Kel-Tec KSG Problems: What You Need to Know

Kel-Tec KSG Problems
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Let’s talk turkey about one of the gun industry’s most talked-about shotgun models – the Kel-Tec KSG! This bullpup shotgun, straight from famous gun manufacturer Kel-Tec, has drawn both admiration and criticism from gun enthusiasts around the world. But today, we’re not here to sing praises. We’re going to address some of the issues. Yep, we’re exploring the notorious Kel-Tec KSG problems and how they could impact your experience.

Let’s get started!

Kel-Tec KSG Problems

Material Construction

Starting with the elephant in the room, the KSG is primarily constructed of polymer, which can be a double-edged sword. Lightweight? Yes! But durability might be a question mark. After extended use and/or under strenuous conditions, users have reported issues of cracking, especially around the pump-action slider.


Nothing is quite as frustrating as a shotgun that jams – especially when you’re in the zone at the range. For the KSG, it’s been reported that failure to feed or extract shells properly can lead to this sticky situation. 

That’s not even mentioning a legitimate self-defense scenario . . . yikes!

The KSG’s twin-tube design, while allowing for a high capacity, can sometimes lead to issues with feeding new shells into the chamber. This is especially the case if the user doesn’t operate the pump-action slider fully and with a certain level of force. Light or partial strokes can cause a shell to not load properly, leading to a failure to feed.

The other common jamming issue is failure to extract. Some users have reported that spent shells occasionally do not eject as they should. This is often due to a build-up of dirt or grime within the phosphate-coated chambers. Regular and thorough cleaning can help to mitigate this issue.

Another cause of failure to extract can be the usage of low-quality or low-brass shells. These shells may not provide enough power to fully cycle the action, leading to issues with extraction. Using high-quality, high-brass shells can often reduce this problem.

It’s important to remember that, like with all firearms, proper maintenance, correct usage, and quality ammunition can help to minimize these issues.


Kel-Tec KSG Loading
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Loading the KSG can be a bit of a chore. The twin-tube design may hold lots of shells, but it can be a bit fussy and slow to load, especially in a hurry. 

Loading shells into the KSG can be tricky due to the tight fit and the need to manually switch between the two tubes once one is full. It’s not uncommon for users to experience difficulty fitting the shells in, and sometimes the shells can get stuck or not feed properly. 

Given the manual nature of the loading process, it can be time-consuming, particularly for beginners or those not familiar with the design. In scenarios where speed is essential, this could be a drawback. The manual switch between the twin tubes can also be a little clunky. Once one tube is empty, you’ll need to manually flip the selector switch to begin feeding from the other tube. If not done properly, this can lead to feed issues.

While these issues can be frustrating, practice and familiarity with the firearm often help to reduce these problems over time. Furthermore, some users have suggested solutions such as slightly angling the shotgun while loading to allow gravity to assist in feeding the shells correctly. Regular maintenance and using quality ammunition can also play a significant role in minimizing issues.

Recoil Management

While the compact size of the KSG is one of its selling points, the bullpup design and reduced weight can lead to increased felt recoil. This can make the KSG more challenging to handle and fire accurately, particularly for extended periods and for new users or those with smaller stature.

Managing this recoil can also be a challenge due to the shotgun’s ergonomics. The grip and stock of the KSG, while innovative in design, don’t necessarily lend themselves to the best recoil absorption. Some users find that the grip is not as comfortable as they’d like, and the butt of the shotgun can be hard against the shoulder.

It’s also been noted that the significant recoil can make the KSG less suitable for smaller shooters or those with less upper body strength.

However, several strategies can help manage the KSG’s recoil. This can include using low-recoil ammunition, investing in a recoil-reducing buttpad, or working on shooting stance and technique to better absorb the kick.


Comfort: The grip of the KSG is integrated into the stock, part of the firearm’s distinctive bullpup design. However, this grip is not necessarily the most comfortable. It’s relatively small and rigid, and some users find it doesn’t fit their hand as well as they’d like. After prolonged use, discomfort or even blisters may occur. 

Ergonomics: The positioning of the grip relative to the pump-action slider and trigger can also present issues. Some users report that the distance between the grip and the slider is too large, making the shotgun more difficult to operate, especially for those with smaller hands. A hard day at the range might leave you wishing for a more ergonomic handle.

Safety: There have been some safety concerns raised regarding the KSG’s grip design. Specifically, due to the compact nature of the firearm, there’s a risk that a user’s hand could slip forward past the grip and towards the muzzle, particularly if the pump-action slider is operated forcefully or hastily. Some users add a vertical foregrip or an aftermarket hand stop to their KSG to help prevent this.

