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The Kel Tec KSG Shotgun

by Brock Norman   |  July 15th, 2011 72

Guns & Ammo Executive Editor Payton Miller tries out the new Kel Tec KSG Shotgun. Pick up the August 2011 issue of Guns & Ammo to read Payton’s full review of the Kel Tec KSG Shotgun.

  • George Smith

    I seen Kel-Tec's own representative have a difficult time with this gun in the field, extremely complicated to load under stress, the pump action isn't smooth and can "stick" to the point you double feed by mistake, and having two magazine tubes to alternate will result in tragedy. This gun is NOT going to be the hot gun they desired, cause the selector from one mag to the other is MANUAL, thus complicated a shotgun beyond it's need. Imagine a jam in the dark, with that thing!

    • taina2

      I think it has to be manual to get by laws in some states.

  • Roy Sprunger

    I wholly disagree with Mr. Smith. As with most things, training and practice is key to becoming proficient. I spent part of this day watching videos of the gun in use, and once loaded there was little need to reload. Plus, many issues identified during the SHOT show have already been fixed, will be fixed or are not really an issue. It is what it is and I, for one, will be looking for one. Unfortunately, they have not yet started shipping them.

  • Chuck Simon

    The Kel Tec representative in question who had a difficult time, Chad, by his own admission NEVER fired a shotgun before the KSG. He had problems finding his shooting spot on the combat firing range, fired at targets out of sequence and also had problems with the RFB and PMR he fored also. The other shooters firing the KSG didn't have the problems Chad did. Seems to me he's a sales guy, not a gun guy. If you want to base your KSG opinions on a guy who never used a shotgun before shooting this product Mr. Smith that's your perogative. The selector switch use is a training issue, as in since it's a unique system you have to train to get used to using it. Just like those old timers in my former dept when we switched years ago from revolvers to semi autos. They bitched and complained about the switch until they got trained up. The KSG is the same, train, train, and train again. Two tubes 7 rounds each with a reload selector behind the trigger, just reach back with your thumb to switch from one tube to the next. I can't wait to get my hands on one to TRAIN on.

    • Rubber Necker

      He didn't do a good job of selling me on this weapon. For a sales guy he needs to brush up on the system he's selling / demonstrating & a smoother sales patter would help too.

  • Montana Gold-

    Too bad it doesn't switch mag tubes on auto… that would be incredible! How does this system compare to the Mossberg *Bullpup* design?

    • Chuck Simon

      Montana, the Kel Tec rep said they couldn't have the selector switch on auto because of ATF regulations in the youtube KSG firing range video i saw. The youtube channel with that particular video was by a company called 'Nutnfancy" They ran a combat course testing Kel Tec weapons against other weapon systems..

      • Dave

        I believe Nutnfancy is just an individual avid gun enthusiast… not a company. I could be mistaken but every video of his I've seen is just him testing various different weapons and then explaining how they function while giving his opinions on it. He gets decent numbers of channel views so he constantly gets loaned weapons to test and make videos of, but I'm pretty sure nutnfancy isnt a company. Not that its a big deal, just wanted to clarify

    • KEN!

      it would be illegal in california, mass, IL, NY where 1/3rd ish the population resides and therefore 1/3rd their sales

      • jesse

        it is NOT illegal in CA ;-)

        • Rick

          It would be if the switch from one magazine tube to the next would be automatic. The manual switch keeps it at two magazines under 10 rounds.

      • Bill

        Not illegal in Illinois

  • flatlander

    why does kel-tec bother to make anything new when they cant even supply customers like me that have been waiting for months for my pmr30??? BS BRACE-UP

    • Walter

      If they didn't make new weapons, there would be no pmr30 for you to want and wait for… and no sub2000 (which I waited a year and a half for), no PLR-16, etc, etc. yes, it's frustrating that their product rates are low, but they put out some of the more innovative weapons on the market … and reasonably priced to boot!

  • Kenneth Flippin

    What about legality in the Liberal country of California? Will those airheads force a five shot per side magazine for us? Nice idea for a new gun tho.

    • Jeff

      That is the reason for the MANUAL switch!!

      Each Magazine is less than 10 rounds and you have to manually switch them. No different than taping 2 mags together. KT did homework on this!

    • Braden Lynch

      I wrote Kel Tec and they said it would be California legal. Yeah!

      I have a concern about racking the slide and my index finger when it is along side, as it should be. I cannot tell from the pictures or the videos if the clearance is sufficient. Just need to look at it in person. Training would not fix this because the proper thing is to have the finger outside the trigger guard and indexed above it.

    • M. Smith

      Most states restrict ammo on semi-auto shotguns…. not pumps!!

