The 5 Worst Modern Production Firearms Ever Made

Reader A. E. Johnson writes:

Ever since the dawn of mankind we’ve been trying to kill one another. But it was only with the advent of gunpowder that we got really good at it.

Firearms have existed for centuries, and have been constantly evolving to become ever more efficient at what they do. Yet for every new, awe-inspiring innovation, there comes another not-so-amazing design. One that makes you shake your head  that it ever managed to be produced. Sometimes this is due to poor quality materials, rushed production lines, or just plain old or bad designers who had no idea what they were doing.

So while it’s been difficult to narrow them down, here’s a list of some of the worst modern firearms designs (and by “modern” we’re looking at roughly the last century) ever put into production.

To be clear, we’re not including designs that were intended to be cheap and crappy from the start.

courtesy livelymorgue.tumblr.com

We’re looking at you, Saturday night specials.

courtesy englishrussia.com

Also, homemade, improvised, workshop-made or “one-off” weaponry is off the table. We’ll just be concentrating on production firearms here.

So without further ado, here are the five worst modern production firearms ever made . . .

courtesy youtube.com

5) Gyrojet

Manufacturer: MB Associates, USA

The Gyrojet series — which looked like it was assembled with parts from an Erector Set — was developed by MBA in the 1960’s and was basically a handheld rocket launcher, firing 13mm propellant-driven projectiles. Various light machine gun and rifle variants were also planned, but few ever made it to the prototype stages. Despite this, there were cases of the pistols being used by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, with limited success.

Differing from most “traditional” firearms, the velocity of the Gyrojet rockets would actually increase after leaving the barrel. This may have been a plus when firing at distant targets, but made the Gyrojet lousy at close range…which, funnily enough, is actually an important requirement for a handgun.

The Gyrojet also featured a restrictive six-round magazine, had a clumsy reloading process, and featured exposed vent ports which would also interfere with loading and firing the gun’s unique projectiles. Given the fact that existing pistols already did a much better job (ie, actually had the ability to cause damage to targets within 10 feet), MBA eventually folded along with the Gyrojet design.

courtesy wikipedia.org

4) Glisenti Model 1910
Manufacturer: Metallurgica Brescia gia Tempini (MBT), Italy

The Glisenti Model 1910 has mainly been included on our illustrious list because it had an awful tendency to quite literally fall apart. That feature made Erector Set and Lego guns look like better alternatives, as at least they wouldn’t collapse quite so often when the trigger was pulled.

Being one of the first semi-auto handguns accepted for frontline service, the M1910 was introduced in (surprisingly) 1910 and saw use during World War I, all the way to World War II. For some reason.

This was a time when many militaries were starting to make the transition from larger caliber revolvers that were well-known and trusted by soldiers to new, untested semi-automatic handguns. While its 9mm rounds were similar to the renowned German 9mm parabellum cartridges, Glisenti ammunition had to have a reduced powder charge. The Glisenti simply couldn’t handle the higher pressures, as it had been flimsily engineered and lacked structural integrity.

It also had one particularly dubious feature; a takedown screw located on the front of the frame, designed to allow the left side of the gun to be exposed, and the gun disassembled. Unfortunately, the rickety design of the handgun often led to the screw loosening. That resulted in the frame and receiver assembly coming apart at inopportune moments. Also, if a poor Italian soldier who was issued a Glisenti made the mistake of loading it with more powerful 9mm parabellum rounds, there was a high likelihood that the gun would explode.

Fortunately, Italy could fall back on other domestic gun makers that actually knew what they were doing. The sorry Glisenti was eventually replaced with the excellent Beretta M1934. But that doesn’t mean we’re finished Italian guns just yet . . .

courtesy modernfirearms.net

3) Breda Modello 30 Light Machine Gun

Manufacturer: Breda Meccanica Bresciana, Italy

Italy has produced many of history’s greatest minds and consumer products throughout its long history. Ferraris, opera, Armani suits, Leonardo da Vinci, and gelato come to mind. The Breda Modello 30, however, was not one of those things.

The Breda was a light machine gun used by Italy through World War II and utilized many unique design notes. One of them was a fixed magazine that opened via a hinge. One feature of this was that, if ever the gun’s fixed magazine or its hinge were damaged, the Breda became unusable.

