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Meet the KSG-25: Kel-Tec’s Insane 41-Shot Manual Bullpup Shotgun

Meet the KSG-25: Kel-Tec’s Insane 41-Shot Manual Bullpup Shotgun

Kyle Mizokami


A unique engineering achievement.

Key point: Kel-Tec’s KSG-25 flips conventional wisdom on its head.

Shotguns are typically not what one would consider high capacity weapons.

The Kel-Tec KSG-25 bullpup shotgun however flips conventional wisdom on its head, producing a shotgun that can store an astounding forty-one shots of ammunition internally. The KSG-25’s design makes it by far the largest capacity shotgun on the civilian market and a unique addition to a gun owner’s collection.

Most shotguns have fairly small internal magazines. A conventionally laid out shotgun has a tubular magazine running parallel underneath the barrel that feeds a pump or semi-automatic operating system. The length of the barrel generally restricts the capacity of the magazine, with short barrel shotguns suffering the most. A Mossberg 590 shotgun with 18.5-inch barrel, for example, can only store seven twelve-gauge shells.

Shotguns used for hunting or sport rarely suffer from the magazine capacity issue, but when it comes to defensive purposes more ammunition is always better. The KSG-25 can store an enormous amount of firepower for a single shotgun: up to twenty three-inch shells, 24 2.75 inch shells, or forty 1.62 inch mini-shells. The shotgun can also store one shell in the chamber, for a total of twenty-one, twenty-five, and forty-one shells, respectively.

Two features allow the KSG-25 to pulls off this small miracle. The first is the use of two ammunition tubes instead of one, automatically doubling a shotgun’s typical ammunition reservoir. The second is the use of a bullpup configuration, which allows longer barrels and thus longer tubular magazines.

A bullpup configuration weapon is one whose action is located behind the trigger group, often integrated directly into the buttstock. This maximizes the use of space lengthwise, resulting in a shorter weapon. Another benefit of placing the weapon’s action so far to the rear is the ability to have a longer barrel length. Bullpup weapons were previously the realm of assault rifles, examples of which are the U.K.’s SA80, Israeli Tavor, and the Austrian Steyr AUG.

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