      • Carson Adams

        making the mag selecter AUTOMATIC would make it a semi-AUTOMATIC shotgun not being that the definition of semi-automatic is that ANY part of the firearm will cycle without MANUAL manipulation by the user.

  • Mossy

    Mossberg Rule!

  • Tim Hurtado

    Kenneth Flippin, Im asking myself very much the same question.

  • Athens Guns

    All this talk is for nothing. KT has not been able to ship (in decent numbers) their 22 Mag that came out two years ago. Why should we expect their shotgun in less than five years time?

  • Erick

    KT have good innovation but long term durability is dubious.

  • Dave

    I work at a Central Florida Gun Shop and we have been waiting for paid orders for FOUR PMR30's since Feb 2010. Calls to KELTEC go to voice mail and are not returned. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE ans NO COMPANY INTEGRITY. DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY

    • Gee Whiz

      Could just email them, they always reply within a day or two. :P

    • taina2

      The company is moving to a much larger facility near Cocoa, FL. The forst problem with a business is selling what you make, then you have to be able make all you can sell. Hopefully June 2012 will let them keet demand.

  • Peter Lae

    Totally useless, comic-book fantasy gun.

    Useful for movie sets only.

    I could outshoot this gun with my Remington 1100.

    And how many shotgun fights do we see where you need this many shots without being able to reload.

    • George Smith

      I completely agree with you, this is for the "zombie trolls" that want something that looks AMAZING, but that is complete crap out in the field… not to mention, it wasn't tested for accuracy nor a 3,000 round test. I watched the video with that gun in the field, 3 couch commandos (one who looks like he needs to come out the closet) couldn't manipulate that manual mag switch in time to be battle ready…. yet on "Son of Guns" they had an old competition shooter who unloaded 9 rounds thru an auto-shotgun and reloaded 9 more in about 3 seconds total, using a "speed tube" loader that would put this comic book gun to shame. Kel-Tec has good ideas, but their quality is sub par and considering no military contracts in sight… just avoid this company, customer service is a nightmare with an understaffed company.

      • bootaduji

        Funny that you should call those guys "couch commandos" in the same sentence that you admit to watch Sons of Guns. I guess it takes one to know one.

    • Doc

      I agree, Mr. Lae. This gun is for folks who want to look cool at the range or pretend they were Spec Ops. It's size is wonderful, but I can't think of any situation in the world would you need 14 rounds of OO buckshot? You'd get killed in combat or over run by Zombies while reloading. An MKA 1919 with several clips would be a much, much smarter choice.

  • Jaybronee

    I ordered my PMR30 from a local shop in SW Florida and waited six months for it to come in. Well worth the wait!! Best $329 I've ever spent! Be patient….go to your local shop and actually put money down and order it! Don't expect to walk into any shop and see a PMR30 sitting on the shelf!!!

    • Walter

      LOL…. that's exactly what happened with ALL the KelTec guns I have. Walked into the shop, saw it, purchased it without a blink. I ordered a Sub2000, waited a year and ahalf and it never came. No more than a week after I cancelled the order, one was sitting in another shop, brand new, never used. With KelTec, you just need to be prepared to act when you see one in a shop. Otherwise, yes, the wait may be painfully long.

  • BadBob

    I watched the video and the shotgun seems to be a gimic gun. My Winchester 1300 with 8 rounds will out shoot this Keltec. Probably the Winchester is more reliable, too, Also, I can rapidly load different types of 12 Ga shells with the bottom loader on the Winchester. Must good pump guns will out perform this turkey in a firefight or in a home defense situation. Looks like a Movie Prop gun. Bet it gets banned in Claiformnia as it is too 'terrifying looking'.

    • dumb ass

      learn to spell

      • SharkTeamCAT

        Learn to use punctuation.

  • private

    Well I shot this gun some yesterday and some of the nay sayers should really wait till they have shot it before making a determination. So far I like it…there are a few things that could be improved on it but for starters it fed shells in any orientation I tried unlike my 1300. It is a very short gun and has some advantages in that area. There is no need for auto switch between tubes…you can hit the select lever just as fast as you could chamber load anyway so what would be the point other than wasting ammo…

    I will be shooting it alot in the next few months so to those who have not shot it yet I suggest you just wait on making a ruling on it.

  • 2manyhobbies

    I'll wait and see….

    On a pump gun you keep just a tad of back pressure on the slide, so when the gun fires you automatically eject and reload, this guy obviously has never fired such a gun, I chalk a lot up to operator error… let's wait and see how it works with someone that is more comfortable with a pump… but it did a nice OO buck at 15 yards….

