Pump Gun Problem: Kel Tec KSG Rail Ruptures

Earlier today, commenter C Young posted the following the following comment underneath RF’s Kel-Tec KSG review. We contacted him for photos.

“The lower rail of the forend where a foregrip is recommended is PLASTIC unlike the upper rail which is metal. Within the first 10 shots using a sig sauer stoplight foregrip, the lower rail shattered, fragmented, and broke off. Very very disappointed. Otherwise, the gun shoots great.” Thus the photo above with two more after the jump. As someone trying to return something once said a very long time ago, caveat emptor.

 

 

65 Responses to Pump Gun Problem: Kel Tec KSG Rail Ruptures

  1. Thats why you dont use plastic rails… there is a video on YouTube of a guy usign a Glock 18 on full auto with a pistol grip on the front rail… He ended up shooting himself in the hand when it broke.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Thanks for the tip. I just watched that video. Polymer, no matter how strong, is not metal.

      • avatarBUTTES says:

        What a derpy assumption grounded in opinion and not in science.

        • avatarWill says:

          Uhh.. Scientifically speaking a polymer is not a metal no matter which way you cut it. The former being a network of covalent chains and the latter being a crystalline structure. So the covalent bonds cause the polymer to be more brittle while the metal atoms can move past one another (bend but not break) What you’re seeing here is a classic brittle fracture illustrating why you should not use brittle material in high impact applications.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      A visit from the ATFE isn’t the worst thing you can get from turning a railed pistol into an unlicensed AOW. SBRs and AOWs, have a nasty tendency to put bullets through their owners’ support hands.

      • avatarHSR47 says:

        A machinegun is a machinegun is a machinegun, regardless of any other feature. To my knowledge, there are no glock machineguns (either factory or aftermarket) in the national transfer registry that are anything but dealer samples.

        Ergo, the presence of a foregrip on the converted G17 in the mentioned video is not something that would raise the hackles of the BATFE(ARBF).

  2. avatarAccur81 says:

    That’s one of the epic Kel Tec KSG design flaws. I’ll be sticking to my Remington 870 12 gauge with tactical 00 buck. I’ve yet to see one fail.

  3. avatar2Wheels says:

    Huh… One thinks they would reinforce the part (or make it out of metal) that’s going to get torqued by the vertical foregrip I’m sure many owners will use…

    Come on KelTec, affordable not cheap!

  4. avatarJhonnieB says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. I had a Sub 2000 carbine in .40 S & W a couple of years ago-bought it new. After two or three shots every magazine I tried (a total of 5) would fall out of the weapon so I sent it back to Kel-Tec. First time on the range after it returned I cranked off two rounds and the thing LITERALLY fell apart in my hands and, yes, there were witnesses. The good, stand up dealer I bought if from gave me a full refund. I agree w/ Accur81: the 870 is the way to go.

  5. avatarJason says:

    Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be trading in my 1897 any time soon. Hard to beat walnut and steel. And slamfiring is way more fun than any amount of rail.

  6. avatarokto says:

    Well the problem is obvious from the second photo. He was shooting 45ACP in a shotgun. ^_^

  7. avatarJoe Grine says:

    Unfortunately, this is par for course for Kel-Tec. They prove over and over again that “you get what you pay for.”

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      Well, from what I’m hearing right now, if you want a KSG, you’ll pay almost 2X MSRP; ~$1500.

      A weapons rail is subject to stress. Unless, of course, you don’t mount anything on it. Then, you might as well make it a fore-end grip.

  8. avatarC Young says:

    So far, Kel Tec has been super responsive. They’re shipping it down to them from here (CT) and assure to have it repaired and returned promptly. They’re saying that it is the first they’ve heard of it happening.
    Gunmart – I could see someone blowing their hand off … hadn’t thought of that.
    No .. I wasn’t shooting 45s out of it! :) Range junk flying around.

    I gotta say, the gun otherwise shot GREAT! Even after the forend broke, I put @ 50-60 rounds thru it using a red dot. Very very accurate with slugs. Real tight grouping effortless at 50′ (limit of the indoor range) Nice tight pattern on 00buck at 50′ too. 2 3/4″ shells no problem. 3″ magnums kick like a mule and hard on both shoulder as well as pistol-grip hand. Really missed that foregrip to help with recoil on the 3″ mags.

