I like the TTAG two-star Kel-Tec PF9. It’s a sweet shooting little pistol. Except when it isn’t. And? And then you fix it or dump it. I reckon there’s a big problem in play here: a lot of people buy carry guns and then never shoot them. So if they’ve got a bad one—a firearm that doesn’t feed properly or doesn’t like certain ammo (cough Kimber SOLO cough)—they don’t know it’s unreliable. They rely on someone else’s opinion of whether or not a handgun is reliable. Which is unreliable. Of course, some guns are justifiably known for their reliability. Even then, a sensible armed self-defender should run a couple of hundred rounds (including at least 50 self-defense rounds) through the gun before holstering it. So . . . what’s the worst POS firearm you’ve ever owned?
S&W produced Walther PPK.
Interesting. Mine has been flawless.
Same for me: S&W PPK/s. Total turd: changed extractor, but it jammed no matter what you ran through it. The backstap chewed the hell out of my hand, making it near unshootable. Funnily, never had this issue with FEG knockoffs in .32, .380, or 9 Mak.
I had the same problems. Only gun I ever gave away.
My Walther PPK was an earlier (1968?) all steel German made model. Absolutely beautiful firearm with bluing so deep it looked like you could see right through it. Absolutely reliable for the 100 rounds I put through it. Hated the controls, hated the DA/SA transition, hated how it felt in my hand and how it recoiled. My small meaty right hand was shredded every time I shot it. Only firearm I have ever willing sold.
My worst gun ever is a Colt All Anerican 2000. A freaking Rube Goldberg contraption with way too many parts. Trigger worse than a HK VP70z, weird grip, The way they designed the rotating barrel and two-piece slide sucked. Not accurate, the front piece of the slide engaged the back piece of the slide and doubled as the barrel bushing, and the material wore quickly. You can easily assemble this gun incorrectly and it will lock up your gun. Even Colt is enbarrassed by this flop. I would trust a Hi Point more than this gun.
A Remington 597 that jammed every three or four rounds. An eight shot Taurus 357 revolver that had sights that constantly changed zero and you couldn’t shoot it double action without the cylinder locking up.
I’ll agree on the 597, piece of junk from the factory, okay now that I polished all the internals and changed the hammer.
597 hands down mine will not work no matter what i try
My Taurus 94 (22 cal, 9-shot) taught me that not all revolvers are built like my Dad’s old S&W Model 10. I learned a lot about how wrong revolvers can be from that Taurus, with the added benefit of learning how to get lead out of barrels because the cylinder timing is off.
/hangs head in shame/
Don’t feel bad man. I’ve owned a Jimenez .380. They don’t look bad. I just wish they shot as well as they looked.
+1, No shame man! I bought a Bryco .380 for $40 a few years ago. It looked brand new and my friend who was selling it really needed the money. Turned out even for $40 it was an awful gun…it was nice and shiny though. I ended up giving it to my sister after my first and last trip to the range with it. I think she still has it.
Why do you hate your sister? Is there some family feud we should know about?
She had an abusive ex stalking her and I was about to be deployed. She lived in the ghetto and I wasn’t wanting to have anything valuable of mine stolen. She would have pawned my expensive pistols for rent or drugs or god knows what. So I made sure to tell her it wasn’t worth anything. So…long story short…we’re not close, but I don’t hate her.
Also had a Bryco and it was a terrible gun.
Same here. Looked good at the gun show, but couldn’t feed a whole magazine without jamming. Then there was the slide bite. Grrrr!
Jennings .380 here, too. Before I got my CC permit and it no longer became an issue, I bought one just to have something to keep in the car cheap enough to not break my heart if it got stolen.
It got stolen.
Moisin with a sticky bolt.
Unless there’s a burr in the chamber, unlikely, mosin stickie bolt is usually caused by not properly cleaning the cosmoline out of the chamber area before shooting. Lots of videos on you tube will walk you thru it.
I thought I had a burr and cleaned the ever-holy hell out of the thing and tried to deburr everything (even the bolt face).. but still… sticky.
I’m enviously looking at those rat-beaten chinese type 53’s which are probably silky smooth by now.
I picked up a type 53 that had a moldy cracked stock. After a little bath in kerosene the bolt works smooth.
Non-chlorinated brake cleaner.
The thing well and truly does NOT have cosmoline in it.
The problem is when I cycle it by hand, all is well. Firing it seems to bring the stickness. The other problem is it only happens about 30-40% of the time. Otherwise it cycles fine.
And yes, I have checked the headspace on it. Its within tolerance.
You do know they cock on opening and not on closing, right? Which is why it gets a sticky, hard to open bolt when fired.
Yup, I’m aware of that. The stiffness on opening would only happen about 30% percent of the time when I was firing it. Otherwise during firing it cycled and ejected very smoothly.
Try polishing the chamber. Also try brass ammo. Brass would do ok in mine, but old Rusky coated stuff was incredibly difficult to eject once fired, until I polished the chamber.
Are you using Brown Bear (or any other laquered case) ammo? I found that it causes mine to stick, but plain jane Russian/Bulgarian surplus ammo fires reliably every time without sticky bolt syndrome.
Are you firing a mixture of steel and brass cased rounds?
Firing all steel rounds won’t give you trouble. Firing all brass rounds won’t cause problem either. But the problems arise when they’re mixed. See, steel cases don’t expand on firing like brass do. Because of that, gases and grit get between the case and the chamber wall each time you fire. If you keep shooting steel cased ammo, then it isn’t a problem because the cases don’t expand and get stuck. However, if you shoot brass cased ammo after steel ammo, then there are problems. The brass cased ammo will expand, and the expanded case will stick in the build-up left behind by the steel ammo. This will cause unholy levels of stickiness.
Solution: shoot only your brass ammo first, then follow it with only steel ammo. And clean the chamber thoroughly after shooting steel ammo. Like, wire brush on an electric drill thorough.
THE Anglo Saxon gamer? You the M&B guy on youtube?
I haven’t OWNED anything that I haven’t liked thus far.
Worst gun I’ve fired would have to go to the KelTec P11. That trigger was so long and heavy and mushy that accuracy at 10 yards was almost impossible.
A Srikis 9mm in the 80’s, carried it for a few weeks before shooting it, went to camber a few rounds just to make sure it worked with the ammo I had just bought. I was killing time before work started at a VW dealer in Orlando. Pointed it into the dumpster and pulled back the slide, BURPPPPPPPPPPPPP. Firing pin stuck in the forward position, full auto for the 6 rd mag. Dumpster took them all. Cleaned the gun ( and my shorts), fixed the FP, sold it the next week at a gun show.
Kimber Custom II – dead nuts accurate, but never cycled well. I tried every mag brand under the sun and even sent it back to Kimber for servicing – nothing would ever make it work. My Para and even Rock Island were far and away much better 1911s.
I have a Pro Carry II that has issues with feeding–rounds jam just before the bolt fully closes. It’ll manage 50-75 rounds just fine, but when it gets hot and a little dirty, it is trouble in River City one out of every eight rounds, and by the time I finish the second box, it is worse than that. Still love that puppy though–maybe because it’s a 1911.
Same here, I had a Kimber Pro Covert II that no matter what I did with ammo or magazines or the dozens of people telling me to “break it in” that even after 500+ rounds it would mis-feed constantly. Sold it and now own a Colt that works flawlessly.
All this about Kimber… You’re saying that Kimber didn’t stand behind their product, and offer up solutions, or are you saying you didn’t attempt to go that route?
Sounds like complete BS to buy a $900+ paper weight, and the company doesn’t do everything in it’s power to fix it. Doesn’t make me want to ever buy a Kimber, and I’ve had my eyes on one for a few years now.
Kahr k9. Wouldn’t even feed hardball. Went back to Kahr. Three times. For the record, the third time around, it came back flawless. Basically a new gun. Every part but the frame replaced. Totally hand polished and fitted. New wood grips and night sights. All at no expense. Other than having a gun that I paid money for back at the factory for months on end.
I sold it days after it came back the last time for a nice profit.
Ooops. Posted in the wrong place. Sorry.
As for your Kimber. It makes me sad. I had two Kimbers(both long stolen) that were mostly flawless.
I had a TLE(one of the first actually). It was great, and accurate for something like 70000 rounds til it was stolen. It had some parts break(sights,safety) late in it’s life. Kimber replaced them at no cost within days. That gun ran, and ran, and ran. The local Kimber rep once tried to buy it back to show off.
I had a Kimber Stainless Customm II, one of the best 1911s I own. Feeds everything, accurate. Mine is an older Kimber, wonder if that’s why I don’t experience issues others have had. Only thing I swapped was plastic tear spring housing to a stainless
Remington 742 Semi Auto in 30-06. It has fully fulfilled its nickname as the jamomatic. Also the barrel is attached to the receiver off a cantilevered barrel boss to a stud. 6 inch groups at a hundred are as good as it gets. As the barrel gets hot each round you fire drops 1 MOA. Absolute Fantastic Craptastic.
