Last month when my sister asked the guys at her office about the perfect home defense weapon, they recommended the Kel Tec KSG. She immediately sent me a picture, asked what I thought and how long to get one. OMG!
Most enthusiasts, like myself, were aware of the KSG, but laying your hands on one after its introduction some two years ago was nearly impossible. When it was found, one would find it selling for far above its MSRP. I suppose that’s the way it works when a product is in demand and the supply is limited.
The real question is always ‘Is this for real?’. Using the proven pump action, this shotgun combines two side by side magazine tubes each holding seven 2 3/4″ shotgun shells. This is far more firepower (15 rounds – 2 magazine tubes x 7 shells + 1 in the chamber) than 95% of the current market! (I have even read an article where short 1 ¾” shells produced an incredible 25 rounds without the bulky drum magazine!)
Combat applicants will cite the versatility of chambering each tube with different loads. The high capacity begs to put buckshot in one tube and slugs in the other offering the shooter a versatile response to a changing engagement scenario.
However, switching between magazines takes some concentrated effort. A firm press on the release lever switches the magazines every time. My thought is that the effort involved would take some time to create a smooth tactical magazine change. Of course, don’t get me wrong – anything can be mastered with practice. But ‘Simple’ and ‘Intuitive’ are the watchwords of combat mastery.
The remaining differences are a product of the Bullpup design. First, is that chambering a new round is an action preformed much closer to the shooter’s body. I found the motion took a little getting used to and as I shouldered the weapon, versus the Mossberg 500 Cruiser where I hold it at hip level, necessitating retargeting and reforming my site picture. I look forward to Kel Tec designing a second generation model in a semi automatic version.
Second, is that the chambered explosion is much closer to your face. So the recommendation is for the first time Kel Tec KSG shooter is to use low recoil loads. Get used to the new feel and work your way up to the big loads.
Third, recoil is rifle-like in a straight line back into the shoulder. The surprise is that the buffer creates roughly half the recoil when using 12 gauge loads.
Fourth, I did notice that spent shells were ejected downward often striking my arm. Distracting to be sure, but the spent shells left a mark after a few shots. So look for Kel Tec to either design a deflector or a line of long sleeve padded shirts.
Bullpups excel by offering full barrel length accuracy in a shorter tactical design. When maneuverability is key, and massive firepower at shorter ranges is required, the Kel Tec is a good choice. And while the design shows promise, effective handling of any weapon takes practice.
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