Not Your Daddy's Shotgun: A Look at Some Modern Shotgun Innovations

“That ain’t your daddy’s shotgun, Cowboy”

Looking at some of the newest scattergun technology, the average observer would likely agree.
The shotgun concept is as old as gunpowder, but that doesn’t mean innovation has stopped.  Quite the contrary: many people are once again looking at the shotgun as an effective tool for self defense and hunting, while others never left the platform.

Here are just a few of the modern ideas surrounding the old smoothbore.

Kel-Tec KSG

One of the most popular new guns at the 2011 SHOT Show was the KSG 12 gauge shotgun from Kel-Tec.  The KSG is an amazingly compact pump-action shotgun with dual magazine tubes that hold a total of 14 shells (seven per tube.)

The KSG weighs a little less than seven pounds, and due to its configuration it is fairly well balanced.  The barrel is 18.5”, and the overall length is a diminutive 26.1”.

The KSG ejects shells downward, rather than to the side, which means mounting the shotgun on the left shoulder is not hindered by shells flying back into the shooters face.

The top of the KSG has a Picatinny rail for mounting iron sights or a red dot optic.  The underside of the pump also has a rail for the addition of a white light, forward grip, or other accessory. 

Kel-Tec expects to ship the KSG in the second half of 2011 with an expected MSRP of $880.

Mossberg Chainsaw

The ultimate in anti-zombie hardware, Mossberg introduced the world to the Chainsaw.  The Mossberg Chainsaw is a pistol-grip version of the Mossberg 500 shotgun chambered 12 gauge.
A chainsaw-like forend grip has been attached to the pump grip, giving the shooter the ability to apply downward force during recoil.  Surprisingly, with the chainsaw grip it is easy to work the pump without the action binding.

The Chainsaw features three rails on the pump grip, which allows the addition of lights and lasers.  The end of the Chainsaw’s barrel can be had with a “stand off” allowing for practical use as a breacher’s tool in military and law enforcement applications.

The Chainsaw holds six shells.  MSRP is $489.

Safety Harbor Firearms KEG12

The Kompact Entry Gun 12 gauge, or KEG12, is a short-barreled shotgun manufactured by Safety Harbor Firearms in the Tampa Bay, FL area.  The shotguns are pistol-gripped, and are roughly the size of a really big handgun.

The KEG12 can be based on either the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 shotguns with either a 7 ¼” barrel or 10” barrel.  The shorter KEG12 will hold three 2 ¾” or 3” shells, while the longer will hold four shells. 

A KEG12 can also be made in 20 gauge on the Mossberg 500 platform.

The pump grip folds down to be used as a vertical grip, and leg holsters for taking these guns afield are available.

As these shotguns have barrels shorter than the arbitrary 18” limit imposed by the federal government, you would need a $5 tax stamp (Any Other Weapon tax) to own one.

Pricing starts at $675 for the Mossberg, and $745 for the Remington.

BLACKHAWK! Knoxx Gen II Stocks

The recoil reduction technology used in the BLACKHAWK! Knoxx stocks is no joke:  it works incredibly well.  The fact is a pump action 12 gauge shotgun produces a lot of recoil.  Recoil pads can help reduce the punishment to your shoulder, but they don’t actually reduce the recoil.  The Knoxx stocks do!

Using a variable cam system and compression recoil springs, the Knoxx stocks absorb up to 85% of the peak recoil generated by the shotgun.  The stocks also alter the recoil impulse, changing the feel from a sharp hit to a longer “push.” 

For 2011, BLACKHAWK! introduced the Gen II version of the SpecOps Knoxx stocks.  The Gen II stocks feature interchangeable grip inserts to adjust the size of the pistol grip to fit the individual user.  Additionally, the Gen II incorporates an ambidextrous single-point sling plate and quick-detach sling swivel.

The SpecOps stock allows the shooter to adjust the length of pull from 11 ¼” to 15” to fit his or her size.  The Gen II has seven positions of adjustment (up from five), providing a greater degree of precision in sizing.

The Gen II SpecOps stocks are available for the 12 gauge versions of the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500, 535, 590, 835 and 88 shotguns.  MSRP is $135 for black and $160 for camo.

DDupleks Steel Ammunition

Ever want, or need, a lead-free shotgun slug that is accurate, won’t damage your shotgun’s barrel and will provide devastating stopping power to bring down medium to large game?  Consider the DDupleks Hexolit 32.

DDupleks is a Latvian ammunition company making a hybrid slug design made of steel and polymer called the Hexolit 32.  The Hexolit design provides both protection to the shotgun barrel and a stable flight path.  When striking the game, the front portion of the Hexolit rapidly expands to about 1.4” wide (12 gauge) before splintering off into six separate projectiles.  The rear, solid portion of the slug continues to penetrate deeply.

The effect?  DDupleks claims very high instances of instant stops on game, even with imperfect shot placement.

Retail prices vary, but expect to pay about $16 for a box of five Hexolit 32 shells.

Daddy’s Shotgun

There are a lot of innovations going on in the shotgun world.  Some are really revolutionary, and some are just fun.  While your daddy’s shotgun isn’t obsolete, there are enough new things out there to keep even the most critical enthusiast interested for some time to come.