I’ve never had to shoot a deer more then once with my 742. Never jammed on me even with old Korean surplus ammo. They are not easy to clean though.
My very first carry gun, a Ruger P95. Out of the box it had failure to feed, stovepipes, you name it every other round. Went back to Ruger twice. They change one part the first time, nothing the second. Said the gun was fine. Finally sold it for a song to a gunsmith. Will never buy or recommend Ruger. Occasional bad production is tolerable. That with bad customer service is unacceptable. Ruger made me a believer in Glock.
Interesting….I have 5 Rugers and have never ever had a problem with any of them. When ever I had to deal with customer service, I have nothing but great things to say about them !!! I am sorry you had bad luck.
Your experience seems to be the norm from all I’ve heard. I was new to guns and didn’t even think to ask Ruger for a shipping label either time. A more experienced friend tried the gun and had the same results, using quality ammo. Granted I was naïve, but Ruger could have been more helpful. In my phone conversations with them the tech was short, curt, and seemed as if I was a bother. Go figure.
So you were new to guns eh? Limp-wristing is a common tendency among new gun owners, and will produce the results you cited. I’ve owned Ruger P Series before and never had an issue. They are known to be built like a tank and extremely reliable out of the box. Your experience is definitely a rarity. Your inexperience is not. If the Ruger CS guy was rude to you you probably deserved it on some level. Stop posting twaddle and learn to use a gun already.
One bad gun does not mean all of them are. Also, most gun manufacturers have pretty bad service. I say this as a Ruger, Smith, Savage, Remington, Marlin, Benelli, Mossberg, LMT, PSA, Magpul / 80 %, Winchester, and Glock owner.
No purchase regrets – I just regret selling a pre-Freedom Group Marlin 336, a Winchester 1300, and a Browning shotgun.
Oh god, LMT, no kidding. Beast of a rifle, but what’s with the attitude on their reps?
My experiences with LMT’s service dept have been intensely positive.
Yeah, I had similar issues with the P91. It was my second handgun; my first was an ancient Ruger Mk 1, which was such an awesome little thing, especially for the $90 I paid. I don’t know how much was just my inexperience, or just crappy ammo, but that P91 would jam all the time. I wound up trading it in on a Glock 27, which was a great little gun.
Sorry to hear your experiences. My first self-loading pistol was a P-95 as well. Mine never had issues until I failed to lube the rails properly, then it would do a lot of jamming, FTE, FTF, ect. Once I started to put a dab of grease on the rails, all was fine.
Only gun I’m ditching is a Taurus PT111G2 DA only 9mm, Nothing wrong with the gun itself, has a nice crisp 7lb. trigger pull, 3.2″ barrel, came with two12 round magazines in a nice branded hard plastic case.
Only problem is it has a monstrously stiff recoil spring. More than I can handle for smooth racking.
Already replaced with a Ruger P95 9mm DA/SA action pistol. Have four revolvers, four pistols and one shotgun. All have been trouble free. And I would still recommend the Taurus 9mm mentioned above to anyone who has better up body strength.
Jennings J-25. Zip guns were more reliable and accurate. And made better, too.
I think the pistol listed for $69 back in the day. I’ve seen them selling for up to $300 now, but I suspect that they’re regarded as curiosities or historic artifacts.
Raven, Jennings, Titan, RG, Rohm. I been a bad boy.
Ughhh… just reading that made me feel dirty.
RG 14 .22 cal. Was my first pistol. Cop took it off of an illegal and gave it to my mother. She gave it to me. Has hand made bone grips. Fires every time. Double action trigger pull is about 50 pounds. Cannot leave a round in the chamber, not drop safe. You pull a pin to drop the cylinder. Then use the pin to push the cases out. It is the only pistol I have ever used to shoot at something live. Yes it is cheap, I was told you could buy one for $10 in the early 80’s.
The worst I’ve ever owned was an FMK 9C1. The engravings were bare metal and started to rust almost immediately, the finish wore quickly and did little to stop rust, and the coup de grace which was almost humorous was just how utterly horrible the trigger was.
I made a point of having all my shooting friends try it, and every single one of them couldn’t believe that was a factory trigger. Many on their first go assumed there was some sort of safety or trigger lock, and couldn’t believe that you just have to keep pulling. Your finger would actually get tired in the process of firing the entire 15rnd magazine.
I finally traded it for a pile of ammo, and I haven’t regretted that trade one bit! Though I’m sure the current owner probably does.
Savage model 64 autoloader. It wasn’t the shooting that was an issue it was the assembly after cleaning that did it in. It takes a gunsmith to get it right.
I have never owned a crappy handgun. Maybe it’s because I don’t go in for small, inexpensive pocket pistols.
Bought it for carry. 200 rds later the mag would puke out into the dirt. I learned to hold the mag in place with my pinky.
KelTec sent me free parts to fix the ‘feature’ but I still don’t trust it.
It never even made it onto my permit.
PF9 for me too. Right out of the box it wouldn’t cycle at all. I basically had a single shot pistol.
pf-9 as well,…..
bought it based on the MULTIPLE youtube reviews that were “super awesome” – But……..
it IS a super awesomely slim and easy to carry,–4 seasons, “flattest, thinnest 9mm available”… had initial FTF/FTE problems. Back to Kel Tec, good customer sevice….. but I haven’t trusted it since and bought a glock 19 to defend the house and myself within and about……
H&R Ultra Varmint Fluted. Vertical stringing was so bad due to the way the stock put pressure on the barrel that it was pretty much useless past 50 yards.
Not an uncommon problem especially with too much torque in the forearm screw. Using a rubber o-ring and moderate torque usually takes care of that. I have an Ultra Varmint Synthetic in .243 that shot great out of the box but shot even better after I did that. Graybeard’s has a great write up on that very issue.
Hi-point C9. It was like shooting a brick. And ugly. And embarrassing. And the worst part is I traded a Heritage Rough Rider .22/.22 mag for it. In my defense, that was before I found TTAG.
Remmington Viper .22lr. It went back to factory twice, gunsmith once, myself fixed once. Maybe shot 15 rounds. Firing pin would break in half…. POS Walmart cheapo…
Kel-Tec Sub 2000 in .40 S&W; blew up. Yeah, I know, I know….
Arisaka Type 99… ugh.
While not a handgun, most Arisaka owners I know love ’em. What went wrong with yours?
“last ditch” rifle from ’45, maybe?
While they’re ugly as sin, they’re hell for stout.
My early Jennings J22. It is the worst gun I’ve had so far lol.
It will function only with CCI minimags, and if I’m lucky, I can go through three mags without a problem. That’s a whole 18 rounds…
Still, it’s a fun little gun to shoot.
I had one, that if clean and only loaded with 5 rounds in magazine could go on all day. It wasn’t even ammo sensitive. I’m beginning to think I may have gotten the most reliable one that was manufactured
From what I understand, it was a mixed bag. Most seemed defective, but once in awhile, a good one would turn up. My dad had one in the early 90s, never had trouble. He bought one for me last year, and it turned out to be a junker.
Circa 1997 GI model Auto Ordinance 1911, the worst ever! Constant FTF FTE, the FRONT SIGHT flew off and landed on my shoulder within the first 500 rounds. It just never did get right, good riddance. Lesson learned, never buy a knockoff for a few % less, if it matters at all to you, pay the extra and get the best!
2nd worst Circa 1998 Walther PPK/S, FTF, FTE all over the place, only ever fed ball ammo and not even that very well.
My first 2 autos that I bought on my own sucked, so I became a revolver guy. I have since had very good luck with Glocks and XDs.
Ha, a gunsmith I know had one of those AO .45’s. A customer basically gave it to him. He stripped it down for parts. He ended up giving me a bag of those parts. I threw the barrel away.
I haven’t owned any junk guns.
The cheapest gun I’ve owned is a Taurus PT145 Millenium Pro and it’s been flawless for thousands of rounds of reloaded ammo.
I’ve got mostly S&Ws, Rugers, Colts, Marlins, Springfields, Glocks, Remingtons, Ithacas, etc. (among several other brands).
This was the worst gun I ever owned. It was returned to the factory twice (on my dime mind you) for FTF issues. When returned it was the same thing over and over again to no avail.
I sold it for a loss and learned to buy quality gear.
Glad you haven’t had the problem I had.
Wait, so The Yankee Marshall all of a sudden doesn’t think Glocks are the worst handguns ever created? 😉
MR Baby Desert Eagle .45. I could never get the thing to feed reliably and it never met a stove pipe it didn’t like!
Yes! Great ergo’s, very smooth shooting .45… when it wasn’t stovepiping or failing to enter battery on at least one of the last three rounds in the mag. Tried like hell to fix that pistol because I love the way it shot. Even dropped 100.00 on a special order captive recoil spring guide.
