Advertisement
Sabatti Rover rifles
  • Kel-Tec KSG: the last pump shotgun you'll need (?)

Kel-Tec KSG: the last pump shotgun you'll need (?)

Time to read
5 minutes
Read so far

Kel-Tec KSG: the last pump shotgun you'll need (?)

Posted in:

Manufactured in the U.S. by Kel-Tec and finally available in significant numbers in Europe, the Kel-Tec KSG is a high-volume of fire, easily handled shotgun for professional and civilian users alike

First introduced in 2011, the Kel-Tec KSG pump-action shotgun was part of the string of products with which the Florida-based Kel-Tec company shifted from its original focus on pocket pistols and towards modern tactical long guns that would be suitable for civilian sporting, hunting and defensive purposes as well as for Police service.

The Kel-Tec KSG has been hard to find both in the United States and in Europe for a long time, as the Company's manufacturing capabilities struggled to meet the demand, but now the situation has stabilized and availability seems to be not a problem anymore.

The Kel-Tec KSG features two twin 6-shots feeding tubes located under the barrel, which will take either 76mm/2.¾" or 76mm/3" shotshells

The Kel-Tec KSG features two twin 6-shots feeding tubes located under the barrel, which will take either 76mm/2.¾" or 76mm/3" shotshells

The KSG comes without any sighting system, so you'll need to add your own like this Trijicon MRO reflex sight

Not really a hunk of plastic

The Kel-Tec KSG 12-gauge pump-action shotgun

The Kel-Tec KSG 12-gauge pump-action shotgun

Much like the vast majority of Kel-Tec firearms, the KSG pump-action shotgun is vaguely futuristic in design, and comes with a vast number of synthetic components.

Kel-Tec founder and chief engineer George Kellgren originally conceived the KSG to overcome some of the drawbacks of the South African Neostead 2000 pump-action shotgun concept – a firearm conceived for special operations and riot control, very similar in design but also much heavier and complex.

The KSG seen from the right side

The KSG seen from the right side

The left side of the KSG pump shotgun

The left side of the KSG pump shotgun

A close-up of the trigger area of the KSG; the lever in front of the trigger guard is the disconnector

A close-up of the trigger area of the KSG; the lever in front of the trigger guard is the disconnector

The use of carbon fiber-reinforced Zytel components on the Kel-Tec KSG shotguns is limited to the butt-piece, the handguard, and the lower receiver – which includes the pistol grip and the trigger group, with a polymer trigger connected to a laser-cut metal hammer through a couple of laser-cut steel transfer bar.

The railed forend of the KSG

The railed forend of the KSG

The stock of the KSG

The stock of the KSG

Right side of the pistol grip

Right side of the pistol grip

The KSG shotgun is extremely compact

The KSG shotgun is extremely compact

Left side of the pistol grip

Left side of the pistol grip

The frame is CAM/CNC-controlled, laser-machined and bent, heavy steel, and hosts the bolt – whose sliding wedge, that engages the barrel extension to achieve a solid barrel locking, can be considered the heart of the KSG shotgun. The twin magazine tubes, located underneath the barrel, are also made of metal.

A close-up of the muzzle and the front plugs of the twin feeding tubes

A close-up of the muzzle and the front plugs of the twin feeding tubes

The 47cm/18.5” long, smoothbore barrel is cold-hammer forged out of 4140 chrome-moly stee, and comes with an integrated CYL choke, but can be fitted with optional muzzle devices such as “Breacher”-style muzzle brakes. The Kel-Tec KSG shotgun is 66cm (26”) long overall, approximately, and weighs 3,1 kilograms (6.9lbs) when empty.

The KSG comes without sights of sort; a full-length top Picatinny rail allows the use of fixed or flip-up iron sights and optical sights. A shorter accessory rail is located underneath the handguard.

Kel-Tec KSG shotgun owners are highly recommended to use vertical foregrips, hand stops, or any other accessory that could dub as a reference point for the support hand not to proceed any further on the handguard surface. In the United States, incidents have been reported of shooters accidentally letting their support hand slide in front of the muzzle while shooting, with disastrous consequences.

The KSG comes with a full-length top Picatinny rail and with a shorter rail under the handguard

The KSG comes with a full-length top Picatinny rail and with a shorter rail under the handguard

A close-up of the full-length top MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail

A close-up of the full-length top MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail

Handy for everyone

The single window that dubs both as a loading and ejection port is located under the stock

The single window that dubs both as a loading and ejection port is located under the stock

Ergonomics-wide, two features of the KSG are immediately appreciable: first of all, given the overall size, the KSG is easily handled in close quarters and comfortably used by small-sized shooters. Second, but not less important, the Kel-Tec KSG is a totally ambidextrous platform.