As you may know, World War II revolved less around “pink fluffy clouds” and more around “shit-encrusted hell-holes” and this proved to be problematic for this delicate Italian lady. In order to “help” the extraction of spent ammunition casings, a small lubrication device was built into each Breda. It oiled each round as it entered the firing chamber.

Combine that design with the many exotic locales the Breda found itself in (the deserts of North Africa, the Balkans, Greece) and fairly soon sand, dirt, dust and other debris was attracted to the well-oiled internal mechanisms. That resulted in frequent jamming unless the weapon was kept meticulously clean.

Not only that, but due to the closed bolt design, it wasn’t able to gain the benefits of cooling air circulation found in open bolt weapons. In the heat in North Africa, this mechanical issue sometimes caused rounds to prematurely “cook off” (fire unintentionally when the trigger wasn’t pulled) potentially killing or injuring the gunner…or any other Italian unlucky enough to be standing in front of the barrel at the time.

Also, the fixed-hinge magazine mentioned earlier had a slot at the top to allow the gunner to see how many rounds were left. It also was a great way to answer the question, “How many ways can we find to allow dirt to get into and screw up this gun?”

 

courtesy imfdb.org

2) Type 94 Nambu Pistol

Manufacturer: Nambu Rifle Manufacturing Company

As a Japanese World War II era pistol that fired 8mm Nambu rounds, the Type 94 was underpowered, cumbersome, awkward to use and disassemble, and very unsafe for the user.

The Type 94’s initial design was already flawed, but was made worse by interference by the Japanese Ordnance Department. The magazine size was a paltry six rounds, and the useless blade sights made it very inaccurate. Slipping late war production standards as Japan scrambled with limited resources further added poor workmanship and quality problems.

The main feature that puts the Type 94 on our list was its tendency to fire when you didn’t want it to. The external sear bar projected from the sides, and if it was depressed as little at 2mm, it could go bang. There are also claims that this little feature may have been used by IJA officers as a final “suicide shot” when handing the pistol over when captured. Scary stuff, indeed.

courtesy militaryfactory.com

1) Chauchat

Manufacturer: Gladiator and SIDARME, France

Officially called “Le Fusil Mitrailleur 1915 CSRG” by France, and “a piece of merde” by likely everyone else, the Chauchat was arguably the most disastrous production firearm of modern times. The Gladiator factory in Paris (where the majority of the manufacturing was done) compiled an extensive rap sheet of shoddy workmanship where these guns were concerned, including use of substandard materials, improper heat treatment and myriad other factors that helped to put the Chauchat at number one on our hit parade.

Introduced during World War I, the woeful Chauchat was immediately tested in one of the most inhospitable environments of the last century —  the mud-filled trenches of the Western Front. The Chauchat provided the role of a “light machine gun” which was a concept very much in its infancy during the Great War.

Designed to provide automatic fire, it would jam frequently and overheat, sometimes after only 100 rounds being fired. The firing mechanism would then lock in place for up to 10 minutes until the Chaucat cooled down. The long recoil mechanism also made it awkward to shoot. The poorly-made sights usually shot too low and to the right, which didn’t exactly lead to great accuracy. It also had a flimsy, crappy bipod. Seriously, there have been Happy Meal toys that were better made.

One of the worst flaws was its flimsy magazine, which had a measly capacity for a machine gun of only 20 rounds. The magazine springs usually weren’t strong enough to actually push new rounds into the chamber, so most Chauchat gunners “short-loaded” their mags (only loading 18 or 19 rounds) for increased reliability. Even then, first round jams were disturbingly common.

Even worse, the magazine was almost completely open on one side and exposed the gun and its ammunition to all the mud, slime and dirt and filth that the trenches could provide. In addition, the magazine feed lips were easily bent and the entire magazine could be easily crushed or deformed, rendering one of the most integral parts of the weapon useless.

After America decided to join the party over there, France was kind enough to manufacture Chauchats in .30-06 caliber for U.S. troops. And by “kind” we mean “provide even more crappy guns made even worse than had been before.” The new Chauchats suffered from incorrect chamber measurements for the American round, as well as all the above-mentioned design issues. American ordnance inspectors rejected as much as 40 percent of the .30-cal. Chauchats, and even then, the .30-’06 Springfield cartridge overpowered the flimsy weapon.

