New Kel-Tec RDB Survival and KSG-25 | SHOT 2017

With the Kel-Tec RDB’s arriving on store shelves and a healthy supply of RFB’s across the market, Kel-Tec has expanded the RDB-C line to include their new survival model.

Built with a 16″ barrel, and 26.1 inch over-all length, it’s designed an ultra-compact backpackers .223 bullpup. They’re using the same pistol-grip-less stock from the RDB-C last year, with a new compact for-end and the shorter barrel. New to the family is the two position collapsible stock, which can be fit on any of the RDB variants.

That collapsible stock adjust by an inch-and-a-half from extended to collapsed position. It deploys with a pull and locks in the open position.

MSRP on the Survival model will be in the same ball-park as the current RDB, but we won’t likely see them in the wild until the start of 2018.

The RDB Survival still has the high folding sights of the original RDB/M43 design, and I think it would be well suited to a micro red-dot or a low sitting low power optic.

A 10 round magazine sits flush in the magwell, but of course any Stanag magazine will fit. Kel-Tec says they’re intention is to build the RDB line into a fully customizable setup, and will retail various components directly from their online store. The idea being that an owner of a conventional RDB could build themselves a copy of the Survival rifle, or vice versa if desired.

Also on display at the booth and at Industry Range Day was the KSG-25 shotgun.

What began as a design for European over-all-length compliance requirements (38″) ballooned into a “we did it because we could” kind of creation. The KSG-25 features a 30 inch barrel and carries a full box of twelve gauge shells inside:

That is 21 rounds of 3″ shells, 25 rounds of standard 2.75″ shells, or 41 Aguila mini-shells if you really want tone your pumping muscles.

The weight when loaded is officially 11.5 lbs, and you can bet that a fair chunk of that weight is forward of the grip. Kel-Tec is doing a test run of 5000 guns that will ship with Magpul MBUS and an RVG vertical grip on the pump.

Personally I think they should have named it the KSG-XL or “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” MSRP is nailed down at $1400, and the first run is expected to arrive on shelves in 3rd quarter 2017.

Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


  • Jack Morris

    I fired off a tube of high brass slugs from my buddy’s KSG. It was punishing. Maybe the extra weight is a good thing!

  • Keiichi

    That shotgun, though. I mean… jeez…

    Can’t wait to see one at Trap league ;^)

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      You just reach out and hit the clays 🙂

      • I would pay good money to see a shotgun competition where you have to keep going when you run out of ammo by just swingin’ that sucker like a bat. After a certain number of clays flying across, they start comin’ atcha like a tennis ball launcher.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          Business partners?

  • Sgt. Stedenko

    All I can say is Bubba

  • Southpaw89

    Making the RDB parts interchangeable is definitely a plus, will be keeping my eye on that one.

  • Porty1119

    A UK-legal KSG! A sentence I never, ever thought I would type.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Do shotguns have capacity restrictions there?

      • Nigel Tolley

        On Section 2 (Shotguns) it’s quite tight now – 1+2 is the limit. On Section 1 (“Rifles”) you could have that pump action with 41 cartridges, if you could convince the police you had a “good reason” for it. Practical shotgun or pest control would be fine mostly.

  • Load on Sunday, shoot till Friday! (Aguila Mini Shells)

    • Amanofdragons

      More like start loading on Sunday and finish on Friday.

    • gunsandrockets

      trench broom

  • Edeco

    I live in a DLZ (designated-liberty-zone) but I want both of these. I mean, the shotgun weight wouldn’t bother me, wouldn’t intend to run 10 miles with it, and the overall shape is reasonable, all the space thoroughly used. The heat shield looks weak, like it could get bent, I’d just take that off and save it for selfies.

    • car54

      I call these kind of things “Alamo guns” or barricade guns, i.e, “fall back to the wall and hold out as long as you can.” As you pointed out, one is not likely to be going very far with it. My “Alamo gun” is a Saiga 12 with drum mags but the KSG would work as well.

  • nutn is a big a fan

    • Hanover Fist

      Yeah, he is. He’s right about the barrel…ditch the pencil barrel and go for a .625″

  • any word on the deserttech mdr at shot show or is it vaporware by now?>

  • MrBrassporkchop

    That’s awesome I bet you can carry that survival gun around town because it doesn’t really look like a gun.