    • Scott E. Mayer

      "On a pump gun you keep just a tad of back pressure on the slide, so when the gun fires you automatically eject and reload"–sometimes. On my Winchester 120–you are absolutely correct–and it's a FAST pump action. On the other hand, I have a Mossberg 590A1 right here and I just tried it. If you keep back pressure on the slide, you have to release that back pressure or the action will not open.

  • Sivispace

    I hope they come up with a semi-auto. Better than a machine gun for a few seconds. Loved my M-90 super. It threw up a wall of lead in 1.5 seconds.

  • Josh Jacobs

    i worked for kel-tec back in the p-11 and the collapsable 9mm rifle days. Althought that was 13 yrs ago i can tell you the company puts a lot of emphasis on testing and making things right before release for sale. Some of my days were spent in the shot room testing all day. Clip after clip and nothing would be shipped unless it was ready to go. Same with repairs. Nothing would be fixed, it would be replaced with brand new tested parts. I can assure you George Kelgren cares about his products and the people who buy them. The employees, from what i remember back then, care about what they do and do their job with upmost respect for the product. Very smart induviduals. The best job i ever had. Put guns together all morning….pizza for lunch then in the shot room all day goin through ammo. Got homesick so i moved back to PA. I still have the two pistols i was given for christmas over the years and they work flawlessly. I would stake my life, and do, on the quality firearms Kel-Tec makes.

    • Aaron

      I bought a Kel-tec .380 back before the Ruger LCP and all the others that have since followed suit. My impression of Kel-tec based on that gun was that their designs are revolutionary but their execution quality and reliability are poor. That .380 is the only unreliable pistol I've ever had. It was wonderful to carry, but as far as staking my life on the reliability of the thing, or using the word "quality" to describe it, I wouldn't at all. I had no predisposition against the gun; I wanted to like it. I understand that light pistols with short slides are not forgiving regarding limp-wristing. This gun stovepiped with regularity and I briefly contemplated throwing it in a near-by lake after a shooting session, which is highly uncharacteristic. One might say I shouldn't judge a company based on one specimen, but ultimately one chance is all the consumer is going to give you when you've told them they should stake your life on their product. I've had another much nicer pistol malfunction because of a poorly installed part. It was fairly obvious that something was very wrong. In the case of the Kel-tec, the gun just wasn't reliable.

      • Steve Cal

        Aaron and others with P3AT negative issues.. Not to be snobbish or insulting but giving my experience with the P3AT.

        I have P3AT no. KTA77. Keep it clean and lubed. I have put 1000 rounds through this gun. Al bullets are 95 grain. If I remember correctly three times it was limp wrist-ed and had FTE. It has been fed lead wad cutters, round nose lead, flat nose jacketed, round nose jacketed and JHP. It eats all of them. No cracks or failures (other than the FTE) and never been sent back to KT. Due to lots of range time I am 95% in the bulls eye at 20 to 25 feet.

        My major issue with the piece is pocket lint. Thats mine and not KT's issue. Blow it out once a week, a drop of lub and its back in service. And, of course, a thorough cleaning after range time.

        It is always in my pocket or my ladies purse. In the event it should be needed I will trust our safety and lives to it.

  • http://Facebook Walter Wolf

    This Kel-Tec is one KICK ASS gun,it's a must have in my opinion. It would great for home defence. I can't wait to buy one for myself.

    • Doc

      I totally disagree with you Mr. Wolf. No one, not even KelTec could ever come up with enough justification to have this weapon for home defense over the 100's of more reliable, far less expense choices in shotguns already on the market. Yes, KSG has a certain "cool factor" for those who want to impress people at the shooting range or those who want to pretend they are Spec Ops personnel, but that's really all there is too this weapon. The vast majority of people who purchase any weapon for home defense never actualy train with it in a home defense scenario. Unless you religiously train in specific close quarters combat scenarios, as few as three home invaders could take you out, regardless of what weapon you were firing. If you want to use the home defense excuse on your wife as reasoning for buying one to play with, I support you. I really don't want to offend anyone, but I can give you countless reasons why the only reason to buy a KSG is its "cool factor."

  • Wheelgunner

    I'll save up for an AA12. (yeah, right.)

    • Da Tray Por

      Tromix isn't much more.

  • MIKE C.



  • Dale Bailey

    Patience…patience….I waited for some Hornady ammo for months, bad company??? No it is called supply and demand.

    Build something so good everybody wants it ,sometimes some wait to get theirs.