All to no avail. Seeing it go was a weird mix of relief and sorrow.
I’ve been told the full slide (non-semi-compact-whatever… not imported currently) in .45 was the fix. As it’s unobtainium, I gave up.
Taurus Model 85 (trigger/sear/hammer broke), Taurus P92 (various parts started falling off), Ruger LC9 (would not hit the broad side of a barn at 7 yds).
I sold a Beretta Nano a while back. It wasn’t unreliable, although it did FTE a few times. What made me sell it was the trigger. It had that long heavy pull and I couldn’t hit the side of a barn with it. Great for someone else, I suppose.
I’ve owned over 100 firearms of various makes yet I have few problems, even with my cheap guns. My Jennings functions perfectly, my friend’s Jennings fired 1000s of rounds before the frame cracked. A few of my 1911s don’t feed the dinner plate 45 HPs and I have either changed the ramp angle or switched bullet type, I did have one Colt Trooper that was bad from the factory. Even my two Stars are reliable, after a bit of tuning. The most disappointing firearm I currently have is a Stevens 308, at 6-7 pounds it kicks like a mule.
Walther G22. Bought it when I turned 18 and was into Counter Strike. Somehow hung onto it all these years, and now my wife won’t let me sell it because she likes to shoot it a couple times a year. One of the few rifles she can hold up without complaining about the weight. One of these days it may just “disappear”
It’s like all the worst elements of GSG airsoft-inspired “design” but without actually looking like a real world gun. I didn’t even get the threaded barrel, but even if I did, the bore is so off-center that a suppressor would never work. The last round BHO would engage before the mag was empty, and the gun often would not fire because of the mag safety, so both had to be removed from the gun before it would even cycle reliably.
The built in optics rail is part of the plastic stock, so mounting an optic is useless, since the stock shifts around when using or cleaning. The plastic front sight post fell out somewhere, and I never found it, so I just threaded in a set screw instead to make it usable,
It was a chrome .380 from Jennings or Bryco or Bob’s Pistols and Plumbing Supply that made me bleed (slide bite) and fear catostrophic failure (kaboom videos). It was free, so I didn’t mind trading it in toward something less craptastic. I try to be positive, so I can say this gun was really… um… shiny. Proof you can polish a turd. It was gone the next time I went in the shop. Proof you can sell polished turds.
The most buyer’s remorse I’ve had is with XDs. Never got to shot it once before I had to send it during the recall. No word from Springfield after that and everyone is just in a limbo. I’ve really liked Springfields so far but I’m not liking the way this is been handled by them. I would rant more but its hard typing from my cell phone.
Funny, that. I sent mine in just because, hey, free upgrade. Up until that point, I’d never had a single problem with it. Ate up everything I put through it -even Tula- with zero FTFs or FTEs, nice clean trigger pull and outstanding ergonomics. Plus, unlike my Glock, carrying it didn’t me feel like an irate midget was trying to yank my pants down, nor did it look to the casual observer like I was trying to smuggle a 1980’s cell phone in my waistband.
So until my XDs comes back, I’m using a Ruger LCP with a shoot-thru holster. I could switch to my G23, but I’d rather carry a .380 than take the risk of making some smarmy, elitist Glocktard’s day.
Taurus 709 Slim. Reliable, ergonomic, concealable, but sights won’t hold zero. And the two sight adjustment keys supplied bend the first time you use them.
Wrote Taurus about the sights, keys, and the fact the manual left out a vital step in the takedown instructions-no reply.
Still have it. Any takers?
How much you want?
Seriously, Texheim? $250.00
One more. Bought the first Randall 1911 I found. I was all jazzed up by the “Guns & Ammo” review.
The front left side of the frame narrowed to a knife’s edge width. The recoil buffer separated from the recoil rod about 35 rounds in. Got lucky and traded even for a new Gen.1 Glock 19 in 1988 at a gun show. That 19 is still my EDC gun.
Colt Series 80 stainless Gold Cup .45. I bought it brand new in 1989. Because it was a Gold Cup, fachrisake, I didn’t check it out before I bought it. The trigger pull was a nightmare…took two trips to Colt and the two local pistol smiths before I got a decent pull, and then it wouldn’t group worth a damn. Turned out the barrel to slide fit was sloppy. I ended upgrading it to someone who wanted a project.
Kel Tec PF9. Worst jam-o-matic piece of crap I have ever owned. After trying to work out the kinks and 600 some odd rounds later I gave up on it and anything else Kel Tec produces.
Kel Tecs look and feel like they were made in a dimly lit Chinese garage.
Charter Arms Pathfinder. I ordered it, shot it once, looked it over with the ‘smith where I bought it, and got my money back with no argument.
The muzzle crown was off center, the cylinder timing was way, way off, the cylinder to barrel breech gap was about an eighth of an inch, and to top it all off, there was NO forcing cone. The barrel breech was just cut off (at a slight angle, no less), with rifling running all the way to the end. It could not keep rounds reliably ON THE PAPER on a large silhouette at seven yards. It also spit lead shavings big enough to be a danger to other shooters, if I hadn’t been at an indoor range with dividers between lanes. Oh, and the rear sight fell off after about ten rounds.
Lot of bad times with the Mosquito foe many. Mine has been flawless in thousands of rounds, even likes the crappy Rem Golden Bullets. My only gripe is that it won’t cycle reliably with Federal Bulk. Had it out recently at a campsite and just started tossing it to see what might break – nothing, no issues running dry and dirty.
My 1911-22 loves Golden BBs. It will take any CCI, Remington or Federal round made. It craps out on Winchester ammo.
Yup. Me to. The grip is too thick for my hand, and it’s a .22 for god’s sake! Too many safeties–decocker, manual safety, DA/SA trigger and a mag disconnect. Can’t say how many times I’ve gone to pull the trigger and something was still “safed.” The dual action pull is impossible. I’ve never measured it, but I can say I can’t pull the trigger in DA mode. Once in single action mode, you can empty it in nothing flat, which is fun, but the gun is not accurate. And it only eats premium ammo. Like a lot of others, the gun was initially unreliable for me, but it did break in nicely–that’s the only good thing I can say about it.
Sig Mosquito. No doubt about it. Even worse than my old beater Raven .25. Hated any and all types of ammo. Wound up trading it for an Epiphone guitar for my 15 year old son and kind of felt like a thief for doing it.
In my own limited experience, it would be the Kel Tec P3AT.
I had a SIG P226 in 40 S&W that I just could never get to run 110%.
Part of the issue seemed to be the magazines but I would still have FTF’s and FTE’s more often than I should have.
Ended up selling it; my other sigs run like a top
OEM Sig 226 mags with stronger springs are the solution on this one. Been there, done that.
Bottom of web page.
Oops! Forgot! Worst gun was Charter .44spl. Bulldog. Only shooting session: trigger cut index finger, triggerguard cut middle finger. Palm felt like I’d fired 100 rounds of elephant loads out of a .44 Magnum.
Ended session bloodied and bowed. sold it ASAP to a masochist.
Hmm, sorry to hear that. A .44 bulldog is on my “maybe grab if you see a good deal on a used one” list.
I bought a Bulldog new in the 70’s it might have been the only flawless gun to leave the factory as all the other CAs I looked at were total carp
Wow. Mine has been flawless for 15 years. I even load “bulldog” loads when loading. Lighter than the ones for S&W 29
Marlin 1894 from the Remington days.
RG 45 Long Colt revolver.
First gun I ever purchased back when Big 5 still sold handguns. Hammer wouldn’t stay locked back securely, slight movement as you held the gun and it would release, as well as inconsistent trigger pull- sometimes releasing at just the slightest touch vice a deliberate pull. Gunsmiths (at least the reputable ones I contacted) wouldn’t even work on it.
Only gun I ever turned in to the police, just a completely unsafe POS, I couldn’t have given it away to someone to use without feeling guilty about it.
After that experience I understood why my local gunshop had a sign “Buy the best, you’ll only cry once” (think it was for S&W)
S&W 642 Airweight (internal hammer) in 38 special. I wanted to love it, but couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with it even at 7 yards. Neither could the shop owner that sold it to me or at least 5 buddies at the range. I thought for sure it had a crown issue but S&W said no. Got a full refund in store credit from the shop owner for that one.
Love mine. Dry firing helps a great deal, and it does take practice (which isn’t really very fun).
Love mine too. Trigger pull is stout, but once you get used to it it’s a great CCW/BUG.
I own every pistol I’ve ever bought/been given… Hmmmmm. Never had a problem with my little Jennings J-22, but, I don’t carry it. I’ve had to replace the extractor and firing pin on my Davis Industries P380. I just fire her today after firing pin replacement, and she worked fine, but I would say she’s given me the most trouble. I wouldn’t carry her every day either, nor with a round chambered.