  • Earl Jr.

    I’ll be waiting to see the survival RDB in a sci-fi flick.

  • Bigbigpoopi

    somebody here better do that video of loading and shooting it!

  • Giolli Joker

    “design for European over-all-length compliance requirements (38″)”
    European minimum OAL for shotguns/hunting rifles was 60cm (about 24″) last time I checked.
    As an example you can find several FABARM (Italian) shotguns that have barrels as short as 12″.

  • SteveK

    Good ole Kel-Tec, always innovatin’!

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    I laughed out loud at the KSG-25, but in a good way. This is the sort of inspired insanity that I love about Kel-Tec. In the length of a typical pump action 9 round 12 gauge shotgun, Kel-Tec has created a 25 round shotgun. The 30 inch barrel should provide additional kinetic energy downrange, as if that was lacking in a 12 gauge shotgun. I like to imagine that Kel-Tec’s internal code name for this project was Master Of Disaster. 41 Aguila mini shells! Woot! One of my projects for my KSG is to make my own slightly shorter 12 gauge mini shells to see if I can up the capacity to 27 or even 29. Now I guess I need to try to max out the KSG-25 to what… 47? What needs 47 rounds of 12 gauge? I don’t know, and I don’t want to know!

  • Stephen Paraski

    My new Goose Gun.

    • Dan

      That would be nice, but Im limited to 3 shells where i live.

  • L. Roger Rich

    Looks like a CA, NY, MA compliant rifle…no thanks

    • Sledgecrowbar

      It is, but they figured out that the lack of pistol grip would also make it slot really nicely into a backpack. I handled one at SHOT last year and didn’t like how high my thumb was, but it does make it legal in the zero-feature ban states.

  • Quasimofo

    One benefit of the KSG-25 is you’re less likely to blow your hand off while working the slide w/ a VFG…

  • Kyle

    It is so ridicoulous it swings back around to awesome.

    • If Kel-Tec hasn’t trademarked “So ridiculous it swings back around to awesome” as their company motto, they’re fools.

  • Phillip Shen

    Hmm, is that truly a “collapsable” stock though? If it is, no go for CA (and probably no-go for MA/NY/etc) unless the stock is pinned in place. This is somewhat of a gray area, as the stock needs tools in order to adjust the stock, but my gut tells me it still qualifies as a “fixed” buttstock.

    If it’s CA compliant, I wouldn’t mind something like this — a “featureless” bullpup .223, and the price is right too. Of course I hear that Kel-Tec’s hit-or-miss, and also, their items aren’t exactly easy to find in stock.

    • Jake

      Kel-Tec has an RDB-C model coming out that’s meant as their “work-around” rifle for CA/NY laws. No pistol grip, no collapsable stock, no flash hider.

  • Isaac FluffyWolf Rader

    My thumb screams in protest merely looking at the RDB-C.

  • The Deplorable Hobbit

    The RDB is a great rifle, although I own the only one I’ve ever seen in person. … They are kind of hard to find.

    Any word on RDBs for alternate cartridges to the 5.56 x 45? I suspect this is eventually in the works.

    • sprky777

      I think they have the RDB-C in 6.5 Grendel

      • The Deplorable Hobbit

        I’ll keep an eye open for one. I live in a free state so the RDB-C configuration isn’t and issue, but I’m not opposed to it. My regular 5.56 RDB is the only one I have seen in person. It had just arrived at the local range/shop where I am a member early last fall and I bought it so fast that it hadn’t been tagged and I think the owner might have accidentally given me an extra low price. I gave him an out, but he is a good guy and stuck with the original quote, possibly because I’m otherwise a pretty good customer. I shoot there almost every Saturday and haven’t seen another either there or anywhere else in my travels.

        Anyway, the RDB seems more accurate than the Tavor, doesn’t have the handedness problem of most other bullpups (I’m fully left side dominant), doesn’t blow powder residue in your face, and after a little adjustment of the gas system has been 100% reliable. I imagine that the RDB-C in either 5.56 or 6.5 Grendel would be great rifles as well. The RDB-C would also have a lower profile than the RDB, of course.

    • CommonCents

      im holding out for 300BO with can on an RDB. and for them to ramp up production and take care of any early model bugs. I think it’ll be a big winner in the marketplace.