    All in all, cant wait to get it fixed and get back to shooting it.

    • avatarMatt G. says:

      Were you using the foregrip to absorb recoil? That’s your problem right there. Foregrips are for holding neutral or pulling back on, Not built to take recoil impulse.

      • avatar2Wheels says:

        The real source of the problem is that they put a cheap plastic rail on there, which leads people to put a vertical foregrip on there, which is going to exert more force on the cheap plastic rail they decided to use even if all they do is use it to work the action back and forth.

        Shouldn’t have to baby your grip because you’re afraid of breaking it, it’s a 12 gauge after all!

  9. avatarDrewR55 says:

    It’s too bad, really. Kel-Tec has had some interesting ideas but nothing I would own. I’ve read one too many reviews that do not compliment the quality.. I wish someone would come up with a reasonably priced, and decent quality, .223 rifle that used AR mags. It would be nice if Ruger released a Mini that used ‘em.

  10. avatarL Urso says:

    The last picture you see up there is the rail on MY ksg – C Young and I were together popping our ksg cherries. Shortly after his rail tore apart, my sig 300j popped off, with half a tooth now missing (see pic) from the rail. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to believe that Kel Tec had no idea about this problem, when 2 entirely separate guns have the same problem — BOTH on their first go rounds.

    Other than the kick and that garbage bottom rail, though, this little puppy is sweet. Just gonna cross my fingers that my rail holds up.

  11. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I had a chance to shoot the KSG and it was a lot of fun, but Kel Tec’s never been known for quality firearms.

  12. avatarTom says:

    Ithaca 37.

  13. avatarPatrick Carrube says:

    “yeeeaaaah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and trade that junker in on a Mossberg 590, OK?”….

    Seriously, when was the last time you heard “Mossberg” and “epic failure” or “Remington 870″ and “its plastic parts dun broke’d off” in the same sentence?

    • avatarJ says:

      Nice Patrick Carrube… Nice.

    • avatarBarney Lindstrom says:

      Seriously, when was the last time you heard ‘Mossberg’ or ‘Remington’ in the same sentence as “14 rounds and 26 inches”?
      Get a clue Pat. Different tools for different tasks.

  14. avatarcameron says:

    I’m just waiting for Ruger to come out with a better version in a year or two.

    • avatarJason says:

      It’s funny ’cause it’s true. Ruger should just buy Kel-Tec out and turn it into the R&D division. Then again, they’re already using it that way for free.

  15. avatarKWood says:

    Speaking of good ideas from Kel-Tec: has there been any further word on the PMR’s big brother, the RMR-30? I finally got to handle a PMR the other day at a gun show, and I really liked it, despite the “assembled out of legos” feel it had.

  16. avatarAndrew says:

    Perhaps Kel tec will offer the foregrip attachment shown on their Patrol version as an alternative to the vertical foregrip. Seems like this would help keep your hand behind the barrel during the zombie onslaught while also giving more support as the next round is racked in. Should put way less stress on the rail compared to the longer verticals. I’m certainly getting frustrated by the wait for this gun. I might be a zombie myself by the time they are readily available.

  17. avatarTSgt B says:

    Mossberg 500/590. Best buy for the money in my book. I’ve owned over a dozen in the last several decades, and NEVER had a problem with any load I shot. The same for Remingtons, but they’re a little harder on the budget.

  18. avatarDon says:

    I have a Kel Tec P3AT. It has had over 700 rounds fired through it with one malfunction. You can see that one single malfunction in my video posted on youtube. “Flashbang holster” The shooter was (at the time) a new shooter who limp wristed the pistol and it failed to fully extract the round. She had never shot a subcompact before that day. I have sent a couple of Kel Tec fireams back for repairs. Kel Tec offers a lifetime warranty on all their products and they honor that warranty. I have never paid them a cent to repair work. They offer very innovative designs that are ahead of the curve. It is only natural to have early production issues with any new design. I am a police firearms instructor. At a recent police shoot we had the chance to test their new shotgun. While awkward for someone not familiar with their manual of arms, (We are all 870 veteran shooters) the shotgun ran flawlessly. We were pleasantly surprised with the performance. It is hard to argue with 14 rounds of slugs/buckshot that can be selected with a lever. I have also fired a PMR 30 and was pleased with the performance and trigger. Imagine unleashing 30 rounds of 22 magnum at close range. Other than the very loud noise leve of the 22 mag in a handgun it is very pleasant to shoot offering little recoil.

