The Controversial KSG

Switch to the second magazine without taking eyes off the target

Having had the KSG for a year now, I’d like to provide a review to those who are considering it for themselves. Like most Kel-Tec designs, this 12-guage bullpup is unorthodox. It improves on conventional pump shotguns in a number of ways. Let’s look at the features first, then the actual performance.

Compact high-capacity shotgun
Compact high-capacity shotgun

The shotgun is short, just 1/10th of an over the minimum legal length. That means that a police officer can sling it across his chest and still sit behind the wheel in a car. The long gun becomes instantly available for firing out of the car window or for dismounted use.

The center of balance is quite close to the centrally located pistol grip, allowing one-handed control. With the pivot point in the center, muzzle rise is greatly reduced as well. Most of the recoil energy goes straight back and is well moderated by the thick recoil pad. The KSG is easy to manage even for people with little upper body strength because much of the weight is borne by the body and not by the arms.

Not too bulky for a 5-foot tall shooter
Not too bulky for a 5-foot tall shooter

The cylinder bore barrel is 18.5-inches long. The retaining nut can be replaced with the optional choke tube adapter. The KSG is still shorter than the typical police shotgun with a 14-inch barrel, delivering higher performance with less muzzle flash and no need for a $200 tax stamp. The gun will feed and chamber 3-inch ammunition although I think 2.75-inch makes more sense to get higher capacity and lower recoil.

KSG is as short as most submachine guns
KSG is as short as most submachine guns

All controls are large and ambidextrous. The safety button moves side to side, making accidental activation by recoil impossible.

All controls can be reached from the firing grip, safety and magazine tube switch with the thumb, slide release with the index finger.

Light, laser, red dot, backup iron sights, vertical grip
Light, laser, red dot, backup iron sights, vertical grip

Sights and other accessories go on the Picatinny rails above the barrel and on the slide. Most people put folding iron sights and possibly a red dot at the top, and a light, laser and a vertical foregrip on the forend. Kel-Tec includes front and rear hand stops for the slide.

Because the forward hand is placed further back than on a conventional shotgun, a vertical foregrip is very helpful for getting enough leverage for racking the slide. For low light use, an MVM14 or PVS14 night vision monocular can be placed behind the red dot. The eye relief is sufficient to avoid being hit on recoil. I recommend gluing a neoprene pad to the top of the receiver for a more comfortable cheek-weld.

The rear sling mount is integrated into the stock, and the robust metal front mounts are placed on each side of the muzzle. I have not had any problems with the sling going forward of the muzzle. The entire shotgun is quite solidly constructed despite the light weight. The sample I have has seen about 1000 rounds, including much buckshot and slug.

How much daylight would you like to see through your target?
How much daylight would you like to see through your target?

The use of two magazines turned out to be a good idea. Tube magazines are not heavy, and using two allows much lighter magazine springs in each. They also allow you to segregate ammunition types, such as slug and buck, or 3-inch turkey loads for distance and 2.75-inch light loads for closer range. Placing the selector switch in the middle permits loading directly to the chamber. The absence of auto switching between tubes has a regulatory advantage: the KSG is legal in all 50 states.

KSG is NOT popular with zombies
KSG is NOT popular with zombies

How does it work? In a word, well. For one, it is quite accurate with slugs. Using a red dot sight, it’s easy to place regular rifled slugs into paper grocery bag (about the size of the torso target) out to 50 yards. Recoil is on par with a somewhat heavier Remington 870. For wind shooting, I found that ghost ring sights obscure the sight picture too much, as do most red dots other than EOTech. The solution: fold the sights down and point it like any other shotgun. The KSG points very well. The forend orientation is consistent enough that laser sight installed on the rail keeps zero consistently.

My example works fine with both lethal and riot control ammunition. This is where pumps are still ahead of autoloaders. Brisk cycling is recommended for running low-power roll crimped cartridges like Fiocchi tracer shot. The trigger re-sets just fine, the problem reported at 2011 SHOT show has long since been corrected. The trigger, by the way, is very good—Kel-Tec has bullpup trigger design figured out well.

Top off the tube without taking eyes off the target
Top off the tube without taking eyes off the target

The one weak side of any bullpup is the reloading. Most people are not used to loading a tube magazine with the support hand. The plus to this shotgun is that you can reload it while still shouldered. The minus is the relatively small space inside the receiver for the hand, the shell, and the two tube magazine openings. Kel-Tec built in raceways to guide the ammunition to the magazine openings, but many shooters find it easier to hold the shotgun vertically for reloading. On the plus side, two seven-shot magazines and one in the chamber add up to the total of 15. Very few real-life gunfights go past that number. My one complaint so far is that the shell latches on the magazines are fairly thin and not comfortable to the touch. Doesn’t matter when loading the shotgun leisurely or wearing gloves, but the latch presses into unprotected fingers during rapid reloads. “Fire one, load one” drill practiced with regular shotguns is slower with the KSG. Fortunately, it carries twice the ammunition load of most riot guns and so the user can concentrate on watching the enemy and spend less time keeping the shotgun topped off.