  • Mel Hudson

    Interesting gun / bad demo. I carried a Mossberg Mod 500 slug barrel

    with a Weaver quick point sight, in my pick up, in the 70's in South West Africa (Namibia). My load was 8 rounds of 2. 3/4" LG's (imp equivalent of 00 buck) and 5 rounds of Breniker solid vaned slugs in a stock sleeve.This set up was good for anything out to 100yards, beyond this is rifle country. (The Breniker Slugs shot clover leaf groups at 50 yards out of this gun)

    For real fast action, with a pump gun, take the interrupter out and with a little rearward pressure on the slide the gun will open on firing and fire on closing. This has the added advantage of driving the anti gun nuts nuts

  • Cory G

    It seems like the majority of people are bashing this shotgun. Everyone is entilted to a opinion but until you actually handle the shotgun and fire some rounds down range its hard to give a worthy opnion/review.

    For the video itself, I thought it displays a good show of how the shotgun and works. Like the guy in the video says, "its a very unique looking shotgun". Which he is right and for a price in the $800 range I think they will sell a ton of them. But like many already know, who knows when its going to be available. Hopefully Keltec will step up and get these released.

  • Mark

    Guy needs to learn how to load a shotgun, not upside down!!!!!! Weapon on target and right side up!!!!

  • Armed democrat


    All the nay-sayers, until it the KSG is in the field we do not know how it will perform. But if it performs like my California illegal SU16-C it will be great value for the money, and a real "game changer."

  • George

    I remember when Ruger came out with there super black hawk in 44 mag. tried to order one and was told there was a two year wait as they were being bought up by scalpers I could get one if I paid $ 50 bucks more fore it from the scalper. as far as a manual selector switch I think it is better that way you can switch to whatever load you want bird shot or slug if the bear comes. I am a Marlin fan myself I have the Winchesters and Remingtons but in my own opinion Winchester stopped the good guns with the 97 and model 12. Remington has to use Remington ammo or have iron sites, or a scope, the Marlin 120 is my choice for a pump. Mosberg is what it is a serviceable gun for the money no complaints. But this is just my opinion everyone has there favorite but the new gun wait is nothing new If I wanted it fast and didn't care what kind of junk I got I bet I could get it faster.

  • Charles

    I'd be interested in acquiring one of these for testing. I sold my High Standard 10B because I could not shoot it left-handed. I enjoy my 37s, 870, 590A1, and M1 Super 90, but having a compact bullpup shotgun with bottom ejection (and substantially greater capacity than any AOW or SBS) could give an entry team a significant advantage operating in the confines of a structure or ship, or when exiting a patrol car.

  • 5Card

    I recently sent Kel Tec a message saying I'd like the option of having an auto tube switch, and they replied the next day saying that it was currently under consideration.

    Also, if anyone's interested, they told me that it could indeed shoot 3" shells, which I didn't know since they advertise it as being 2 3/4".

  • enuf.istoomuch

    Well, I expect something this new and unusual to be a problem child in its early life. The real test is if they can work out the issues that will arise. So far it sounds like Kel-Tec is doing exactly that.

    As for usefulness, none to me. I'd enjoy owning one for the novelty is all.

    But stop and consider, if they achieve the durability and reliability it will need the KSG would be very useful to our military. A compact 15 round shotgun, if it can take the beating of heavy use in nasty places, would be a valuable addition to the tool kit.

    I hope that is exactly what happens. Push the development, make certain it can stand up and get it out to our military where it can do some good.

  • gipbmac

    I totally agree with enuf.istoomuch – I think thats exactly what Kel-Tech had in mind when they first thought of developing this shot gun. Military and then civilian – I am sure when this gun comes out it will be ready for market.. Along with that I'll echo what many others have said – PRACTICE!!! First find what fits, feels and shoots good to "YOU" try it if you can before buying – after buying, shoot, shoot, shoot, practice, practice practice YOUR ASS OFF! Live & dry – practice as if you are in a life/death situation. Get training from a good shooting school. Think super zombie apocalypse – not dumb slow moving ones but super fast athletic zombies that the Illuminati created… If you are prepared for zombies, you are prepared for ANYTHING…

  • gipbmac

    ..and drink more Ovaltine.. ;)

  • jon

    the need to take the pump slide back to blue print the sticking is no good i would hate to double feed

  • tylag ds

    I have fired this shotgun repeatedly since March '11. It ate 300+ rounds as fast as I could load/shoot them in the first sitting, with no malfunctions that weren't ammo related. I shoot left handed, and this weapon worked flawlessly for me. I shot it in a 3-gun match in April '11, and the only hiccup was a short-stroke pump which was my fault. If you train with a weapon, you will be proficient with that weapon…but even without a great deal of practice I could work this weapon accurately and competitively the first time I touched it. If my law enforcement agency has been given one for T&E, and if the boss would allow me to carry one on the clock I'd buy it in a New York minute. GREAT tactical possibilities for it, and I hope to make it into a house gun my small-statured wife can operate easily.

