KSG vs. DP-12 – Epic Comparison Video

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I love bullpups and I love shotguns, so it should stand to reason that I would love bullpup shotguns. Right? Wrong. Having shot multiple KSG shotguns, I have nearly given up on the weapon type due to reliability, practicality, and other personal  gripes. As such, I am thrilled that Andrew at GY6 Vids took the time to compare two guns in the format.

Andrew takes the KelTec KSG and the Standard Manufacturing DP-12 shotguns through their paces. Both guns have their plusses, with the KSG being more accurate (using a single barrel) and the DP-12 being faster to dump the entire contents of the magazine.

On the flip side, both guns have their detracting quirks. The KSG is known to eject shells directly into the shooters wrist and can be a pain to change magazine tubes after one has been emptied. The DP-12 also has its issues, including barrels that are not matching patterns, is a significant pain to disassemble/clean, and a different manual of arms from those used to the common pump layout.

My choice? The DP-12, if only because I have a painful history with the KSG. Ignoring that, the make-or-break for the weapon pattern is as home defense. For that, one should be able to empty an entire magazine without manipulation. The DP-12, despite different manual of arms, can empty both tubes without changing over versus the KSG which requires the shooter to recognize an empty chamber and swap over.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Giolli Joker

    “My choice? The DP-12, if only because I have a painful history with the KSG.”

    Another KSG Captain Hook?

  • Alexandru Ianu

    It should be noted that you can’t safe the DP-12 if you only fire one barrel – either fire the other one or eject it.

    • That’s a, uh, pretty big deal, especially for home defense. Yeesh.

      • Ian Thorne

        How is that a big deal for HD? I can’t really see a situation where that would be needed. If there is still a threat, it’s off safe anyway, if there is no more threat, eject.

        • Do you have kids? Reason enough right there not to play a game of “Did I fire six shots, or only five?”.

          The immediate aftermath of having shot someone in your own house is not the kind of environment conducive to clear thinking and calmness, and that’s a pretty dangerous situation in which to introduce a loaded shotgun with no safety.

      • TDog

        Yeah. not much of a “big deal.” Either keep your finger off the trigger or give the bad guy a two-for-one deal.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Is this for entertainment purposes only?

  • Major Tom

    No love or info on the UTS-15?

    • Giolli Joker

      I read the latest generation works much better than the previous ones and to me it’s the most interesting design, superior to both these ones.

    • Iggy

      What about the great grand-daddy of them all:

    • Nicholas C

      Hate that gun. The design is totally bonkers. From the dust covers to the fact that shells and follower block the feeding port so you can’t load or top off the gun without fingering the gun nice and deep like.

    • 1911a145acp

      I had an early UTS- 15. I have never seen more sharp edges engineered into one firearm in my life. Slow to load, slow to shoot, painful sharp edge comb of the stock drives into you face every shot. I would hand it to new shooters and ask them to load it. NONE could do it without help, MAGNETS held door shut. Easy to short stroke, near impossible to clear, hard to unload Ordered the built in flashlight when new -NEVER received it, Company was impossible to deal with- sold it in a week…..

  • Jeffrey Smith

    Again, how a law enforcement agency chose to use the KSG is beyond me. (In reference to the prison guard article from last week)

    • Porty1119

      It’s New York. I’m not sure what you were expecting.

      • They’ve all got a New York Reload Stoeger strapped to one ankle.

  • gunsandrockets

    Good info.

  • Nicholas C

    I have a KSG. Since 2012, Not sure why people get hit in the wrist. I dont chicken wing my guns either. Practice makes perfect when switching tubes. Just reach back with your thumb and hitch hike that switch over. You can get longer switches to make it easier.

    loading does suck. You can do a 4 in the hand technique
    but you are still loading one at a time. Load up with mini shells and you get 11 in each tube!

    • TDog

      The issue here isn’t whether or not the KSG can be a good gun (there are obviously good examples out there), but whether or not the one you get will be one of them. In my personal experience, four different times with four different guns, all of them had a problem feeding. “You really have to rack it! Don’t baby it!” I darn near tossed them into orbit each time racking them and they still malfunctioned. I can see how someone’s grasp might slip.

      All in all, self defense shouldn’t be a lottery and the cost of the KSG is too much to buy on a whim.

      • Nicholas C

        $900 isnt terrible. But I paid $1200 for mine back in 2010 when they were scarce and I was living under tyranny in NY. It was legal to own and I wanted one. Have not regretted it. I can see how a messed up one could sour one’s impression of the gun.

        • TDog

          That wasn’t a bad price to pay back in the day.

          And just for clarity’s sake, I want to let folks know I’m not a Kel-Tec hater. I love the SU-16, for example (yeah, the A version is ugly, but it works every single time!)

    • Kyle

      Can’t say I remember getting hit on the wrist a lot with my KSG either. Not to many feeding issues either until recently. I went to disassemble the gun and found the polymer shell guides were cracking off. Both sides so that’s cool… I sent it in to Kel-tec, and I assume they are just going to replace the entire gun. Not really sure what else they could do as far as repairing the damage is concerned.

  • hikerguy

    The video tells me that neither would be a good fit for me. I would have liked to have seen the UTS-15 in with the others in the test, but as for now I will continue to use my traditional pump action. I thought the video was well done and informative.

  • Joe

    Just me or is there a significant audio/video misalignment. Driving me a little nuts.

  • Bullphrog855

    These guns are fun and cool, but nothing more than range toys.

    • Nicholas C

      I agree. However US-CSOG uses KSGs.

  • Raginzerker

    I feel like any traditional pump (win1200, 870, 500) are better than these over designed mall ninja garbage piles

  • TDog

    Good review. I personally prefer the DP-12 since it’s more reliable (way more reliable) and the felt recoil is far less. I know there are plenty of KSG fans out there and if they have one of the good ones, more power to ’em. In my experience, however, the KSG is not to be trusted.

  • Andrew Thomas

    Once there is a semi-auto version of a “ksg like” shotgun on the market, you will not be able to give the dp-12 away.

  • Wait– do you mean to tell me that Kel-Tec actually has Customer Service?!? Wonders never cease!

  • Cleophus

    Nathan, did you ever think about wearing that snazzy wrist strap/watch band on your KSG afflicted wrist, at least while shooting the KSG?