The worst firearm I ever had was a Mossberg 930 hd/field combo. It came with two barrels, a 28″ vent rib and an 18.5″ tactical barrel. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the thing to cycle reliably with anything. Slugs, high brass, low brass, buck, nothing. It would jam after every other round, no amount of cleaning, lubing, or forced break in cycle with slugs did anything for the shotgun, and this was with both barrels.
I had a feeling that the forcing cones in both barrels were too far back, as i had a few rounds get stuck in the chamber so bad that i had to disassemble the gun and shove a cleaning rod down the business end to break them free.
I sometimes feel guilty for unloading it at a gun show, but I lost around $200 on the deal.
Ruger and Les Baer, for different reasons.
If you don’t tell your experience, then no one can learn from it.
AR-7 survival rifle. It was in the 70s when Charter Arms was making them. It was tough to chamber the initial round. Rather than troubleshoot it, I traded it for a tv set to a buddy who thought he could fix it. The new lucky owner promptly had a ND ( or should I say “the gun accidentally went off”) while trying to chamber a round, and shot a hole through the floor of his new truck. I always liked the idea of the AR-7 though and bought one made by Henry 40 years later. It works fine as long as the called-for high velocity ammo is used.
I also had one of those back in the 70’s,rarely cycled 3 rounds without failing to feed.
Was stolen about 8 years ago, along with the rest of my firearms at that time. The only one I didn’t mind losing !
1895 Nagant Revolver
20lb DA trigger, smooth as a gravel driveway and long as a battleship. Underpowered round.
But it’s got cool history, and it’s actually kind of fun to shoot just because it is so BAD.
I’ve almost bought one a few times. Seems like the gas seal would help boost the underpowered round–not that the Nagant would be a practical carry or home defense choice. But they are cool.
Heh, if you shoot it DA, you deserve what you get. I have one, and it is very accurate, also dummy proof. As for power, well, it works very well to break in a new shooter, very mild in report and recoil. I shot a few of the Milsurp thru mine, they have a lot more behind them, very snappy and cases hard to extract. I suspect they are plenty lethal, accuracy with them is also great.
A no name eastern European single barrel break-open 12 ga. shotgun. It rattles when you touch it. Thankfully it came as part of a package deal of several firearms and I only have about $10 into it. I’d NEVER EVER shoot it unless I had about 100 yards of string to attach to the trigger and a tree to hide behind. I’ve been holding on to it to cash in on one of these gun buy-back events. I also have a no name black powder small gauge shotgun that was part of a lamp, but it is a functional if not necessarily safe firearm also waiting for a buy back. I’ve got zero dollars in that one.
An easy one to answer: An AMT BackUp .40 cal. There was so much wrong with it, it became entertaining in its own right.
A trigger pull in excess of twelve pounds… probably an inconsistent fifteen.
Even so, it was a light-striker. Some days, only about 50% ignition.
Couldn’t even feed ball, but Gold Dots were hopeless. Maybe two or three normal feeds per magazine.
But then, the coup de grace: the chamber separated. Across the middle.
Apparently they glued together the front of the chamber/barrel and the rear of the chamber/cams.
No, I didn’t believe that either, but I own a gun that appears to have been made that way, as there is a circumferential gap right in the middle of the chamber. Fired cases have a circular bulge to match, and they’re damned hard to extract, even if the extractor worked right. Which it doesn’t.
I don’t have the heart to give it away, except perhaps to a buyback someday.
Second worst, a Springfield Armory 1911 Trophy. Broke just about everything until it snapped its barrel link in two, between the holes!
Supposedly it was a “custom shop” gun, too. It went back to Geneseo twice before I moved it on the Internet to a gung-ho Springer fan.
And, I still have trouble calling Springfield Armory guns by that hallowed name. They don’t have a thing to do with the real Springfield Armory.
Honorable mention: Taurus PT145. Broke its frame twice and then I just kept shooting it, broke and all. Now it runs fine, even with hollowpoints. I ignore the crack and use it as a kind of a “trunk” gun.
I’m going to discount problems I had with some beat up, cheap, many decades old surplus firearms that weren’t well cared for (CZ-52, No 1 Mk III Enfield, M1 Carbine…) Those had excuses for jams and misfeeds and such. Worn parts, magazines, springs and all that…replacing those parts would have gotten them back into shape. Naw, I think a “bad” firearm is one that is simply unreliable when new (and cleaned, and broken in).
For a lack of pleasure of ownership (which includes cleaning/maintaining after shooting) I think the SKS rifle is pretty bad…my Yugo 59/66 model went bang every single time and was battle-accurate (pepper a paper plate at 100 yards) but man, the cleaning afterwards was awful. Take all the rods and springs and two piece bolt out and try to find that one op-rod that gets lauched across the room (even though you tried to catch it) when you flip the upper handguard release lever (SKS owners know this one) and then clean for an hour. No matter how much you clean you’ll still come up with blackened patches everywhere. Eventually go “good enough”, oil it, and store it. Think hard about taking it to the range next time because cleaning it sucks.
Probably treated better than anyone who had it in Yugoslavia, still.
As for bad, as in “doesn’t work well” bad…
I bought a new Diamondback DB9 and I guess that’s been my “worst” gun. Some of it was by its very design: it’s so small and light that standard pressure 115gr 9mm is painful to shoot so I never wanted to shoot it much. I forced myself to do a few 100 round trips to the range to break it in and the webbing of my strong hand was raw afterwards. The gun required a two handed death grip or it would stovepipe. I think it’s a matter of making something just TOO small that the factors required to make it work well stack up and make it finicky if you don’t meet its needs.
If I couldn’t count on it to work shooting one handed (possibly when already knocked down on the ground by someone) then it wasn’t going to be a good CCW how matter how small, thin, and light it was (and boy, it was a joy to carry when not shooting it…) CCW is what it was made for, but if I couldn’t trust it to be 100% (or even 98%) then what’s the point?
Traded it (plus cash) for a Walther PPS 9mm and never looked back. Not the newest “slimline” on the block but it works and works well with anything I’ve fed it or however I’ve held it. Also, it doesn’t hurt to shoot it for a long range session. Bonus!
The gun geek in me also equates “Walther” to “Bond” and that doesn’t hurt, either. 🙂
The 59/66 I bought taught me a ton about guns. Bought it for $99 around 05. Didn’t even know to check the rifling before buying, and that barrel was toast – must have been rode hard and out away wet over its life. Would not cycle due to gas block/valve corrosion. Messed with it endlessly and finally got it going reliably with an oversized stainless shutoff valve, and cut it down to 16″ because the last few inches were purely smoothbore. Through all that, I kept it, and rebarreled it this year with a very nice chrome lined surplus Chinese barrel and FSB to retain the bayonet.. Now shoots very accurately, and I kept the shutoff gas block, so it’s basically a Yugo M59 that can also be used as a straight-pull bolt action.
My sks, also 99 bucks, is a Russian. It’s a lot easier to clean because of the chrome bore and bolt. I understand the Yugo’s don’t have the chrome.
3rd gen Glock 19. Got blue label while I was active duty. Got 2 stovepipes in the first magazine through it, thought it needed broken in or maybe cheap ammo. Got I think 3 different brands of ammo, all brass, We put 300 rounds through it in one range trip to try and break it in. It shot INCHES to the left at 7 yards, by multiple shooters so it wasn’t my trigger pull. It malfunctioned 7 more times in those 300 rounds, 6 stovepipes and inline stovepipes and one double feed.
Took it to a Gander Mountain, and it turned out that the ejector in it had been recalled, so I spent I think $40 to send it back to Glock. It came back with the exact same model ejector.
I traded it in toward an M&P, which ran like a champ. The slide ended up rusting about 2 years later but Smith replaced the whole slide for free, they paid shipping both ways, took about 8 days. Got a great deal on the M&P because it was the breast cancer edition and was $100 cheaper than any other version, and it came with a fiber optic front site.
Ignore that loud chorus of “La la la” you’re hearing. That’s just the Glock fanboys plugging their ears to continue avoiding the reality that there is no perfect gun and everything fails every once in a while.
I currently own a G34 that was produced/imported in 1995. A very early G34 in that it is a 2-pin frame but the grip characteristics are Gen 3. After many long years and excess of 20,000 rounds of mixed ammo, that pistol is still a dream come true. I also own a G19 and a G33, both of which are among the best pistols I’ve ever owned. That being said; I have a Taurus PT1911 that with only minor polishing, an aftermarket hammer/sear set, and a grip change (those plastic grips suck dog c###!) is also a very reliable and accurate pistol. To each his own I say.
A Rem(Marlin) 336, vintage 2009. barrel was crooked, was hitting 2.5 feet high at 100 yards. The action was rough and I mean it was not finished and cycled like the receiver was full of gravel. Its the most time I have spent on any gun to get it right. In the end I was able to fix it to shoot right and then gave it as a gift. The owner doesn’t know how bad it started out.
