Remington R51 handgun (courtesy
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Remington’s fixed their R51, a handgun that initially exemplified the not-ready-for-primetime ethos of a true firearms turkey. It’s now a TTAG four-star gun. But I don’t think I’ll ever come across firearms turkey as bad as . . .

the post-Cerberus Marlin lever gun that the company sent us for review. Before a shot was fired, the stock literally broke off the gun, sideways. [NB: Marlin’s also gotten their mojo back.]

What’s the worst gun you’ve ever encountered?

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    • No kidding. I had one. For about a week. Traded it.
      I’ve had several friends bring one over for me to workout on. I tell them to sell it or trade it away.
      Worthless junk.

      • In fairness it did shoot the recommended Mini-mags pretty well. WWB on the other hand jammed at least every 3rd round. Also notice the finish wears pretty easily.

      • Had a Remington 597 .22 LR back in ‘99. Total POS. Failure to feed. Failure to eject. Failure to hit target. Plastic parts broke. Mag broke. Junk.

        Felt bad for the pawn shop that offered me half what I paid for it new. Never want to see another 597 in my life!

        • I bought the same rifle, promptly sold it due to numerous reliability issues, and got myself a Ruger 10/22 which never failed me (except for the occasional bad rimfire cartridge). I mounted it into a stock that was built for the 10/22 Magnum, which gave it a free floating barrel, and lightened the trigger to three and a half pounds. Wonderful rifle.

    • I HAVE one. Can’t get rid of it. I’m still pissed that years later I found out it isn’t even a Sig but a GSG. Now to be fair, it runs fine with minimags, but it isn’t nearly as accurate as I want a gun to be. And it is so damn fussy, with every “safety” bell and whistle that one can imagine. Mag disconnect, manual safety, LCI, decocker…I don’t know how many times I was ready to fire but the gun was on one of its safeties…It sat for years unfired until my son took it to teach his English girlfriend how to shoot last summer. They went through the Minimags I bought when Obama was elected the FIRST time.

      • It’s also kind of in between sized. Not a pocket .22 but not a match pistol either. I made the mistake of letting my wife pick out which .22 she wanted. It did probably fit her hands like a 226 would mine. But I had no idea that Sig would put their name on a steamy pile of sh!t like that. Until we took it to the range. I’m still kind of biased against Sig over it.

        • I still think those are just propaganda scams. I’ve never heard of a “gun buyback” *before* they’ve supposedly occurred, only afterward, with the same stock photos used for every “one.” Until they actually promote them in advance instead of making claims for “what they took off the streets yesterday/last week/last month,” I’m going to continue believing they are purely made-up fantasy agitprop…

    • Yeah no kidding. I’ve never seen a Jennings that worked right. I once got a 9mm model to work a little better, but I never could get it to really work.

      Side store: I actually saw a reserve deputy in California walking around with one. That blew my mind and it actually pissed off the guy when I pointed it out.

        • Lorcin 22. Have seen their [incredibly cheap & low quality] magazines advertised at 1/2 the price I paid for the pistol [it only came with one.] Never ran reliably, probably why they are the only firearm I can think of that didn’t come with a warranty. Even the sales droid tried to steer me away from it, but I was too young & dumb to catch on, I just thought he was trying to upsell me… %-)

  1. Not as a whole line of firearm but on an individual basis? Ruger LCP II. People either have flawless performance or, like me, even after two trips back to Prescott, it’s a jam-o-matic that never worked reliably to the point that they just took it back.

    Terrific pistol if they can ever get consistency in their manufacturing again

    • Consistency in their manufacturing?

      Far be it from me to white knight, but Ruger problems are not something I hear about often.

      Are you sure someone didn’t sell you a P3AT with “Ruger LCP II” Sharpied over the maker mark?

      • If you can believe it, I had to have had to send my Ruger back to the factory twice. The first time, they just replaced it and sent me back a new gun that had the same problem. The second time they managed to fix it. And it was a revolver.

        It seems like manufacturers these days would rather just deal with shipping for the customers that find a problem and deal with it instead of having robust Q&A which should find these problems immediately. Maybe they figure a good percentage of customers will just trade it or make it a safe queen.

