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Kel-Tec KSG Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by HKGuns, Sep 21, 2013.

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  1. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    And that is why I don't say without qualification that I'd use a gun as an entry gun, or that a gun "will serve duty as my HD shotgun." until I've actually rung it out.


    Hope that gets squared away for you.

    I really would love to hear the thoughts of someone who has taken one through a quality shotgun course (I actually wonder if any such person exists).
     
  2. evan price

    evan price Member

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    My opinions are my opinions. Once the KSG is used in actual working conditions for a good long while and proves itself then it can justifiably be considered a good firearm. As right now there really aren't many out there, and even less put into stresful situations, how can we suddenly say this new gun is the absolute best for whatever application? That's gun-magazine fanboi stuff: Whatever is new MUST be better and awesomer!

    And then it jams solid requiring disassembly on the second shot. Sounds like a perfect critical-duty hardware item. Not!

    Same as the NEED to have a Mossberg 590A1, because the 590 has the polymer trigger guard, and without the metal trigger guard your shotgun is useless for home defense.

    Is the KSG cool? Certainly. If money were no object it would be on the list of stuff that would be neat to have, along with a belt-fed.

    As to 15 rounds for HD being extreme- I stand behind that. We are not kicking in doors in Mogadishu. There's nothing wrong with having something because you want it- that's the American way. Just say you want it. I've got no problem with AK drums or high capacity magazines.

    But to justify your decision by saying "Well I *need* 15 rounds of buckshot in the gun for home defense!"

    Really? If your basic need for home defense includes 15 rounds of buckshot on a regular basis I suggest moving away from the Hellmouth.

    So we have a new firearm, largely unproven, which has still recently demonstrated unreliability, and is still not available to most people due to limited production.

    On the cover of "Best Guns Evar !!1!" magazine, today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  3. jehu

    jehu Member

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    I don't see alot of difference in the guy who has a HD 870 loaded with 7 and a side saddle with 5 and the guy who has 15 already in his KSG. Neither is extreme IMO.:what: Is the guy who has a 30rd mag in his AR for HD extreme?
     
  4. mac66

    mac66 Member

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    I am not very big on fancy smancy hi-tech stuff but the KSG is pretty cool and I would love to have one just to play with. I have a couple of Kel tec pistols and never had any problems with them. Currently I have a couple shotguns (and 870 and a Mossberg 500) which are used for everything from bunnies to bears. My range toy shotgun is a Saiga 12 which I converted to a pistol grip config and uses long mags and drums, tons of fun with that beast. But yeah a KSG would be fun to have as well. :D
     
  5. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    I still have no personal experience with the KSG other than handling one at my last shotgun class (Awerbuck), back in Sept. last year. Here's what I noted at the time fwiw:

    The KSG was interesting, the first one I've seen for real. I'd say is just too complex for most folks, especially those already accustomed to other shotguns. Not just IMHO, but Louis thinks so too, and he's shot one (I haven't, I just watched when I could in class). Too many controls, too many options (two magazine tubes and a magazine selector to choose between them), just too much to keep track of under pressure. And mainly, the worst thumbs down of all for me from the getgo, it's too hard to load on the fly, since it's a bullpup and the loading port is behind the pistol grip. I had a bullpup for years, a semiauto at that, a High Standard 10-A. Sold it, but bought another example a couple of years ago. Great shotgun - for five rounds. Then forget it, dump it and go to something else.

    Same deal with the KSG - if your gunfight is shorter than 15 rounds, and you can remember how to run the gun through a mag change without something bad happening, you're golden.
    -- http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=676207

    The KSG I saw in a fellow student's hands was still fairly new to him, IIRC he said he'd put 200-300 rounds through it before the class. While it didn't give him any trouble as far as reliability was concerned, it was a hassle setting up the ammo load for the different drills as they were called. As indicated earlier, if the ammo load is set up as you're willing and able to use it it the outset, and your gunfight is short enough, it will do.

    As for me, I can empty six or seven rounds out of a conventional pump in less time than it takes to tell it, and being able to keep the gun fed on the fly is critical as far as I'm concerned. And that's the downfall of the KSG in my stodgy old eyes. It's just too hard to load quickly. I'm of the "no magazine is ever big enough" school, I'm biased in that regard and perfectly willing to admit it. I want a fighting shotgun that's easier to load as required, even if only one round at the time.

    The KSG definitely has advantages, its shortness being chief among them. The student referred to here had bought his KSG with the intent of using it as a defensive shotgun on his boat, and it should be useful in that role. He also planned to keep it loaded with slugs, which would simplify the ammo hassle for him. And as with any other shotgun, it takes trigger time to learn the controls on a new shotgun and 'groove' their use. That's no small investment in time, effort and ammunition, but it's one a serious user will be willing to make.

