The Worst: Meet 5 Guns That Don’t Belong on Any Range

The Worst: Meet 5 Guns That Don’t Belong on Any Range

Kyle Mizokami

Security, North America

Colt is on the list twice.

Key Point: Don’t buy these.

Guns are tools meant to address life or death situations, so a poorly designed or manufactured gun often earns particular scorn. The gun world has long memories of particularly bad firearms, many of which sealed the fate of brave soldiers. The rapid pace of firearms development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries meant that few if any mistakes were repeated, but the memories of these weapons—some with lethal consequences for the owner—linger go on. Here are five of the worst guns ever made.

Chauchat Light Machine Gun

Produced by the Gladiator bicycle company, the French Chauchat machine gun was the one of the very first squad level automatic weapons ever produced. Made for the French and later American armies during World War I, the Chauchat even looked like it was made from bicycle parts, using a great deal of metal tubing nearly identical to that found in bicycle frames. The weapon was capable of only firing three hundred rounds between jams under the best of circumstances, and the trenches of the Great War were far from that, with mud and dirt liable to work its way into the Chauchat’s innards through its many openings and foul the weapon. The gun was poorly designed and often punched the shooter in the eye or cheek if improperly held. Despite these shortcomings the Chauchat soldiered on, mostly because there was nothing to replace it with. While the gun deserves credit as the first of its kind, the fact that all major armies removed it from service at the end of the war speaks for itself. The Chauchat was replaced in U.S. service with the much improved M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle.


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