Switch to the second magazine without taking eyes off the target
Switch to the second magazine without taking eyes off the target

The KSG is a significant evolutionary advance over conventional pump shotguns. It has a very different manual of arms, so first-time users often look awkward with it. The same would have happened if a Springfield musket user was given a Spencer or a Winchester rifle without an explanation of its controls. Once the controls are familiar, the advantages of short length, high magazine capacity and effective recoil management become evident. The shotgun is as comfortable to left-handed shooters as to the right-handed, and works as well for those of short stature and slight build. While many formed strong opinions based on the photographs and videos, almost everyone who actually shot this weapon really likes it.

PS: From the time the prototypes were released, the design has been improved in the details. Magazines now have witness holes to show load status, the slide release is larger and moves up and down instead of front to back, and the raceways have been added to guide cartridges to the magazines. Some of the photos here show the older modifications.

Will you add the power of the KSG to your arsenal? Share in the comments section.

About the Author:

Oleg Volk

Oleg Volk is a creative director working mainly in firearms advertising. A great fan of America and the right to bear arms, he uses his photography to support the right of every individual to self-determination and independence. To that end, he is also a big fan of firearms.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (89)

  1. Two major flaw by dim witted people at Ketlek:

    1. Go to a local gun store, grab a KSG off the shelf, and lightly slide the pump back…note the distance where it stopped…it stops SHORT. Now, using force, because it is bound up, pull it back as hard as you can until it jumps the nub thing in front of the trigger guard area. Also, when it FINALLY jumps that damn thing, note how the slide release is forced down slightly, because the slide hits that as well.

    Comments about #1 – Who over at Kel-Tek is this stupid, that they allow this design flaw? Worse, how come no one has any intelligence enough to fix it? I don’t get this king of stupidity…it is a VISUAL flaw, and one that can be felt when wracking the slide, which causes misfeeds, and forces people to wrack the hell out of them just to get it to work properly.

    2. They are using some sort of super glue product instead of your typical loctite product. What this means, is that you can’t take the gun apart by any normal means…one has to use an air hammer on the end, with a very special adapter, just to force the nut off. Worse, they use this crap on other bolts as well, making it either near impossible to remove them, or completely damaging them from being used again (can’t get them back together now that they are apart by using massive amounts of force I might add.

    Comments about #2 – Have these idiots taken apart their own guns ever? You would think they had to at least once, but the guy who does it is obviously too stupid to tell the assembly line guys to stop putting this crap on things with threads, which ruins them.

    This company is just too stupid for me to do business with ever again, and although my KSG is now flawless given the mods I made to fix the shortcomings, it is just too much work and hassle.

    1. I had the same question. If you look closer at the picture you can see there is an adapter on the rail that is connected to the light combo. You can just barely make out the Daniel Defense logo on the bottom. I checked out their website and found the item used in the picture there.

      The part and shipping comes out to about $54 and I am going to buy one because it is damn sexy.

      The laser/flashlight combo appear to be a Viridian C5. It is almost just as hard to see in the picture.

      That costs $350 on their site. I do not think I will be buying that as it is a third of the price of the weapon I want to mount it to. It may be nice but my KSG can have a cheaper laser/flashlight mounted to it and still be fine.

      Not sure why the author did have time to get back to you or label the pics as it has been a few weeks. Hope this helps.

  2. I have had a KSG for over a year now. Ammo is scarce so I have only put a few hundred rounds through it. My experience…..

    1. It takes a conscious effort to avoid short stroking the slide. If you put your hand far enough out to make sure this doesn’t happen, you are very close to the muzzle. I like all of my fingers. I solved this with a vertical grip placed at the right place along the bottom rail. See 2 below.

    2. Second time out the bottom rail broke at the point the vertical grip was attached. Weapon still worked fine, but 2in. gap in the rail and no vertical grip.

    3. Called Kel Tec….. sent me a return label the next day. Eight days later I had the reworked KSG back at home.

    4. Ran a couple of hundred rounds of buck and bird through it over the next few months.

    5. I have had zero…. 0…. no feeding problems. Field loads, reloads, buck and shot.

    6. Reloading on the fly is very awkward. My standby is a Benelli Mod90 M1. I carry 5 in the chamber (extended mags ruin the balance.. personal belief), one in the chamber, and one on the riser. Seven rounds total. Normally I will carry 12 more in California loaders. I have 19 rounds requiring multiple reloads with the Benelli. I have 15 on the KSG with no reloads. I can live with that.

    7. This one sucks!!! It shoots slugs like throwing rocks. Cylinder bore measures actually .735 instead of .729. Slugs just wobble down the barrel and group 6 inches at 25 yards, a foot or more at 50 yards. KelTec doesn’t seem to be able to make things in a timely fashion. There are no choke adapters available at this time. I don’t even know if a choke will help, but would like to try. Honestly….. it is a friggen $800-$1000, plastic shotgun. It should ship with a choke ready barrel and three chokes!!!!!! My Benelli did. But, I knew that going into the deal.