 

 

 

comments

  1. avatar MouseGun says:

    The Chaucet get such a bad rap because of the guns made for the US, who wanted them rechambered in 30-06. The conversion were horribly done and the majority of the guns wouldn’t function, but the French guns chambered for the 8mm lebel worked fine

    1. avatar Sian says:

      Yeah, the 8mm chauchat was about as reliable as any 1915 automatic.

    2. avatar little horn says:

      source?

      1. avatar Wedge259 says:

        Just about any source that gives a serious look at it outside of the issues with the 30-06 versions. The most accessible source would be Ian at Forgotten Weapons, look it up on YouTube.

        1. avatar Kenneth says:

          Another of the issues with the chauchat were magazine failures. The open sides were not a great idea for the muddy trenches of WWI. Other than the magazine and the conversion issues they weren’t bad guns.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7QootpiLPg

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Ever heard of ‘google’?

    3. avatar Pete says:

      Legend has it that the Chaucet was issued to the American troops instead of the BAR because upper echelon officers feared that the Germans would capture some, and it was simply too advanced a weapon to permit this.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        The version I heard is that we didn’t start making the BAR until the war was nearly over.

    4. avatar TruthTellers says:

      First I’m hearing about reliable Chauchat’s, but I believe it. Re-chambering guns for another cartridge requires a lot of time to do right and during the Great War, no time could be spared.

      Nice to know because I’ve always looked at the Chauchat as a rifle WAY ahead of its time. France has a very so-so history with firearms quality, but between the Lebel rifle, the 1935 French Longue pistol, and the Chauchat… France has put out some good, unique, and plain effective small arms in the past.

    5. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Even worse the Marines were forced to hand in their Lewis guns and were issued Chauchats. No wonder so many were thrown away as combat losses.

      Post war the only buyers were the Greeks who were fighting Turkey and the Poles who were fighting the Soviets. Both were desperate for anything that fired bullets in the general direction of the enemy.

      In WW2, the Germans who would reissue many captured weapons would not supply the Chauchat to their occupation troops.

      And as for Breda m30, if you look at Forgotten Weapons episode on the gun, a lot of design and technical effort went into making one of the worst guns.

      1. avatar Icabod says:

        There was a period where Marines had BARs. Somehow they convinced Army troops to trade their BARs for the Marine’s French Chauchat Machine guns. Command quickly put a stop to it and the Marines had to give up their BARs.

  2. avatar Rick says:

    Well done! Thanks for a great article.

  3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Eh, I beg to differ. Some of these guns were poorly made, but semi-OK designs.

    Want to see one of the worst designs done, and no amount of TLC and lavished finishing would make it better?

    Winchester 1911 shotgun, aka “The Widow Maker.”

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      To honor an old promise I made to myself long ago to “never let Colt live this one down”:
      The Colt All-American 2000.
      🤠

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Yea, that was a steaming pile, wasn’t it?

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Oh crap.
      Forgot about that one, and I even owned one.

    3. avatar ORCON says:

      Yeah the Widow Maker is a real piece of work. My father-in-law owns both a 1911 and a 1907.

  4. avatar Wedge259 says:

    I figured the Chauchat would be there, and I disagree on it being number 1. Yes the 30-06 versions were flaming dumpster fires, but the French were more or less happy with them in the original 8MM Lebel clambering, and they were the single most produced automatic firearm of WW1. They weren’t used quite in the ways we think today as well. They had a very low rate of fire and were more intended as an automatic rifle than a light machine gun, particularly in the “walking fire” use that was popular at the time.

  5. avatar barnbwt says:

    “Seriously” does this author have any experience with these guns, or are they just parroting others’ work with a dash of exaggeration for effect?

    At least it’s not click bait, dven if the title is along those lines.

    1. avatar COtt says:

      This. I would love the author to point out where these “modern production” guns are being sold. Cause last i checked, NONE of these have been made in over 50 years. Please, point me to the company currently making “modern” Chauchats, Type 94’s or M1910s.

