Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Well, that's interesting...

Louis Awerbuck seems initially impressed with the Kel-Tec KSG, with the caveat that it still has yet to prove itself over the long haul.

Given that Louis is pretty much the Yoda of shotguns, and that his panning of Benelli's M4 in a review in S.W.A.T. Magazine is still remembered in certain corners of the firearms industry, this is definitely worth noting. Also, since Louis is known for being the kind of ray of sunshine who'd respond to falling into a pile of gold coins with "Well, this will be nice if the tax man doesn't come take them away. We'll see..." his comments on the KSG are high praise, indeed.

Denny will have a full review in November's issue. I'm interested to see what happens when a few of these things get some mileage on them.


Marty said...

I have yet to see one in the wild. Store or gun show.

Anonymous said...

if they had one in 20 ga. with pink accents...

pdb said...

I'd like to see a video of someone doing a chamber check and topping up the mag tubes on this thing.

Also, dang Louis is looking old. I hope he's coming back out to DPRC this year.

Tam said...


It will be interesting to see a manual of arms evolve for this thing if it catches on.

Bram said...

Still waiting to see an RFB with a Target barrel.

Stuart the Viking said...

Dangit... Just when I finally convinced myself that this thing is probably too good to be true (and therefore a POS) and I don't want it, this happens. Now I'm back to waffling again.


Joseph said...

I don't see where this changes anything. Looks as though he hasn't fired it and has just been handed the KSG, what's not to like about it at that point? It's short, carries a butt-load o'ammo and is a 12ga pump.

I have yet to see someone operating one of these that doesn't look like a monkey luvin' a football. Perhaps that's just because nobody has had one for a length of time to get decent with one, but from all the "action" videos, I'll stick with the tried and true Mossberg/Remington for now.

Now if this thing turns out to be a robust, reliable 12ga pump, then I might think about it, but it'll have to be stellar to overcome the bad taste that Kel-Tec customer service left in my mouth.

Tam said...


FWIW, after the range session, Louis asked Denny if the test gun was available for purchase. Denny said no, because he was buying it himself.

That perked my ears up, and hence my response.

Anonymous said...

I thought someone (Oleg) identified a trigger reset issue with these...?

wv: bullet
No, shot. Silly blogger.

Rob Reed said...

Now I wish I had spent more time with the one Oleg brought to the LG blogger shoot. I did put a couple rounds through it, but not enough to get a good feel for it.

The problem with Kel Tec stuff isn't the ideas, there cool, it's the execution.

Joseph said...


OK, I either missed that in the video or it wasn't in the posted video. I suppose if he's willing to spend his own money he at least sees the potential. I see the potential as well, I just don't a) have the $$ to go beta test Kel-Tec's gun for them and b) couldn't get one if I had the money.

That's kind of the issue with most lustful Kel-Tec stuff. They apparently spend most of their time churning out PF9, P11 & P3ATs.

Tam said...


"OK, I either missed that in the video or it wasn't in the posted video."

You didn't miss anything in the video; I only knew because Denny mentioned it over at S.W.A.T.'s FaceBook page. :)

Frank W. James said...

Louie is a good guy and one of those I respect because he's a true believer; not a 'seeker of gold' like you mention. I need to take more of his classes, but I noticed in the video he suffered an empty chamber 'click' and then the deputy who followed seemed to have the same problem, or at least experienced difficulty 'pumping' the gun.

I suspect if this gun is up to the abuse, it's still going to take a whole new manual of arms before operators become 'high speed/low drag' with it.

Still, the thing to remember is any shotgun is a short distance, heavy payload weapon. Sometimes that's what is needed, but not always.

Just because you've got a great hammer doesn't mean every problem is a raised nail...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Gewehr98 said...

Yeah, I'm curious if they fixed the trigger reset issue with that scattergun, too.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the same problems that Frank did but I couldn't tell if it's just the result of an absence of a good manual of arms.

In the video it looks like it's a "rightie" only gun since the ejection port is right on the other side where the cheekweld is made. Do you know if there's a way to make it work for those of us who shot long guns from the "wrong side"? or even better, a way to change shoulders at will?


Bubblehead Les. said...

I first thought "Why in Heck would anyone need a 15 round Bullpup 12 Gauge for anyway?" Then I thought of Feinstein, Schumer, MAIG, the Brady's, et. al.

Put me down for 2. : )

Tamara (remotely) said...


"...I noticed in the video he suffered an empty chamber 'click'..."

I noticed that, too, and it took me a second to realize that that was the first mag running dry. (Of course, unlike a conventional tube-fed pump that goes click when the mag runs dry, he just flipped the selector doohicky and started going to town with the second mag.)

I am also given to understand that this video was from everybody's first range encounter with the gun.

It is definitely going to have to evolve its own manual of arms.

Anonymous said...

"it's still going to take a whole new manual of arms before operators become 'high speed/low drag' with it."

I recently took Louis' shotgun class in Lebanon, Indiana and while he did praise the KSG (which nearly caused me to fall off the picnic table), Louis stated that if you wanted to carry/use the KSG it should be your only shotgun as the manual of arms requires you to think like a German.

Shootin' Buddy

JDS said...

Kel-tec posted a video a while ago, showing they fixed the trigger reset issue. Apparently, it was always intended to reset properly, but the prototype brought to the Shot show was faulty.

The spent shells eject downward, not to the side. You southpaws are good to go.

Sport Pilot said...

