People used to call the original 16-shot Henry “a rifle that you could load on Sunday and shoot all week.” What would they have said about the new Kel-Tec KSG-25 shotgun, capable of holding 24 2.75-inch shells in its twin magazines? Going to the longer 3-inch ammunition lowers the capacity to a still impressive 20, but using the low-recoil Aguila 1.62-inch Minishells allows for a total capacity of 40 rounds! While magazine capacity is the first specification that jumps out, the KSG-25 represents a considerable improvement over the original Kel-Tec KSG in several key areas.
The mechanics of this longer shotgun are the same, featuring a pump action with the bolt locking into the barrel extension, two manually selectable magazine tubes, bottom ejection and a straight-stock configuration. Unloaded weight has gone up by 2.3 pounds to 9.25 pounds total, while loaded weight has increased even more, thanks to the hefty load of ammo, with more than 2.25 pounds of shotshells with fully loaded twin magazines.
The weight of the full magazines changed the fairly neutral, centered balance of the original KSG to the more typical front-heavy bias. That’s less convenient for one-handed control but makes the gun more comfortable during firing, reducing already minimal muzzle rise to almost zero. Interestingly, the loaded center of balance 2.5 inches forward of the slide release shifts backwards only slightly as the magazine empties. The Kel-Tec KSG-25 swings much better than the shorter version, making it more suitable for clay shooting. Though not intended for skeet or trap, it works quite well for that.
The longer magazine tubes sit under the barrel, which measures a full 30 inches in length. The tubes have witness holes on the bottom front and top rear, allowing verification of load status. Looking closer at the barrel, while the velocity gain over a more traditional 18-inch barrel is only around 100 fps, the drop in the uncorking pressure at the muzzle and the greater distance from the shooter to the muzzle amounts to approximately 10 decibel reduction of the report, a significant help in retaining hearing. The brightness and the size of flash also drops from noticeable to negligible. The Kel-Tec KSG-25 is simply more comfortable to fire than shorter shotguns. The lengthening of the iron-sight radius helps with practical slug accuracy. The incorporation of a straight stock allows for the use of AR-15-style sights, especially red dots, for improved speed and accuracy.