TFBTV: Five Decent Rifles That Failed Commercially

    Some rifles regardless of features, price, or quality just never pan out or find a home in too many safes across the globe. We take a look at five long guns and try to figure out why a few of these never took off. These are not all necessarily bad rifles, but for one reason or another flopped and never found a large group of buyers.

    For the first time ever, we are now offering this video with subtitles in Russian, French, German, Japanese and of course English. Thanks to our awesome translation team for their hard work! I hope this will make our videos more accessible to our international readers, and maybe help some of our gun loving English speakers readers who are learning one of these foreign language. This video was translated by Mikel, Val, Taka and Tempest.

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    The english transcription is below …

    – Hey guys, this is Alex C. with

    And today we’re back with another five guns video.

    The theme for today is Five Guns That Were Commercial Failures.

    What you here is kind of a smorgasbord of different guns that were all produced from mostly in different countries.

    And we kind of have a little collaboration here.

    This is Patrick, by the way.

    You probably recognize from past videos.

    And for one reason or another, they’ve just never caught on.

    So let’s kick it off here with a really weird gun that I didn’t know existed until I it saw on a gun broker auction.

    (gun charging click) This is called a Bushmaster M17S, (gun charging click) S being semi-automatic.

    The M17 of course is the (gun charging click) select fire version.

    You noticed when he charged it, the charging handle’s in about the worst location possible.

    If you’ve got big hands, or if you’re wearing gloves, you just can’t charge the gun.

    Also, the side plane is only about four or five inches.

    It’s hidden under this Picatinny rail.

    And if you have an optic on top, then you don’t have a cheek weld, you’ve got almost a chin weld going on.

    So you can see why this gun was a failure.

    It’s just not ergonomic, it doesn’t come together.

    And then, just shouldering it, you can probably tell there’s some deficiency there.

    – (mumbling) I mean, unfortunately I’m not real well-versed in the use of this firearm.

    Or did anyone adopt it? I mean was it– – No, it was a spectacular failure based on the AR-18 like so many other guns, but in bullpup form.

    It was designed to actually in Australia.

    And then it made its way here through Bushmaster.

    (Patrick laughing softly) So you know, it’s an interesting firearm.

    I have it in the collection because (gun charging click) I got it for almost nothing, (gun charging click) it’s basically just a giant rectangular piece of– – You know it makes me think of is those big cattle guards on Australian trucks.

    You know what I’m talking about.

    – [Alex] I think I know what– – [Patrick] Yeah, yeah, it looks like some guy just saw one of those, you know, I know you can make a gun out of that. (Alex laughing softly) – Yeah, well who knows, they definitely had a pretty cool gun industry before the 1996 gun legislation.

    But anyways it was a commercial failure.

    They sold them here for cheap.

    They were so cheap at one time they were blowing them out of CD and in and, you know, a long time ago, for almost nothing.

    But I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy one.

    They don’t shoot well, the sides are horrible.

    It’s no way to really just make one work.

    – I know and it’s really rather heavy for what it is.

    – Yeah, and of course, don’t forget the bullpup trigger.

    It’s just there– (gun click) Surprisingly, it’s not bad on this gun.

    I don’t think.

    – It’s not as bad as other bullpups but– – No, it’s not good by any means.

    – Anyways moving on to a gun that I would consider spectacular but was still a commercial, a failure.

    – It just didn’t catch on.

    This of course is an AR-180.

    The select fire version (gun charging click) of the AR-18, this gun’s very famous, because almost all modern assault rifles have borrowed (gun charging click) it’s operating system. (gun charging click) It’s got a very famous tepid design that doesn’t impinge, it just hits the carrier.

    This has a dual spring design though as, that’s opposed to the single guide rather than spring design of more modern guns.

    It’s all stamped, it was basically designed so other countries that would have difficulty machining aluminum to make M16s could make these in lieu.

    They were one of the first military style rifles brought to the US commercial market which is kind of cool.

    They were made in three places, Costa Mesa in California, in England, it’s at the Sterling Plant, and also by Howa in Japan.

    They made a few of them there.

    They shoot well, they’re really nice.

    But for some reason, they didn’t sell well.

    – You know, I want to say, Nathanial F.

    on the blog has had a couple of these maybe.

    And I think he said he had some issues with these.

    – He had AR-180B which was an attempt at modernizing this with a Palma lower that takes AR-15 magazines.

    I don’t believe he liked it.

    I think he got rid of it pretty quickly, but he’ll have to comment on that.