  19. avatarJ says:

    I was hoping for a Semi Auto version to begin with. Pump action turned my interest completely South. This shot gun looks pretty but who wants a turd in a candy wrapper?

  20. avatarGPWASR10 says:

    Nothing wrong with plastic rails… just know their limits. I use one on a 20″ HBar do to the lighter weight. But I only put bi-pods on it on occasion, possibly a light or laser. I’d only trust the reduced torque of a AFG as far as grips go…

  21. avatarTim says:

    I really get tired of people with no knowledge or ownership of a gun,mentioning why the gunmaker builds junk,blah blah blah. I own numerous kel-tec weapons and have had no issues.They have a lifetime warranty and stand by the product. They have a huge fan base which says a lot about the quality and customer loyalty.
    The quality is good and the product well built and reliable,I don’t know what else you would want.

  22. avatarKEITH KEARNS says:

    I STILL CANT FIND A KSG FOR SALE AND HAVE BEEN ON MANY WISH LISTS ANY ONE KNOW WHERE TO GET 1

  23. avatarC Young says:

    @ Keith … go to “gunbroker.com” but be prepared to pay a bit more. There are a few for sale there but closer to 2x msrp. You won’t find one elsewhere.

  24. avatarStu says:

    ..and thus the recoil of shotguns.
    I had the same lighthandle on my Benelli- I have a metal rail on the bottom- no matter how hard i tighten the lighthandle onto the rail, after a few shots , the light handle just pulls right off with the next shot. there is a lot of force going through that lever arm of a handle at the rail attachement with shotgun kick.
    No wonder the plastic rail snapped.

    it can probably hold a single light or laser without issue- but a handle is tough.

  25. avatarregt says:

    I love the design of the KSG and want to get one. That being said, that bottom rail should indeed be sturdier than it is, since the design shouts for a foregrip to be used to pump the action. If it were simply being held, as on an AR, it probably would not be an issue.

    The nature of the pump action on this shotgun (or any other pump) demands a more robust attachment point for a foregrip. Period.

  26. avatardg13 says:

    BTW.

    You can clearly see lines next to the area where the rail broke off. These are almost certainly where the grip was interfereing with the forend. This interferece would stress that area MUCH more than normal. In fact it could wedge it as you tighten that screw.

    Obviously that specific grip does not quite fit correctly……Stick with other grips that do not interfere with the wide forend of the KSG.

  27. avatarMark says:

    I would love to have a KSG in a year or so after supplies are up, prices are down, and any unsorted design issues are worked out. Overall, from the dealer sample reviews I’ve read, it’s a solid design.

    I think it’s obvious that the plastic rail can’t handle a grip. Too much stress on a small plastic area.

    Simple fix, throw on a 8″ long, 1/2″ high aluminum rail riser and put the grip on that, so that the grip stress is on all the plastic teeth

  28. avatarJohn says:

    MSRP x 2 MSRP that’s a laugh. The freaken carpet bagging thieves they call dealers on GunBroker are charging x 3 MSRP. I wanted one but I’m not going to get screwed in the process. Kel Tec needs to get involved and make the dealers who are carrying them stop or disallow them to purchase from Kel Tec. It hurts Kel Tec reputation in the long run and makes them look like arses. The same has been done with the RFB.

    If Kel Tec can’t keep up with the demand, then they should either cease their distribution or contract to have them built. It’s pretty sad when a manfacture allows dealers to continue with such practices.

    Frankly, Kel Tec can keep both, cause they won’t ever get another dollar out of me.

    Of course this is what you have to expect when you play with a circus like Kel Tec and Gunbroker dealers.

