This was totally an impulse buy. The price was good, I’ve had good experience with Kel-Tec’s P32 and P3AT pistols, and they are nothing if unafraid to innovate. I had been intrigued by their KSG shotgun when it first came out, but the price is way too high for a guy who maybe takes his scattergun out once a year to make sure it still works. I’ve got a Benelli pump-gun that works beautifully and does a good job of moderating the recoil of 12 gauge, but it’s long and heavy; not a great combo for clearing a house in the middle of the night after your wife wakes you up because she “heard something”. The KS7 is anything but that.

The KS7 is a bullpup 12 gauge shotgun with a 7+1 tube that can take 3″ shells. The looks seems to be a love it/hate it scenario; I like it — it looks like I should be fighting aliens or Cylons or something. It’s short: 26″ from stem to stern and light: 6 lbs empty. This translates into a tight package that is perfect for indoor engagements. It’s easy to run the pump action, maneuver through doorways and intersections in hallways, etc. The green fiber-optic sight is triangular and really visible, and sits in a gutter in the carry handle, which I found caught the eye and made target acquisition quick and painless. Would that shooting it were painless…the low weight mitigates none of the recoil. The KS7 is teeth-rattlingly mean to fire.

The barrel, tube, and guts are made of good steel, but the carry handle, pump, handle/firing group, and the buttstock are plastic. It doesn’t feel as cheap as it should; the action is smooth and locks up tight. The trigger is a little long, but isn’t awful; for a bullpup, it’s excellent. The controls are simple: crossbolt safety, action release at the top of the trigger guard which is handy for clearing the weapon. Loading the KS7 is a bit of a pain. There’s a metal catch that is just slightly in the way when pushing shells into the tube and you can catch you finger on it. I’ve found holding the weapon with the firing hand nearly upside down to push shells in is the best way to go. You’re not going to be doing John Wick combat reloads with the KS7.

Takedown is simple. Push the two pins holding the control group out (there’s a nice pair of holes at the top of the grip to stow them if you’re out in the field), and pull the assembly down and off. Remove the butt, then move the action back and take out the bolt assembly. Simple. You’re rarely going to have to take it down further than that. Putting it back together is the reverse, though getting the bolt to sit properly to allow you to close the action requires you to do a bit a finagling.

So how did it do on the range? I put five through it the day I got it at an indoor range since I had read some things about issues with failures to eject or feed — the action needed to be really wracked hard. I suspect these folks did what I did: ran it dry out of the box. I had two fails to fire and eject. Not happy. I took it home and cleaned and oiled it up at the friction points. that weekend, I took it out to the desert to see how it would do.

First, it’s brutal to shoot. The Estate 2 3/4″ buckshot went through fine, and the Winchester likewise, but the PMC Bernecke slugs gave us two failures to fire from hard primers (we think). The Winchester rifled slug went through without issue. Accuracy out to about 30 yards was solid, with hits on 2 liter bottles with the green triangle centered on target. When shooting, the action unlocks and moves aft like it’s trying to help you cycle it. My friend described it as “like a Winchester 1300”. Shells eject downward, so it’s an ambidextrous shotgun. I was pleased to see that ejecting shells didn’t leave residue all over my jacket, something my FN P-90 was fond of doing. Of the rounds fired, we had two primer issues, but otherwise the weapon functioned flawlessly. (So, clean and lube the thing before you go play.)

I talked with a friend in Arkansas that has one of these. He’s former a former SP for the Air Force, and has been running Aguila minishells through his without and adapter and without issue. These might be a good compromise for those who want to use this thing as a home defense gun. (Although under stress, I doubt you’re going to notice the recoil so much.) Also, the carry handle/aiming rail seems to a point of contention for some folks. You can apparently swap it with the KSG rail. There’s a bunch of M-LOK holes all over the thing for riging a sling, laser, light, or whatever.

So is it worth the MSRP of about $550? A few years ago, when pandemic gun buying frenzies and the following Bidenflation wasn’t an issue, I’d have said it was too high. My Benelli Nova ran me $300 out the door, and a $50 tube extender got her up to the same 7+1. Now? It’s worth the price. This would be an excellent house or truck gun. Hell, you could backpack this thing without much issue and still have a goodly number of shells to handle wildlife.