Obviously time and field usage will be the deciding factor in this weapon platform. It is certainly true that an entire manual of arms training procedure will need to evolve as well, Louis is the perfect source for that. I have found Louis to be one of the most attentive and intuitive trainers available, it’s almost as if he is reading your mind. He has keyed in immediately on things I’ve done, explained why I did it and completely backed up my decision making process. Louis does not stroke egos or feed vanities, he calls it like he sees it and a complement from him is a very big deal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks JDS, it makes the whole package look a lot more interesting to me now.

I wonder what type of iron BUISs could be put on this.


ExurbanKevin said...

I wonder what type of iron BUISs could be put on this.


By the looks of things, anything that can go on a rail.

Sigivald said...

The size and capacity are compelling.

The availability and price are not.

(Though I see people are trying to tell me it's $660 now, which is a lot better than the last price I heard, which was $899.

At $899 it's a "are you crazy?" - at $660, it looks plausible.)

Will said...


At $899, they are playing in Benelli territory.

I handled it at SHOT. I'm left-handed. If it works in production versions as well as it felt, I may have to sell my Benelli to afford it. It would be a good trade.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Has Louis ever passed judgement on the Saiga 12?

I think the KSG would be a very good less lethal (only) gun. I'm waiting for Kel-Tec lawyers to freak out over mixing lethal and less lethal ammo.

Nutnfancy has a video of the KSG in the field. He did show some sticky bolt issues. (I will post it on my blog.)

Tamara (remotely) said...


Don't get me started on Nutnfancy.

Tamara (remotely) said...

(...although here's a start.)

Mad Saint Jack said...

I know lots of people don't like Nutnfancy But if you want vid of the KSG he has got it. (Lots of it.)

Tamara (remotely) said...


For me, it doesn't really have anything to do with "like" or "don't like".

Anonymous said...

I had a Kel-Tec PLR-16, the really cool .223 pistol they make. That gun was DOUBLE-FEEDING. I've been around all kinds of guns my whole life, and maybe I'm a sheltered snowflake, but before that, I had never seen weapon double feed once, let alone consistently. The thing would fail to feed, fail to eject, then double feed. All kinds of mags and ammo, no difference. Did I mention this pistol is capable of firing out of battery? I was literally sweating the second time it double fed a round sticking out and the first one looked like the firing pin could still make contact.

My experience with Kel-Tec is that they are great on ideas, bad on execution. I'd wait a few years for them to experiment on their customers and work out the "kinks" before you touch one of these.

Bubblehead Les. said...

This ain't right. Nutnfancy gets to review the KSG? Damn, maybe I should set up a YouTube Channel and put in a call to Ronnie Barret.

Matt G said...

Anonymous: Some of their guns are better made than others, but on the whole, most of us agree with youre penultimate sentence.

That said, the performance of a single specimen of a rifle-caliber auto pistol has only a little bearing on that entire model (too small of a sample), and virtually zero bearing on the company's bulpup shotgun.

All together, friends: Anecdotes Do Not Equal Data.

Anonymous said...

ExurbanKevin said...
I wonder what type of iron BUISs could be put on this.

By the looks of things, anything that can go on a rail.

Well, in terms of them fitting to the rail, sure, but it looks like any sights meant to work for the AR are going to be too high, the ones for H&K may be too and I don't know of any really low iron sights that could work with this shotgun.


MonteG said...

I could be mistaken - I certainly haven't handled one of these things, yet - but it looks to me as though the rain height is similar to an AR, relative to the comb of the stock.

Anonymous said...

That said, the performance of a single specimen of a rifle-caliber auto pistol has only a little bearing on that entire model (too small of a sample), and virtually zero bearing on the company's bulpup shotgun.

All together, friends: Anecdotes Do Not Equal Data.

OK, fair enough, an anecdote is just some random guy ranting. Go straight to Kel-Tec and ask them how their cool new designs actually work. The reaction from Kel-Tec when I called about my PLR-16 was, "Yeah, we have a lot of problems with those, just send it in." A month later, when I call to ask when I can expect the pistol back, "We have a backlog of PLR-16s, wait time is about a month, we should be getting to yours, shortly."

Not saying that Kel-Tec can't come up with really great ideas and then design then design something awesome that other manufacturers wouldn't even try. Just that the cutting edge products they send you may work, or they may not, and Kel-Tec's business plan is to have the customer stand in for an actual Q&A department. As cool as the KSG looks, I'm not planning on dropping $700 for the opportunity to serve as Kel-Tec's product tester.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, if the P3AT and PF9 are any indicators, we'll be seeing the Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Sig, and Taurus clones soon enough.

The Raving Prophet said...

It's an interesting concept, and not an unattractive set of capabilities, but Kel-Tec's capability to ship a new product on time, in volume, and without quality issues has not been all that great lately.

It's going to take some time before I'd think about buying one. Even then, I really have to think hard about buying a pump gun that costs as much as TWO Remington 870s.

Anonymous said...

There is another one of the market, the UTAS UTS-15. Looks a lot like the KSG but has more features. Like a moving shell indicator on top of the feed tubes, a way to compress the springs to feed the rounds in quicker. Also a 3 way switch, L tube, R tube or L/R alternating.

Oleg Volk said...

Having played much with KSG:

- trigger works fine
- felt recoil similar to 870, muzzle rise less
- reloading fumbly for me, best with gun pointed up
- for moving targets, fold rear sight down, for slugs bring them up
- 15rd capacity means reloading unlikely in real fights
- red dot works better
- accurate with slugs
- very good control layout, vertical foregrip makes much easier to rack
- can be run with one hand if necessary
- sling attachments and other controls very robust
- it is short and handy around corridors and vehicles

If you like pump shotguns, it's quite a nice weapon.