    • avatarCharles says:

      I’ll never figure out why folks blame dealers OR manufacturers for prices. Obviously there is high demand for the product. When demand is high and supply is low the price rises… sometimes exponentially. If people were not willing to pay the higher price, the price would not be so high. A product can only sell for what a consumer is willing to pay for it. There is no “arse” here. It is a function of basic economics. Everybody always charges as much as they think they can get for a product. To do otherwise would make them a “dumbarse”. Just as you charge as much as you can get for your labor, they charge for the products they sell or manufacture. A man may think he is worth $50 an hour. What he actually gets per hour is what he is really worth to the market.

  29. avatarChristopher Hoffman says:

    Expecting my KSG any week now, as I was an early pre-buyer on a major gun retail site. The plastic rail is of concern. I expect there will be a fix forthcoming from KelTec. Perhaps the weakness can be addressed with a simple materials change in the compound. IANAC ( I am not a chemist).

    But meanwhile, I may replace the lower rail with a custom-made aluminum part. It won’t be cheap, but I won’t have to worry about it breaking.

  30. avatarjersey jules says:

    I just got my Keltec KSG yesterday and it takes some getting used to. Due to it being so short you tend to not fully rack the slide back and get a jam due to not ejecting the fired cartridge. You need to hold the bottom rail towards the front and a pistol grip would help out. Im gonna try a similar grip and hopefully utilizing my shoulder to absorb the recoil rather than the foward grip, it wont crack..wish me luck.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Keep us in the loop. Ping guntruth@me.com

      • avatarJerseyjules says:

        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.

        • avatarRaul says:

          would you be willing to sell it? despite the problems, i would gladly take it off your hands…

  31. avatarCLINT says:

    To prevent the lower rail from breaking I would suggest a magpul AFG. It takes up over 5″ of rail and is angled, making it vertically shorter than most foregrips. Racking it back and forth with a grip that comes 90 degrees off of the rail would almost have to break plastic. As far as the double feed problems, does it do it with 3″ shells as well? Just curious.

  32. avatarJerseyjules says:

    Keltec just sent me a newly designed front stock to test out. They added structural supports to it to give is some more strength for the use of vertical for grips. I will be testing it soon and report back…

    Original

    new one

    side by side comparison

  33. avatarmattwoutborders@gmail.com says:

    May 21, 2012 at 22:12
    “Keltec just sent me a newly designed front stock to test out. They added structural supports to it to give is some more strength for the use of vertical for grips. I will be testing it soon and report back…”

    Looking forward to hearing more about this. I’ve been hoping someone will offer a CNCed aftermarket replacement for the rail, or even the pistol grip. That could be a good day…

    • avatarStanley says:

      If I had a dollar for every “I’ll be back with a range report” that never happened, I’d be rich, you lazy f*ck.

  34. avatarJosh says:

    The problem here is KelTec for whatever reason wont hold thier distributors feet to the fire. They allow these guys to essentially stockpile these weapons through incomplete orders at thier factory, putting any hopes of decent product placement in the market 3-5 years out. They don’t control pricing, and they don’t give information out about thier distributors (i just got off the phone with them).

    This happens with all of thier weapons….its almost as if they are in cahoots with thier DB’s so the DB’s can make a killing off of these things. The only fair pricing I have seen for the KSG or RFB for that matter is on Tombstone Tactical’s website, and they have virtually zero availability on these guns.

    So here is what I am thiking. I am a mechanical engineer with 10+ years design and implementation under my belt, and I am a gun nut. I am going to design, prototype, build and test a bull-pup conversion for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 series shotguns. Here are the specs so far…..

    -100% ALLUMINUM CONSTRUCTION….. sans the butt pad and the grip.
    -Allow for interchangable mil-spec AR pistol grip
    -Rails at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions (3″ rails at the 3 and 9 to mount lights. These rails will be removable, 12 and 6 rails will be static. Top rail @ 12-16″ to allow for proper sight placement, and bottom rail will be length of the grip, all milled from a single piece)
    -Length of kit will coincide with length of OEM (donor) guns’ barrell
    -Downward ejection (if at all possible)
    -Single tube feed (off course)
    -Kit will REQUIRE minimal to no gun smithing, but the trigger will be implemented based on the AR platform, requiring the trigger to be removed from the donor gun. kit will include proper linkage to make this work….none of this “trigger rod to trigger” BS.
    -AR style and location for safety, pump release will be located where the operator can toggle it with thier trigger hand/finger
    -Pricing will be around $300.00 once production starts.

