Kel-tec, the company who is best known for their inexpensive line of CCW carry handguns and utility carbines, has now entered the shotgun market in a big way. Instead of rehashing a 100-year old pump design, or making a break action, they went with something a little different, the Kel-Tec KSG.
(Photo by Keltec)
A bullpup shotgun design, where the action is primarily behind the grip, thus producing a very short overall firearm while still maintaining a mandated 18-inch barrel, is not a wholly new and unusual concept.
The South African Neostead has been popular with the SAS and other entry teams on three continents for the past ten years however the BATFE does not allow import into of this ten-shot weapon to the US. The same can be said for the exotic Brazilian ENARM Pentagun, the Italian Franchi mod .410, and the German Steinkamp SW1. The Pancor Corporation Jackhammer automatic shotgun, looking like something out of Aliens, was a US design in the 1980s that never made it off the drawing board. The same is the case for the German Heckler & Koch HK CAWS, which never made it past the prototype. Mossberg marketed a bullpup design of its M500 pump for a while in the 1980s. Besides that only one exclusively bullpup shotgun, the HS-10, ever made its rounds in the US.
The old HS10 was a cutting edge design for the 1960s. The KSG looks to trump it.
The High Standard Model 10, designed in the 1950s by a Santa Monica, California police sergeant, was put into production during the Mad Men-era. At 10-pounds and 26-inches overall they carried an 18-inch barrel. Six rounds of 2 3/4 inch 12 gauge were ready at the drop of a hat and a groovy internal flashlight was one of the first on-board illumination devices. They could not be fired from the left hand side due to the weapon's recoil. However, they suffered from feed problems with low brass rounds and by the 1970s were out of production. Today they are collectors' items in the same sense that old police badges and walkie-talkies are.
This leaves the Keltec KSG to pick up where the HS10 left off. At 26inches overall with an 18-inch barrel, the KSG is the same profile as the 1950s HS10. However, what the KSG does have is flexibility and almost three times the magazine capacity. The Keltec uses two magazine tubes, each holding seven rounds that give the KSG 14-rounds on the go. Lightweight polymers result in keeping the firearm down to a nice 8.5 pounds-- fully loaded. Overall, the profile is shorter and lighter than an AOW 870 or 500 pumps, with more rounds available.
It is pump action with a bottom eject. This bottom eject makes the weapon interchangeable for either left or right handed shooters.
For accessories there is an under Picatinny rail for the mounting of a forward grip, a light, or a laser. The included top Picatinny sight rail will accept many types of optics or iron sights. Forward and rear sling loops are built in, and a basic sling is included. The soft rubber butt pad helps to tame recoil. Kel-Tec has a MSRP of $880 on this bad boy, which makes it about four times as much as a modest 12 normal 12-gauge. However, that price is lowballed as they are going online at Gunbroker/AuctionArms for closer to $1000.
Either way, once supply catches up to demand on these, they are going to be nice.