      But your right, he read some other “top 5” article and decided to try to one up it.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        From the Oxford Dictionary:

        Modern: “Relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past.”[Emphasis Mine]

        For example: “Modern History” is considered to be the present back to the end of the Middle Ages.

        50 years ain’t shit. Historically speaking.

  6. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    From a book which I lost in a fire, “Saturday Night Special” came from “Niggertown Saturday Night”, suggesting that these inexpensive pistols were used to settle arguments in a certain section of town.

    For me, just another incorrect or inaccurate term (e.g., active shooter, gun violence, assault weapon, shoulder thing that goes up) that PotG shouldn’t be using.

    Just sayin’

    BTW, I knew someone who had a Gyrojet. I never got to fire it, though.

    1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

      I have to disagree on the usage of ‘active shooter’. It marks an important distinction between someone who is currently shooting people and someone who has already shot people. It’s the difference between rushing to action to prevent further loss of life and setting up a perimeter to catch a fleeing suspect.

      1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        He’s an active shooter until he’s dead or in cuffs. Setting up a perimeter simply gives him more time to continue being an active shooter.

      2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

        VA, “I have to disagree on the usage of ‘active shooter’…”

        And I have to disagree with your disagreement. 8>)

        _I_ am an active shooter. (No “SWATting, please!) I try to shoot every week.

        A more accurate term might be “spree murderer” (difficult to easily say), “spree killer” my preference), or “mass shooter” (the goal, if not the result).

        Oh, and GFSZAACAH, good quip!

  7. avatar Antique Rifles says:

    Without the Glisenti, we wouldn’t be likely to have the Glock. I don’t think it belongs on your list, for that reason alone.

    1. avatar Erik Weisz says:

      Agreed. Put the glock in it’s place. Or at number one, whichever…

  8. avatar No one of consequence says:

    I was led to believe the gyrojet was intended, eventually, to be used in freefall environments (e.g. Earth orbit), and to otherwise provide a larger “punch” from a platform not capable of handling the recoil a conventional gun or cannon would generate.

    In other words, it was firearms equivalent of the jet turbine powered car – a product of the space race mentality, intended to be as future-y as possible, and looking more towards tomorrow’s possibilities than current needs.

    IIRC the 13mm gyrojets are NFA/DD items (bore > 0.5″) while the 12mm versions aren’t.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I seem to recall reading that it was designed as you say but for low gravity as opposed to no gravity. Picture battles on the moon.

      It was designed, IIRC, to have very low recoil so as not to knock soldiers backwards in such environments, hence the low muzzle velocity/post firing acceleration of the round.

      That could all be bullshit though. I have not researched the weapon carefully at all.

  9. avatar oliver says:

    All outstanding weapons for the true professional. I blame poor training and bad marksmanship. Not like your crudely simplistic AKs and Glocks that even a 10 year old with no training can fire in combat using corroded ammo stored in an open cess pit. Now, hitting the beaches and taking out an enemy pillbox armed with a Chauchat and Glisenti, thats the mark of a truly skilled warrior!

    1. avatar Gralnok says:

      I’ll recommend a Jennings J-22 or one of it’s variants for your self defense gun. I may even send you a good example of one. 😋

      You could be a decent shot with a bad gun, but why bother when you could be an excellent shot with a good gun? These days, there aren’t many truly bad guns, but every once in a while, one will show up or we’ll get one from the back of the safe, or be conned into buying a slick looking pistol, only to discover the reason it was so cheap.

  10. avatar New Continental Army says:

    That homemade pipe rifle at the top looks like it was pulled straight out of some dead Raiders hands, in the commonwealth wasteland.

    1. avatar Gralnok says:

      But at least it looks cool. Plus, just think of all the modifications you could do to it! Granted, you’d need plenty of adhesive, metal, and the required perks, but it could look awesome!

  11. avatar COtt says:

    Modern? Really? Everyone of these guns was produced 50+ years ago. How the F#*$ is that “modern”? I love historical firearms, but this is just clickbait BS. Lets not talk about really shitty “modern” guns, cause TTAG wouldn’t want to piss anybody off, so you resort to guns made half a century ago or longer. Really? I would expect to find something like this on TFB or maybe the HP, but certainly not TTAG. Good luck finding one of these “modern” guns in your LGS. This is a big WTF…

    1. Lighten up, Francis. You’re right, we never write anything that might upset a gun company (Remington, Springfield, SIG SAUER…).

