U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Calling the KS7 the younger brother to the KSG describes it almost perfectly. KelTec hit us with the KSG years ago and combined a bullpup design with a dual tube system that doubled the capacity. The KelTec KS7 is both younger and smaller than the KSG. KelTec’s KS7 simplifies the KSG design by reducing a dual tube design to a single tube system. Not only does this lighten the weapon’s weight, but it lightens the price tag as well.
With an MSRP of $580, the KS& sells for roughly half the price of the KSG. Does the little KS7 live up to its big brother?
Hear the Bullpup Bark
When it comes to shotguns, shorter is always better. Shotguns are close-quarters weapons, and the closer you are, the smaller you want your weapon. A little thing called the National Firearms Act restricts shotgun barrel length to 18 inches and longer. Anything shorter requires some paperwork, a tax stamp, months of waiting, and living in a state that allows it.
If you can’t shorten the barrel beyond 18 inches, you can also shorten the entire gun. The KS7 measures a mere 26.25 inches, which is as short as legally allowed. If it was less than 26 inches overall, it would also be an NFA-regulated weapon. If you want to combine power with a small size, then the KS7 provides you that option.
Firearms like the Mossberg Shockwave are longer than the KS7 and lack a stock. The bullpup layout provides an unbeatable degree of compactness and offers you the same level of control as a regular shotgun. Oh, and it weighs a mere 5.9 pounds. As someone who likes their shotguns light and short, the KS7 seemed to be an excellent configuration.
The KS7 and Tubes
While the KSG rocked the double tube system for a high-capacity shotgun, the KS7 removed a tube for a simplistic setup. Simple is good. Shotguns are simple weapons with a simple purpose. A single tube still delivers seven rounds of 2 ¾ shotgun shells. Seven rounds keep the KS7 on par with modern fighting shotguns like the 590A1 and Benelli M4.
If you want more, you might have to go mag fed or the KSG route, but for social work, seven rounds will get the job done. It’s considerably impressive when you consider the KS7 is roughly half the size of most shotguns.
Because of the shotgun’s layout, you do get a completely ambidextrous setup. Bullpups rarely work well with left-handed shooters, but the KS7 utilizes a bottom-load and eject design. It won’t shoot shells into the face of lefties. This bottom eject and load system make it tricky to speed reload. Don’t count on doing the ole’ load two at a time with the KS7.
The safety consists of this big square design that’s quite easy to engage and disengage. It’s huge, and you can hit it with your thumb or trigger finger depending on which side your dominant hand sits. The pump release sits in front of the trigger and protrudes vertically. Either trigger finger can disengage it and allow you to work the pump.
The pump doesn’t boast the same smooth feedback of a well-worn Remington 870 Wingmaster. It’s a bit rough and jumps and grinds in places, but this doesn’t matter for most of us. It runs rearward and forward, and that’s what matters.
The Carry Handle
Yeah, you noticed that big ole’ carry handle, huh? It’s quite prominent on the KS7 and serves a few purposes. First, it contains your sighting system. Shooters get a big green fiber optic triangle that’s massive and quite eye-catching. Second, it provides M-LOK slots for me to attach my light and a DIY shell holder I made to house a few spare rounds.
Whenever I grab the gun by a charging handle, I picture a P.I. Drill Instructor losing his mind. The carry handle can be removed, and you can replace it with a Picatinny rail from an aftermarket company for optics.
Enough jawin’, let’s shoot something. At 5.9 pounds, the KS7 doesn’t do much to naturally resist recoil. If you’re smart, you’ll adopt the Rob Haught method of recoil control. Pull rearward on the pistol grip and push forward on the pump action. This tension helps you fight recoil, and if you don’t use proper recoil mitigation, you’re gonna get punched in the shoulder.
With good recoil mitigation techniques, you can run the KS7 as fast and as hard as any other pump action. With some caution, I advise you to watch your thumb and its placement on the pump. The integrated handguard will give it a thump if it’s pressed against the handguard. I tried using some shooting gloves, but even they didn’t solve the pain problem. It’s better to just wrap your thumb around the pump.
The big front sight allows you to get on target quite quickly, especially when running the gun between a multitude of targets. The big triangle captures your eyes and allows you to get buckshot where buckshot is needed. For longer-range use, the big sight doesn’t do you any favors for slug users. It’s big, and at slug ranges, it covers up the target a good bit.
With standard 2.75 and 3-inch loads, there were zero issues with the KS7. I’ve put ammo of varying qualities through the gun, including cheap loads from Rio and Wolf, and have yet to find a load the gun won’t eat. I’ve put hundreds of shotshells ranging from cheap birdshot to expensive buck and seen 100% reliability.
The KS7 patterns as you’d expect from a cylinder bore gun. With good loads like FliteControl, you can make a single hole in a target at 15 to 20 yards. With standard buckshot, you can expect loads averaging about 6.5-inches at 10 yards. With cheap loads, you can expect a wider spread, roughly 8.5-inches at 10 yards.
Home Defense Worthy
The KS7 surprised me. I’ve had mostly good experiences with KelTec long guns, but some iffy experiences with their handguns. As such, I typically approach these guns with caution. However, after several hundred loads of buckshot without issue, I can’t help but love the KS7 for home defense. It’s super light and short, which is perfect for the tight confines of a home. The KS7 isn’t for everyone, but I’m suitably impressed by the little bullpup. It’s certainly got plenty of bite.
About Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.