A lot has changed at Kalashnikov USA since it was created to import firearms from Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern. K-USA had to change course after sanctions stopped any firearm-related imports from the country in 2014. That’s when Kalashnikov USA went into the gun-making business.
Well, they sort of did. SHOT Show attendees have seen a lot of prototypes and heard about firearms that were coming soon. Sadly, little of that ever made it into production and what did sometimes disappointed those who bought the guns.
All that changed last year with the installation of new leadership at the company. Jonathan Mossberg was brought in to run the now-manufacturing company with the mandate to get them manufacturing.
I toured Kalashnikov USA’s Pompano Beach, Florida operation last week and saw what they’ve been doing, some of what they’re planning to do and got a look at their latest gun.
Kalashnikov USA’s located in a nondescript industrial building. You’d never know that firearms are being made there, which may be the point.
Mossberg tells us they’re currently running at about 5% of capacity with the goal of getting it right. He says they’re only making products they know they can produce to the quality standards they’ve set. When they’re fully up and running, they’ll be able to turn out about six times what they’re doing right now in their current facility.
We got a look at part of their QC operation where fit and tolerances are tested.
Every single gun they produce is test-fired to ensure proper function.
Guns that pass get a ‘K’ proof stamp on their barrel.
KS-12T Tactical shotguns ready to ship.
The final packing process. These are KS-12 shotguns.
We saw pallets of completed firearms ready to ship. These were mostly KS-12 shotguns of one version or another, which they’re currently producing faster than KR-9s. That will change in the weeks and months to come as they lock down their processes and ramp up production to meet demand.
The KS-12 is essentially a Saiga-like design with a notched safety hold open and an adjustable gas system. That’s important, because running light birdshot and heavy 3-inch slugs, as customers will do, are two very different things. That’s a wide range of pressures that can give a semi-automatic shotgun fits.
The adjustable gas system is a change from the original KS-12 Kalashnikov USA produced which didn’t like light loads at all.
We put a lot of rounds downrange and as long as the shotguns’ gas systems was set correctly for the loads we were shooting, they cycled perfectly.
Just as much fun was the Vityaz-like KR-9 carbine. It’s fed by easy-feed 30-round magazines and is incredibly smooth-shooting with minimal recoil.
The gun’s manufactured to the original Russian design specs and features a 16.25″ barrel and a side-folding stock that actually gives you a decent cheek weld. This is a comfortable rifle to shoot. In addition to the carbine version, Kalashnikov USA’s also making a KR-9 SBR.
That’s CEO Jonathan Mossberg sending a few rounds down range with the compact KR-9 SBR. Don’t want to deal with a tax stamp? Not a problem.
You can attach a SB Tactical brace to the KP-9 Pistol and have just as much fun.
We also got a sneak peek at their latest product.
This is the Kalashnikov USA Komrad, and no, that’s not a shotgun. It’s classified by the ATF as a non-NFA firearm, so you can buy it without the hassle and expense of a tax stamp.
It ships with a SB Tactical SBA3 brace already mounted.
The Komrad will have iron sights with rail sections left right and bottom.
Here’s the new Komrad at the top with a KS-12 short barrel shotgun below it that’s intended for law enforcement and military sales. When they start hitting stores next month, you’ll be able to walk into a gun store and walk out with a Komrad (depending on where you live).
The KS-12 SBS will require a little more paperwork and some additional cash.
We’re told the MSRP for the Komrad will right about the $1000 mark. You can see the prices MSRP for Kalashnikov USA’s other products here.
If you’re wondering where the 7.62×39 AK in their lineup is, so were we. The answer is…it’s coming.
We were told when they expect to roll out their Russian spec, American-built AK rifle, but K-USA doesn’t want to get ahead of itself. They’re putting all of their efforts into getting it done right, then filling the distribution channels before announcing anything. Mossberg tells us they want to be sure that the company is turning out good guns and that they’re available to to buyers before any announcements are made or press releases issued.
That in itself is evidence of some significant changes that Mossberg’s made in the company in the year he’s been there.