      This was a submission by a reader. Think you can do better? Put fingers to keyboard and give it a go. If it’s as well written as this one, we’ll run it.

      1. avatar Jon in CO says:

        To further your point Dan, I’ve passed plenty of this site’s articles on to others, especially when it came to destroying some fanboy’s day on a specific brand.

        To the dude above, remember that debacle with the 320’s not being drop safe? Yeah, guess who broke that story….

      2. avatar Gralnok says:

        I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…

        Hiya, Dan! 😊

        Also, to Cott
        It’s a light hearted little article, chill out, you’ll have more fun in life. 😃

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      No, the big WTF is your concept of “modern” which is childlike at best.

      Guns have been around since the 9th Century in China and the 14th Century in Europe. 50 years is a drop in the bucket. “Modern history” starts ~1450AD.

      Next time try looking some shit up before you go spouting off and end up looking like an ass. Try reading a book sometime.

      Oh, and maybe try writing in something that approximates actual fucking English.

      1. avatar luigi says:

        tell us how you really feel

  12. avatar Don from CT says:

    I never understood why we got this piece of crap. Especially since the French also provided us with the exceptional Hotchkiss gun also in 30-06. Iterestingly, this was an american designed gun, made in France.

  13. avatar whoopie says:

    I recall a story told by the Italian partisan credited with killing Mussolini. He claims that he tried to execute the dictator with a Glisenti but the gun failed to fire. After fumbling with it to no avail he gave up and borrowed a different gun from someone else.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    I vote for the Remington R51, followed by the Taurus Curve, the Taurus View, The Remington M700 with Walker Fire Control group, and the Heizer .45. Dishonorable mention goes to Caracal for selling a gun that was not drop-safe, recalling it and leaving their customers hanging for almost two years.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      And let’s not forget the original M-16.

      1. avatar Kendahl says:

        It’s my understanding that the initial problems with the M16 were due to ammunition issues rather than design or manufacturing flaws. Someone at the Pentagon substituted another (dirtier?) powder for the one recommended by the rifle’s designers.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Direct impingement + dirty ammo + no cleaning kits = failure.

        2. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Too much calcium carbonate was used in the propellant powder to neutralise the acids used in the production. Reducing the calcium carbonate quantity did greatly reduce the carbon fouling. But the change from IMR to the ball powder did also cause other issues too.

  15. avatar Bob says:

    Remington R51

  16. avatar T bill says:

    Like all French weapons, never fired, dropped once.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      You think Chauchat’s were never fired? God damn are some people ever ignorant.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Americans would do well to study the history of French engagements vs. the Germans in WWI.

      The French infantryman was anything but a coward. They died by the 10’s of thousands in battles. Overall, about 1.4 million French soldiers were killed in WWI.

      The French were led by some utterly incompetent officers, but the average French infantryman did not lack for bravery.

  17. avatar Ironhead says:

    I saw a show called engineering disasters that talked about the Chauchat. It was reported that they were manufactured so poorly that the parts were not interchangeable between rifles. And these were the 8mm models. No mention about the 30-06 models except that the US had the BAR but did not send it to Europe because they feared they would get captured.

  18. avatar The Rookie says:

    I’m told the original versions of the L85 were pretty awful.

  19. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    I’m going to piss some people off. The M-16/AR-15 belongs on that list. Never had one issued to me in the army (four years) that wouldn’t malfunction after a couple hundred rounds. No matter how clean it was when I started. I’ll allow that that many were magazine induced. Those were some really poor mags, ’79-’83. After ETS I owned a couple by reputable manufacturers, Colt and Bushmaster come to mind. Same thing. Then after the North Hollywood shootout I had an opportunity to take a class titled “Patrol Carbine” presented by the Florida S.W.AT. Association. (I had carried a rifle from day one in my patrol car.) They required an AR platform to attend the class. I took a department issued M-4. As I was clearing yet another malfunction Capt. Connelly asked, “What’s wrong with that rifle?” I looked over my shoulder and replied, “It’s a fucking M-16! That’s what’s wrong with it!” He walked away without comment. I’ll keep my HK 91, Galil ARM .556, M-1 rifle and Springfield ’03-A3. Thank you very much. Oh, I have a custom built stainless Winchester Model 70 in .308 converted to scout rifle configuration by Jim Brockman. Carry it into battle any day. I hope my adversary has an AR.

