the Sub-2000. Do you know if that person would take requests for a part?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't know for certain, but being that Twisted Industries is a job shop, I'm certain they'd be willing to manufacture something for you if you met their price requirements. What did you want made?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Aha, I just realized that I hadn't updated this post to reflect the fact that the handle is now for sale by TI and can be purchased for the low price of $24.99 on their website. Go check it out!

    ReplyDelete

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