Firearms exist for a variety of needs and use cases. Hunting? Target shooting? Long-range steel slaying? Home defense? Concealed carry? I can think of a gun(s) in my collection for each of those roles. And more. Gun companies are more than happy to keep cranking out the firearms to fill niche roles. But while some are runaway hits, there’s always the other side of the karmic coin…the abject, utter failures.
Thanks to our uber useful, handy-dandy gun review database it’s easy to to identify the three of the most egregious offenders in the category of “things no one should every buy.” I’m positive there are more (and the comments section will be full of them) but these are the three worst examples we have personally reviewed.
Chiappa 1873 SAA Revolver (Review)
The folks at Chiappa make some wonderful guns. The 1873 SAA Revolver isn’t amongst ’em. With the accuracy of a blindfolded Stevie Wonder and build quality that makes even the staunchest gun right supporter think that maybe California might have been onto something with their “Saturday Night Special” law, the 1873 chambered in .22LR and .22WMR easily makes the
top bottom of our list.
You might say to yourself, “For $150 I might be able to live with a lower quality firearm.” Dan Z. contends that would be a mistake. I’ll make you a promise though: you’ll be mightily impressed with the performance of your next handgun…as soon as you realize that there’s no resale value for this hunk o’ junk and lose it in a tragic boating accident.
Calico M-900 (Review)
One of my goals is to find a firearm designed between 1970 and 1990 that doesn’t look like a cheap science fiction prop. My search continues. And one of the cheapest and crappiest of the items turned out during that aesthetically dark period is the Calico M-900.
The concept was sound: a helical magazine with greater ammo capacity than anything else around. It’s a concept that’s still in use in guns like the PP-19 Bizon design. The concept, though, wasn’t the issue — the execution, however, was.
Overpriced in today’s market, less attractive than Britney Spears during her unfortunate early 2000’s period, and with fewer features than a budget Kia, the Calico is a good idea for those who need something in their gun safe to pull out when their friends are over, preceded by the phrase, “Hey, look at this thing!” And then immediately put back in the safe having never ever tried to pull the trigger on this thing at the range.
SAR 21 (Review)
Imagine putting together the best select-fire infantry rifle you could possibly conceive. Now change out every feature of that gun with the worst possible design component and ideas available. What you’re left with is the the SAR 21.
From the terrible trigger to the abysmal ergonomics, the built-in (and awful) scope to the lack of any ability to re-configure the firearm for specific missions, the SAR 21 is a leading contender for the title of worst firearm ever designed.
What’s more, being a pre-sample machine gun, this thing will cost you a minimum of $10,000. You can buy a better budget AR-15 with more features and fewer problems for under $500 these days. Even if you illegally modify that AR-15 for full-auto fire (don’t do that), the ensuing court case and imprisonment will likely cost you less cash and be less embarrassing than owning one of these monstrosities.