    Thats about it for now. Please contact me at joshua_ewart@yahoo.com to let me know what kind of interest you might have. I have only been working on this or a few months, but I have the connections and personal know how to fast track it effectively.

    Thanks

  35. avatarJey says:

    I own the Kel-tec PLR 16 and let me start off by saying; I have owned numerous AR-15 pistols and rifles. As far as pistols, none come close to the PLR-16. Not 100% sure about Kel-Tec’s other products but the PLR is the one! All other AR pistols are not even runner ups; in fact by comparison, they are a complete rip offs! This is the best bang for your buck! I’ve put over 2000 rounds through it with no problems…It is dead on accurate and will take anything you can give it. I can iron sight targets at 100 yards no problem. The weapon system itself is as reliable as the AK-47 but made with polymer composite parts. The best of both worlds! A buddy of mine owns the RFB . That is another weapon system that Kel-tec got right! I know many old school hunters that have been blown away (no pun intended) by my buddy’s RFB. The weapon surpasses all others by far! If you don’t believe, then that’s your misfortune. People wake the f&^$ up! Half the time your paying for brand name and nothing else. Kel-tec is pure American quality. The systems are simple, robust, reliable and easy to clean/maintain. Grow up and step your weapon game up, Kel-tec its the way to go. (Besides, your probably a wannabe if you can’t admit the PLR and RFB are top of the line weapon systems in their own rights)….

  36. avatarJoel says:

    Well, even if it was a design problem, it IS their first shotgun that they have ever produced. Cut them some slack. I’m willing to bet if you dig back in Remington and Mossberg’s history that they had some problems along the way. As far as there being no important parts made of plastic on those two guns… my Mossberg 12ga has a plastic trigger assembly.

    I’ve had several Keltec firearms over the years, a P40, a P32 and a Sub2000 .40cal. I haven’t had any problems with any of them (not a single failed part) and they all see heavy usage. The only one I sold was the P40, because it had absolutely brutal recoil because it was so light weight. I regret selling it anyway.

    I’d love to be able to buy an RFB, and a KSG, but $2K for a gun is out of my price range. I do plan to add a PF9, P40 or P11 to my concealed carry arsenal though.

  37. Here is a simple “fix” that will almost insure you will not experience this problem. First, use a second aluminum rail as a “spacer, same length as the plastic one under the fore end. This will spread any pressure or torque out along the entire length, vastly reducing any chance of breakage. Secondly, use one of the angled fore grips such as the ones made by Magpul or Mako. This puts any pressure in a forward and aft direction, and greatly reduces torque on the plastic rail / spacer rail combination. In the instances I have seen of the plastic rail failure, the fore grip is usually attached by only two or three of the rail bars, placing all of the pressure and torque on a very restricted area of the rail. Anyway, just an example for what it’s worth.

  38. avatarRobert says:

    Would this problem occur with a MAGPUL XTM Hand Stop Kit?

  39. avatarRobert Seddon says:

    My KSG shoots great and I have not had any trouble with it at all. The fore rail in the photo may have been folded in the cast or some crud. I do NOT use a picatinny fore grip on mine at all, I got used to using my hand of the pump with my pair of 870′s and I just keep it that way. All of the extra furniture on peoples guns is where most of the problems start to begin with. Put on it what you need to use it where you are, and then forget about it. How cool do you need to look to another hunter anyway?
    Robert Seddon

  40. avatarRobert Seddon says:

    Also, who, in thier right mind would put that much weight and height on a plastic picatinny to just amplify the torque being applied? The Magpul would be the best I am sure.
    Robert Seddon

    • avatarRalph Bryant says:

      This problem has been known to Kel Tec since early on in the production of the KSG, but apparently they have done nothing to alleviate the problem. The most simple and obvious answer to the problem is to just add a full length METAL rail on top of the plastic one and be sure to secure it at several different points. This will spread any torque or lateral pressure across the full length of the plastic rail, and should prevent any breakage. I would have liked to have seen Kel Tec make the entire fore grip of aluminum rather than plastic, or at least to have used a much higher tensile strength polymer in its production. Other than this one recurring issue, the KSG is an awesome power house of a 12 guage, a great concept that stopped short of just a bit more attention to detail.

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