      • @ Swarf: Ruger had a LOT of issues w/ their QC towards the end of the reign of Bill Jr., mostly stemming from out-of-tolerance parts stemming from overuse of their tooling [cutters that should have been replaced a dozen parts sooner, etc.] There was a period where you heard about people having to send their guns back to get fixed more than you heard about someone’s Ruger being right straight out of the box… Unfortunately, I had to sell my RGR stock in the aftermath of GFM ’08, before the stock price had a chance to come back up. Yet another facet of my losing my shirt in the aftermath of that economic MOAB…

  2. I bought a commander sized Randall Stainless .45 Auto when they came out. The one I shot at the gun show worked flawlessly. Mine jammed about every 3rd round (with hardball 230 grain). I called them and sent it back for repairs. When returned I headed to the pistol range. It now jammed about every 4th round instead.

    I took it to a gunsmith named Earl Stroup in Hayward, CA and spend $750 (1980’s money) and had him do the full job on it. After this it’s never jammed no matter what ammo I put into it. I still have it.

  3. “Question of the Day: What’s the Worst Firearms Turkey You’ve Seen?”

    OH, you mean the answer to a question never asked, oh where to begin…

  4. Kel-Tec (shocker, I know) RFB. the trough for the ejected brass is tapered at the end, so it’s just barely wider than a .308 case. If anything gets in there, like a pebble or spent primer, the empty brass backs up, the gun stops ejecting, and the entire action gets blocked.

    And when I contacted their customer support, explained the issue to them, and even sent photos and diagrams, they did nothing.

  5. The worst ‘turkey’ of a gun I ever had was a cheap M11 9mm carbine from Leinad. I never could get it to feed right, and the gun would actually break polymer magazines including the ones that came with it from the factory.

    And I actually have a 90s vintage Century CETME that I was able to get to rebuild and make work well. New rollers, new bolt head, new springs, and cleaning up some bad welds on the bolt carrier.

  6. Taurus 908. Never got it to feed correctly. Sent it back to Taurus twice, on my dime, and still a POS. Kept it to remind me that you get what you pay for. Crap is still crap, no matter how cheap.

    • Had a better experience with the PT945 not that it worked but that I was able to trade it for a S&W 4516 after Taurus “fixed” it the 2nd time.

  7. My grandpa (on my father’s side) had a super-cheap little semi-auto. I *think* it was an RG-25, though I’m not 100% sure. It was a junker though, for sure.

  8. My Randall stainless 1911, which I stupidly traded my Series 70 brushed nickel Colt 1911 for. Frame thinned to butter-knife edge thickness on the front left side. Guide rod buffer separated completely from the rod on round 32 !
    Good news. Had it repaired and traded it even for a brand-new G19 in 1990, which is still my EDC.

  9. Remlin 336 FTW. And if Marlin’s gotten its mojo back, I haven’t seen it. The wood to metal fit is still as bad as you can imagine. My store still can’t give them away, which is only fair and just. They make Chicom guns look polished by comparison.

    Sad, really, because Marlin actions are (almost) as nice as Henry’s, and the side load and eject is more versatile than Winchester or Henry. But I’ll give up my old Winchester M94 when they pry it yada yada yada.

    • That’s unfortunate, maybe they are focusing their efforts on other lines, my Remlin 1845GB 45-70 has pretty decent wood to metal fit and runs like a top.

      • I have what I believe to be one of the very early Remlin 1894c’s, and it is hands down my favorite gun.

        I think mine squeezed in under the wire and was one of the last to escape the destroying maw of Cerebus.

  10. Walther P22, A zinc slide, Really! Two of my friends and I purchased these duds. Thank god I got rid of mine before the slide fractured. Both my friends not so lucky. Mine was also used for malfunction drills, not because I wanted to. I replaced it with a Ruger SR22 and no more issues. This ruined me on any Walther handgun forever. I know Walther did not actually produce these .22’s (Umarex) but why would they put their name on it? I understand a company needs to make a profit, but when a company puts short term sales and profit before long term viability, they ruined their reputation. (Is Ford listening).

    • For the record, the Walther name is on it because Umarex owns Walther (and so puts the name on all its junk guns), which was apparently Walther’s only option to continue existing. In fairness it has gone better for them than other corporates ownerships (like Colt), as the Ulm guns are still excellent.

