Firearms-Related Comment of the Day: KSG Ammo Issues Edition

A member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia had a look at the new Kel-Tec KSG and raised an important point: “I don’t know how i’d feel about cops loading their weapon with lethal and non lethal ammo,” Alex opined. “A simple wrong switch or not racking the slide after the change could be life or death.” It’s an important issue for someone considering any shotgun for home defense . . .

A shotgun loaded with double-ought buck (or some other home defense round) is utterly devastating at close range. You still have to aim the thing, but if you hit your target, your target’s going to be on the “soon to be dead” side of unhappy. Once you start looking at defensive situations requiring a bit (as in any) distance, a shotgun needs a slug like an iPhone needs a strong signal. So equipped, a shotgun makes a damn fine rifle out to say 50 yards. Or, if you’re an Internet legend, farther.

Unfortunately, switching shells mid-fight is problematic. While all tactical shotguns make some provision for changing ammo on the fly, the process requires excellent coordination, endless training and OCD ammo storage habits. And before all that you have to decide to change ammo (i.e. think) in the heat of battle. Good luck with that.

As Alex points out, the KSG seems to offer an ideal solution: twin tubes for two different strengths of too bad for you. But it’s not, really. When it comes to gunfighting, complexity is about as welcome as a blindfold. Even binary bites.

Anyway, why bother? If you’re in the law enforcement business looking for a non-lethal solution to a two-legged problem, a Taser’s the way to go. If you’re a civilian, why would you fire a non-lethal round at a bad guy? Shoot or don’t shoot. Shoot to kill or don’t shoot. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

But then an AR platform or a handgun caliber carbine does it all. A shotgun may spread the lead and leave ’em dead, but the rifles are a lot more wieldy. They work close-in and far-out (man). In fact, one wonders if the KSG shotgun is all that it’s cracked up to be, real world effectiveness-wise. We shall see.