In our last episode, AI member C Young relayed a, well, problem he encountered with his KSG’s plastic lower rail. But he’s been in contact with Kel Tec’s customer service operation and they seem to be very responsive so far. We pass on the following email string with permission. . .

Kel Tec’s initial response when told of the broken rail:
I’m very sorry to hear that. It’s the first time I’ve heard that happening.

Please return your firearm to the physical address below for repair. Include with it:
1.       A letter stating your name, address, phone number, email address and the issue. Also, what ammo you were using, any accessories (i.e. mags, belt clips, etc.) that your sending in with it.
2.       A copy of your purchase receipt or 4473 form showing that you’re the original owner. Without this, there will be a charge for any services performed.
3.       If you have an active law enforcement ID, please include a copy of that as well.

There’s no RA number needed. Please pack it in an unmarked box.  If you have a dealer return the firearm for you, we’ll need a copy of their FFL with the letter and purchase receipt. They can ship it cheaper by mail, since they have a license. Otherwise, you’ll need to send it yourself through UPS or FedEx or the sort. Individuals cannot ship pistols by mail, but rifles are OK.

Please also keep a note of your serial number. If you want to check up on the repair, that’s the easiest way for us to looks it up. Turnaround time is about 4-6 weeks normally, unless otherwise specified.

From C Young:
Thank you so much for your prompt reply.  I will follow the directions.  I will also forward you reply to a friend who had the same thing happen, to a smaller degree, as we were shooting our new KSGs for the first time together.

Kel Tec again:
Better yet, I’ll be happy to send you a call tag for the return of your firearm for repair. The label will be emailed from UPS directly within 24-72 hours. If you don’t see it by then, check your trash/spam folders to see if it went there. You’ll need to print it out within 48 hours of receiving it or the link will expire. Once you’ve printed it, you’ll have 10 days to ship it off before the label expires.

Customer Name:
Return address for signature:
Phone number:
Email address:
Model and serial number:
Reason for service:
If applicable, what brand of ammo used:

A letter must be included in with the firearm stating all the above information as well as a copy of the original purchase receipt and any accessories that relate to the problem. Do not include any live ammo in the box! We will not be responsible for any items not originally made or sold by Kel-Tec or the return of any item not listed on the letter included with the firearm. No return number is otherwise required. Please wrap in an unmarked package in accordance with the USPS standards of shipping. Packages improperly marked will be refused.

25 Responses to Kel Tec’s Follow Up re: Broken KSG Rail

  1. An off topic question–just what documentation do I need to retain about a firearm purchase? I live in Pennsylvania, but I’m not sure I’ve got the original docs on some purchases, since I wasn’t quite aware when I bought my first few guns. What do I need if (god forbid) I have to move to Massachusetts, or even sell a firearm. I’ve also got a .22 rifle that my father received on his 13th birthday in 1941, and how do I deal with that?

    • Terry, it might be helpful to have a copy of the 4473s (if there was one) for the guns you bought. As far as your Dad’s .22, you won’t have a 4473 because the form didn’t exist in 1941, and you probably won’t have any transfer documentation from your father to you. Not a big deal.

      The 4473 is supposed to be a confidential document, not a public one. You can lose a 4473 with no adverse consequences. However, if the selling dealer loses his copies, he’s up a creek. ATF requires that the dealer keep the copies of the 4473 for (IIRC) ten years.

      For your own protection, you should keep a list of your guns and their serial numbers along with pictures in case they are lost, stolen or burned. Your homeowner’s or renter’s policy might cover such losses — you should check the actual policy.

      If you move, you’ll need to consult your new state’s gun laws. 4473s are not likely to be required. What you will certainly need is the appropriate firearms license from your new jurisdiction.

      You mentioned MA. For nothing but basic long guns, an FID is required and MA is “shall issue” for the FID. For anything else, you’d need a License To Carry. MA is “may issue” for the LTC, but some towns are “shall issue” in fact, if not in law.