    • Bought a Walther P22 also, what a mistake. I use it to teach how to manage malfunctions to my kids. It does it all. FTE, FTF, jams, all… and once in a while it actually shoots a round. When my daughter asked for a home defense weapon I said she could have the P22. She looked down at the ground and said could she please have the 9mm, becasue the Walther is crap.

    • Interesting! I have more issues with the R22 than I do with the P22 – usually FTF. It would take a double(or triple) strike to fire. It didn’t matter what ammo I used, and I must have tried 6 or 7 different kinds. Sent it back to Ruger, worked fine for the first 100 rounds. Now it sometimes won’t fire, or if it does it won’t eject. What kind of ammo do you run through your R22? I can’t believe how temperamental this thing is…

  11. 1st gen walther p22. 14-15 years later I still have it and pull it out to try to get it working. Dremel, new magazines, all sorts of problems. Sent it in to walther once. Still a POS. Should have just bought the Ruger at the time.

  12. I know someone who got a Chiappa 22 AR upper. Reliability is worse than his 22 Iver Johnson that’s older than me AND the 22 AR he made by combining the cheapest, BCGless, AR kit he could find with a 22 conversion. It also has terrible erogonomics. He got it on a massive sale and he still paid too much.

  13. Sig556 XI.

    Went through -4- uppers through the factory, all suffering the same problem: Op-rod got stuck.

    Finally talked them into just giving me my money back for it and keeping it. Never will touch a Sig product again after that debacle, no matter how “good” they are. They’ve lost me for life.

    • Two words: Ron Cohen. The man’s only business move seems to be trading an existing reputation for excellence for a quick buck by selling inferior products to loyal customers. Sig sucks now for the same reason Kimber sucks now. Avoid them like the plague.

  14. Inter Ordnance Inc AK47
    They misaligned a combination of the rear sight block and rear trunnion to where the dust cover didn’t fit in the gun. Rather than start over or adjust it all, apparently the company thought using a mallet to force the dust cover in was acceptable to do and pass onto the customer even though I couldn’t get it off or back on once I did pry it off.

  15. Ruger Redhawk 45colt/45acp. Fails to fire ACP 50% of the time, 45 colt 10%. Does not matter what ammo, or primer. The cowboy stuff it won’t fire goes bang every time in my replica 1858. The 45acp it won’t fire goes bang every time in my 1911. It’s at ruger now, third time, maybe the charm?

  16. Colt Defender in 9mm. A firearm in this price range should shpot flawlessly. Mine cannot get through a full mag without jamming. I have several auto pistols I bought at half the price I would bet my life on, but never my Defender|

  17. Kel Tec P3AT. Jam-o-matic that only worked with Winchester White Box.

    Only gun i could afford in college, traded it for 100 bucks toward a Smith and Wesson Shield 9 later on. The Shield is a much more reliable gun, with no jams after thousands of rounds.

    • I had a Kel-Tec p32 that was totally reliable up until the top of the trigger broke off, stuck the slide just out of battery while still being able to fire which caused the frame to swell and locked it up so tight I had to beat it apart with a hammer. I put a metal trigger in my Sub 2K G2, and probably won’t buy anything else from Kel-Tec. It’s too bad, Todd Kelgren has come up with some really innovative firearm designs, but their QC and production methods suck. I think it would be worth their effort to use better polymers and charge a little more, instead of being notorious for cool designs with hit and miss quality.

  18. Kimber Solo. Got an early one. Kimber recommended 15 different 9mm ammunitions. That quickly was cut down to only top of the line stuff. Thing would FTE at least once each magazine. Then the slide went. When it was locked back, a light shale cause it to go forward. Then I started finding bits of metal from where the slide hit the barrel. Sent it to Kimber twice. They finally replaced it. I immediately traded it for a Springfield EMP. Now that is a honey of a gun.

  19. The Caracal. Not because it was a bad pistol. It shot great and it ate every type of 9mm I fed it. It was a turkey because of the company’s handling of the recall and the questionable quality control and metallurgy that comes with a slide breaking completely in half

  20. Phoenix Arms HP22. Cracked the pot metal slide twice (great customer service though), and the gun reliably jammed every 100 rounds from fouling. Since the barrels were $30, I started bringing 3 to the range rather than constantly cleaning the one. It was actually a fun gun, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it going bang when I needed it to.