Coincidentally, the worst gun I’ve ever fired also was the only gun I’ve ever owned (except for my BB gun that I got as a teen, with paper route money; not the greatest BB gun in the world, but it was MINE!) It was a Lorcin .25 auto. It took me a couple of mag loads before I figured out just the right exact delicate touch to getting the rounds into the mag in such a way that it didn’t jam practically every shot. And the gun was too small for my hand. After a day of shooting, I had a nice lesion/abrasion/small laceration right on the web between my thumb and forefinger where the slide caught skin every shot. But I had bought it for $50 bucks in the early 1990’s, and gladly dumped it on some sucker for $75 a couple of years later. That was in Taxifornia, before gun control had set in – The only paperwork I had to do was a bill of sale.
I’ve also shot a 9mm Beretta and a .38 “police special,” (I don’t remember which brand) which belonged to some other guy. I really really liked the Beretta; I found the revolver somewhat klunky, but neither of them ever injured me. 😉
Yup. My Lorcin .25 is in a coffee can on my workbench. Along with a Jennings .22. Both are slated for the next gun buy-back program.
a Sig P250 Compact in .45. God awful trigger. I was not able to put it anywhere on a target at 10 yards. I thought it was me so I had a couple a friends fire it with the same results. It was shooting 1 foot low and to the left. Traded up to a Sig 1911 Scorpion; which I absolutely love. The thing is a tack driver putting on round on top of the other at 20 yards!
I carry a P250 compact in 9, and my wife carries a subcompact. We bought hers used and some idiot had dry-fired the action out of the frame. A spring replacement later all was well.
Trigger on both is a looooong but smooth DA pull, now.
A Colt Officer’s Model that I could never get to run right.
I learned a valuable lesson: it’s safe to assume 1911s with barrels shorter than 4 inches suck until proven otherwise.
Second place contender: S&W Shield 9mm
Crappy trigger, crappy mags, jammed every now and then.
Llama IX-C, .45 1911 knockoff. It hasn’t found a round it couldn’t stovepipe, and I need to get the extractor tuned since now it likes to throw hot brass at my face. Still I love it though, as it was my gateway drug. My mom didn’t let guns in the house so I wasn’t exposed to them at all. My dad is a dentist and often barters when it’s clear his patients can’t/won’t pay, and he accepted this gun as payment. He didn’t know what to do with it so he gave it to me, his only adult son. This was 3 years ago and was the beginning of a passion I didn’t know I had in me. Just a few months ago I had 14 firearms before I lost them in a tragic desert boat accident.
My god, I’ve never seen a boat swallowed by quicksand so fast. And did you see how quickly those guns sank in all that sand?
Hmm. You know I have a Llama IX-D that works great. Had some extractor issues but I sorted them out. It’s one of my favorites now.
FYI if you have a Llama IX C or D you can use a modified Para-ordnance P-14 magazine. The real ones are a real PITA to find. Just widen the mag catch and they’ll lock right in there.
I can’t say I’ve ever owned or fired a “worst handgun”. Just as with cars, I buy mainstream, reliable models: so I’ve never bought anything like a “Yugo” or “Pinto” either.
The handguns I own are all well recommended, proven, mainstream firearms. What issues I’ve experienced have always been traceable to the ammunition I’m using (either the bullet shape, or the strength of the charge), or lack of adequate break in.
Those two problems are easy to diagnose and the solutions have always been readily apparent (at least for me).
Ahhhh the Pinto! If there’s a 100 yard dash between a 450 lb guy and a Pinto, bet on the fat guy.
And if you try to pass the fat guy when he’s hot and sweaty in a pinto, it’s likely to burst into flames.
I had a Pinto once. Great car! Admittedly, I’ve always had really good luck with Fords. The secret is, when you go to the gas station, tell the guy, “Fill up the oil and check the gas.” I got around 30 MPG on the freeway at 60 ot 65 MPH, and could go about 240 miles on an 8-gallon tank. Keep the oil topped up in a Ford, and it will last forever. 🙂
Worst firearm ever owned…. SCCY CPX 2. 9mm. Felt good in the hands, looked decent, jammed every other round. After multiple problems with the barrel the injector and magazines I promptly sold this firearm. Too bad though,I thought it had some potential. But I will say, great customer service!
Taurus PT845, accurate and felt great in the hand but after 4 trips back for failure to feed I gave up and sold it back to the store I bought it from
Beretta PX4 subcompact that I bought as my first conceal carry gun since I enjoyed my 92f so much, but was very disappointed with it. The finish on the gun was not very good at all, scratched and faded way too easily, not acceptable for a $500+ gun. Accuracy was unbelievably bad,seriously could hardly get it on paper at 10yrds. Girlfriend shot it, jammed on her after every shot, probably due to limp wristing as it worked fine for me, but she had zero problems with my Glock 19 that day. Had lost all confidence in it, so I sold it to a friend at a huge loss just to get rid of it.
Bummer, sorry to hear that. I have a compact .40 that I love. The compact has the rotating bolt, sub does not. I find mine to be a good shooter, overall. F&F is not quite as good on the PX4 as a 92, but it’s still really good.
It would have to be a toss-up between a Charter Arm AR-7 Explorer rifle (it would constantly either jam or run away on me) and a Hi-Point 995 (started to explode in slow-motion after a couple thousand rounds, it began with the safety falling off in the middle of the woods and ended with the bolt face cracking with a few other surprises in between those two points.) Replaced them with a Browning SA-22 and a CX-4, respectively, and have never been happier
I only own one, in the process of getting my second of three. But the worst iv ever fired was a Glock 19. Went through two mags worth and had four stove pipes, and a failure to feed. However that may have been more on the ranges shoddy maintenance then the gun.
Remington 522 viper .22 damn thing won’t eject replaced ejector ejector plunger and spring and it still will not eject correctly.
A GSG-5P. It’s an MP-5 that fires 22 lr. Loads of fun to shoot when it shot. The rimmed ammo would bind in the magazine constantly causing malfunctions every mag. It was also a pain to disassemble.
I see that a few have mentioned RG handguns. Oh, I had totally forgotten about them. I remember way back before the war, when I was working at a local gun/fishing store and we had a couple of RGs in the display case. I had seen better craftsmanship on guns made by Mattel. Had one come in with a broken rear sight. Most of the gun was made of mystery metal, with steel used only in the most critical areas. I wouldn’t buy one, but they sold to folks that couldn’t afford anything better. I also saw a few mentioned early Charter Arms AR-7 as problem guns. Mine didn’t work so good either when I first got it, wouldn’t feed right. The rounds tended to stop at the beginning of the chamber while they were still tilted up and then the bolt would dent the side of the case. It would happen about every 3rd round. About 5 minutes of careful use of a Dremel tool seemed to fix it fine. I’ve sen Kel-Tec mentioned a lot, so I’ll stay away from all their stuff. And I’m a bit surprised to see some of the top names in firearms as being problematic. I would have thought that the “big” guys had better quality control. It’s been a really interesting thread.
HAH Colt should know better and yet half of the Colt 1911s I have owned have sent their front sight blades downrange in the first 100 rounds
My Colt 1991 lost its front sight on its second trip to the range, too. I replaced it with an aftermarket and never looked back. I love that gun.
A badly worn unmarked in any way nickel plated badly flaked .22 rim fire double action late 19th century revolver. The breach face of the cylinder was so badly hammered by someone in its past having dry fired it thousands of times (perhaps it had at some point given to a kid as a toy) that only one chamber of the 9 would go bang once in a while 7 inch barrel so not a pocket pistol type. It was given to me by a widow who did not want her late husband’s nasty things in her house.
The other guns she gave me at the time (50 years ago) were nice enough lower cost fire arms from the first half of the 20th century the sort you would buy from Sears Roebuck or a local hardware store I use one of them a hammer non self cocking 12 ga double from Connecticut vally arms in cowboy action shooting and while heavy it is robust and has never failed to go bang In thousands of rounds
Probably a Charles Daly 20ga. Puml Liked to double feed the rounds if they were Remington sluggers, had a bend in the barrel around 24″, cut it down to 20 to fix and a few bucks to a smith fixed the double feed. Mostly a neglect issue than factory though
I have a Turkish made 1911 and it fails to go into battery about once per magazine, using ball ammunition, regardless of which magazine or which ammunition manufacturer I use. It should be “broken in” by now (about 150 to 200 rounds through it) but no dice.
I sure want that handgun to work.
Polish the feed ramp. And if that doesn’t work, try a new recoil spring. Both are cheap fixes.
My worst one was my first one: A Chiappa/Puma 1911-22.
Total POS. I could not (and frankly still can’t) believe that a business could get away with selling a product that functioned as poorly as that thing. FTE, stovepipes, FTF, you name it. THEN one day the barrel bushing broke in half and sent the mainspring and guts down range.
Terrible CS when I sent it in.
A few hour of polishing and tweeking and I have up to the level of “barely acceptable”.