    Well, that is what I know about the KSG. Unfortunately, I prefer slugs over any other load for self defense. Oh well. If I can find a solution, I will post it.

    1. Point #7 problem. Try a Lee .69 round ball to replace the slug.It is just over 1 oz. In the .729 bore a shot cup makes it too tight. But in your oversize bore a wad with cup might pass through ok . This will Keep the ball from bouncing down the bore. Do not fire this through a choke until you check that the ball will pass! For fun try some Nobelsport Buck and Ball .CTD sells it. You might try a sabot in a jacket. Don’t know if you can load a slug in a shot cup. A cup will stabilize the ball or slug.

    2. I shot the .69 ball with a shot cup in a cylinder bore and got good results. The lee slugs can be loaded in a standard cup I have read. The cup tightens up a loose bore.

  3. I picked up one of the 2nd generation guns with the 3″ chamber and re-worked slide.

    It is difficult to rack back far enough without a VFG. A VFG is virtually a requirement as the ergonomics of a bullpup pump shotgun almost force you to short stroke it. Not a very natural movement cycling the action back that far toward your body as is required with this short little gun.

    I fired (15) 1600FPS Winchester slugs through mine and on the 2nd round I had a failure to extract. I had to take the gun apart in order to clear the malfunction.

    The next (13) rounds went just fine so I am optimistic about its future in my safe. It is fantastic from a size and weight perspective. I will get some more range time under it before I declare it fit for duty.

  4. FYI the KSG is legal.. I live in New York and I own one.. please call the safe act at 855-law-guns and find out for yourself.

  5. Tony,

    I finally got my KSG and absolutely love it.

    I wish I could give you the answer for the NV, that would be more of a manufacture question for the optics you want to mount.

    Just want to share another happy KSG owner found… here…

  6. I am still looking for a reply to my question about the suitability of mounting a ITT NV monocular on a shotgun. I do have a KSG with a heads up sighting system mounted.
    My comment earlier suggested that a NV device would be damaged by the recoil of a shotgun.

    Have any of you experience with NV Gen 3 remainin servicable when mounted on a shotgun of any type especially a KSG.

    Thanks, Tony

  7. I just got my KSG recently and it is one of the newer ones that has some of the previous bugs solved and can accommodate 3 inch shells. Works great! I put a Trijicon SRS Red Dot sight on it. Looks cool, works wonderfully well. I also mounted a fore end pistol grip that has a “long mount” so the attachment points are far apart to prevent the rail tooth breakage that some have complained about. The Kydex cheek pad cover finishes it off nicely with a good feel (better than metal on the cheek). Love it! Was definitley worth the year long wait! Highly recommend it!

  8. I just picked one up two weeks ago and have not had a chance to shoot. I over paid but it was in my face and got an easy payment plan. Not sure what type of optics to get. For me I think I need something that stands up from the rail some. I do like the look of the flip up sights but think I would have to hold but high on my shoulder to use. Any Ideas ???

  9. I have a KSG, coyote brown.

    I have a EO-Tec heads up sighting system mounted.

    I also have a ITT NVG that I want to mount behind the sighting system. However, while researching a mounting system for this NVG I was made to understand that the recoil from the KSG, or any other shotgun, would destroy to optics of the NVG. So, while I can still mount the NVG on my head gear I would very much like to mount it on the KSG.
    I read the comment from OLEGV “For low light use, an MVM14 or PVS14 night vision monocular can be placed behind the red dot.”

    That got me wondering if he knows something that I don’t know.

    Comments welcome!


  10. I ordered (cash up front) my KSG nearly a year ago from East Coast Guns in Summerville, SC. It has not yet arrived. I have gotten no information from Kel-Tec other than a non-promisory generic statement. May as well get a Mossberg

  11. At madashell, I’m a police officer and I think it’s a mistake to characterize all of us “pigs” as those you’ll be fighting against. I have personally made the decision that I WILL NOT participate in any enforcement of new gun control laws that are obvious infringements on the 2A. I am as much a gun lover and enthusiast as any of you and it kinda pisses me off that you think the police will all be the “enemy”. You should worry about your Governors and Mayors declaring a state of emergency and requesting military assistance in a martial law scenario. I assure you that the overwhelming majority of police officers support YOUR right to bear arms and spew hate speech about us, all the same.

    There, I feel better….

  12. ‘WHY” would you want cops to have this? They have publicly stated they have no obligation to protect the public. Aside from that, Have we forgotten history?

  13. I should clarify my final remark by saying that I do not want cops to have anymore firepower than they already have, considering they are all going to be our enemies in the upcoming civil war/revolution in this country, and have to be fired upon/fought. Give the people the firepower, f*** the government-stooge pigs.

