The Street-Legal 12-Ga. Komrad

from Kalashnikov USA (K-USA)

Originally formed as an importer...

…but now strictly a manufacturer, Kalashnikov USA (K-USA) offers American consumers a chance to own some interesting Kalashnikov-pattern firearms sourced here in the United States. The current product line is made up of the KS-12 Saiga-pattern shotgun and the KP-9 9mm semi-auto rifle, pistol and short-barreled rifle (SBR) models, which are patterned off the original Vityaz submachine gun. After recently assuming the helm as K-USA’s CEO, Jonathan Mossberg, an industry veteran, is breathing new life into the company. He recently invited us to Florida for a tour of the K-USA factory and headquarters to see what they’ve been up to.

A New Firearm

This is no April Fool’s joke. On April 2, 2019, K-USA announced the addition of the “Komrad” to their lineup of Saiga-patterned shotguns. This one, however, is no shotgun. With a 12.5″ barrel and an SB Tactical SBA3 brace giving it an adjustable overall length between 30.25″ and 33″, K-USA’s new offering simply classifies as a “firearm” and is sure to be a hit amongst the close-quarters battle (CQB) crowd. We had the opportunity to get our hands on the Komrad during our visit and took full advantage of the ample range time.

The appropriately named semi-automatic 12-ga. shorty will accept both 2.75″ and 3″ shells, and features a standard side-mounted optics rail, interchangeable pistol grip inserts and threaded muzzle nut. A tri-rail forend and vertical forward grip round out the package. MSRP for the Komrad sits at $1,066, and it ships with a couple of K-USA’s own five-round magazines. Shooters will also find most original SAIGA magazines work in the Komrad as well.

After several hours on K-USA’s indoor range with the new Komrad, we left without any concerns with regard to its reliability. Granted, a few cycling issues were observed, but they could be attributed to either a weak shooting stance or failure to adjust the gas regulator when switching between slugs and buckshot. Settings on the adjustable gas regulator are marked “1” for high-recoiling loads and “2” for low-recoiling loads, but future iterations of the Komrad, or KS-12, will likely see a change to “H” and “L” markings to help eliminate any confusion on the range.

K-USA’s beautiful facility…

…where a K-USA staff member secures a KS-12 in a special jig to prepare it for proofing.

The Komrad points fast and shoots well. As far as recoil is concerned, we’d say the Komrad kicks similarly to other equally sized shotguns on the market. She’ll push you around or leave your shoulder bruised if you’re not careful, but it’s nothing an aggressive stance and proper form can’t control. Its size, meanwhile, is inherently easier to aim than a pistol, and the 12-gauge shells provide energy and versatility pistol-caliber carbines (PCCs) or even rifle cartridges cannot. The best part? K-USA has a full inventory of the Komrad, and they are ready to ship to your nearest FFL — no tax stamp necessary.

Each proof mark on a K-USA barrel is hand stamped by the company CEO, Mossberg.

During our time at the K-USA factory we searched high and low for signs of Putin in the closet, but came up dry. They might build guns made famous by the Russians, but K-USA is as American as it gets — and their outlook is bright under the new leadership of Mossberg. Stay tuned for a detailed review of the Komrad in the print edition of GUNS Magazine.

Learn more at Kalashnikov USA.