Seriously, how do gun manufacturers get away with that crap? If a dishwasher performed that badly you can bet the call volume to the BBB would be huge and the lawsuits would be flying. Why do we give gun companies a grumble and a pass?
I entertained the notion of getting one of these Chiappa 1911-22’s for about 30 seconds, and then the internet said NO.
Yeah, they were new on the market at the time and so was I, so I didn’t know any better.
ancient .36 Bulldog….don’t ask
Jennings .22 pistol. I keep it as a “collector’s item” but don’t shoot it anymore.
Jennings J-22. Bad bad bad bad. Getting shivers how bad that gun was.
Century Arms “Drunk, pissed monkey assembled” Kit L1A1 FAL.
I ended up sending it to a FAL manufacture and had had it stripped to the bare receiver which in its self was a very nice Imbel inch pattern and then had him build me a new rifle from scratch on it.
Also a close second Sig mosquito.
What a pile of shit went back 2 times to sig before it would function. Technically 3 times since they sent me the wrong one back one time. Still finicky and groups like bird shot from a sawed off. I picked it up since it was smaller and lighter then my Ruger MKI so as to make it easier for my kids to practice their shooting. Great theory shitty execution by Sig and I like Sigs.
Right now it’s a Kahr CW45. It just seems to be possessed. I hate to send it back to the factory but there is something wrong with it.
Kel Tech Sub 2k in .40 cal.. It fails to cycle after each and every shot. Runner up would be a CETME from CAI. It shot 4 feet high and left, no matter what.
My CAI93 was another piece of crap, it didn’t blow up on my like my S2k did however. I had the same problem with the 93, it would shoot fine until I put the claw mount on it and tried to go for distance and then it behaved like yours. I got in touch with a shop that rebuilds them and they told me it was a truion issue with the dick weed that builds them and it would cost another grand to set it straight. Nope, sold it.
Bersa/Firestorm .22… inexpensive and felt great in the hand, got it with the intention of also getting the .380 and using the .22 as a cheap, fun trainer. Then I took it to the range a few times.
At best, with the more expensive CCI Stingers, it will fire 2-3 times in a row before some type of failure or jam. It won’t cycle any other ammunition at all. I patiently went through about 300 rounds and numerous cleanings, but no improvement. It was damn accurate, but totally unreliable. I keep meaning to send it off for warranty, but after the .22 market ran up, it’s just been sitting in the back of the locker getting ignored.
The very worst for me was a Taurus mini 380 revolver. Man was this thing bad. 15 ib trigger pull, the cylinder would lock up. very dangerous firearm. Sent it back 2 times the first time for the cylinder lock up. Got it back and it would half cycle, sent it back and got it back, and it cycle fine but now the trigger pull that I never had a issue with which was around 9lbs is now 15 ilbs. So for me to help out Taurus I used it today in my firearm class of what you should not buy.
The Jennings 22 cal. is the most worthless piece of crap I’ve ever owned. The good thing is that I got it for free, but that’s most likely because the owner realized it was a worthless piece of crap.
First Prize: Savage Model 64F .22 – my very first rifle. Didn’t matter what quality ammo I used – good or bad – it was a Jam-O-Matic, despite being well maintained. It surprises me how many people swear by the quality of this rifle. Maybe I was (un)lucky with mine.
Runner up: Hi-Point C9. Shot fine, relatively speaking, with minimal FTE’s, just not an ergonomically friendly handgun and not very accurate.
After 15+ years as a gunowner, I’ve become a Ruger fanboy.
AMT .380 Backup purchased in 1984. It jammed so often and aimed so poorly I retired it. Even the thief that stole it from my truck at the airport didn’t much like it, I got it back eventually from Phoenix PD.
Charter Arms .22 9 shot revolver based on the .38 undercover. I don’t know it’s model number now, but it was always a click click boom gun until it became a click click jam gun. It spend more time with a curious (free) gunsmith than it did with me. I eventually let the smith keep it to see if he could ever make the worthless thing shoot. It would come back shooting for a while but something broke, got out of time, failed every few hundred rounds. To this day I will not own anything made by Charter.
Weatherby PA-08 12ga pump. I was given one as a gift a few years back and the rib was canted to the right all the way down the barrel. I sent it back to Weatherby and after getting the runaround it took 8 months to get a proper replacement barrel from their licensed manufacturer in Turkey.
It’s a pretty gun for the price point and very pleasant to shoot, but the quality and service I got left a bad taste.
Stevens 20 gauge single shot with a cutdown stock to fit my 10 year old frame. Kicked like a mule, and cocking it shredded my thumb. My Dad’s (now mine) 12 gauge double was a pussycat in comparison, and way more fun to shoot.
My worst one was a Taurus TCP. It broke twice within a year and less than a box of ammunition between failures. Ended up selling that junk and getting away from all things Taurus.
I’d have to say, in handguns I’ve never owned anything that is a complete POS.
Looking over my collection of handguns, the first pieces I’d part with because I like them the least would be the Glocks. But it would not be because they’re unreliable or dangerous – they’re completely functional, reliable and work. They’re just ugly, that’s all.
I was going to post Glock 19 for me and saw your post. I think I just got a lemon, non stop issues with the firing pin and I could only ever shoot certain types of ammunition.
I have considered getting another one (like a 32) but I both like and hate that they are so light. Great for concealed carry but I like the weight when I’m actually shooting.
Llama 45 govt. model…POS
Commando MK II 45 cal. Thompson look a like
Cobra 9mm Mac-11 closed bolt…POS, cut my hand just trying to cock it!
Charter Arms 38 revolver. 4th shot front site fell off, LOL
I had a Commando MKIII .45 and liked it. It was reliable, robust and reasonably accurate. It was heavy, clunky and crude, but it worked just fine, I wonder if I got lucky or if it was because my example was a MKIII instead of a II or if the 1000s of rounds through it when I received it had worked out the kinks.
My Commando worked great!
Kel-Tec Sub 2000 carbine in .40 S. & W.
I picked up a brand new one from a local dealer in 2009. I brought it home and field stripped /cleaned it per the excellent owner’s manual. (I’m not kidding-the manual was very nicely done.)
During the first trip to the range I discovered that the supplied magazine would fall out of the gun after five or six shots. I tried another compatible magazine from a Glock 22. The same thing happened so I stopped shooting.
I took the carbine to the dealer I purchased it from and he sent it back to Kel-Tec for warranty work. I received the gun about 4 weeks later.
My shooting partner and I returned to the range to put the Sub 2000 through its paces. I loaded a magazine with FMJ, standard power ammo and started shooting. Just after the third round was fired the gun literally fell apart in my hands. (The stock was fully split from just above the trigger to below & behind the hinge.) The look of disbelief on my buddy’s face was matched only by my own. Unbelievable! Thank God neither of us was injured. (ALWAYS wear your “eyes and ears” boys and girls!)
I returned to the original shop and told the owner what had happened. Being the stand-up guy his is he refunded the full purchase price right then and there. Needless to say, I remain a loyal customer of his and have never again, even briefly, thought about buying anything made by Kel-Tec.
Sounds kind of like mine…
Glock 22 3rd Gen. In an 6 year span from brand new; replaced 2 cracked frames, 1 cracked slide, 2 strikers, 1 extractor and suffered approx. 400+ malfunctions. Became a range only gun on it’s first outing. Kept shooting and repairing it out of disbelief until the 2nd cracked frame, Glock replaced the whole gun. No more Glock 40’s for me.
Worst handgun? A tossup between a Jennings .22 and an FIE .38 derringer.
…which was their attempt to make a top-break mini revolver. Beautiful piece of art. Problem was , when they machined a relief under the barrel to clearance the cylinder extension, by which the cylinder was retained, they forgot to leave enough metal under the forcing cone to support it. After the first or second shot I felt the cylinder getting tough to turn and the cylinder didn’t want to come off for cleaning. Upon closer inspection I found that the forcing cone had split and started pushing down on the cylinder extension. I shot it twice more and felt sparks shooting down onto my knuckles. I sent it back for a full refund since every othe Ranger I looked at had but a paper thin sliver of metal forming the six O’clock portion of the forcing cone.
Other guys I knew purchased them but opted not to take a refund and let NAA “repair” the problem. When I looked at several other “repaired” Rangers, I found out that the fix was that they just cut completely cut away a portion of the bottom of the forcing cone where they had cracked. So these guys were still getting hot gas to their knuckles, and I am sure there was some velocity lost, but the things were still technically functional.
I’m glad I got my refund.
Kel-Tec P11. Wasn’t terrible, but the trigger sucked and it sometimes had a little trouble feeding. I got it because I like my P3AT, but I started to dislike the 9mm shortly after purchase and eventually sold it, buying a Glock 26 instead.
A Stoger Luger in .22 lr.
Rossi R85104 revolver in .357 magnum. I bought it new earlier this year because I had to have a revolver to qualify with, and it was inexpensive. Backed by a lifetime warranty, reviews and anecdotes of improving Taurus/Rossi/Braztech quality, I went for it.