      • The FFL dealer has to keep the 4473 on record for at least 20 years, or five if the sale was declined.
        I’m fortunate enough to be in oregon, where as long as it’s not an NFA firearm, you don’t have to keep records of it yourself.

      • Very few states require a license to own a gun. It is a good idea to keep documentation of the serial numbers, and a picture for insurance purposes, but the idea that guns are generally licensed and permitted is a myth promulgated by the MSM and hollywood.

  2. FLAME AGAINST TTAG DELETED. Our policy: No flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators. Sned any complaints about the website’s editorial stance or style to guntruth@me.com. If you believe there are issues that need a wider airing, we can discuss a separate post.

  3. I saw almost the identical email interchange from KT at least three times with the P3AT before I gave up on it.

    They will have the KSG for about six weeks on the dot and return it in like new original condition.

  4. My customer service experience with Kel Tec has been exemplary. The initial build quality of my PF9 was less than Glock-perfect, but they cheerfully and efficiently supplied me with replacement parts until my pistol’s teething pains went away.

    Unfortunately, a year later, they’ve come back.

  5. I get real tired of hearing about how great Blahblahblah’s service/return policy is. Because if it’s a quality piece of gear, and I’m not beating the crap out of it, I should never need to know.

    Now if he were doing something above and beyond with it, like taking on a pack of wolves and then using it as a club when he’d run out of ammo, breaking the rail in the prcess, and they were super cool about it then that would be a noteworthy story. But this is a story about shotgun that came apart during normal, light usage; we’re supposed to be impressed that they’re being responsive on the return? They should be apologizing for selling a defective POS.

    And before anyone accuse me of being a Keltec hater, I have and like multiple Keltec products. But they crank out tons of designs, with seemingly little to no testing or QA. Makes them fine toys and range guns, but not weapons.

  6. Again, this rail seems to me to be a bad design, and not some freak accident that only happened to 1 or 2 customers. I bet we’ll hear about this happening more and more until KelTec finally fixes the design. This is far from the first time KelTec cheaped out with a plastic part and had to go back and replace it (plastic mag releases anyone?).

    Cheap plastic rail you KNOW people are going to put vertical foregrips on + a vertical foregrip that is going to torque that cheap plastic rail…

    Eventually something is bound to break especially since most people don’t baby the pumps on their shotguns when racking them.

    • Exactly nice polite emails and UPS pickup tickets mean nothing if the basic idiot design of plastic lower rail stays the same (sorry engineered polymer).
      The turn around time for a minor part swap like this is just plain nuts.(all warranty work should be fast tracked to 3 days in house maximum and one or 2 day delivery included if this was the industry standard you can bet QA on production would be a lot better!)

      When they redesign this part to provide the needed strength for its obvious intended use and send out the redesigned part in metal with instructions on how to swap it out (or bring it to your dealer if you do not want to do it yourself) and include a useful gift like a coupon for a free box of shells as an apology for their glaring design/manufacturing economy decision then you can give them a pat on the back for customer service.

  7. I’m not trying to sound overly negative, but for a company that is trying to overturn its image as a low rent gun maker, I think the tone of their customer service needs to be different. KELTEC is askung for evidence that he’s the original owner, what ammo he was using and a list of accessories he was using (which sounds to me like they are trying to find a way to void his warranty?). I agree with one poster; I’ve never had issues with my guns because I buy nice guns. The company’s reply should have been: “Oh no sir! We sincerely apologize. Here is your return number, please send it in and we will gladly repair or replace your firearm. We stand behind our product and our customers.”
    Not long ago, I could go to the range and regularly see KELTEC owners struggle with malfunction after malfunction. Now some people tell me I’m crazy to doubt KELTEC. It seems they’re making innovative new products and are working in earnest to undo their reputation as a saturday night special manufacturer. However if they really want to do that, they should be a little more concerned about standing behind their work and less concerned with trying to find an excuse not to service this poor guy’s shotgun. Especially for their premier product.