  21. Ruger American in 300 Blackout. Light strikes on every brand of premium ammo I tried in it. 2 trips to Ruger and it still wouldn’t work. The other 2 we sold at the store I work at went back too. Ruger says there is no problem with the guns, yet I keep finding on the net that most of the ones sold get returned multiple times for the same reason. I used to be a big Ruger fan, but not anymore.

  22. Thought about getting a TC Encore then found a TC Aristocrat made around the early ’80’s. The difference in quality is staggering. Bluing is rich, almost black. Metal to wood fit is flawless. On a late TC you can see daylight between the stock and the receiver. The stock wood is proud of the receiver at the rear. Oh and no pin to fuss with changing barrels. What we’re getting today is depressing.

  23. Remington 1100 20-gauge. After 20 years of malfunctions my dad finally bought a replacement barrel with a proper size gas port and it now is pretty reliable instead of jamming on every shot.

  24. Walther CCP. Striker failed after 3 rounds (brand new gun) Total POS and terrible customer service from Walther. I’d never waste my money on a Walther product again

  25. I was given a REAL ‘Turkey’ to repair, a ‘CZ’ side-by-side hammerless 12-gauge with a broken left mainspring.
    At a distance, the shotgun looked nice: Color-case frame and fittings, engraving including the screws, Turkish Walnut stock, reasonably good wood-to-metal fit.
    Up close, the ‘CZ’ was really a Turkish ‘HUGLU,’ with thin cyanide-bath fake ‘case-hardening’ colors, aluminum-soft screws with narrow, odd-sized screw slots all different widths, poor threads, coarse-grained easily-split wood, and internal parts ‘hand-fitted’ with mill files and ball-pein hammers, the engraving done with a dull chisel on a Friday afternoon by an unhappy guest-worker.
    The broken left spring? The careful ‘craftsman’ at the factory had fitted one with a too-long lower leg; The first time the internal hammer fell, it hit the leg, and the spring snapped. Obviously, the gun wasn’t test-fired, and the gun was never tested for function before being boxed and shipped.
    After breaking the FIRST replacement spring to find out the actual cause, the second replacement did fine after a few file strokes. I stopped ‘testing’ at that point, as the hammers began to mushroom the striker heads.
    Happy ‘Turkey’ Day, indeed.
    My handgun choice would be “Any RG.” Nothing bespeaks quality more than a zinc smoothbore barrel. . .

  26. A cheap .25 can’t remember the brand.polished feed ramp, fixed it, still a cheap gun.Lorcin.25 non fixable do to safety design, and a Walter 22 sight fell off, don’t need it anyway because the design pprecludes accuacracy, AMT hardballer slide cracked. Stoeger Luger, ftf constantly, was told to use +p, nope, polished feed ramp, toggle link, and chamber, fixed. Henry youth model LA. Trigger spring to week, first mechanical ND I’d ever seen, changed spring with homemade one, fixed. Marlin Golden 39 ejector broke, fabricated one from a spoon , fixed. And my Norinco Model of 1911a1, that little bitch gave me all kinda fits, new springs, peened ejector tight, adjusted extractor and slicked up trigger channel , it’s my EDC now.Guns aren’t only fun to shoot, their fun to fix.

  27. Haven’t seen it mentioned yet, but the UTAS 15. Proclaimed to be the KSG killer, had an appearance in the Jurrasic Park reboot, and still tanked. I had one, the selector lever broke in half on round 15.

  28. I’ve seen individual examples of a turkey across all lines:

    1. Ruger 10/22 Target where they didn’t drill the pilot hole for the front sling swivel deep enough. Caused a bump in the barrel channel which touched the barrel causing vertical strings. Nothing a pocket knife and some sandpaper couldn’t fix.

    2. Kahr P40 with constant jams through the first 500 rounds. Whatever it was smoothed out and it’s been flawless since.

    3. Russian made 9mm Makarov. Almost a 2 stage trigger it stacked so bad. Designed that way, but tons better after I took a file and some stones to the hump they milled into the trigger/searengagement surface.