It actually does shoot very accurately, even in double action at 15+ yards; which was pleasantly surprising. The problem is light strikes. Of six rounds in the cylinder, you’re guaranteed to have one, sometimes two, which won’t fire on the first strike. Only ammunition I’ve used is Winchester white box .38 Special, which supposedly isn’t great; but I have used that brand in 45 ACP in another handgun and never had any failure.
None has ever failed to fire upon a second strike in the revolver; but keeping track of cylinder location and circling back to the misfire is very stressful during a qualification. No way I’d trust this thing more highly than as a last line of defense.
I’m a change-the-oil-myself kind of car guy, not a rebuild-the-transmission kind of guy. Same holds for firearms: I clean them well and keep them properly lubed; but I’m not a jack-with-the-trigger/sear/hammer/spring kind of guy. I expect all that crap to work flawlessly out of the box for thousands of rounds. Must be the elevated expectations of quality and reliability stemming from having been raised in the Glock Era.
New(2010) Remington 870 3″
2nd round stuck in the chamber, extractor slipped off. Happened every round afterwards. Took it back to the store and they sent it back for repair. Problem not fixed, sent back again and then the extractor would not slip off the rim of the shell, but I had to put the gun vertical with the buttplate on the ground and use all my body weight to cycle the action. Sent back for repair. Remington polished the chamber. Only every other to every 3rd round would stick. Through all of this I tried every shell I could get my hands on: low brass, high brass, dove loads to goose loads, win, rem, fed, kent, & estate. Spent 2x’s the amount of the gun on ammo. Remington refused to replace the gun and could not fix it. I traded it for a ruger 22/45 that I love. Last Remington product I will ever buy new.
I have owned a ab10. I got rid of it because it was a jam-o-matic. Now I just picked up a TEC9 and it is just as bad. Time to get rid of it.
Worst a Davis P380. Cheapest gun I have ever bought new, $90
Followed very closely by a Sig P238 at a touch over $700.
CZ-52 7.62X25 – absolutely the hardest recoil of any pistol that I’ve ever fired – and I shoot everything up to hot .44 mag loads. Lousy ergonomics, terrible sights, awkward slide lock and magazine release and a heavy trigger. The only reason I’ve kept it is that “they” say it will shoot through some ballistic vests with the hot Czech ammo.
Charter Arms Explorer pistol – this was the take down pistol version of the AR-7 rifle. It looked pretty cool but wouldn’t feed any ammunition with any magazine with any degree of reliability. I think that my record was four rounds without a failure to feed.
Stoeger Luger knock off. $75 at a gun show because again it looked cool. The only pistol I’ve ever owned where the cheap stamped internal parts actually broke under the powerful recoil of a .22 long rifle round.
Here are my “bad” guns I owned.
A Chinese Type 53 (Chinese copy of M44 Mosin-Nagant carbine). It would fire OK but would rarely extract, so a cleaning rod had to be kept nearby. I sold it to someone who had ammo for it after handing in a Tokarev (SVT-40?) self-loader.
A sporterized M96 Swedish Mauser. When I bought it, the barrel looked good but I didn’t know about the throat erosion issue. Eventually after much mucking about I had the gun shooting (2″ @ 400 metres with handloads), but then the chamber-throat area gave out and the barrel had to be replaced. I sourced a new 6.5 barrel from Lothar-Walther (in 1-in-9″ pitch, big mistake as I should have used 1-in-8″) and had a well known local gunsmith (who also did work for the local police, park rangers, etc), and he totally botched the job. The chamber was literally pear shaped so once-fired brass wouldn’t fit unless lined up properly. The only ammunition I could get the rifle to shoot was PMC factory. It was good enough for a few field trips. I had that barrel replaced with a cheap 1-in-12″ .308 barrel. I had a load worked up and the rifle was shooting about as well as it did before, but then the projectiles were unavailable temporarily, which forced a change, and then the AR2206 powder I was using was discontinued. So I now have to find the time to develop a new load with the replacement powder and projectiles. Not really a “bad” gun but it has been a nearly 2-decade experience.
A Lee-Enfield No4. It needs a few parts replaced, such as the safety which will apply during a shoot. Not good on a rapid course. The barrel still shoots, despite being pitted and worn (6″ @ 300 metres, open sights, KF ammo, rapid course), but the short stock results in my nose hitting my thumb under recoil. Currently at the back of the safe for a future project. I may make it into another .223 when my son is old enough to start shooting.
I know a lot of people who have been complaining about new out-of-the-box Remington 700s over the last decade or so. It looks like their civilian production is the QA rejects from their other contracts. I have seen chambers cut at an angle to the bore, resulting in shots stringing out during a match, guns that need several visits to gunsmiths before they work properly, the typical extraction issues, and so on. It is said you buy a Remington for the aftermarket parts availability. If you want a rifle to shoot out-of-the-box, buy a Savage. And the Savage is also much cheaper.
Stoeger M2000. Charging handle would inconveniently eject from retention about half the time. Went to a gunsmith who filed it in hopes it would stay retained in the bolt. Didn’t work. Sent the bolt and charging handle to Stoeger and they fixed the charging handle ejection problem. Next problem: light firing pin strikes. It would inconveniently not fire shotgun cartridges about…half the time. Got rid of it.
Khar PM9. It just would not return to battery with any reliability, even after a trip back to Khar for “repairs”. I felt guilty about selling it (& passing the problem on) so I ended up “disassembling” it with a large hammer & tossed it in the trash. I’ve owned many Sigs, Colts, Rugers, S&W’s, Dan Wesson, Kimbers, etc., & this is the only firearm I have I had a serious issue with.
Zip 22lr pistol. Complete POS.
I’ve got to say I simply cannot think of a commercially manufactured firearm that I would not like to own. Even if it was not safe to shoot I would still like it just for what it is. What can I say, I like guns. 🙂
Smith 686+ 6″ barrel (pre-lock). I bought it in 1996, since I always wanted an L-frame. It just would not consistently ignite primers. I tried different brands (Federal, Remington, Winchester) and no luck. Apparently random light primer strikes. I marked the chambers to try to diagnose it, but there was no pattern. The smith in the shop I purchased it from tried to figure it out and failed. Sent it to Smith under warranty. When it returned it was a little better but still unreliable. I traded it for a 70’s Model 19 4″ with pinned barrel, recessed chambers and a bright nickel finish plus $200. It looked practically un-fired and I still have it. It is perfectly reliable and dead accurate.
Probably the worst gun I had was back in the 1990s, a Smith & Wesson Sigma in 40. It would stovepipe every 12th or 13th round. I had a WW2 era Webley revolver that was a fantastic shooter, except for the fact that you could not hit anything beyond 2 or 3 yards.
I couldn’t get .38/200 loads or the newer jacketed 170 grain loads for my Webley. All I could get was the American parent round, the .38 S&W. I didn’t reload then and it was not a great shooter. Ever since Zulu I wanted a webley and a martinni henry. The Webley is long gone and I doubt I’ll ever have the .450/577.
My worse 3:
#3. GSG 1911 – Jams, zinc frame/slide, pie plate accuracy at 5 paces, and fit/finish reminiscent of the surface of the moon covered in black finger paint.
#2. Army issued Ithaca 1911 – It rattled, was heavy, crudely made, had a smooth bore, and the slide stop and safety would engage randomly.
#1. Interarms PPK – Total jamomatic with bluing that washes off with a single drop of sweat.
After reading some of the other posts, I feel fortune to have never owned anything produced by the ring of fire manufactures.
Worst gun I’ve ever owned would have to be a M11 9mm Carbine. Made by a company called Leinad Inc out of Ducktown TN. That thing had about every single malfunction you could think of. Stove Pipes, F2F, slam fires, the words. It even got to the point where it would randomly break magazines. I never did figure that one one.
Close second would be my Century Arms CETME. But I eventually got all the kinks ironed out of it.
My brother had an M11. Worst trigger slap ever.
Auto-Ordnance 1911. Jam-o-matic, front sight fell off. Completely took me off the 1911 platform. I bought a Glock 21 and never looked back. So now Glock, Berretta, HK, and Walther now fill my gun cabinets.
Haven’t owned a really bad one yet…even my Taurus buys were reliable. My day may come, though. Hope not.
Not a handgun, but I have an old Glenfield Model 60. (Glenfield was Marlin before Marlin was Marlin.) It has a sticky bolt, and stovepipes regularly. I’m sure that some work would get it back into great shape, but I don’t have the money to drop on an old .22 right now, expecially since I have a Marlin 795 that runs like a Swiss watch.
