18,5 KS-K

18,5 KS-K shotgun with optional red dot sight and tactical light
photo by KardeN



Semi-automatic, gas operated

Gauge, chamber

12, 76mm / 3”


725 / 970 mm / 29 / 38”

Barrel length

430 mm /  17”

Weight, empty

3.8 kg / 8.4 lbs

Magazine capacity

4 or 8 rounds


18,5 mm KS-K (КС-К– КарабинСпециальный, с Коробчатым магазином, which means “Special Carbine with box magazine”, and do not ask me why official nomenclature for a smoothbore shotgun is “carbine”, please – M.P.:) shotgun is manufactured in Russia by Izhmash factory as a dedicated police weapon. It is based on the Saiga-12 shotgun, which, in turn, is an adaptation of the famous Kalashnikov AK assault rifle. It must be noted that 18,5 KS-K shotgun is not very popular among Russian law enforcement personnel, and  there are several reasons for it. First is the lack of officially issued 12 Gauge ammunition. Second is excessive bulk and length of the weapon, even with the stock folded. And third is that in Russia there is no general tradition of police use of shotguns, and many SWAT-type law enforcement officers in Russia prefer assault rifles or submachine guns over shotguns.


18,5 KS-K shotgun is gas operated, semi-automatic weapon. It uses modified Saiga-12 (Kalashnikov-type) action with rotary bolt. Unlike the original Saiga-12, gas system of the KS-K has no manual adjustments. Feed is from detachable plastic box magazines with 4 or 8 round capacity, and weapon is provided with plastic magwell to facilitate faster reloads. Safety lever is of standard AK-style lever type. Another “tactical” feature of the 18,5 KS-K shotgun is bolt hold-open device, which locks the bolt open once its magazine runs dry. To disengage the bolt hold-open device, shooter must pull the bolt handle all the way back and then release it, as there is no dedicated bolt release lever or button. Other standard features include hinged, top-opening receiver cover with integral Picatinny rail, AK-74M-style side-folding buttstock, made of plastic and equipped with rubber recoil pad, and another short length of the Picatinny rail under the gas block. Standard sights are of rifle type (apparently, unmodified AK-74 rear sight is used on KS-K), with adjustable rear sight with U-notch, and protected front post.