Another old fart gun; KelTec KS7

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.

Here it is with the SeeAll in place.

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.


I’ve been thinking about bullpup(ing) my Mossberg. Bullpup Unlimited has kits for Kel Tec, Remington, & Mossberg.

Add images


You would :roll_eyes: you Limey rifle lover


Another $2k & I’d preferably have the Tavor TS12!


I thought along those lines (semi-auto), but complexity and weight were considerations. The KS7 being a variation of the model 37 has a solid lineage and no repeater is simpler than a pump. Too, and there was no way I could know this before purchasing and testing, my KS7 appears to like minishells just fine. That’s what I plan to use in it. I only know of one semi-auto that works with minishells and it was designed around them. Pumps? Not all like minishells.

Russ, you can get an adapter for that 500 that will make it 100% reliable with minishells. Great for close range, mag’ capacity, and follow up shots. Aguila minislugs weigh 7/8 oz and travel at 1250 fps. Nothing I want to get hit by. And buckshot at close range would be devastating I would think. Right now I can get slugs and birdshot locally. Buckshot maybe if I drive an hour. I’ll call first. :smiley: But they’re all hard to find right now.


I like the sound of that!


Opsol miniclip- its a veteran owned company. Good people, buy two.


I have plenty of 2 3/4" 12 ga slugs and #4 buck, but this KS7 shotgun was brought on by age. Those 2 3/4" shells I expect would be brutal out of the light KS7. They weren’t particularly enjoyable out of the tactical shotgun that I’m selling. So while I’ll hold onto them, I need some 1 3/4" reduced (by their nature) shells.

Just try buying ammo or even components! If it can even be thought of however remotely, as being for home defense or the coming civil war it’s just not available.

I never thought I would do this but years ago I bought a shitload of wheelweights, ~1500#. If ammo and components are unavailable just go back a bit further in the production line. I have everything I need except slugs and buckshot. So my plan is to cast my own 7/8oz slugs and buckshot may be available once again. But anyway, I had no real concrete plans to cast my own projectiles, but here we are and here I am, and I’m going to do just that.

Why? Because I’ve always found that in a time of stress loading ammo has a calming effect on me. OK, I want some reduced recoil ammo for the KS7 too.


Jerry Miculek did a video on casting his own slugs, said it saved him a lot of money since he shot so many competing.


Yeah, it doesn’t look difficult at all. Just don’t breathe the fumes. I thought that when I started casting projectiles I’d also be making my own black powder and dreading all of it.

It doesn’t look difficult to make 1 3/4" shells either. I easily found all of the minor gear required.

Buckshot is a different story. I found molds for round balls but they are all backordered. So I placed an order for swaged #4 buck. It might have shipped the other day. If I have to I can cut down the 2 3/4" shells and make what I want from them.


My KS7 is finished. I move slowly and add things, then tweak what I’ve added, or maybe remove things and add others until it’s right for me (maybe not for you) eventually it gets to the final product and here’s what works for me.

From muzzle to butt…

Sofirn SP31 V2.0 light SP31 V2.0 XPL-HI or LH351D 5000K / 4000K Tactical Flashlight with Battery and Charger

HiTech muzzle brake hitechcc KS7 Steel Defender Muzzle Brake with Nut Remover Tool Combo Pack (2 pc kit)

Noveske QD cup mounted in the mag tube cap Noveske Flush QD Sling Mount 05000471 Color: Black, $1.00 Off

HiTech side rail mount hitechcc Hi-Tech Custom KSG-NR/KS7/KSG Mini-Side Angle Rail (Left or Right)

KelTec rail

UTG(?) riser

Trijicon MRO w/ 1:3 Battle Steel co-witness mount

MCarbo Single point sling mount KEL-TEC KSG QD Single Point Sling Mount

KelTec extended butt

Tactical Hero sling : Tactical Hero 2 Point Rifle Sling, Fits All Guns, Fast Adjuster, Shoulder Pad, Dynamic Straps - BDS 4X Hunting Gun Sling 34"-57" : Sports & Outdoors

First note the soot on the muzzle end of the gun. It’s seeing use and is how I’ve been testing things.

OK, now the rationale for the mods…

Light: I won’t have a close range weapon w/o a light for final verification before tripping the trigger and the hot spot acts as an aiming point when close up. I’m heavy into Li-Ion technology so the power source was a no-brainer. I did consider a Surefire(?) light laser combo, but the shotgun is like a 3rd tier weapon and the odds of ever using it are slim. The price of this light was right and it’s perfect for the job. It’s held up with no malfunctions in maybe close to 100 rounds fired. It’s capable of plenty of lumens if that’s required, it’s good out to at least 100 yards and due to the Li-Ion cells it’ll do that for quite some time but for it’s invisioned role I keep it at a much lower setting. Too many lumens can blind the user and the light is NOT the weapon. A button on it’s butt is only the momentary and on/off. The lumens is controlled from a button behind the head (easily sen in the photo).

Muzzle Brake: I needed a barrel extension so as not to shoot off the sling point under the barrel. I doubt that the brake effect is very much, but if I shoot anything off it’ll be nylon and not tear the metal parts of the mag tube apart.