I can’t say I have any major complaints. I had a steel case jam in my Bushmaster AR recently, but, well, steel ammo + Bushmaster + not cleaned before the last range trip = not a total surprise. I’m not going to hate on the Bushie for one incident that’s at least half my fault. 🙂
With all the Kel Tec lore out there I’ve been waiting for the regret to sink in with my KSG, but after one trip out and 50+ flawless rounds it’s currently ranking close to Best Gun Ever.
Uh, what else? Magazines are a royal pain to find for my PSL. But it’s fun as hell to shoot.
Hmmm, no. No regrets so far….
Worst guns over time for me:
Walter PPK/s during Interarms time with it ( I hear S&W ones are worse)
And now for the worst gun of the decade! The Springfield Armory XDs both 9 & 45!
Everyone seems to be missing the Cobra 9 mm derringer, guess nobody else is unfortunate enough to own one. I only have it, because of a joke with a local gun dealer…he came close to paying me to take it out of his inventory.
Piece of crap to shoot, and you need to be a gunsmith (or close to one) with tools to disassemble part of it to remove the fired brass.
Guess the joke is on me. We have discussed what useful purpose this gun may have and decided it may have real value to slip it into my weird brother-in-law’s carry on baggage the next time he visits and let the TSA deal with it. Unfortunately, it is serial numbered and traceable.
A Taurus Millenium Pro. It shot straight but the mag liked to drop upon firing. It probably could have been fixed pretty easily, though.
Most “bad” guns I’ve had only required a little mechanical tinkering before they worked ok. At the end of the day, any gun is just a tube with some springs. Grinding a little metal down or polishing components can go a long way.
A Llama 1911. I shot it and it literally fell apart in my hands. The slide retaining pin ejected, and the whole firearm disassembled itself after a couple of shots. Quietly put that thing away and have never shot it since.
Taurus PT709 slim, garbage gun.
Lots of light strikes and stove pipes.
Remington Model 742 semi-auto .30-06 rifle. New out of the box, it ripped chunks off the base “rim” of the brass cartridge trying and failing to extract. Got that fixed by a gunsmith, put a 2-7x scope on it, and was unable to get a better group than 5″ at 100 yards off a bench. And you had to leave the magazine in it to hold the bolt open while cleaning. Sold it at a gun show for the amount I paid for it and was thrilled to see it go. Absolute piece of junk.
From the way folks are responding here, it sounds like buying a second-hand gun is virtually guaranteed to get you a piece of crap! =:-O
Anyone noticing the Taurus trend here? I had a PT709 slim. jam, no bang, loose slide fit…sent back to Taurus (this is another issue, 74 days and came back the same) and it was just as bad. They don’t respect/service/stand behind their products. On other hand I do have one of their 7 shot stainless .357 revolver and that has been fine… Jennings .22 semi-auto..best single-shot P.O.S. I ever owned(still in the safe,not shot in 20 yrs.), and a S&W Sigma .380..Ooooo that thing would work the slide pins loose after 20 rounds, jam with many diff ammos, tried different mags ,etc..brought to my local gun guy and he laughed and said “never buy any gun if you see a whole row of them in the used gun case”…he was right, and , he had 7 different Taurus’s and 4 Sigma’s in the used gun case…’nuff said, lesson learned’. Been a Ruger fan long time now, only had 1 problem in 11 guns, and they paid to ship it there/back and fixed it right the first time, there/back in 15 days, and sent me a new sight for another gun my buddy dropped…all Free. It’s all about service after the sale, and Ruger does it best, In my opinion…
S&W.45 ACP revolver (yes, revolver) bought at a gun show in Kansas in the early 90’s. Looked like a quality gun. Utilized half-moon clips to hold the ACP rounds in the cylinder. Jammed up the the cylinder constantly.
Duh, what was I thinking buying a revolver that shot ACPs!?
I won’t say worst gun ever, but most surprising malfunction. Smith and Wesson Model 637CT Airlight in 38 Special. A nice little J frame revolver for my gal to carry. I wanted her to have simplicity and the notorious reliability of a revolver.
She was at the range taking a mandatory gun handling class when she first bought it, and it performed flawlessly. I taught her how to clean it, and all seemed great. She took it back a few days later and the cylinder jammed so tight even the range marshal (who is a gun smith) couldn’t un-jam it. Luckily, we bought it at the range and they sent it back to S&W, who completed a full repair, but she decided it was a bit too snappy and we bought her a Taurus Slim instead, which she really likes. (let me just clue everyone in, that the missing disassemble step referred to earlier in the thread is to “pull the trigger” to release the slide. I figured that one out thanks to YouTube).
I gave it to my mom who really liked it, but it ended up being too snappy for her too, so she bought a Walther .380. Not sure what I’m gonna do with this S&W.
Charter arms Police Bulldog 38 Special. After a couple hundred rounds the cheap metal cylinder seemed to become porous and the thing would bind up after ten or fifteen rounds. Had it polished worked better for a while then stated binding again ,had to turn the cylinder with my free hand. Next was S&W model 39 9MM. Beautiful gun never failed to feed or fire, all over the target regardless of ammo. Gunsmith said they were either accurate or they weren’t right out of the box, mine sucked from the factory. Sold it to a retired navel officer, said he carried one in the Navy.
A Remington 710 in .270 that would jam up and fail to eject a spent casing every three shots or so. I sent it into Remington and three weeks later they sent it back saying it was A OK, I took it out to the range the same day and the very first round did it. Needless to say I didn’t have that rifle very long.
I bought a Steyr .40 semi because it had triangular sights that looked neat to me, I wanted to try them out, even though the gun had a built-in action lock, so you could render it useless with your chickenshit key in the side of the gun. Good grief. Bought the gun at an indoor range, bought ammo and headed for the range. Loaded, locked, pulled. Click. Repeated. Bang. Repeat was stupid, I determined later, I should have returned it for refund, unfired. Turned out it was produced with a firing pin hole that wasn’t big enough, restricted the firing pin so even if it did go off, there was a barely perceptible dent on the primer. But it was mine, because I fired it. So, off it goes to the manufacturer, gone like 4 months and when it comes back it works fine. Sights prove to be nothing much, and somehow the damn thing hurts my hand after about 10 rounds. I know you want to call me a weenie, but I had no problem with my Sig P229, and I had no trouble with my Colt Python .357 mag for 35 years, and I currently have no problem with either of my Kimber .45s, so a .40 which reliably hurts my hand gets my attention. I’ve never had the balls to sell something I think is a piece of s**t, so I gave it to my brother! He’s got twice the money I do, but is cheap beyond belief. A year or so later I asked him if he’d had the same problem of it hurting his hand, and it turned out he’d never fired ten rounds in a given WEEK. And he loved the gun. Cool.
Worst gun I ever owned was a Kahr CW9. Didn’t feed well, and was inconsistently inaccurate. By that I mean, I never knew in which direction it was going to miss next. Also didn’t like the stippled polymer grip. Finally enjoyed as much misery as I could stand, and traded it in against a RIA 1911 CS in .45 ACP. The Rock has performed flawlessly since Day 1, and is my favorite carry gun.
Surprised to see so many comments against the S&W PPK/S. I have one and it’s performed very well and reliably for me.
Wow, had no terrible guns in 38 years of shooting. But, I still have a worst. It was a Tec-9 that I thought with the barrel extension and it being 1990 and me only 18 it looked “cool”. Plastic frames were still kinda new, only 4-5 years old, after shooting it maybe twice noticed there was a tiny crack on the rear of the frame where it locked into the steel barrel assembly. I remember though the guy was cool and literally thought I was kidding and wanted, couldn’t wait, for me to send the gun back to FL. so they could replace it, which they did, maybe 10 days later, Sold a week later.
Worst automatic that I have ever owned was a S&W model 39. It would hit high, it would hit low. It just wouldn’t hit where I was aiming. (Best automatic as far as accuracy that I ever owned was the H&K P7M8 squeeze cocker! I loved that gun and I would still have it if I had more faith 9mm as a defense round!) And I have tried other S&W Autos and it seems that the more that they are shot the less accurate they are and I’m talking a couple of hundred rounds not a couple thousands of rounds!
Worst gun I ever owned was an AMT Backup .45 acp. Loved the concept, and the design of the gun but it did not function properly. Even after taking it to a custom gunsmith to fix it, it still couldn’t get through a magazine of standard hardball ammunition without a feed jam, failure to eject, stovepipe, or failure to return to battery.
I think the worst firearm i ever bought was one i recently sent back to the dealer. It was a star 9mm worked great as long as there was no ammunition in it! Otherwise it jammed and by jammed I mean JAMMED! i stripped it down and cleaned and polished it. still jammed. the kicker was i was trying to clear it, safety on and hammer down and it still went off! that was it for me!
The second worst firearm was a Golden State 303 jungle carbine. The bolt action was horrendus sticking and binding. I know Enfields have wandering zeros but this piece went to hell with the joke! The bitter end of our relationship came when I fired it at a local range and the rear sight came off and hit me in the shoulder whilst the front sight with flash suppressor took a pilgramange down range!