As I age I like long and heavy “out there” guns less and less. Bullpups, SBRs, and arm braced handguns are becoming more and more attractive to me.
The last gun I needed to replace was my battle/riot shotgun. It started life as a Rem’ 870 Wingmaster. I’m guessing as to the timeline, 30 years(?) ago I got a hair across my butt and decided to convert it into something other than a shotgun for birds. So I had it parkerized, a Choate folding stock put on it and a protected peep rear sight and front sight installed. A 8 rnd mag extension was also added. I haven’t used it in years. I took it out of the safe not long ago and realized just why I liked bullpups and such. Heck, this thing is heavy and I simply can’t handle it anymore. But it’s all steel to, or mostly steel. Time for it to find a new home.
A bullpup was my solution as a replacement. I really didn’t want a full size KSG, I’d be right where I am now, though maybe not as bad with the dual mag tubes and full load of ammo. The LGS had a KSG tactical on the shelf, but I loath vertical grips and this one had an unremoveable one that didn’t even fold. I can tolerate them if they fold. Too, after paying $1k I’d get to pay the $200 ransom and wait for ATF to release it. I did like the size. Too, it had the KSG complexity and that wasn’t in it’s favor.
But before making any decision I wanted to see the KS7 which has a much simpler mechanism as compared to the KSG. It’s a proven mechanism too since it’s a variation of the John Browning model 37 aka Ithaca Deerslayer shotgun. I had one and liked it many years ago even though it didn’t fit me correctly. So months passed and “my” KS7 came in. I fondled it and knew it was going to be mine. I took it home.
KelTec, love 'em or hate 'em. I like them but they aren’t always 100%. Thank GOD that I know a bit about firearms but volumes could be filled with what I don’t know. Shells were close to impossible to get into the magazine. The slide release didn’t work because the bolt wasn’t locking closed. I did some reading on KTOG (KelTec Owners Group) and found out that beveling the mag tube would solve the loading problem. Sure enough that worked even though it was a bear to get at. It’s something that needs to be addressed BEFORE assembly. That left the bolt not locking. I had contacted KelTec and they were going to send me a mailing label. I had a box ready and was within minutes of putting it in to send back to the mothership and decided, “What the heck! It’s not working now. Try slamming the slide forward.”. For the first time I needed to use the slide release to unlock the bolt. I did that again. After that the bolt would lock closed with normal operation. Over the next few nights I cycled the action maybe a few hundred times and dry fired it too. The action is nice and smooth now and the trigger, while still a shotgun trigger, is much better. I was considering changing the springs but have since shelved that idea.
OK, I got it functioning acceptably and made the decision to sell the 870. Now I had to make the gun fit me. It comes with a carry handle/front sight unit. It was clear to me that it would never work for me. So I ordered the KelTec rail and mounted a SeeAll sight. But old dogs and new tricks conspired and convinced me that it wasn’t going to be the sight I needed. So I put a MRO on it and built it up for me.
I still need to rig a sling, but that’s minor. I’m also working on a flashlight and if that doesn’t work a laser/light combo.
I got to thinking about the bullpup shotgun and realized that it’s about the best shotgun for HD that one can use. One huge disadvantage of a traditional long shotgun is the leverage a perp has on it if he grabs it. There is none of that with the bullpup. It can be held so close to the body that there won’t be any grabbing of it unless the wielder is brain dead. If I ever have to clear my own home it will be excellent for that.
It really sux to age, but at least we have the technology to compensate for it.
Negatives to the bullpup? It’s lightweight and kicks pretty good with slugs. I plan to use 1 3/4" shells in it and even they have a pretty good wallop. But the 1 3/4" shells also increase the mag cap’ to 11 rounds as compared to 2 3/4" for a capacity of 7. It will handle 3" but that’s not for me. Ever.