  8. Looks like the original response was automated and the follow-up was a person who realized either that this issue was getting a lot of attention, or that whether or not it was the original owner, it was clearly a flaw in manufacturing and it needed to be fixed at no cost to the owner.

    Hoping the latter had more to do with it than the former, but I’ve heard pretty good things in general about Kel-Tec support.

  9. As already said by one other here:

    “…Nice polite emails and UPS pickup tickets mean nothing if the basic idiot design of plastic lower rail stays the same (sorry engineered polymer).”

    COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER. But then again: u dont buy a KEL-TEC because ur looking for a SIG!

    NEVER had a PLASTIC FRONT GRIP SURVIVE on ANY of my PUMP’s – regardless of manufacturer (of either shotgun or Front Grip!). Too much Force for plastic… GOT to be a tough metal. Indeed: a BAD idea … is a bad idea, no matter where its emloyed. STICK WITH A GOOD SEMI-AUTO. LEAVE THE GIMMICK STUFF ALONE. UR LIFE IS WORTH MORE THAN THAT.

    BAN the FED RESERVE!! SUPPORT RON PAUL.
    Keep stacking tha Gold/Silver.

  10. Hmm. I don;t know if I have ANY of the receipts for my guns, except the last few milsurp pistols (ond then, only because I still have the boxes they came in). As for keeping a copy of the 4473, I have NEVER been offered a copy of the 4473. When I was a gun pimp myself, lo those many years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and 4473s were yellow, we were specifically told IN WRITING by the ATF not to give people copies of the 4473, blank or filled out. Nor did we have a copy machine. When’s the last time you bought a gun from a dealer who had a photocopier? Especially a dealer at a gun show?

    Any competant gunsmith should be able to look at the piece and figure out if it has been “used” or “abused”. (I get the whole business about telling them all teh details of the failure, in case similar accessories or ammo end up showing a trend in particular failures.) As for “original owner”, this is a pretty new piece of ordnance, here. The smart money would say, “Assume it’s covered unless you see convincing evidence it isn’t — we’ve got to keep this from becoming a big, smelly, “Unsafe At Any Speed” type reputation.”

  11. Typical Kel-Tec. Great, innovative designs with crap construction and parts. Seriously, do you want to bet your life on something that’s going to fail? I hope police departments aren’t going to stake people’s lives on this thing. All I had to buy was a p3at and I saw this. They have great designs, but they use cheap parts that break from any sort of moderate use. They’re idea people, not gun makers

    Then again, whenever someone mentions this, KT supporters just say that they have had “some bad luck” or “a bad gun”. Broken parts aren’t “bad luck” they’re just what they are, low quality components.

    • I can tell you this much about the gun, dont buy it. I waited months for mine and recently took delivery of it and as any excited boy with a new toy would do,I cleaned it and I went straight to the range. First Impression,it looks cool and that’s where the good impressions end.

      The gun is very awkward almost to the point of difficult to load and you will most likely cut your finger doing so. Now imagine trying to load this thing in the field under high stress situations. I dont see how it is possible to combat load a round into the chamber without turning the gun upside down. The magazine selector switch is very hard to manipulate from right to left on my gun and would need to be in the neutral position to attempt a combat load, which is one more extra step which would most likely get you shot in the face in real combat..

      Chambered and fired first round, and racked it back only to encounter a double feed jam! The gun failed to extract the spent shell and attempted to load not 1 but 2 additional rounds at once, so a total of 3 rounds were stuck in there, leaving me with a 26″ long baseball bat to defend myself with. This type of jam is simply impossible to clear in a combat situation and would have cost me my life. It takes several minutes to clear the jams once they happen. I fired another round and it did the same exact thing. In fact the first 6-7 attempts the gun jammed the same way. Thinking it was me possibly limp wristing the slide, I allowed 4 other colleges to attempt to shoot it and it did the same thing for all 4 of them, including one range master/fire arms instructor. So it was not me. Now I am far from a gun expert, but I have been in law enforcement for over 15 years and qualify 2 times a year with our shotgun and have put thousands of shotgun rounds down range and never once had a shotgun jam on me.