    4. Rossi .44 Special where the guide rod would come unscrewed jamming the cylinder. Nothing a little Loctite didn’t cure.

    5. S&W 686 which was recalled back in the late 80s because the hammer firing pin would pierce the primer jamming the cylinder. Mine never did it, but I sent it in anyway. Came back with a better trigger as a bonus. Guys fixing them must have been a little bored and polished them up. Only one I ever sent back.

    6. Browning Buckmark with a tendency to fail to feed. That one is still a work in progress, but I think I have it figured out with the help of Dremel.

    Overall, I think I have been lucky given 40 plus years in the shooting sports.

    The bottom line is that firearms are mechanical devices, just like cars. Like cars, they’re going to have problems with some being more severe than others. You either need to learn to diagnose the problem’s cause and the fix it yourself or you’re dealing with a “mechanic”, the factory or you trade it in.

  29. Remington 710, Barrel slid forward putting it out of head space on 3rd shot using Remington 180s in 30-06,
    sent it in, back too range, bot handle fell of on recoil, back to shop, was repaired back to range, cross hair in scope broke, sent it back then got rid of it!

  30. 1. Desert Eagle baby eagle in .45 ACP and 3.6″ barrel. Looked great and was great to shoot, but jammed at least 1-2 times per mag no matter what I did with any type of ammo. Traded it off.

    2. Moss berg 930 SPX. Functioned great until it didnt. The trigger would ra dimly fail to release. It sucks in a 3 gun match when it entirely failed. Luckily in this match some e could throw you a shotgun to keep going. Never could figure out the problem so of it went. I bought a 590A1 and it’s been fantastic.

    3. Remington 870 Express. I traded some stuff for this. It was a bad trade. This shotgun will also have trigger group failures. Poor finish, cheap wood, weak she’ll holder for the tube. In hard use it will puke the shell onto the action while in battery locking up the shotgun until you can push it back into the tube. That takes a knife and time. It sits in the safe for now.

  31. First was a beautiful Colt 1911 I bought new around 1982….jammomatic. Literally could not hit the broad side of a barn….no idea where the bullets went…just gone! Second was a mint Colt 380 Mustang that just would not run! You pays yer money and you take yer chances. Favorite pistol now CZ-75B that eats EVERYTHING and keeps on ticking. Not a single failure in a few thousand rounds. Love it!

  32. Sig p238
    Had stove stove pipes failure to feeds constantly tried multiple mags, still did it one every mag 2 or more times out of the 6 rounds. Sent it in 3 times kept being told it was fixed and wasn’t. The first time I was told it needed to be broken in with 500 rounds put 700+ in it still malfunctioned every mag. The last time sig mailed it back to the wrong address and lost my gun. They told me I had to contact my local LE to get it back. I did and sig had mailed it to a townhouse they people moved right after taking it. LE has no leads. I told sig and they told me basically too bad. I called them every day for 6 months telling them they needed to make their mistake right. I was told by the lady they had more important things to deal with. Finally after 6 months of daily phone calls my original gun never recovered they sent my ffl dealer a replacement. I sold it with out firing a shot what a pos gun and company.

  33. Berretta Neo 22lr. Shot fine the first few hundred rounds then the pins holding it all together started walking out. The rear site popped off and now I get constant FTE. Too bad because it can be a fun gun to shoot, especially with a red dot.

  34. About 30 years ago, or so, I bought a Universal carbine, in 30 Carbine, I think for under $150.
    What a piece of poop! I can’t remember exactly what happened, but the bolt seemed to just fall apart inside the action. I couldn’t do anything with it. Sold it real cheap to a guy who liked to “fiddle” with stuff.
    My LGS now has one for sale on consignment for four C notes, go figure.

    This experience is like the two happiest days of a boat owner. The day you buy it, and the day you sell it!

  35. 03-A3 “Springfield”, 30-06, made by a company I had never heard of. It had NAT URD stamped across the receiver. [Bought it a couple of years ago -1971 – when I was still a bit green.] Thought it was military – Turned out it was a National Ordinance – Really crappy milling & finishing job under the bolt rails in the magazine. Couldn’t cycle rounds from the mag. –
    The only way to fix it was to literally pull the gun apart & machine out and then lap the rough spots. —- I gather they eventually went out of business ——- I HOPE!