  • Holy cats, man– 41 rounds of 12ga, on the gun. This is so crazy, it just might work.

  • KnoKnees

    “With the Kel-Tec RDB’s arriving on store shelves and a healthy supply of RFB’s across the market.” What’s that supposed to actually mean?

    There might be 2 or 3 available nationwide.

    Sorry, I’ll stick with firearms manufacturers that appropriately respond to market demand. Particularly the firearm manufacturers that don’t heat-mold the majority of their firearms out of plastic, etc. Regardless of the worldwide shortage of plastic. I gave upon anything Kel-tec years ago.

    • BrotherLazarus

      Two or three? Did they boost their manufacturing output? I would have said one at the most, or several partial builds scattered around. One of the local shops still has something like a 14 month waiting list for the KSG, and that’s been officially on the market for… what, five years now?

      • KnoKnees

        And after 10-15-plus years of numerous like-minded individuals explicitly telling Kel-Tec the exact same thing, likely millions of times. Do you think Kel-Tec has taken the hint?

        The amount of potential earnings Kel-Tec unknowingly throws away every year would likely fund several other market responsive firearm companies.

        It would be great if a market responsive company like Ruger, or even Taurus would purchase Kel-Tec and actually produce the number of innovative firearms they already offer, but can’t be purchased, anywhere, by anyone, for any amount of money.

    • Mikial

      Hey, they don’t have the manufacturing capacity to meet demand, unlike companies like Colt who have more capacity than demand.

  • CommonCents

    my KSG handles the aquila 1.75″ minishells really well. unlike most shotguns. gives an AR like-ish 25 rd capacity 😉

  • 1911a145acp

    I like Kel Tec, I really do, they are not the problem, but they are PART of a larger problem. All gun manufactures who offer California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts compliant models are LICKING THE BOOTS of the very state legislatures who would fine them, ban them, restrict them and legislate them out of business if allowed. ALL gun and accessory manufactures need to boycott those anti gun states who have one set of rules for citizens and another for LEs, state militias, SWAT teams, National Guard etc. The state of Californian’s legislature just exempted themselves for the very restrictive unconstitutional “laws” the past against their own citizens! If manufactures like Kel Tec, GLOCK , S&W, RUGER, COLT, SIG would join forces to boycott these unconstitutional mandates- the states would stop victimizing their citizens.

    • Phil Hsueh

      I don’t see it as licking the boots of state legislatures, after all, the goal of these goals isn’t just to restrict what kind of guns we can get, they want to eliminate all guns through back door bans. What manufacturers like Kel-Tec are doing is thumbing their noses at these people and telling that no matter what silly, restrictive legislation they come up with they’ll come up with ways of getting around them. It also shows that law abiding gun owners in these restrictive states aren’t being discouraged by their stupid laws and simply giving up on continuing their hobby, it shows that we’re still interested, interested enough that manufacturers feel that it’s worth making products aimed specifically at these markets.

      • 1911a145acp

        Thank you your service and thoughtful perspective.

    • Tassiebush

      The restrictive states would not care if gun companies boycotted them. Effective quality products just isn’t something they care about.

      • 1911a145acp

        They WILL care when their LE agencies start whining that they have put officers lives at risk and they cannot do their jobs.The time to do it is NOW, with a supportive president and public. While they are still flush with cash and stock prices from 8 years of BO. If they all band together and agree to not service or sell to unconstitutional states and not allow any of there foreign subsidiaries to sell the state will fold in a matter of months. If the states try to import to get around the ban and are revealed to to be the un lawful unconstitutional bullies that they are – it would be a public relations disaster for the states and LE purchasers.

  • UCSPanther

    Load on a Sunday, shoot all week long…

  • Nigel Tolley

    Can anyone explain what the point of a “telescoping” stock that moves all of 1.5″ is? Bloody pointless! Make it fixed and store something in there, perhaps? It must make it heavier too.

  • Nick

    So they’re working on a shotgun meant for export when they can’t even keep up with domestic demand? Interesting.

  • Mikial

    I love Kel Tec. Always something new and unusual. i own several and will continue to buy them. I really want one of the new RDB-C survival rifles.

  • aevangel1

    KSG-25; why??

    because ‘MERICA!!!