Back in the old days George Kellgren, the man behind Kel Tec and its precursor, Grendel Arms, had an idea for a bullpup-stocked shotgun that was just 26-inches long overall and had an innovative high-capacity magazine arrangement that held a dozen rounds. Think you know this gun as the KSG today? Well, about that...
Enter the GSG-41
While you may know the KSG, there was a Kellgren-designed scattergun that predated it by no less than 17 years. Although Kel Tec was around in 1993, the gun was set up to be distributed by Kellgren's other company, the now-defunct Grendel Arms.
This bullpup design pushed most of the action behind the trigger of the firearm, producing an overall shorter gun at just some 26-inches in length. Amazingly, this allowed the gun to keep a very adequate 24-inch long barrel length. A pump-action, the slide of the shotgun ended just short of the muzzle crown while the firearm's trigger well was nearly centered in the frame of the weapon. Weight was just a very handy 5-pounds.
Chambered in the diminutive .410-gauge caliber with a 3-inch chamber, it held an impressive 12-rounds in a staggered box magazine that recessed into the shotgun's stock. This caliber led to the name of the gun: the Grendel ShotGun - 410 (GSG-41) much like the Kel Tec shotgun, a 12-gauge, is today referred to officially as the KSG-12.
Using a cylinder-bore choke, the GSG-41 was set up as a defensive shotgun meant for urban use and closed-quarters battle. As such, it had a recessed port near the muzzle for a Mini-MagLite (hey, they were the cutting edge in illumination at the time). An early Sure Fire light was also an option. Besides the lights, there was also a set of "fluorescent sights."
How to get your own
Vaporware: "In the computer industry, vaporware (or vapourware, see spelling differences) is a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled"
Sadly, other than the leaked brochure, marked "No Public Release," it seems that the only example of the gun ever made was the one shown in the flyer-- and there is no guarantee it was functional and not just a mockup.
No matter how much our membership may want to get their hands on one there just aren't any out there. Never placed into production, it is not even a vaporware firearm as Grendel never announced its release and has since gone out of business.
What killed it?
That is hard to say and one can only speculate. It may have been too forward-looking. After all, with the exception of the Mossberg 500 Bullpup, which was only made in limited numbers from 1987-1992, was the only other one on the market and it wasn't flying off the shelves.
Other than that, it may have been concerns over the caliber choice. While the .410 gauge Taurus Judge series is popular today, and the MIL Thunder 5 revolver that was around in the 1990s was a flop.
Then again, there may have been issues with the magazine feed. Remember, rimmed shotgun shells tend to not feed well when stacked upon themselves.
Whatever the reason, Kellgren switched gears on his bullpup shotty design, made it a 12-gauge with twin tubular magazines (note-- getting rid of that column stack as in the GSG-41), and dubbed it the KSG. His new design was patent pending in 2010, and the GSG has faded away into history.
Still, we would have loved to run a box of shells through one.