    But these shoot well.

    The Costa Mesa guns are good.

    The Howa guns are good.

    I had a Sterling that I had to get rid of just because it was not put together very well.

    Generally English guns are, you know, decent.

    But the stock lathes board wouldn’t line up.

    It was, it’s just (mumbling)– – I hate to make a joke about you know, things in England, but you know, it holds true.

    – Yeah, well– – You know, especially (mumbling)– – It’s like if you need replacement wiring out of smoke for your English made car.

    (Patrick chuckling) Sorry, if you’re from England, I apologize.

    I am a fan of your country.

    But anyways yeah, it’s a great gun, it’s a cool gun.

    You can actually find it for pretty good deals.

    It just didn’t sell well.

    I think it’s because they were priced competitively with SP1 Colt AR-15 derivatives.

    So why would you not get the better gun (mumbling)? – I agree with you.

    I know and some people are really fond of this gun.

    I believe there’s a Texas ranger, he wrote a book, you know, One Ranger, or something like that.

    And he seemed to just love it.

    I even think he went so far as to comment that he didn’t like the AR-15 but for this.

    But it may be a perfectly viable gun.

    It just didn’t catch on here.

    – Well, there was one place where they caught on that we were talking about.

    – Yes, yes, the IRA use these.

    – The IRA was quite fond of these.

    They actually turned them into Widowmaker.

    And I believe they used them to great extent.

    Or at least as much as they possibly could.

    ‘Cos they can’t come Sterling England, presumably they made their way over to the Irish Neu-mer-ald Isle.

    – You know, they used them enough to go ahead and you know– – Cement themselves in the kits of the IRAs. – [Patrick] Yeah.

    – So anyways yes, so is a failure but it’s a good gun.

    It’s unlike the M-15’s assets, it’s a great gun.

    But next up is the, a modern gun.

    A more modern gun that has been very controversial.

    This of course is the Bushmaster ACR.

    – (sighs) Hmm…

    – Exactly, um-zee is all I have to say about it.

    It’s, you know, we were promised a lot when Magpul designed the Masada.

    (gun charging clicks).

    Magpul did a great job designing the gun.

    However, Bushmaster’s done a poor job producing it.

    – I remember reading the articles, a few years before this came to market.

    And (gun charging clicks) I was, I saw the articles.

    I was like, you know, I’m buying one of those.

    And then it was produced, and it just didn’t deliver (mumbling).

    – Absolutely, we were promised caliber conversion kits, which it’s been years, And there’s been no – [Patrick] There’s none.

    – caliber conversion kits.

    We’re promised, all sorts of things.

    Short barrels and this and that.

    And they failed to deliver.

    It’s almost like they forgotten about the gun.

    – You know, I really think they have, ‘cos I don’t know, maybe the numbers just don’t add up.

    Maybe it’s not quite as profitable as something like the AR-15s, you know. – [Alex] Correct.

    Also, they promised an MSRP of something of $1,500.

    – Yes.

    – Came to the market $2,000.

    – [Patrick] Which (sighs). – [Alex] That made a lot of people mad understandably.

    – I’m one of the sucker that bought one because I thought, yeah I’ll pay the extra money because I want 6.8 SPC, I want 762 by 39.

    And if someone from Bushmaster’s watching this video, which is unlikely, I want my caliber conversion kits.

    (Patrick laughs) But that’s probably not going to happen, it doesn’t say– – Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to happen Alex.

    But I mean it’s a great gun, you know. – [Alex] You’re right, it shoots well, some people have problems with them.

    They say they’re fragile, but this one specifically, it’s worked well.

    I run it suppressed sometimes.

    And I really don’t have much negative to say about it other than they haven’t delivered on what they promised they would have.

    – Yeah, had they devoted the resources to this gun, thought they should have, yeah, I think they could have something really fantastic. – [Alex] It really, it really could have meant something.

    But really nonetheless, it wasn’t, it isn’t.

    – No (laughs).

    – They’re for sale though.

    They’re for sale.

    You can go buy these right now.

    And I’m sure they’re, you know, someone might have a birthday sitting in gun shops.

    (Patrick laughing softly) You know? – I mean it’s really a shame.

    – It is, so that’s the ACR.

    Unfortunately, it never came to be.

    Now, next up is a gun that was just as spectacular a commercial failure.

    And I’m almost not a hundred percent certain why they made it.

    This is a Benelli MR1.