  14. These two a**holes joe turner and haller sound like a couple of kel tec company shills, and they both can kiss my a**. I wouldn’t pay this piece of s**t company one red cent to buy this piece of s**t gun. The comments by jedimarkus and jules are appreciated, thanks. Get an 870, a 500, or a 590A1 and you’re good to go. Why fix something that isn’t broken? I mean, seriously…cops that can “shoot out of car windows”? F***s sake!!! I for one do not want cops to have that kind of firepower against me or my family.

  15. I’ve got one for sale if anyone is interested. New in box never fired. $1500 or best offer. You’ll be surprised what I can sell it for. The wife is my main catalyst in this

  16. I always emailed this weblog post page to all my contacts, for the reason that if like to read it next my contacts will too.

  17. I ordered the KELTEC KSG in Feb 2011. This is 1 YEAR and 5 months ago. After reading this above, I’m not so sure I still want this shotgun. I have their 380 and it is great, especially with the laser sight in front of the trigger. I have tried to email KELTEC but their email system does not accept them. 24 July 2012 and waiting.

  18. If anyone has a direct email address for someone at Kel-Tec, I’d sure appreciate the assistance!


  19. I paid to get on the KSG waiting list and after 3 months I got my hands on my new favorite toy.

    Well, it WAS my new favorite toy.

    Right out of the box I had misfeed issues with the spent shell not being extracted when the action was racked back, then attempting to feed a fresh round on top of it = traffic jam. Actually broke a shell nearly in half!

    A buddy of mine picked his up the same week and we’d brought them out together and he had one or two misfeeds, but acceptable considering it’s a brand new gun still needing to be broken in…and a brand new design at that. We certainly didn’t expect to have a flawless day. After putting about 400 rounds out and my gun jamming about every other round, we called it a day.

    I emailed Kel-Tec last week with the issues (I work overseas and the time difference does not allow for many phone calls), and 5 days later have not heard back from them. I’d be happy to have them take it back and overhaul mine, I’d laud their customer service! But at this point the jury is still out.

  20. KSG, as far as I know, is definitely legal in California. Although I have not gotten mine yet I have ordered through a reputable dealer who would not have sold me a gun I couldn’t legally receive. I also paid under $726.36 including all paperwork fees up front. Paying more than $800-900 is very silly. My FP6 was over $1000 years ago but I’m drawn to the KSG. I’ve always been impressed with Kel Tec and their willingness to service their products. We cracked the “rear” stock of a SU-16CA (where the front half locks into the back half, we cracked the latch point right off!) and Kel Tec replaced it no questions asked. I’ve never had a problem with Kel Tec not responding in a timely manner. I would love to get an RFB but unfortunately I’m Cali bound.

  21. Nice You Gonna get a ksg when you get back mine will hopefully be here tomarro i bought two cuz they are small I’m gonna crank a 1000 rounds of trap loads threw it to break it in and maby put a stop to the shit talkers lol

  22. We have no such awesomeness. I’m a 12B trapped in a Transportation Company because I’m AGR.

    They don’t let us have the fun stuff because they can’t fathom having as much fun as us. We drink them under the table, have the best unit BBQs/drunken debaucheries, we’re not rocks like they are (we’re just insane), and we’re dumb enough to play with UXO and IEDs because we’re smart enough to know how things work.

    I have a few of my Engineer’s in this unit with me, so it’s not all bad. Boring though in RC West, but quickly becoming less so.

  23. I can imagine u guys got m14 ebr’s I wanted one so bad the infantry iwas attached to had a 1st sgt that took out a combatant from 750 from the top of a matv I’m an engineer though they don’t let us have the fun stuff lol

  24. I have a .308 Carbine at home as well I love, waiting for the piston retro kit for that. I couldn’t afford a POF-USA. And you are right, it’s impossible to keep a weapon system clean here. You should see how trashed my weapons are after a convoy through the desert and that’s from a TC seat in an MATV.

  25. Yeah the m4 is trash but I carried mine for a year in Afgan and that is about the moast hostile environment for a gun I can think of mine worked fine but I would rather have a piston driven one the direct gas system like I said has Ben around since the sixties and it needs to go in the trash can now it blows all that gunk right into your action but even that didn’t stop mine I just had to take a gallon of clp with me everywhere lol and I haven’t herd about the piston retro fit kits I hope my armory gets them but then again I wish I could talk the company into issuing me an national match m14 for a dmr he’ll I’d rock am m1 grand overseas the little f@#kers are usually 600 plus meaters away where the m4 max range by the book at a point target with a 14″ barrel is 550 and I don’t even know if a 55 gr 22 cal bullet would have the stopping power to get a first round kill at that range either
    So I say retro the m4 put ambi selecter switch short stroke gas piston freefloat a 16″ barrel knock the boar and chamber out to 7.62×51 NATO and I think the weapon system would be descent

  26. Go to the msrp is like 850 don’t let someone feed on your desire to get one and charge you over a grand that’s supply and demand 101 remember they are flying off the shelf like hot cakes so there will be the ass who thinks he can rake you threw the coals and make a mint off you

  27. Haller,

    Read the whole threat, I’ve been arguing with Jules for a while.

    I am glad Kel-tec did what I knew they would do.

