At the risk of spoiling it for you (but take a moment to read through it, I’ll wait), they gave it a thumbs up and recommendation, despite the gun not working out of the box and having to spend a couple weeks at Kel-Tec getting the QC it didn’t get the first time out the door:
After arriving at the range I did my usual inspection and lube and loaded up. After firing two rounds it jammed on the third round. Jams are time consuming to clear. In fact it took approximately three minutes to clear. The jams kept coming just as often. I stopped at this point very frustrated with the initial performance.
He isn’t specific with the nature of the malfunctions (failures to feed, fire, extract, eject? Where did the shell or empty hull end up and how was it reduced?), and taking 3 minutes to clear per malfunction is a little alarming, and I’d really like more information on how it was cleared. But to Kel-Tec’s credit, they got it working again and it functioned properly for another 250 rounds.
TFB could also use a remedial economics lesson. Grousing about “price gouging” FFLs who are charging $1600 for a $800 MSRP gun is just plain ignorant. It’s not the retailer’s fault Kel-Tec priced the gun too low, or lack the capacity to keep up with demand.
I’m not even going to pick on the gun not working out of the box. This is Kel-Tec we’re talking about after all, and a unique design from a small company without a lot of QC or manufacturing ability should be cut some slack.
I still would not recommend the KSG for serious use, even if it worked 100% out of the box, and here is why:
[Images reproduced without permission from The Firearm Blog.]
This is a detail view of the KSG’s loading ports, located behind the pistol grip. Items of note are the large tube selector lever that physically blocks the tube not in use (or both if it’s in the middle!), the long reach to get to the magazine tubes, and the lack of ramps, guides or other hints for the user who is putting shells in there. It’s also not clear to me how easy it is to get the round past those little fingers on top of the shell, or even how to do a chamber check.
For context, here’s the entire underside:
That dark, shadowy cavern at the back of the gun there? That’s where the shells go! Hands up who’d like to try that in the dark or under stress?
In fact, good luck doing it quickly in broad daylight in a relaxed range setting:
Or on the range, on the move:
Compare and contrast to the Remington 870, incidentally, available at less than half the KSG’s MSRP and probably a quarter of it’s street price.
But the marketing of the KSG revolves around its high capacity negating the need to reload the shotgun. I think this is a load of crap, particularly if you intend to use it with slugs. Without easy access to the chamber, getting a slug in action with the KSG (unless you’ve dedicated half of your magazine capacity to slugs, which is dumb) involves cycling the action twice.
A shotgun that cannot be efficiently kept in action is not a shotgun that can be used for competition or self defense.
This is the hurdle that innovative firearms face. No doubt the KSG is a unique, creative design. But in breaking a lot of new ground it also ignores a lot of tradition and proven technology and techniques. I’m not saying that the kata to run an 870 is the only way to run a shotgun, but the KSG appears to have been designed to max out a spec sheet by people who knew nothing of how to operate a shotgun in a serious manner.