    (gun clicks) The MR1 uses the same (loud clank) operating method as (gun charging click) some of Benelli’s shotguns.

    It’s a 5.56 rifle or.223, some people call it the European Mini-14.

    One thing that, when you pick it up, you realize there’s a blatant design flaw, is you can’t reach the magazine release with your finger by without taking your hand off the grid.

    – [Alex] Which these days that’s just unacceptable to me.

    – Yeah, I don’t understand why they would have even done that.

    Maybe it has to do (gun clicking) with the action used.

    – (gun charging click) Yeah, I know they make hunting rifles that use the action.

    And I think basically they thought, hey we’ll add a pistol grid, make it tactical.

    Sell to those, you know (voice drowned out).

    – Yeah, I mean if this gonna be produced with a nice wood stock and you know, just and it could be a great hunting rifle.

    I just don’t see the point of it being tactical.

    – A tactical rifle, yeah.

    So anyway, it failed, it doesn’t have a threaded barrel.

    It takes AR-15 magazines though which is great.

    It functions fine. (gun charging click) I mean people who have them on the Internet say they liked them.

    They’re popular in California because they have a featureless, featureless, you know, non-band version where they can have detachable mags.

    So i think it’s found a nice market there.

    But all in all, do you know anybody else other than me that has one of these? – No, I don’t know why – [Alex] Yeah, thought so.

    – anyone other than you would buy one, to be honest. – [Alex] (laughs) Thank you.

    But– (Patrick laughs) But yeah, it is a strange gun, However, I’ll probably do a review on it just for, you know, why not? – Yeah when we pulled the side of the safe we were talking about it.

    We just can’t come up with a use for this at all.

    – Especially in the days of $600 AR-15s.

    – I mean (sighs) – [Alex] In this, this doesn’t happen then market here, at least in places where we’re not California.

    And we can have you know, pistol grips and stuff.

    Even then I’d rather have a Mini-14 than this guy.

    – I agree with that, you know, I mean this may be a little bit more reliable than the Mini-14 if you’re good at dirty and muddy – [Alex] (mumbling) I– – or something, I don’t know.

    But I mean it doesn’t seem to look cool.

    – Yeah, it doesn’t look cool.

    – I’m sorry Benelli.

    – Yeah, anyways, last but not necessarily least, this is no particular order here, is a gun we recently did a video on.

    This is an Egyptian Rasheed rifle.

    Now the Rasheed is interesting.

    They only made I think 5,000 of them.

    It’s based on the Hakim, which is an eight millimeter gun, which is based on the Swedish AG42 Ljungman.

    So it’s actually DI in it’s purest form.

    Not the AR-15 DI but the gas is actually just slamming into the carrier, that’s how it works.

    – And I would want to touch on that.

    This gun was issued with one magazine.

    Their training doctrine in Egypt at the time was to use tripli-colts to reload it.

    And when we tried doing that, to do the article, I would burn my fingers on this gas tube, just about every time I put my finger in there to push them around in the mag.

    – It is one of the biggest pains in the rear end.

    It’s one of those things where they took a gun in a large caliber that worked in that large caliber and I think when they scaled it down, it didn’t work as opposed to when they went from the AR-10 to the AR-15.

    It really did work well after some trial and error (mumbling) – [Patrick] Yeah.

    But, there’s a reason they ditched this really fast, they only made a couple of thousand.

    And then they started using the AK (snaps finger) like that, I mean it just went the way the dinosaur.

    There’s not that many– – [Patrick] Thank god.

    – (laughs) They don’t, this particular example kind of works most of the time.

    It’s got a kind of a finicky gas regulator and a– – See the regulator right here.

    – Yeah, it just did, it failed, it failed spectacularly.

    I think Egypt is the only one that actually used it – [Patrick] You know, – [Alex] in any capacity.

    – [Patrick] but like unlike, – [Alex] (mumbling) – unlike a couple of these other guns, like the AR-180 and the ACR, there is a reason that this one failed.

    Yeah I mean– – [Alex] Yeah.

    It’s got faults, it’s got blatant design faults that just ended its adoption and use.

    So, I think that about sums up our video here on Five Guns That Were Commercial Failures.

    (gun clicks) (Alex laughs) You know not to say they’re all bad, not to say they’re all good, but you know, here they are.

    Anyways this is Alex C. with

    Thanks again for helping me out with this video Patrick.

    – It was my pleasure again.

    – If you liked our video, hit the Subscribe button, and we’ll keep thumping these out for you guys.

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.