  36. Roger 10/22. Bought it new and this thing was bad. FTF and stovepipes. Sent the gun back three times and still doesn’t work. But my Remington 597 has been really reliable.

  37. Taurus PT92
    Taurus P101
    Taurus Raging Bull.

    The 92PT: a former employer got a Brazillian client who demanded we carry Brazillian guns. Our armorer bought something like 24. There were ceaseless failures to fire, failures to extract, failures to fire and keyholing problems. The company bought Beretta 92’s and fitted the Taurus stocks to them and the client did not notice.

    A friend sold me a PT101 at a very attractive price. Damn thing threw bullets to either side of a target at 20 meters, and those that hit it keyholed and did not hit point of aim. Failures to feed and extract were common. Back to Taurus. Came back with same problems. Back to Taurus. Same problems. Back to Taurus. Came back with a letter saying it met specs. BUT, they also replaced the barrel and some other components. It has been a reliable, accurate shooter ever since.

    Raging Bull. BEAUTIFUL gun! The cylinder kept popping out when fired. We noted the locking block on the crane appeared battered. After looking VERY closely at it, we could see the crane was not hitting the block squarely. We tried to dress it but the metal was so soft we stopped for fear of whittling it away. While we had it apart, the cylinder bolt spring was bent and kinked. The bolt itself was BENT! The cylinder base pin looked as though it had been wailed on with a coarse file. We reassembled it but it is a safe queen. The only fix for soft metal is a new gun.

  38. Remington 1911, TGI and Arizona Response Systems AK-74’s.

    Haven’t found a .45 replacement but found AK-74 replacements that work after returning the formers.

    • What problem did you have with your AK 74 clone?
      I have a AK 74 clone that ARS was selling about 8-9 years ago. Nodak Spud on a Bulgarian parts kit. Butter smooth trigger and good accuracy. IIRC correctly it was 600-700$.
      I have a S&W upper Nodak Spud lower AR 15 in 5.45×39 that I put together. The ARS AK 74 is easier to pick up and shoot effectively. The 5.45X39 AR is capable better accuracy at the expense of poorer reliability (C Products mags).
      I have have had ARS do work for me on several occasions. They made one small mistake once on a M1A. It was simple to fix and they apologized right off.
      Mark can be brusk and opinionated but his work (in my experience) has always been to specification and in most cases exceeding spec.
      Just my 2ee-2

  39. The single worst firearm I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen some stinkers) in American history is, IMO, the Winchester 1911 shotgun.

    It was called “The Widowmaker” – for a good reason.

  40. Taurus pt111 g2
    Bought it brand new because of good reviews and felt good in hand at a low price point. Never made it through a full mag without FTE & FTF. Piece of crap and now Taurus wants me to pay for shipping to get it fixed when the damn thing didn’t work from day one. I’m aware every company can produce a lemon, but better companies make it right on their dime! Might keep it for failure drills and as a reminder to stick to better brands. Love my CZs, Sigs, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, and Rugers with zero such problems so far.

  41. Detonics “pocket 9”. The thing must have weighed 30 oz loaded, so the name was a joke. It was a fixed barrel, blow-back 9mm, and recoil was brutal, even with the weight. First trip to the indoor range it went full-auto, sending 2 rounds into the ceiling. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with problems. The FFL took it back, no questions asked. The next turkey was a Taurus PT-92. The gun had a beautiful blue-black finish , nice wood grips, and cost far less than a Beretta 92. 100 rounds into my new purchase, the rear adjustable sight flew off, sending a tiny spring flying out of the top of the slide , rendering it inoperable. First and last Taurus. I still believe this company knows that 99% of their customers just want something to throw in a drawer and will never shoot them. I’ve never had a single problem with ANY Glock I’ve ever bought, new or used. 1911’s have been a mixed bag, but I stay away from the cheap imported crap.

  42. Worst trigger goes to my AMT backup. Seriously it was at least 15 lb. I guess that’s okay though because you really don’t want or need a light trigger on a backup. Other than that the gun was great. Worst gun over all goes to my FMK. Got it for free as part of a promo deal and it’s worth just what I paid.


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