    But then again, I’m used to dealing with government issue garbage. I can’t stand my issued M-4 personally, I would much rather have brought my M-4 from home. For those who don’t know, the gas-impingement system was initially lauded to be cleaner than the gas-piston from the M1 Garand and M14. They never had to be cleaned. Turns out there were a bunch of Marines killed in action because their M16’s jammed and they were trying to clean them in the middle of combat with no cleaning kits. Solution, issue cleaning kits. Fast forward to today, the Army is purchasing gas-piston retro kits for their M-4’s because it’s cleaner and more reliable. Five different decades of development for the same weapon platform.

  28. And guy that got a dysfunctional firearm they haven’t even Ben sold for a year yet calm down I’ve bought Ar’s hat didn’t function properly and that weapon system has Ben around since the 60s they fixed it didn’t they and the 400 rds is nothing but test firing to make shure your shit works properly before they sent it back wouldn’t you rather have THEM work all the bugs out holey crap and as far as all of us being “testers” that’s how a completely new design works anyone know about the bullshit that went along with the first ar’s and now look at them everybody and their brother has one they have got to be one of the moast popular weapons on the face of the earth and they got alot of Americans killed before they worked the bugs out of em there’s alot of dark history there if you do some digging o well to each his own if you don’t like the ksg you don’t like it that’s fine but stop cuttin the ksg off at the knee and give it a chance the shit talkers are givin people who probably would have bought one and enjoyed it scary bad thoughts lol

  29. Everyone wants their product to work first time every time, but that’s not reality. Some times there are defects with certain products, even if the product line is not defective.

    I’m not shocked Kel-tec fixed the weapon, Kel-tec has a solid reputation for customer support for a reason.

    A free rebuild only cost a couple hundred rounds to be fired? That’s hardly “used” condition, it’s still getting warmed up.

  30. Some of you are just dumb and don’t deserve to handle a beautiful firearm like the ksg
    People bitchin about cuts on their fingers and how hard it is to load you need to get frimiliar with your weapon system
    And my favorite the guy that chambered a round with an open breach and full magazine and then said he charged the shotgun before he fired and
    Got a double feed WTF!!!!!! Were you thinking!!!! erggggggg noobies givin a awsome shot gun a bad rep

  31. Well the right thing to do would have been to not send out a broken gun in the first place. Granted they stood behind their warranty and fixed my new gun, then proceeded to put 400 rounds through it….making it a new USED gun…Not what I paid for. I would much rather have had a working gun sent to me from the start, but I guess I was at their mercy at this point. I really love paying big $$$$ to be a beta tester for them……..

  32. Sounds like they really overhauled your weapon. That’s awesome! They did the right thing of the company. Good for you.
    Best of luck with it. now I really want 1!

  33. I got the gun back from the earlier this month and it works much much better now, here is what they found:

    I have personally reviewed your weapon and have done the following reviews / repairs:

    · Replaced Barrel Assembly / Honed Barrel and Chamber: There was nothing “wrong” with the other barrel except I saw some cosmetic issues with the Picatinny and Barrel… the dimensions were good though with the barrel. That and if you were having extraction issues, I wanted to keep that system here to review in case we receive any more in the future… just in case.
    · Reviewed Bolt: Bolt was good. Polished Bolt Lock as it was on the high tolerance and tight on the inside of the Bolt as the Bolt Lock cams down unlocking the system. This was most likely the issue with the weapon not extracting consistently.
    · Grip: Good. No issues.
    · Rear Stock: Good. No issues.
    · Receiver: Completely rebuilt Receiver. It still has the same serial number and is the same Receiver, but it was rebuilt to ensure it was done correctly. The Receiver was sandblasted and re-parkerized to give it a new look again. New magazine springs / magazine plugs / followers, to ensure the rounds are seating properly—nothing wrong with the old ones, but I’m not going to re-use the old ones here. New Cartridge Stops / Selector / Selector Catch. The issue on Double Feeding also came from the inner cartridge stops (KSG-314 and KSG-315) were sanded to the lower tolerance, so there would be times when they did not work… I saw that too on testing. Those were replaced and the weapon does not Double Feed any more. No issues on anything else there. I did polish the swage / feed ramp area and this is smoother here on loading.
    · Re-proofed. New assembly as stated above. Weapon was re-proofed.
    · Test fired and Function Tested. I shot 200+ rounds through the weapon and two of our technician each shot 100+ rounds through the weapon. The weapon did not double feed and it extracted every round, including the “more challenging Centurion rounds” from Italy.

    Hopefully this explains a lot. If you need more assistance, shoot me an email (as I’m difficult to catch via phone and I know you know this), or call Customer Service and they can page me.