      I notified Kel-tec who told me they wanted me to return the gun which keep in mind was just purchased a day or two prior, and would send me a call tag and take a look at it when they get a chance. That was over 4-5 days ago, no call tag, no returned email or phone call.

      I fired the gun several more times since and the gun now religiously jams on me at least once out of every 10-15 rounds.

      To make things worse I attempted one more time today to shoot it utilizing a forward pistol grip which subsequently broke 2 teeth of the rail within the first 3 shots….

      Kel-tec stated this gun would revolutionize the industry, and if by revolutionize they mean get a ton of people killed, then yes they are doing it. At this point I fell that Kel Tec is utilizing people like me to do their R&D for them while making big money on markups.

      The design is really stupid when you look at it in detail and how the rounds are extracted and rechambered via one exit which increases the jamming probability much more than a side eject. The extracted round has to pass downward past the rounds in the magazine, then a new round needs to be fed upward. In my opinion this X-crossing effect is a poor design prone to failure and jamming. There is no way this gun would ever stand up to the abuse of actual combat performance either for police or military.

      Save your money and buy a real shotgun this thing is a video game cool looking novelty, and I dont predict Kel Tec being around the marketplace much longer with failures like this weapon.

  12. KelTec did revolutionize the shotgun platform with the KSG. From a tactical advantage to home defense advantage you have to shoot this gun to realize what it offers. My friend and I each own one. I have more time on the range with my KSG than my pistols and probably more range time than many who own this gun. Sure, there has been a few isolated incidents with a broken forend but I believe it is in the error of the operator and unfortunately for Kel Tec, these few incidents spread faster than good news about the gun. For those looking to buy this gun I offer you my opinion of it in hopes that you will buy one and enjoy it as I am. At the range the KSG is accurate. At 7-10 yards with laser sight, it is dead on target. Because of the lack of a stock, receiver at shoulder, I thought the kick of it would be significant. With 2 3/4 shells is kicks about the same as my Remington 870 Wingmaster pump shotgun. The mini shells are super fun to shoot! If you look at many of the videos of shooters firing this gun using a vertical forend grip, the shooter seems to struggle to fluidly slide the forend back then forward in a smooth motion. Instead it looks more like a jerking motion. After spending significant time at the range with the KSG I think it is because the gun is shorter and because of the placement of the hand and arm holding the grip in a shorter space as opposed to holding the forend itself with the hand more flat on the forend the way we all have held other pump shot guns. I have not had feed issues or problems with jammed shells like many other owners of this gun. I have watched others at the range shooting the KSG and gave a few pointers to them that worked for me. For one, if you have a more loose grip on the forend when pumping the gun, it tends to function better. Placing your hand up near where the grip is attached to the rail but still comfortable will also keep pressure off the lower part of the grip. It is a shorter gun and takes some time to get used to. I have shot it with a vertical grip with no problems at all. The pumping action with the KSG needs to be quick and light in order for proper ejection and feeding of the next round. Jamming can occur if the slide is not pulled back in a consistant but swift manner and not so harsh that it results in damage to the forend. I noticed this more with the mini shells than other shells. Because they are shorter, they can flip upside down when the slide action slows during the cycle and this will jam the shell. We have shot many different shells through both our guns and the mini shells caused two slow cycles and one jam. After we were more efficient with cycling the pump there was no other issues with any of the ammo we tried. As for price and availability of the KSG, there is obviously a problem with KelTec getting this gun to market and some dealers are literally screwing customers, its the basic rule of supply and demand. Fortunately I have a good relationship with my local gun shop and they are not in the price gouging game. They have been in business for a very long time, MSRP as listed I believe $885.00 that I paid for mine. Another shop in the area wanted $1600. Again,it is supply and demand but I do agree that this problem is losing customers to the KSG and KelTec products. I waited about 6 months to get my gun which is typical. Overall, the KSG is a great design for tactical and home defense. It is easy to maneuver around corners in our house. Drawing down on an intruder is way easier and quicker due to the short barrel, 18″ legal length but overal gun length of around 29″ with the optional door breecher. There are many good accessories such as lights, laser sights and external shell carriers available for the KSG. See Mesa Tactical shot shell carrier. Overall for us, our two KSG’s have performed as they were designed to do. In a tactical or home defense situation, they are light, short enough to maneuver and carry a substantial number of rounds (15) to get the job done. Again, the KSG may have some issues with the strength of the forend but I firmly believe it is isolated to a few that will end up being operator error. I would highly recommend this platform for the 12 gauge shotgun and I look forward to other offerings from other manufacturers in the future.