    Oh, here’s an amusing story. A good friend and I were looking at a photo one day. Mikhail Kalashnikov and Eugene Stoner were standing next to each other holding the other’s weapon. I asked my buddy, “You know what they’re thinking?” He asked, “What?” I said, “Stoner is thinking, ‘I wish I had thought of this.’ and Kalishnakov is thinking, ‘What a piece of shit!’ ” The whole gun store fell on the floor laughing.

    Of course, none of those guys were AR fans, but you could still buy a really good rifles at a decent price in those days. I realize an AR is about all a lot of guys can get their hands on today.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      The originally-issued M-16, with its unchromed barrel, bolt carrier, gas key, and chamber, pelletized ball powder instead of the extruded stick powder that it was designed for, and no cleaning kits, probably killed as many GIs as Ho Chi Minh. But hey, Robert McNamara felt that coffins were cheaper than chrome barrels, so we got what we got.

      Colt’s original AR-15s performed much better because they lacked select fire, could be cleaned and weren’t used in the same horrible conditions.

    2. avatar Matt in SC says:

      Your experience almost 40 years ago is not indicative of what’s available today. I have a PSA AR15 that has about 1200 rounds through it without being cleaned. It hasn’t had a non magazine related malfunction. Those malfunctions it did have came in the first 300 rounds from old STANAG mags. Switched to gen 2 pmags and not a hiccup since. About $500 in it if you don’t count the echo trigger.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Is it a gas piston design like a Garand? I have gone 1500 rounds on my Mini-14 without a hickup. I could have gone longer but I was bored and decided to cllean it.

        1. avatar Matt in SC says:

          Nope, straight up direct impingment. Mid length gas system, non chrome lined barrel. I do have PSA’s full auto BCG, but the bolt carrier has been replaced with one compatible with the echo trigger.
          I have an M1A that I went over 1500 rounds without cleaning. I did have a couple of mis-feeds as I got close to that count, but only a couple.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        From talking to combat vets of several wars, here’s what I understand of their perspective:

        Their weapon is like a girlfriend. If he was true to her (ie, cleaned it, maintained it, cared for it, as instructed) and she was true to him in return (ie, the weapon always worked when he needed it), you will probably never convince him that there is a better weapon. In the past, I’ve met WWII vets who shot the AR-15 very, very well. But if the crap ever hit the fan, what did they say they were going to grab out of their safe? A Garand.

        Another example that makes light of all this recent blather about 9mm’s and polymer pistols. I know a gentleman in the local area who was a USMC tunnel rat in Vietnam. He’s now a degreed professional – someone who wears a suit and tie quite a bit of the time. Get him on the subject of handguns and you cannot tell him that there is a better handgun than a 1911. By the late 60’s, the 1911’s the Corps was issuing were very well worn – some would say ‘worn out’. He said his pistol rattled like a coffee can of spare parts. Doesn’t matter – you can’t sell him on a new handgun. He probably won’t care what argument you present: the fact for him is, the 1911 was there when he needed it, it killed the enemy in engagements that happened in the dark, at distances so close he could smell what the enemy had for dinner. His opinion on Glocks? “If the Glock is so damned great, where was it when I needed it?” Glock advocates could try to argue that this is an irrational argument. But the fact is: This man shot NVA/VC enemy, in the dark, underground, at arms’ length distances, and came up out of those hole alive. I’ll wager that not many (if any) Glock advocates today have done that. He’s “been there, done that” and he did it with a 1911. It never failed him when he needed it, and that’s all he knows or cares about. Everything else is noise and bullshit to him. The 1911 is the best handgun, and the Kabar is the best knife, period, end of any discussion.

        And why wouldn’t they be from his perspective? He’s here today because those weapons worked when he needed them. If someone is stupid enough to break into his house today, they’re going to meet a Marine with a 1911 who knows how to use it in complete darkness. Regardless of what that intruder is packing, that intruder will likely lose and lose badly to an old man packing an “obsolete” 1911.

