After 150 rounds of slug, 00 buck, and bird shot, I had no issues with the butt pad and no discomfort whatsoever of the shoulder area. Kel-Tec advises that an extended pad will be available in the future.
The KSG is a little lighter than most police shotguns used today by half a pound. That may not sound like much until you have to stand on a fixed post for 10 or 12 hours or attend a few days of shotgun training to get familiar with the unique Kel-Tec system.
Drills and Results
During pattern and slug testing, I mounted the Pride Flower Industries (PFI) Spec Ops Compact Red Dot on the KSG's rail. The PFI Red Dot was easy to dial in. I got a quick zero using slug at 20 yards off hand and pattern tested using the same sight system.
I shot everything off hand at various distances with both slug and buck. Pattern testing was performed with Federal 12 gauge 2¾ inch, 9 pellet 00 buck, Tactical Load, LE132 00 (the duty load for the LAPD) at five, 10, 15, and 20 yards.
At 20 yards the shot pattern was less than eight inches. Nine inches would have been considered good, so this result was very good for a cylinder bore barrel. At five, 10, and 15 yards the pattern sizes exceeded my expectations. Slug shooting was done with Winchester Ranger 12 gauge 2¾ inch, low recoil 1 ounce slug, RA 12RS15 at five, 10, 15, and 20 yards. The slug shot through the KSG produced consistent 10-ring accuracy from all distances.
The KSG trigger was positive, controllable, and had a distinct reset. By design you can't run through a magazine tube holding the trigger back. It took me about 10 to 15 rounds to get used to the trigger, then I ran the KSG hard using 50 rounds of buck and slug. There were no function problems and no trigger issues.
In order to find out how easy or difficult disassembly and assembly might be I solicited an individual who had used firearms previously but had never taken apart a shotgun. My test subject had no real problems taking apart the KSG or reassembling it. There are no specific tools required for either process. The only real hang up in the disassembly process was removal of the barrel assembly from the receiver. All it required was a little more muscle than finesse.
Assembly is basically takedown in reverse with the most time spent tightening the magazine nuts. With four main components-stock, barrel/forend, magazine tubes, and grip assembly-it didn't take long for my test subject to learn what goes where.
Kel-Tec's KSG should be a wake-up call to other police shotgun manufacturers to raise the bar. There hasn't been much improvement in the standard police pump shotgun for decades, other than in the areas of aftermarket accessories or modifications. The KSG is an innovative weapon that incorporates many desirable features for law enforcement operations.
The KSG's high capacity, compact size, great balance, and integrated Picatinny rail systems may be just what contemporary officers need in their arsenals. The KSG is a grab-and-go platform that brings plenty of firepower to any lethal encounter.
Lou Salseda is a retired LAPD sergeant with 34 years of law enforcement experience. He is the chief instructor of TAC-1 Defensive Firearms Training in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is a consultant for law enforcement training and litigation.
Kel-Tec KSG Shotgun Specs:
Caliber: 12 gauge
Capacity: 14 plus one
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Overall Length: 26.1 inches
Weight (empty): 6.9 pounds
Height: 7 inches
Action: Pump-action with two magazine tubes
Features: Bullpup design with pistol grip, Picatinny rails, indicator holes on the magazine tubes for visually inspecting load status