  34. I like this shotgun from seeing all the pictures but am wary after reading the reviews. Guns that have some problems and are released to the public before the problems are worked out seems to be the norm these days. Like someone said, we’re beta testers on our dime. Should not happen but it does. don’t know what manufacturers are doing with all this junk plastic. I’ve had synthetic stocks break right in half….then have the manufacturer not want to make good. Must make all these plastic goods in the same Chinese factory (sumbrokegun). All we as consumers can do is not buy the stuff or keep sending it back. Pretty soon they will get the message. wish Ruger would have made this. They need to talk to some glock plastic specialists, good stuff there.

  35. Have you had any word from kel-tec as to how they are going to address this issue? This makes me very upset, as I am/was extremely eager to get one of these. Now im nervous…

  36. I saw two of these at a gun show in Tampa a couple of weeks ago. One was at a vendors table, and he wanted 1699.00 for it. The other was for sale by someone who was walking around with it. He wanted 2500.00 for his. In looking at the weapon, it is one I’ll own, once I find a more reasonable price. Here is a website which boasts the most reasonable price I’ve seen, but of course they are out of stock:

  37. Great Review! Sadly it only makes me want one more and there are none to be had! I sure hope Kel Tec is looking at all the “Out of Stock” notices and the demand. This is the perfect home defense shotgun

  38. You’re assumptions are wrong if you think I am going to take the classes simply to correct manufacture errors.

    I’ve seen the broken rail on reviews before, that’s your fault and anyone else who thinks putting a fore grip on a shotgun is really a good idea, especially one that’s polymer. The racking of the slide puts more pressure on the rails than a regular grip on a rail. But I’ve seen people snap their rails on rifles as well.

    Most people don’t apply even pressure on forward pistol grips and it does more harm to their shot group than good. It’s also how plastic rails are easily broken, not just the Kel-tec one. Like I’ve said, I’ve tried plastic and aluminum rails, the plastic can work, but you can’t assume it’s going to take the beating aluminum will.

    The feeding is another issue, but I really have no sympathy for anyone complaining about breaking a rail that’s plastic. Since plastic is pretty obvious on its limitations.

  39. Joe,
    To answer your question, the rail broke after putting a few rounds through it with the grip on. After speaking to Keltec they said they had about 8-9 guns with that issue so far. As far as the shells, Keletc says it accepts 2 1/2″ to 3″ and rate the 14 round magazine capacity using 2 3/4″ ammo. So I can assure you it is not the ammos fault. As far as the gunsmithing classes, good luck with them. I however prefer not to become a gunsmith tho redesign my weapons I pay for,I prefer for them to go bang when i need them to.

  40. So you broke the rail when you were screwing the light on or racking it?

    Expecting plastic rails to be durable is a false hope, I’ve tried and broke them before, but they are manageable if taken care of.

    As for the double feeds, I’ll look for it after I come home and have my KSG. Hearing about these issues isn’t enough to stop me from getting one, there is one of the very few gun smithing programs in the country at my local community college, if I have issues, I’ll take it to one of the classes I’m signing up for after I get back from Afghanistan.

    I wouldn’t waste my money on another gas impingement AR system, the Saiga I could go for, but I prefer pump all the way.

    Jules, are those 2 3/4 inch shells with the 3 inch chamber?

  41. Jules,

    Thank you for the word of caution, and the picture evidence. Couldn’t wait to get my hands on one… now I think my Beretta will stay in the trunk for awhile.

  42. Jules’ issue is absolutely not an isolated issue. It was an issue identified by multiple beta testers. Check Post #77 on this thread At least one other beta tester I know(another professional weapons instructor) described the exact same issue and has experienced the same with a production unit. None of these beta tester’s concerns were ever directly addressed and all refuse to endorse the weapon whatsoever though all say they still find the design concept “exciting” and “intriguing” and “potentially revolutionary”. I’m not sure if it’s a problem inherent to the design or if it can be tweaked, but the issue persists. Besides the beta tester I know, I have seen two at my rifle club, and both owners reported reliability issues.

    I haven’t been to the KT site in ages, but in the KSG section, they used to have a video up showing the issue as well as the supposed engineering solution. In practice, it appears the extremely difficult to clear double-feed jams are still far too common an occurrence for serious consideration as a defensive weapon. I’ll be sticking with Mossberg’s trusty 590 for now and saving up for an AR-12 or a customized Saiga-12. If KT can resolve the issues such that LE/Mil agencies deploy it and prove it reliable, I’ll jump aboard.