  • pacman

    I think the shotgun will be a great home defense weapon. I have had one ordered now for about two to three months. From what I have seen on their demonstrations the gun looks well built. It might take awhile for them to send the gun, but if the quality is there it is worth it. I ordered a model 1874 Sharps rifle from Montana Armory back in 1994 and I had to wait five years for them to build the rifle. It was a custom built rifle and the quality of the rifle was great. I gave close to $2000 for the gun. Some things are just worth waiting for.

  • Jason_La Jolla, CA

    Any company that would send a representative/salesman like "Chad" out to introduce and demonstrate their new product is capable of anything. Combine that along with their proven history of being unable to deliver a gun on time and their lousy customer service and what do you come away with? Well, to each his own. But I come away thinking this is a company I wouldn't want to do business with, let alone trust my life to their product. It would be a far safer bet to place said trust in an 870, 590, or old 1300 than this thing. If you want something with a bit more jazz, break open your piggy bank and buy a semi-automatic M4. I'd put my life on the line with any of those shotguns. Just my opinion and proverbial two cents, speaking as a successful businessman and former U.S. Marine; take it as you will…

    • Duray

      Funny you mention the 1300…I had one come back to my shop because it double fed. Fire, pump…2 shells. Sent it back for warranty repair. When it came back, loaded the magazine, pulled the trigger, pumped, and….2 shells.

  • conservativejock

    For those of you who think the KSG is a great shotgun, wait till your receive yours. It is awesome!!!

  • Dave In Texas

    One Word KMA 1919, Ok two words.

  • C Young

    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.

  • uncle bones

    WELL NOW lots of interesting opinions here. Im going to wait and see for the KSG- Great NEW concepts take time to get the bugs worked out. One rule about guns for self defense I always follow "Will I bet my life on this gun?" Well no not yet, lets see a year or two out in the realworld first.
    The magazie selector switch seems a little clumsy to me and Im not liking its location, you almost surley have to shift around and take your eyes of subject.
    all operators ive seen on video,seem to drag or bobble that pump action a bit, worth I500 clams? nope, not to me.

  • Doc

    I get really irritated with those who like to use the "home defense" excuse for spending $1,000 on a weapon. The KSG is a fine weapon, but after 21 years of military training, 17 in Special Forces, I truly don't see any place for a 14 round, non clip fed, weapon; especially for home defense. Statistics show less than 1% of citizens who purchase a weapon for home defense actually train consistently in realistic home invasion scenarios. Just about any 12ga or 20ga shotgun with a five round magazine would be fine for home defense. The KSG does have a certain "cool factor," but that's as far as it goes. There is no tactical scenario anyone can provide where this weapon would win out over other, less expensinve, more reliable weapons already on the market. Home defense, why do you need 14 rounds? Combat or other invasion scenario, you'd be killed while you're reloading. So, if all you want to do is impress your friends or pretend you're in Spec Ops, buy this weapon. Otherwise, save your money.

    • docsuxdick

      eat a fat one dick doc. You are a couch commando. You probably don't like this gun because it hurts your butt hole when you use it to masturbate.

    • JohnWayne

      I served in the infantry and if you have so much experience then you should know it’s a magazine not a clip. Clips were used in garands.

  • Carson Adams

    So everyone on here seems to think that having a manual tube selector is just a bad thing and your being narrow minded about this. Think of it like this: perhaps you are using this a WROL gun (without rule of law meaning make what ever reason you want but no electricity, water, gas, food, natural dissaster ect. ect. but more importantly no cops) and you are using this as a means to defend your property well any person with more common sense than your average rock will tell you that you should alway try to avoid using leathal force unless it is absolutly nessicary. That being said concider this you could load up the right tube with your standard 12 gauge 00 buckshot and your left tube with either rubber shot or 12g bean bag rounds and now you have a means to use a less than leathal option to deter your attackers and if that doesn't stop them flip the switch an now you have a leathal force. OR perhaps you live in an area where there are alot of fields but you want a good close quarters weapon throw buck or bird shot in one side and slugs in the other and now you have a gun that can clear a house with very ease and also range out to 100+ yards.

  • Wayne Force

    How about 3 tubes, 21 rounds, 22 inch barrel, low recoil semi auto, that automatically switches when a tube runs out. Hook that up with a rapid reload system, an integrated laser sight, and keep it under 34″ and I’ll take two!

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