  13. KelTec did revolutionize the shotgun platform with the KSG. From a tactical advantage to home defense advantage you have to shoot this gun to realize what it offers. My friend and I each own one. I have more time on the range with my KSG than my pistols and probably more range time than many who own this gun. Sure, there has been a few isolated incidents with a broken forend but I believe it is in the error of the operator and unfortunately for Kel Tec, these few incidents spread faster than good news about the gun. For those looking to buy this gun I offer you my opinion of it in hopes that you will buy one and enjoy it as I am. At the range the KSG is accurate. At 7-10 yards with laser sight, it is dead on target. Because of the lack of a stock, receiver at shoulder, I thought the kick of it would be significant. With 2 3/4 shells is kicks about the same as my Remington 870 Wingmaster pump shotgun. The mini shells are super fun to shoot! If you look at many of the videos of shooters firing this gun using a vertical forend grip, the shooter seems to struggle to fluidly slide the forend back then forward in a smooth motion. Instead it looks more like a jerking motion. After spending significant time at the range with the KSG I think it is because the gun is shorter and because of the placement of the hand and arm holding the grip in a shorter space as opposed to holding the forend itself with the hand more flat on the forend the way we all have held other pump shot guns. I have not had feed issues or problems with jammed shells like many other owners of this gun. I have watched others at the range shooting the KSG and gave a few pointers to them that worked for me. For one, if you have a more loose grip on the forend when pumping the gun, it tends to function better. Placing your hand up near where the grip is attached to the rail but still comfortable will also keep pressure off the lower part of the grip. It is a shorter gun and takes some time to get used to. I have shot it with a vertical grip with no problems at all. The pumping action with the KSG needs to be quick and light in order for proper ejection and feeding of the next round. Jamming can occur if the slide is not pulled back in a consistent but swift manner and not so harsh that it results in damage to the forend. I noticed this more with the mini shells than other shells. Because they are shorter, they can flip upside down when the slide action slows during the cycle and this will jam the shell. We have shot many different shells through both our guns and the mini shells caused two slow cycles and one jam. After we were more efficient with cycling the pump there was no other issues with any of the ammo we tried. As for price and availability of the KSG, there is obviously a problem with KelTec getting this gun to market and some dealers are literally screwing customers, its the basic rule of supply and demand. Fortunately I have a good relationship with my local gun shop and they are not in the price gouging game. They have been in business for a very long time, MSRP as listed I believe $885.00 that I paid for mine. Another shop in the area wanted $1600. Again,it is supply and demand but I do agree that this problem is losing customers to the KSG and KelTec products. I waited about 6 months to get my gun which is typical. Overall, the KSG is a great design for tactical and home defense. It is easy to maneuver around corners in our house. Drawing down on an intruder is way easier and quicker due to the short barrel, 18″ legal length but overal gun length of around 29″ with the optional door breecher. There are many good accessories such as lights, laser sights and external shell carriers available for the KSG. See Mesa Tactical shot shell carrier. Overall for us, our two KSG’s have performed as they were designed to do. In a tactical or home defense situation, they are light, short enough to maneuver and carry a substantial number of rounds (15) to get the job done. Again, the KSG may have some issues with the strength of the forend but I firmly believe it is isolated to a few that will end up being operator error. I would highly recommend this platform for the 12 gauge shotgun and I look forward to other offerings from other manufacturers in the future.

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