  43. Joe,

    Im not sure if Im reading your words out of context, but are you suggesting I become a gunsmith so that I might redesign and modify a brand new gun that I paid good money for, just so it does what it’s supposed to do? LOL. If thats not your insinuation then I apologize in advance. However that being said, I have owned and used as a duty weapon for the past 15 years a plastic Glock 19, then we upgraded to the Glock 21 SF, and I own a Glock 30 as my personal carry weapon, I also own a plastic polymer Ruger for over 17 years. None of these guns, and I mean NONE of them have ever jammed on me at any point in time. And I have probably put tens of thousands of round through them. In fact i dont clean my duty weapons as often as I should, and my Ruger sat in my safe since 1999 with the same ammo loaded into it and I recently took it out in January and went right to the range and it performed flawless without a cleaning. The point Im trying to make is that those guns are all constructed of 60% plastic parts and perform flawless and are field proven over and over and over again. Where as the shoddy construction of the KSG fails within the first box of ammo for an astounding 10% of users. The information I received from a reliable FFL source, is that Kel Tec has shipped about 100 KSG’s thus far, and admit to having 8 of them returned with issues. Now lets factor in that Kel Tec might be skewing the return numbers a tad and put the actual number at a generous 10 units. Now if every single one of the 100 KSG’s shipped is in the hands of a user and not still sitting in a local gun shop for sale for $1800, then their actual failure rate would be close to 10%.
    Now from the sounds of it, you sound like you are in the military (thank you for your service and god bless you by the way) can you please tell me what the Military would do with a gun with a 10% initial failure rate? Exactly….To go one step further, what do you think the Failure rate of the Benelli M4 shotgun is? Im going to assume a lot lower than 10%. Now also keep in mind that if all 100 KSG’s are sold and in the hands of users, then you can assume 100% of those users are “recreational users” and are not as tough on their weapons as military or police personnel.There is no way this gun would withstand the torturous condition of desert combat, if it cant even withstand the stress of mounting a damn handle and flashlight to the rail. The first grain of sand to get in this gun would wreak havoc..
    Joe Im sorry to disagree with you, but Kel Tec dropped the ball on this gun, period. You will read about a ton more failures as the gun gets released to the public, right now I feel as if were being used as the R&D department for them..

  44. Jules,

    You may have a valid complaint, but considering the amount of feedback I’ve read about Kel-tec and being a Kel-tec owner, I’ve never experienced a situation like yours so it tends to me believing yours is an isolated incident. I won’t get my KSG until after I get back from Afghanistan, still have a while yet, but I’ll remember your complaints when I take my KSG out for a run. If I experience any problems, video documentation and youtube can stir businesses to action if a lot of people start to see it.

    I do know that Kel-tec responds and listens to their consumers. The KSG received modifications from input at Shotshow and other demos.

    If you want perfection, take smithing courses and build it perfect. You may yet come to appreciate the great value and quality Kel-tec offers when compared to other gun makers out there.

  45. @Joe Turner

    I did contact Keltec on Monday, emailed Janis who passed me off to Ryan Williams who said they would issue a call tag in a day or two and then take a look at the weapon when he got back from NRA show next week. This was on Tuesday and no call tag as of yet, and not for nothing it does not take a several days to arrange a UPS or Fedex pick up. My feelings are that with this weapon already previously having issues for them, they should be a bit more swift to deal with a customer’s issues immediately instead of further promoting a product that already has had issues in development. This is not how you deal with a customer with a day old gun who waited months for it. Now I know I will be gunless for at least 6 weeks while they check it and make repairs, which is unfair to me. They did not have to wait 6 weeks to get paid by me did they? I cant understand why they cant simply deal with the issues at hand and supply a 100% functional problem free gun to their customers first, before further hyping a myth….As far as the magazine capacity, that is simply a novelty, and does no good when you fire one round and jam. I will take the fewer round capacity over a gun that is simply unreliable past the first shot. The plastic 2 piece slide is simply a bad idea and will be prone to cracking. Design the gun and perfect it before releasing it, instead of using your customer base as R&D for your product. Fail then fix is a crappy business approach to things, they should do it right or dont do it at all.

  46. Jules,

    Considering this is the internet, maybe you should post a video on youtube of the problems and contact Kel-Tec. If yours specifically is defective, then they will most likely fix it at no cost.

    However, unless you have a magazine fed shotgun, the chances of you being able to effectively reload under combat conditions are always going to be awkward at best. You’re also forgetting to mention the ammo capacity that negates 2 to 3 reloads compared to most other tactical shotguns. If you’re going through that many shotgun shells in a fire fight, it’s not a fire fight you want any shotgun in.

  47. I can tell you this much about the gun, dont buy it. I waited months for mine and recently took delivery of it and as any excited boy with a new toy would do,I cleaned it and I went straight to the range. First Impression,it looks cool and that’s where the good impressions end.

    The gun is very awkward almost to the point of difficult to load and you will most likely cut your finger doing so. Now imagine trying to load this thing in the field under high stress situations. I dont see how it is possible to combat load a round into the chamber without turning the gun upside down. The magazine selector switch is very hard to manipulate from right to left on my gun and would need to be in the neutral position to attempt a combat load, which is one more extra step which would most likely get you shot in the face in real combat..

    Chambered and fired first round, and racked it back only to encounter a double feed jam! The gun failed to extract the spent shell and attempted to load not 1 but 2 additional rounds at once, so a total of 3 rounds were stuck in there, leaving me with a 26″ long baseball bat to defend myself with. This type of jam is simply impossible to clear in a combat situation and would have cost me my life. It takes several minutes to clear the jams once they happen. I fired another round and it did the same exact thing. In fact the first 6-7 attempts the gun jammed the same way. Thinking it was me possibly limp wristing the slide, I allowed 4 other colleges to attempt to shoot it and it did the same thing for all 4 of them, including one range master/fire arms instructor. So it was not me. Now I am far from a gun expert, but I have been in law enforcement for over 15 years and qualify 2 times a year with our shotgun and have put thousands of shotgun rounds down range and never once had a shotgun jam on me.

