Skip to comments.Range Report: Kel-Tec KSG Bullpup Shotgun
Posted on 06/09/2011 4:57:11 AM PDT by marktwain
With new manufacturing technology and materials speeding weapons evolution, its no surprise that Kel-Tec took another look at the tactical shotgun. Kel-Tecs KSG Bullpup shotgun stormed the SHOT show like the Red Army into Berlin, championing its 14-round capacity, diminutive configuration and radical ergonomics. Sounds great on paper, but whats it like in real life? Our favorite Russian émigré Oleg Volk, brought one to the Lucky Gunner Blogger shoot over Memorial Day weekend . . .
Kel-Tec has a bit of a rep for cheap-feeling weapons whose fit and finish makes a pre-C11 GM product seem like a Swiss watch. Volks pre-production KSG was a welcome departure from the stereotype. The KSG wasnt overly plasticky. The polymer bits seem solid enough for government work. The bullpup shotgun was devoid of telltale rattles or loose parts; the controls and action feel as if theyre capable of long term service.
This BUIS and Aimpoint M4 red dot-topped model was ergonomically soundto say the least. As youd expect, the KSGs light weight makes it easy to point, even with all 14 shells in situ. The Kel-Tec was noticeably more maneuverable and lightweight than a comparable Mossberg 500. With a perfect spot for a rock solid cheek weld, the KSG provides an unparalleled level of ergonomic comfort.
You load the Kel-Tec KSG as you would any other shotgunprovided you remember to you load the ammo behind the trigger guard. After filling one tube with seven rounds of your ammo of choice, you flip the switch at the rear (bottom) of the gun and load seven more shells into the next tube. Speaking of ammo; when Kel Tec says only use 2 ¾ shells they really mean it.
Michael of EvylRobot had some serious trouble trying to run the gun with Sellier and Bellot 2 ¾ buckshot and slugs. Double feeds and an action that wouldnt cycle without serious persuasion caused much consternation. Turns out that S&Bs shot shells were slightly larger than advertised. Oleg diagnosed the problem and produced some Winchester ammo for TTAGs test.
With birdshot, muzzle rise and felt recoil were close to nil. With heavier loads, the KSG maintains its shootability, although your shoulder knows exactly what youre doing. Accuracy was a little hard to establish; we were shooting at some pretty beat-up targets. I cant comment on that beyond saying I hit what I was aiming at.
If youre looking for a plug-and-play shotgun that functions like your daddys Wingmaster; the KSG aint it. I engaged the KSGs safety accidentally after a couple of rounds, terminating slide function. The safetys located above the trigger guard: a prime piece of real estate when it came to my hand slipping upwards. As RF reported from the guns debut, the tube change switch is also in an awkward position. I wasnt confident that I could switch to the second tube without taking my eyes off target and confirming swithc activation.
Bottom line: dont expect to be able to pull the Kel-Tec KSG straight out of the box and blast zombies with impunity. Youre going to learn how to run the gun before youre fit to take on the undead. Should a well-trained infantryman or a police officer need over a dozen 12-gauge rounds for a day at the office; the Kel-Tec KSG may well be the optimal choice. Stay tuned for a full review.
..... in awe of gun writer Ryan Finn’s ability to tell us that this is actually a pos while seeming to praise it to the skies. Next step up for this talented purveyor of damnation with faint praise, a car-testing slot at R&T, or C&D.
What? A bunch of drunk Barbarians pillaging & raping, taking huge casualties unnecessarily, only winning because they had overwhelming numbers?
Great prose there, KB.
“..... in awe of gun writer Ryan Finns ability to tell us that this is actually a pos while seeming to praise it to the skies”
I interpreted it as him not being honest enough to say he didn’t like it.
Why is he surprised when the gun doesn’t like incorrectly sized ammunition? That is a fairly common issue.
I own a keltec handgun. Its not as nice as a SIG or a Glock. It also costs less than half what they do.
A 30 year old shotgun works but it doesn’t do anything for sales this year. Tactical sells and the gun companies like to make money.
I just bought a Winchester Model 1887 reproduction (that’s Browning’s lever action shotgun) for both Cowboy Action Shooting and zombie control. She’s a sweet weapon!
They have applied Space-age rocket science
I don't think so.
technology to gunsmithing.
They have applied Space-age rocket science
870s do the deed fine.
I’d buy one.
14 rounds of pain, I could use that.
I’m willing to bet that New York will knee jerk react to it though.
I still want one.
A 1938 Model 12 in 16 gauge is my go to pump gun.
Yeah, I’ve seen it. Doesn’t trip my trigger, but I am a self confessed shotgun snob.
I’ll call it a carbine shotgun. Strictly tactical imo such as clearing a building, bunker, cave, etc. Nice concept, needs some work though.
I used to use S&B for cheap range ammo. Till I found the casings would split near the neck in my .357.
I like this. Kel-Tec makes some interesting weapons so perhaps this will be my first.
This "fearing to offend" or not "urinating in the rice bowl" is a secret malaise affecting the entire country. Look, if the guy said the thing was weird and strange and nigh-on useless, since it's hard to load, and you can set the safety when you don't want to and vice-versa, Kel-Tec would be loathe to spent another ad dollar on that publication! Notice also that the writer skillfully allowed as how although Kel-Tec is well known for shoddy manufacturing and poor quality control, this prototype was really very well made, except for the loading tubes, ala the Spencer Carbine of 1860. The PR guys owe him a big lunch and a lap dance for that! Had he come right out and sad anything bad (i.e. accurate) other gun manufacturers who occasionally make goofy products would never send him another gun to test.
so you get .."While it did blow up in my face on the third round as I was clearing the jam from the 2d round, it was more like a pleasant shove and it was admirably absorbed by the full face mask that is standard issue with this powerful weapon. The first shot patterned well and would have taken out the meanest bad guy in town, which would have allowed me ample time to field strip the weapon (a simple 215-step process requiring a small proprietary turret lathe) and return this remarkable piece of American ingenuity made in Rumania to service."
While gun writers and car testers are really good at this, they come in a distant third to politicians.
Pretty expensive just to save for the apocalypse.
I do like the Bull pup design.
If that could be streamlined into a straight 7+1 super lightweight job you’d really have something.
16 rounds 2 3/4 high brass would give your shoulder some serious wear and tear.
They could stick to developing the same ole same ole and not worry about failing occasionally.
I’m kinda glad they don’t. Its interesting to see new things come out. I wouldn’t buy one of these but some people will.
Nice...I have a defender but would love to have one of those babies
Although, sadly, when hurricane Isabel sent that 5-foot push (on top of a super high tide) up the Cheasapeake Bay, my Defender and it's 15 associates were washed out into the middle of the bay about 10-miles south of the Bay bridge...
Amen. I carry 15 rounds in my 92FS CCW and my buddy carries three mags. He asked me why I only got the one mag and I told him that if I burn up fifteen round and I need more, then i really messed up.