The KSG is a bull-pup shotgun, since the action and feeding port are located behind the trigger. The feeding port also dubs as the ejection window – a feature borrowed after one of the world's best pump shotguns ever, the Ithaca Model 37 – and features an easy-to-reach selector switch that allows the shooter to choose which tube the gun will feed from.

Theoretically speaking, this feature would allow a user to load his or her KSG with both lethal and less-than-lethal loads, and choose which one to use depending from the situation.

The capacity will vary depending from the type of ammunition: the twin tubes will host up to seven 12-gauge, 2.¾” shells or up to six 12-gauge, 3” shotshells each; adding another shell in chamber, the overall capacity goes from thirteen to fifteen shots. 89Mm/3.½” shotshells are not compatible with the KSG.

A selection lever located behind the feeding port allows users to choose between feeding tubes

A selection lever located behind the feeding port allows users to choose between feeding tubes

All it takes to field-strip the Kel-Tec KSG is to remove two passing pins located on the polymer lower receiver

All it takes to field-strip the Kel-Tec KSG is to remove two passing pins located on the polymer lower receiver

The KSG shotgun fieldstrips very easily: a pin punch, a .223 caliber round of ammunition or any multi-tool can be used to remove the pins that keep the three main assemblies together: the lower receiver, the frame with the barrel and feeding tubes included, and the buttpiece with an integrated rubberized recoil-reducing buttpad.

Upon field-strip, the independent bolt assembly can be removed; this component includes basically all moving parts required by the KSG to operate.

Once field-stripping is completed, the front plugs of the feeding tubes can be unscrewed to remove the springs and followers.

Two holes on the pistol grip allow the pins to be kept in place upon field-strip so they won't be lost.

Two holes on the pistol grip allow the pins to be kept in place upon field-strip so they won't be lost.

Right side of the cross-bolt safety switch

Right side of the cross-bolt safety switch

Left side of the cross-bolt safety switch

Left side of the cross-bolt safety switch

The Kel-Tec KSG at the range

The KSG shotgun in a high-ready position: talk about compact!

The KSG shotgun in a high-ready position: talk about compact!

When we said that the KSG is fully ambidextrous we meant it: aside from the trigger, the feeding tube selector and the handguard – connected to the bolt by two laser-machined steel rods – the only other control is a cross-bolt manual safety located above the grip and easily handled by left-handed and right-handed shooters alike. Downwards ejection from behind the pistol grip allows the KSG to be fired from the right or left shoulder.

We test-fired the KSG with 3" shotshells

We test-fired the KSG with 3" shotshells

A moment of our testing with the KSG

A moment of our testing with the KSG

The buttpad and cheekpiece on the KSG stock

The buttpad and cheekpiece on the KSG stock

The recoil is not as brutal as one would expect from such a short shotgun, given the peculiar layout; the feeding tubes located underneath the barrel put much of the weight on the front, providing good balance and reducing muzzle climb.

Kel-Tec's signature square-shaped serrations on the pistol grip and the handguard allow a decent level of gripping in most conditions.

To sum up, we can say that if the Kel-Tec KSG is the “pump-action shotgun of the future” – as it has been labeled by many ever since it was first released – then the future is already here.

Right side of the Kel-Tec KSG pump-action shotgun

Right side of the Kel-Tec KSG pump-action shotgun

Left side of the Kel-Tec KSG pump-action shotgun

Left side of the Kel-Tec KSG pump-action shotgun

Priced at around $1,000.00 in the United States and at around 1360€ in Europe, the KSG can be considered “expensive” for a pump shotgun, but offers an undeniable level of quality, with added versatility that not many other pump tactical shotguns can boast.

With the well known drawbacks of the first-generation Kel-Tec KSG shotgun – ranging from the selector switch breaking to double feeding – having long been fixed and with many other improvements having been introduced lately, the Kel-Tec KSG definitely fights a very small number of contenders for the title of the world's best shotgun.

Kel-Tec KSG – Specifiche

Model

KSG

Typology

Shotgun

Caliber

12 gauge, 3"

Action

Manual repeater (pump action)

Trigger system

Single-action, hammer fired, 5lbs trigger pull

Safeties

Cross-bolt manual safety

Capacity

14+1 12-gauge, 2.¾”/70mm shotshells
12+1 12-gauge, 3”/76mm shotshells

Barrel

470 mm / 18.5”, cold-hammer forged, with integrated CYL choke

Sights

None – factory-issued MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail

Overall length

663 mm / 26.1”

Weight (empty)

3,13 kg / 6.9 lbs

Materials / Finishes

Steel frame, barrel, bolt, and magazine tubes
Polymer grip, stock, and handguard

Price

$990.00 / U.S.A.
1.369 euro / Europe
Always check price with your local dealer