Kel-Tec KSG (Bullpup Shotgun with Dual Magazines) Review

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on November 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm
LearnAboutGuns.com > Gun and Accessory Reviews > Kel-Tec KSG (Bullpup Shotgun with Dual Magazines) Review

Below is my review of the Kel-Tek KSG, a bullpup shotgun that has dual magazines:

Kel-Tec KSG bullpup shotgun

Basics

The Kel-Tek KSG is a rather unique pump-action shotgun.  Its defining features are its dual magazines, and the fact that it is a bullpup.  Finding a KSG can be somewhat difficult or expensive, as they are in high demand and as a result the laws of supply and demand come into play.  After trying to find a KSG locally or online for over a year, I finally found one at a local gun show – priced considerably above the MSRP.

The KSG weighs just under 7 lbs, is 26.1 inches long, and has an 18.5″ barrel.  It is chambered for 2.75″ or 3″ 12 ga.

The Bullpup Design

The main reason I like the KSG so much is the bullpup design.  Bullpups have the action behind the trigger, which means that instead of that space being wasted it can be put to functional use in the firearm.  The net result in a firearm whose overall length is much shorter for any given barrel length than would be possible in a non-bullpup design. I am quite a fan of bullpup shotguns/rifles, especially for home defense purposes as a shorter firearm is easier to maneuver with through a home, and easier to keep out of reach of an intruder.

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One downside to bullpups is that the trigger is generally not as crisp as in a conventional firearm.  That is because there has to be a mechanical linkage connecting the trigger (which is forward of the action by many inches) with the action. I fee; a similar reduction in trigger crispness in the KSG that I feel in my bullpup rifles.  I don’t personally find that to be problematic in the rifles, and find it to be even less of an issue for this shotgun.

The Dual Magazines

The dual magazine feature is an interesting one.  In addition to doubling the capacity of the shotgun (7 rounds in each magazine, for a total of 14 + 1 rounds), the dual magazines also allow the user to have a great deal of flexibility in ammunition.  For example, buckshot can be loaded in one magazine, and slugs in the other.  The user can then switch between ammo in a way that would be impossible for most shotguns that have a single magazine.

To switch between magazines, there is a selector switch that is moved by the user. One feature that I wish the KSG had would be automatic switching from one magazine to the other when the first is empty.

Build Quality

Kel-Tec used polymers extensively to build the KSG, making it relatively light.  While it does not feel as solid to me as my Remington 870, it does not feel cheap or flimsy by any stretch of the imagination.  The parts fit together well.  When fired, the Kel-Tec KSG feels sturdy and more than up to handling the recoil from 12 ga. shells.

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Ergonomics

The bullpup design makes the Kel-Tec KSG shorter than many shotguns.  The action being located behind the trigger makes the KSG less front-heavy than many other shotguns.  I find the KSG to be easy to hold and shoot.

A side-effect of the bullpup design is the ambidextrous ejection system, which works well for left or right handed people since it ejects downward.  That feature is also nice at the range, both in terms of not hitting the person next to you wish a shell as well as making spent shell cleanup easier.

Reliability

I find the KSG to be a bit easier to short-shuck than my Remington 870, but I see that more as a matter of something that users should train themselves not to do, as it is possible to short-shuck any pump-action shotgun.

I have had no failures of feed or failures to fire, and find the Kel-Tec KSG to be reliable.  However, I have more confidence in my other pump-action shotguns just because their designs are so much older and I have more experience with them.  For that reason my Remington 870 will likely be my home defense shotgun of choice for years to come, despite all the features of the KSG that I find to be so enjoyable.

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  • OngoingFreedom

    Two points of comment:

    1. I have found this shotgun easy to short stroke if it isn’t vigorously racked back. There is a ramp just forward of the trigger guard, that releases the current stored shell, and requires a hard pull to actuate.

    2. I have experienced several failures to fire when sighting in a Aimpoint T-1 Micro on a sandbag. After researching I discovered that putting significant weight on the underside of the magazine tubes (e.g. sandbag sight-in) prevents the trigger from functioning.

    Otherwise a great shotgun. In addition to the Micro I added a Streamlight TLR-1 and is my primary home defense weapon.