    I notified Kel-tec who told me they wanted me to return the gun which keep in mind was just purchased a day or two prior, and would send me a call tag and take a look at it when they get a chance. That was over 4-5 days ago, no call tag, no returned email or phone call.

    I fired the gun several more times since and the gun now religiously jams on me at least once out of every 10-15 rounds.

    To make things worse I attempted one more time today to shoot it utilizing a forward pistol grip which subsequently broke 2 teeth of the rail within the first 3 shots….

    Kel-tec stated this gun would revolutionize the industry, and if by revolutionize they mean get a ton of people killed, then yes they are doing it. At this point I fell that Kel Tec is utilizing people like me to do their R&D for them while making big money on markups.

    The design is really stupid when you look at it in detail and how the rounds are extracted and rechambered via one exit which increases the jamming probability much more than a side eject. The extracted round has to pass downward past the rounds in the magazine, then a new round needs to be fed upward. In my opinion this X-crossing effect is a poor design prone to failure and jamming. There is no way this gun would ever stand up to the abuse of actual combat performance either for police or military.

    Save your money and buy a real shotgun this thing is a video game cool looking novelty, and I dont predict Kel Tec being around the marketplace much longer with failures like this weapon.

  48. Buddy of mine brought one into work yesterday. Fortunately I work someplace where guns are just seen as a tool. After manipulating it for a few I walked away knowing what my next purchase will be… Contingent on a good firing rpt from my buddy. The grip you have to take to manipulate the slide does take a bit of getting used to though.

  49. Thanks Ed, and good call- I’d received word a from Magpul a few days ago confirming the AFG2 is the better choice to use with the KSG, in conjunction with an 11slot rail.

    All, what laser makes and models have people tried on the KSG which worked great or poorly? Looking for pros and cons to help determine which direction might be optimal, and those to potentially avoid; all input is welcome.

  50. @Hugh – Judging from the pictures, it looks like the AFG2 would be a better fit. The AFG2’s upper front area is slimmer and has a lower profile. The higher profile on the front of the AFG might require a picatinny riser block for the reason detailed at 1:18 of this video: Then again, I don’t have any of this in front of me, so it may turn out that the AFG2 might also need a riser block

  51. @ magnis madox, prove it’s illegal in Cali. I’m an avid gun collector in California and unlike most people, I actually read the laws. The KSG is in compliance with all state and federal laws. It does not exceed the 10 round limit as it has TWO tube magazines that are mechanically separated. It has an 18.5 inch barrel and is 26.1 inches overall length so it does not fall under the Short Barrel Rifle Act. You can’t go hunting with it because that is a Fish and Game law that restricts shotguns to 3 rounds while hunting. It’s also a pump action shotgun, so all of the “evil” features we love are not restricted. Read the laws first before you pipe off on something you obviously don’t know anything about.

  52. I will have to look back to see where I read that. I believe i have it saved on my home computer. will post as soon as I can find. I haven’t looked for availabillity lately. Any Idea ?

  53. your artical states that the ksg is legal in all 50 states. that is wrong. it is not legal in CA. NJ. CT. NY. and one other but i don’t remember which one that is. of course these states have more in comon with comunist china then they do with the USA.

  54. I have also seen it is legal in CA. I don’t believe Kel-Tec is taking anymore pre-orders at this time. Someplace has to have one. Also seen there is a first and 2nd generation, with the 2nd having improvements.

  55. @Roman Hardly – The KSG is CA legal. I know, I live here and have researched it as I plan to buy one. Also, it is mentioned in the article that it is legal in all 50 states.

  56. The lower rail of the forend where a foregrip is recommended is PLASTIC unlike the upper rail which is metal. Within the first 10 shots using a sig sauer stoplight foregrip, the lower rail shattered, fragmented, and broke off. Very very disappointed. Otherwise, the gun shoots great.

  57. Sights are always necessary, even on a shotgun. The pattern is not going to be so wide that you dont have to aim. I thought it was legal in Cali, I could be wrong about that but thank god I dont live in the peoples republic of California.

  58. Too hi-techie. Doesn’t look/feel like a firearm. Not legal in Caly. Sights unnecessary. It’s a shotgun.
    Good for close-in combat & house protection. Good for law enforcement. Too killer-oriented for bird shooting. I’d own one if I could just because.

    (I can never figure out what anyone doesn’t understand about the phrase “….. shall not be infringed.)

  59. Mine still requires much more effort with certain roll-crimped shells. I had no trouble with Rio but S&B didn’t work so well. All star-crimped ammo works fine. But then mine has the old 2.75″ chamber, while all the production units have a 3″ chamber and so much more room for the physically longer roll-crimped cartridges.

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