    Learning to use the magazine selector with its center cutoff position shouldn't be that big a deal, and learning the sequence when running one tube empty shouldn't be a big deal either once operation of the shotgun becomes reflexive. A CLICK on an empty chamber in the KSG is followed by SWITCH TUBES then by ACTION RELEASE and PUMP to load a round from the second tube. That's not impossible to learn, just ... different. And it was different enough to flummox this student from time to time in class - because he had not yet had time to really learn to run the shotgun at an instinctive lesson. He didn't let it get to him however, and soldiered on with it in the face of Louis continuing to bark instructions.

    I didn't get to take any of Louis' classes in either of his two 2013 visits to NC, unfortunately, and therefore didn't see this student (who is a regular in Louis' classes) this year to ask him about the KSG and how he's doing with it.

    I'm looking forward to seeing a new generation of shooters out there using the KSG and other contemporary evolutions of the fighting shotgun. It's definitely going to be interesting, even if I'm too old a dog to try and learn new tricks :D.
     
  6. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    Thanks for the insights Fred. I do have a question relating to your major critique of the KSG, the difficulty of keeping it fed. I believe that loading and ammo management are the key skills to have to use a shotgun to its full potential. You mentioned the KSG might work if the gun fight was short enough. This makes me curious how much ammo you keep handy on your gun? What I often see is that people have a gun that holds 7-8 shots and then a side saddle that holds 4-7 rounds. I personally like the Velcro set ups that allow one to swap the cards quickly. If one had a 8 shot gun and a 7 shot side saddle that is 15 rounds, if we add a two shell holder fore of the ejection port (a set up I like) one would have 17. One could use a speed feed stock and have a couple more rounds (I don’t do the butt cuffs as I don’t like the way they interfere with a cheek weld when I transition to my support side shoulder) I’m just not sure there is a very practical way to carry more than about that many rounds on a traditional gun. More typically I see about seven in the gun and 5 on the side.

    When one gears up for class it’s typical to have a few shell caddies or a number of extra esstac cards, or some other means of carrying additional ammo. When one grabs the HD gun I wonder how much extra ammo one is going to have aside from what is in/on the gun. Some people keep “war belts” nearby, others have plate carries, etc. I tend to doubt that most folks do. Nor is there any assurance one will be able to done it. If one is only going to have 15 or so rounds, there is an argument having them in the gun is a more useful spot.

    I’m a all other things being equal more rounds is better kind of guy. I do think that more rounds doesn’t per se trump all other considerations. Or put another way, all other things are often not equal. For example, I have 20 round drums for the saiga, but I think the weight and girth maybe do not make it the best choice for a fighting gun (much the same for a beta mag in an AR, or an xrail on any number of shotguns). In a similar vein I don’t think the extra 7 rounds inside the gun one the KSG make up for some of its other cons, such as the stout recoil and added complexity. In HD scenarios, I’m more concerned with being able to fire a few shots as quickly and accurately as possible than I about with having 15 shots to fire. I also prefer things to be simple. As such I’ll take a good semi auto for a fighting shot gun.

    I've owned a couple bullpups and I do like them and the way they handle. That said I am not overly concerned with the length of a 18” shotgun or a 16” carbine. If I really was and wanted an “exotic” I’d go with a saiga or MKA 1919 SBS. OAL on an 8" saiga SBS is about 29". This can go slightly up or down depending on the stock one uses and whether or not a muzzle device of some sort is on the gun. It still holds up to 21 rounds and reloads pretty quickly. But that is just me and I do have a lot of time on those platforms and live in a free state. For most people if they are going to drop $1k on a shotgun they’d probably be hard pressed to do better or get something that truly is more useful than a benelli.
     
  7. redbone

    redbone Member

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    I'm old fashioned, I guess. Still like an 870.
     
  8. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    For my own defensive shotguns I prefer an 18-18.5" 870 with sights and a factory 2-round extension, with a 12.5" LOP stock. I keep magazines loaded one down with buckshot, so there are five rounds in the magazine. And six rounds of Brenneke KOs in the Sidesaddle, for 11 rounds in/on the gun total. My guns were all bought used and cost $200 or less initially.

    And there's a claymore bag hung over the stock of the one that is most handy most of the time. That one is propped muzzle down, with 20 rounds of buckshot in the right pocket of the bag and 20 rounds of slugs in the left.

    Realistically most fights where a shotgun is involved are over with one solid hit. But Murphy lurks, and the 870 is the go-to long gun here most of the time because it's what I'm closest to most of the time.

    I freely admit to being a stuck-in-the-mud oldphart, with a deep seated preference for the 870 that grows out of about 40 years off and on (mostly on) of use. That doesn't meant there aren't better shotguns out there, and it certainly doesn't mean there aren't better shotgunners than me either. But I know what works for me...
     
  9. CAPTAIN MIKE

    CAPTAIN MIKE Member

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    I've grown frustrated trying to buy one. The Kel-Tec rep told me at the SHOT Show they were accelerating production, but after 10 more months of looking I still don't have one. Okay - I'm pouting now.
     
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