Muzzle sling point: I had an Ebay/Amazon QD cup on the muzzle capbut it stood out and frankly I didn’t like it. I thought the forces (stress) on the parts wouldn’t hold up. Then someone on another forum pioneered the Noveske for the KS7 mag tube cap and I found my QD sling point. Is everything perfect with it? No. It comes with some sort of thread locker crapping up the threads preventing the backer nut from screwing on easily. There’s little room in the muzle cap to hold it anyway and no way to screw the actual cup onto the nut. I tried their instructions and it didn’t work. The instructions also said to use thread locker and I did. I got to a point on the first install where I couldn’t get the nut on further, or off. So I screwed that up. KelTec sells muzzle caps for $10 [image] . The 2nd install I heated up the QD cup to melt the thread locker and used a Dremel wire wheel to remove it. I added my thread locker and that install went much better. Job complete.

Light side mount: I tried various mounts that positioned the light in oddball places. They were either too high or to far to the side. I wanted to get it closer to the pump handle so that a simple raise of the thumb could give me the flash of light I would need while keeping my hand on the pump handle. I bit the bullet and ordered the HiTech unit. It required a small corner of the pump handle being ground off but the light is placed much better where it is. The scope ring I used to hold the light is a Warne ring I’ve had in parts for decades. The light itself might have a tendency to work it’s way forward under repetitive recoil, so to combat that the ring butts up against a section of the light that has a bigger OD. It might want to work it’s way forward but it’s not possible.

KelTec Rail: I tried to mount a different sight on the carry handle but screwed up the ordering of the mount required. That was serendipity since I’m an old dog and don’t take to new tricks all that well. I ordered the rail and tried a See-All sight but took it off. I just wasn’t fast enough with it.

MRO and UTG riser: I had the MRO in parts and they are rugged as a rock, so I knew it would hold up to the recoil. My vision for the KS7 is for close range, and the MRO just isn’t needed for that. But if I ever need to use slugs it’s sighted in for them (Aguila 1 3/4" slugs at the moment). I needed the sight higher and the UTG riser is what the LGS had on the wall. The Battle Steel co-witness mount came with the MRO if I remember correctly. All of them give me the right height so that I don’t need to contort my body to use the sight. I’m faster that way.

MCarbo single point sling mount: I tried to use the attachment point at the butt of the KS7 but I didn’t like it. The KS7 has a huge advantage over “normal” long shotguns. The short nature of the bullpup means that if anyone should grab the barrel they have no leverage. To make that grab even less likely I want to slide the gun back so that the muzzle is closer to my hip. That makes a grab almost impossible before I can separate their hand from their forearm with a blast of buckshot. Using a sling point at the butt interfered with that shotgun positioning.

Tactical Hero sling: There are more expensive slings to be had and if one is an operator and not only an armchair commando they would be worthwhile. Yes I have a few of those but I’m not longer at the point where I can use them to their potential so why buy more of them? This sling doesn’t break the bank and isn’t the typical Chinese crap seen elsewhere for a sling. It’ll do. OK, so why a sling? IF someone should grab the gun muzzle using the sling cross body means they’d have a heck of a time turning the gun on me. But it still allows me to shoulder it should I need to employ it at a distance. Remember the MRO? It’s sighted in for 50 yards and is usable further than that so shouldering is mandatory. A sling also works to free up the hands if that’s required. We don’t write the way things might turn out in an engagement so it works for me to have as many contingencies as possible accounted for.

KelTec extended Buttpad: Coupled with my reduced recoil shells it’s plenty of recoil mitigation without being obnoxious. Heck, with normal recoil shells it’s enough.


Well done!




Wow sexy


Had a Mossberg 500 bullpup. Hated it. The more its fired the more it rattled. Loose as a goose. If it were w woman, Id have to use doughnuts for shims.

Used an 870 overseas, and here until I shattered my shoulder. No more shotguns for me. Even had to mellow out the 45/70.

The IWI is what a friend bought. Nice machine.


Sorry to hear about your shoulder.

So I’ve heard. But not as svelte as the KS7. Box stock the thing weighs something like 6#. Too, the IWI is a full semi :smiley: if I remember, so that leaves out the ammo I’m making for it, but of course with the weight and semi-auto action it probably makes full recoil ammo feel like a butterfly fart. Yeah, I didn’t think the IWI would make a very good old fart shotgun.

The KS7 is something I wanted rather than needed. I was/am selling off my long guns that I just can’t handle with as much authority as I once could. Hence the bullpups and SBRs that are taking their place. My last repeating shotgun* has gone for a ride and I was feeling the loss. I needed a repeating shotgun. But I probably wrote all of this in the first post in the thread. (I tend to repeat myself a lot, good thing I type fast.)

*I held onto it as long as I could deny that it was just too much steel “out there” for me to swing. Aging sux. It was an 870 Wingmaster that I had converted into a “tactical” shotgun. I hated to see it go, but I just have no place for shoulder fired guns that I don’t use.