While these grip issues can be a drawback for some, others find the KSG perfectly comfortable to use. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and hand size. For those who find the grip uncomfortable or problematic, there are aftermarket solutions, such as grip sleeves or foregrips, which can help mitigate these issues.

Selector Switch

Switching between the dual-tubes isn’t always as seamless as it should be. The manual selector switch can be stiff and tricky to maneuver, causing potential hiccups during operation. 

Phosphate Coated Chambers

While the phosphate coating in the chambers is meant to provide added durability and corrosion resistance, it can lead to extraction issues when dirty. Regular, thorough cleaning is necessary to prevent this.

Snap Caps Issues

Some users have reported difficulties ejecting snap caps, leading to potential problems when trying to unload the weapon safely. These issues are often related to the design and materials of the snap caps. Some are made of plastic, which may not hold up well to the mechanical forces at play when the shotgun is cycled. This can lead to them getting stuck or even breaking inside the shotgun, causing more significant problems.

In response to these issues, some KSG users recommend using higher-quality snap caps made from more durable materials, like aluminum. This can help to ensure that they withstand the ejection process and don’t cause issues in the shotgun.

Kel-Tec KSG-25 Problems

Kel-Tec KSG-25 Problems

The bigger brother of the original KSG, the KSG-25, is not without its fair share of issues. It maintains the innovative dual-tube design, but with an extended barrel length and shell capacity. Despite these upgrades, the KSG-25 is not immune to problems, some of which mirror those of the standard KSG.

Weight and Balance: With a much longer barrel and increased capacity, the KSG-25 is noticeably heavier than the original KSG. When fully loaded, it can become unwieldy, particularly for those of smaller stature or with less upper body strength. The additional weight in the front can also throw off the balance, affecting ease of handling and accuracy.

Loading Issues: The loading issues that plague the original KSG are also present in the KSG-25. The increased capacity can make the loading process even more laborious and time-consuming. The manual tube switch can also be a hassle, especially when under pressure or in fast-paced shooting scenarios.

Recoil: The recoil of the KSG-25, while somewhat mitigated by the increased weight of the gun, is still significant due to the nature of the 12-gauge shells it fires. Users need to be prepared for the substantial kick, which can affect accuracy and lead to discomfort during prolonged use.

Size: The increased size of the KSG-25, while providing benefits in terms of capacity and velocity, also means it’s less compact and maneuverable than the original KSG. For those looking for a compact home-defense weapon, the KSG-25 may prove too large.

Kel-Tec KS7 Problems

Kel-Tec KS7 Problems

The Kel-Tec KS7 is a simplified, single-tube variant of the original Kel-Tec KSG. It’s designed to be lighter and more maneuverable while maintaining much of the firepower of the original. Despite its upgrades and modifications, the KS7 also has its share of reported issues:

Recoil: Like the KSG, the KS7’s lightweight design can lead to significant felt recoil. This is especially the case given the KS7’s even lighter weight compared to the KSG. Firing 12-gauge shells from such a light platform can be uncomfortable for some shooters, and it may impact accuracy, especially with rapid follow-up shots.

Carry Handle:The KS7 features a carry handle that also serves as a sighting rail. While it provides an innovative, integrated sighting solution, some users have found it bulky and not to their liking. It’s also not as adaptable as the standard Picatinny rail found on the KSG for mounting different types of sights or other accessories.

Grip and Forend: Some shooters find the KS7’s grip and pump forend to be less comfortable than they’d like. These ergonomic issues can affect shooting experience and potentially lead to user fatigue over time.

Remember, while these potential problems exist, they don’t necessarily make the KS7 a bad firearm. In many cases, these issues can be managed or fixed with proper maintenance, the right technique, and in some cases, modifications or aftermarket accessories.

Kel-Tec KSG Features

Kel-Tec KSG Features

Despite its quirks and issues, the KSG still comes with innovative features that make the it stand out in the crowded shotgun market.

Downward Ejection System

The KSG’s unique downward ejection system makes it a true ambidextrous shotgun, suitable for both lefties and righties.

Dual Picatinny Rails

The dual Picatinny rails offer plenty of space for mounting accessories like optics, lights, and lasers, letting you customize to your heart’s content.

Detachable Magazine

The twin-tube detachable magazine is a notable feature. Despite loading difficulties, it offers an impressive capacity that’s hard to beat.

Strap Vents

Finally, the KSG’s strap vents add both style and practicality, providing a secure place for slings and straps.


The Kel-Tec KSG is a beast of a shotgun – it’s innovative, compact, and chock-full of features. But it’s not without its flaws. Whether these problems are deal-breakers or just minor inconveniences depends on the shooter. It’s also worth noting that regular maintenance and proper care can help mitigate some of these potential issues, ensuring the Kel-Tec KSG remains in optimal working order for as long as possible.

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