2012 SHOT Show Special Report: Kel-Tec KSG Short-barreled NFA Shotguns

Instead of diverting precious resources to designing new guns, Kel-Tec chose to focus on maximizing production of their existing firearms this year. They did show off some wicked looking short-barreled versions of their Kel-Tec Shotgun at the 2012 SHOT Show, and our intrepid photographer Oleg Volk got photos for you!

The standard Kel-Tec KSG has a barrel length of 18.5 inches and an overall length of 26.1 inches, making it legal for anyone to buy—despite its bullpup design, it is just another shotgun as far as the paperwork goes. The standard Kel-Tec KSG holds seven rounds of ammo in each of its magazine tubes, plus one in the chamber, for a total capacity of 7 + 7 + 1 = 15 shots (if you are using 2.75-inch shells). The first photo in our series below shows the KSG standard model. We learned that production KSGs will feature Winchester “WinChoke” specification threading for choke tubes.

The shotgun with the angled foregrip mounted on the pump-action is called the KSG Patrol. The second and third photos show this variant. Barrel length is chopped to 16.1 inches, and overall length is 24 inches. Capacity drops by one round per tube, to 6 + 6 + 1 for a total capacity of 13 rounds. We’re told that the Patrol will feature an optional LED tactical light rated at 350 lumens, built right into the pump. That’s a lot of shotgun in a two foot long package! The shotgun with the vertical foregrip is called the KSG Tactical. It’s the super-shorty version shown in the last three photos, with a barrel length of just 13.7 inches and an overall length of just 21.4 inches. Capacity goes down again by one round per tube, so we’re down to 5 + 5 + 1 = 11 rounds. The Tactical will also feature the same 350 lumen tactical light as the Patrol, and the version shown at SHOT Show also had a wicked looking door breaching standoff device attached to the muzzle.

The KSG Tactical really shows off the advantages of this shotgun design. Let’s say we wanted to chop a Remington 870 to a similar overall length, using a fully collapsed AR-15 stock to keep things as short as possible. We would only leave room for a four-inch long barrel on that 870, almost ten inches less barrel length than the KSG Tactical. Total capacity of our chopped 870 would be only two rounds in the magazine tube and one in the chamber. The 21.4-inch long KSG Tactical still carries 11 rounds! Put another way, the KSG Tactical still carries three more shots than a full-sized 870 with a +2 mag extension. That full-sized 870 measures 38.5 inches long, almost twice as long as the Kel-Tec.

As you might guess from the names, Kel-Tec says they intend to sell these shotguns primarily to law enforcement. However, employees at the 2012 SHOT Show booth said that NFA dealers can place orders for the Patrol and Tactical models as well. So if you’ve just got to have one of these shotguns, get your wallet and paperwork ready and have your local NFA dealer call Kel-Tec!

Have you seen the Kel-Tec KSG? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (8)

  1. Was looking to get the KSG, and since Kel-tec took to heart some of the input from the field and made some updates to the original KSG, am considering now between the original KSG and the Patrol KSG model. One question involves in particular the lower fore grip rail is suggested to be plastic. If this is true, what plans are there to ameliorate this potential weak point? I’ve seen some really positive updates, and would encourage that approach continue as a company. Any pics of the new optional tactical lights for the patrol and tactical models?

  2. The lower rail of the forend where a foregrip is recommended is PLASTIC unlike the upper rail which is metal. Within the first 10 shots using a sig sauer stoplight foregrip, the lower rail shattered, fragmented, and broke off. Very very disappointed. Otherwise, the gun shoots great.

  3. Dennis- yes, it’s chambered in 3″. And no, barrel length should not be relevant to accuracy. Your accuracy is going to depend on your sighting arrangement and whether/how you have the muzzle choked, not on the barrel length.

  4. Does this shotgun have the capability of firing 3in high brass 00 buck and rifle slugs?
    What is the accuracy at 25 yards with the shorter barrel?
    I like the higher round capacity, light attachment in the pump. Interested but have concerns for “flyers” at longer distances even with the patrol model.

    More infomation is needed for this product.

  5. The price looks to be too high (and I am a KT fan). Interesting product but Saiga offers a semi with more capacity for less $$$.


  6. I’m sure the new Demos look great but we’re still waiting for the models they were supposed to put out last year.

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