A shotgun bites the hand that feeds it

I’ve handled the Kel-Tec KSG shotgun, and frankly consider it an answer in search of a problem.  I don’t think it’s necessary to have so many rounds in a shotgun;  it makes the weapon heavy and (in my experience) unwieldy.  If you need that many shots, a carbine has lighter weight, longer range, greater accuracy, and an even larger magazine capacity.  Still, there are those who like the KSG, and good luck to them.  That’s the beauty of freedom of choice.

Unfortunately, the KSG’s configuration and its lack of a restraining device on the fore-end can punish inattentive operators severely.  The Gun Writer reports on the latest case.

A reader from Arkansas sent me a horrible photograph of what is left of his hand after he shot himself with a Kel-Tec KSG shotgun.

It’s a close-contact wound with a 12 gauge shotgun, something I haven’t seen for quite a while, thankfully.

I decided to make the photo available, to show the damage a shotgun can inflict if mishandled.

There’s more at the link.  The photograph is gruesome, so don’t look at it unless you have a strong stomach.

(I have to point out that this sort of injury is almost impossible with a conventional shotgun.  The barrel sticks out at least several inches beyond the fore-end, sometimes a foot or more, so that even if your hand slips off the latter it won’t end up in front of the muzzle.)



  1. Never saw much use for that Kel Tec, though a friend has one and enjoys playing with it. I'll stick with my Winchester.

  2. Nope, don't think I'll click that link.

    I saw a rumor once, about a similar instance with a KSG, when someone's tactcool vertical foregrip broke free. Ooops.

  3. Wonder if the guy is changing his name to stumpy. A 12 gauge at any close distance leaves little but hamburger behind.

    Honestly, I'm with you- the KSG is a neat concept, but a not so hot reality. I wasn't that impressed when I handled one a couple years ago and I always thought I'd rather have TWO Remington 870s for the price of one KSG. That way you have a backup if one fails and you can load one with different ammo if you prefer.

  4. The KSG is to short. They should have made it a bit longer to keep user safe, and to increase capacity to 20+1 or maybe 24+1.

  5. Doesn't seem to be an inherently unsafe weapon, and as mentioned it seems ideal for the confined spaces of a home interior. Just not a good idea to shoot yourself with it, as with just about every gun out there. Lack of foregrip is a little odd, and the presence of one could easily avoid a 3rd party equipment failure such as this one. That said, it's your responsibility to ensure that the kit you bolt to your gun is up to the task. I would certainly find some sort of guard that would attach securely (and possibly permanently) to the end of the weapon to completely prevent the hand from slipping forward like that.

  6. Bob M:

    IIRC, the MP-5K has a turned down lip at the front end of the forearm, to keep this sort of problem from happening. (It's been 18 years since I trained on the -PDW version, so it's a bit fuzzy)

    Seems the newer versions of the MP-5 now come with a built-in vertical grip, in addition to the lip.

  7. m4:

    I suspect the lack of integral or included vertical foregrip is to allow it to be sold in those states that would label it an "assault weapon" if so equipped. It would be banned from sale in CA for sure, and adding it yourself would be creating a prohibited weapon.

    It would have been a better design if it had a reversed forearm travel, so it locks the chamber when pulled to the rear, instead of the traditional method.

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