        Similarly, on the flip side of the coin, if a weapon failed miserably when it was needed, and veterans’ buddies died or were wounded as a result, there is not much that can ever be done that will restore their confidence in that weapon. In this manner again, weapons are like girlfriends: If she cheats on you, there’s nothing she can do to regain your trust. Such is the problem of the M-16 for combat vets of Vietnam in that early deployment of the M-16 where the rifles had significant failures. It doesn’t matter what the track record of the M-16/M-4/AR-15/etc is today.

    3. avatar Big Bill says:

      I was in Third Army training area (Ft. Gordon), and the normal loadout was 18 rounds per mag. The spring would bind too often with more.
      I understand in combat, the normal was 16 (a couple less than in training because even with 18, the spring would sometimes bind; not so bad in training, but not so good in actual combat).
      In a firefight, when re-supply was called for, besides water and ammo, actual M-16s were ordered simply because as many as 20% simply stopped working. The fired case would stick in the chamber and the extractor would rip the head off the case.
      McNamara was credited with saying, “If the M-16 needed a chrome chamber, Stoner would have given it one.”
      The M-16 (not the -A1) was universally reviled and mistrusted.

  20. avatar Matt o says:

    1. Original L85
    2. Colt All American 2000
    3. Cobray Terminator
    4. Grendel P10
    5. Cobray “ladies home companion” google it.

  21. avatar Anon says:

    T Bill. Great misconception. The French troops fought very well. At Dunkirk they held the line while British and French troops were evacuated, in some cases fighting to the last man.
    The French army was poorly led in WWI and WWII. They spread out their tanks while the Germans concentrated them. Their tactics were poor (ie senior leadership), and at Dien Ben Phu, they were put in an awful position by Generals and politicians that never had a clue.
    As far as American naval tactics, the British destroyed an Italian concentration of heavy ships with slow planes and low depth torpedoes. Our navy never learned that as it happened months before Pearl Harbor, the Japanese learned the lesson.
    The French based infantran of WWI and WWII and after were fighters, their military and political leadership sucked.
    It’s like US troops in Afghanistan, they fight well but their senior leadership and politicians have never had a plan.
    When you see a general or admiral on tv and their lips are moving you know they are lying. There aren’t many Hal Moore’s or Garrison around any more.
    And I’m not French.

  22. avatar Hoyden says:

    Modern Taurus’.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-02-28/how-defective-guns-became-the-only-product-that-can-t-be-recalled

    Yeah, I know bloomberg isn’t our favorite fish wrapper on this site, but the article is chilling. Manufacturing problems, design problems, a company SO big the government can’t take it on and stop the incidental/accidental killing of law enforcement officers in South America and Americans who “bought on price” and got a sliced femoral artery for their savings.

    I might consider a Taurus revolver, but between this article and the POS Millennium Pro .45ACP I wasted $300 on (couldn’t hit a bull in the butt with a bass violin)~~nah, probably not. Too many other good to great choices.

  23. avatar tmm says:

    Not exactly a modern production gun, the turret revolver was one chain fire away from Russian roulette…

  24. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    I disagree with the inclusion of the Gyrojet on the list. It was not a firearm.

  25. avatar rt66paul says:

    How about you write another about Weapons that can not be called C&R and maybe one about “Great Foreign C&R Firearms”. Many of the old firearms were works of art, machining at its finest.

  26. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Not until the Invention of gunpowder did we really become good at it…Not. I would wager and Sword and Lance bearer where better killers. They just didn’t have a gum

  27. avatar tiger says:

    No Ross rifle?? No Remington Etronx? No S&W Sigma? No Webley Fosbery?

  28. avatar A.E. Johnston says:

    Hi there everyone, I just wanted to give a big thanks to Dan and TTAG for publishing my submission! It involved a lot of interesting research (not as much internet sites, but mainly books and magazines I’ve collected over the years) and I hope readers found it enjoyable. Looking through the comments it definitely encouraged a lot of discussion, and I may have to revisit the subject of “the best of the worst” again at some point.

    I hope to have more submissions for TTAG in the near future, including historic firearms I’ve had a lot of experiences with such as the M1895 Nagant.

    Thanks again TTAG!

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