Review: KelTec KSG410

posted on April 8, 2024
KelTec KSG410

At the beginning of 2023, KelTec fulfilled a frequent and long-standing customer request by releasing the new KSG410 shotgun chambered for .410-bore shells. Although it did take more than a decade to bring a scaled-down, .410-chambered version of the KSG bullpup to market, the company’s efforts have resulted in a new model that maintains the original 12-ga. version’s features while resulting in a gun that weighs 24 ozs. less, offers reduced recoil and is priced 40 percent lower.

The KSG410’s overall styling, checkerboard-textured polymer furniture and dual magazine tubes prevent any confusion as to whether or not it is manufactured by KelTec. Its bullpup design places the action behind the trigger group, which allows for an overall length of just 26" with an 18.5" barrel. In this case, the barrel sports a fixed full choke with a 0.398" diameter. The use of high-impact polymer furniture and precision-machined aluminum components, where appropriate to do so, results in an unloaded weight of only 5 lbs., 6 ozs. 

KelTec KSG410 features
The standard version of the KSG410 comes with a carry handle and a triangular, green fiber-optic front sight (l.), however, KelTec also offers an aftermarket kit that allows a 12" span of Picatinny rail (r.) to be installed atop the receiver instead.

From the factory, this model ships with a 2" tall polymer carry handle featuring a textured trench along its top that is fitted with a green, triangular, fiber-optic front sight. To either side of the trench are three M-Lok slots that can be used to mount flashlights or other accessories. For those who prefer a flat-top configuration, KelTec also offers a KSG410 Picatinny optics rail kit ($42.50) that can be quickly installed in place of the carry handle.

The shotgun’s barrel and two magazine tubes are secured to each other via a machined aluminum bracket held in place by a large nut that is threaded onto the barrel. A pair of large X-slot screws below the muzzle serve as the removable end caps for the dual magazines, to provide access to the magazine springs and white polymer followers, if needed. The textured polymer fore-end terminates just 0.75" behind the muzzle, which is why it features a raised ridge that serves to keep the support hand back and away from the muzzle blast.

KelTec KSG410 magazine selector
(l.) Pushing the magazine selector lever to either side causes it to draw shells from that magazine; the center position blocks both tubes. (r.) The KSG410 offers a prodigious amount of firepower for a .410-bore shotgun—whether filled with 15 21/2" shells or 11 of the 3" magnums—and defensive .410 loads have come a long way in recent years.

The bilateral slide release, the trigger guard, polymer trigger, square push-button safety and textured pistol grip are all integrated into a polymer lower assembly. This is secured to the steel receiver via two takedown pins located to the front and rear of the combination loading/ejection port located under the shoulder stock. The polymer trigger’s pull proved to be smooth and resulted in a clean break of 5 lbs., 1 oz., on average. Two holes in the grip, just behind the trigger, are used to store the takedown pins during routine maintenance.

KelTec KSG410 shooting resultsA three-position magazine selector lever in the loading/ejection port serves as a visual and tactile magazine indicator. Swinging this lever to the left side of the port accesses the left-side tube, while moving it to the far right allows the gun to feed from the other magazine; setting this lever to the centered position (pointed straight down) blocks both magazines from feeding ammunition into the chamber. The KSG410’s shoulder stock is slotted to accept a sling and capped with a 0.5"-thick, textured, soft rubber recoil pad.

Informal testing for the KSG410 included a mix of American-made 2.5" and 3" .410-bore shells filled with birdshot, buckshot and mixed defensive payloads. All shells fed, fired and ejected properly without any issues or malfunctions. The shotgun’s controls and operations proved to be just as reliable as the ammunition. Winchester’s Super X 3" shell, which launches five lead 000 buck pellets at a listed velocity of 1,135 f.p.s., was used for formal pattern testing.

The KSG410 pump-action neatly fills an important gap in the low-recoil firearm market between typical defensive shotguns and popular semi-automatic pistols; the use of .410 shells reduces felt recoil to levels that just about anyone can manage. Pump-actions are favored for their reliability and lack of ammunition sensitivity, both of which the KSG410 exhibited during the course of our testing. Thanks to the popularity of the Taurus Judge revolvers, along with growing appreciation for the .410 bore in general, effective defense-grade shells are much more readily available than they used to be.

KelTec’s KSG design addresses the pump-gun’s primary historical disadvantage of a relatively low ammunition capacity. The dual magazines increase this gun’s onboard round count to 15 rounds when using 21/2" shells, which is on par with many popular compact 9 mm Luger semi-automatic pistols currently favored for personal protection. But unlike a 9 mm pistol, the KSG410’s shoulder stock makes for more intuitive, steady aiming, and (depending on the load) it can launch multiple projectiles of handgun caliber with each pull of the trigger. The KSG410 may not launch as much lead as its 12-ga. compatriots, but this works in its favor for those seeking a lighter, easier-shooting defensive option that is competitively priced.

KelTec KSG410 specs


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