Top 5 Overly Complicated Guns

Alex C.
by Alex C.

Some guns are famed for their elegant simplicity, but some are notorious for their complexity. In this video, we take a look at five firearms that are overly complicated for one reason or another, with some shooting footage in the mix.

Thanks to our sponsors Ventura Munitions and Grizzly Targets.

For more info on the G41(M) check out Ian’s video:

Mauser C96 info from C&Rsenal:

Firearms featured:
Nagant Revolver
Boberg XM9
Mauser C96

The full transcript …

– [Alex] Hey guys! This is Alex C. with TFB TV, and the topic of today’s video is gonna be “Five Overly Complicated Guns.” As you can see, we’re just gonna go right into it with a wonderfully complicated G41 M.

These rifles are bizarre to say the least.

The requirements were that they do not have a hole drilled for a gas system, they have no moving parts on the outside of the gun, and they’d be able to function as a bolt action rifle in case of an emergency.

Mauser actually met all these requirements.

You can see the bolt handle right there resembles that of a Mauser rifle.

They met the requirements.

They made about four-thousand of these is what I’ve heard.

Because the G41 Walther design ignored some of the requirements and actually was more successful.

Here you can see me working the bolt, just as if I were using a Mauser rifle.

And it feels a lot like one.

These rifles are spectacularly complicated because of the gas trap, slash, bang system.

You can also see in here, the guts.

They do have a rotating bolt, different than the flapper lock G41 rifles, which is arguably better.

Flapper locking has some issues on these guns.

Again, you can see me working the bolt here.

And, it actually disengages the spring, so when you work the bolt, you’re not actually working against spring pressure.

Also, if you’d like to learn more about the G41 M, Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons has a great overview of one he did at the Rock Island Auction.

He really goes into the details of how it works, and it is a doozy, as he says.

But, let’s move onto the next overly complicated gun.

Of course, next, I chose a gun that’s kinda common but has an element that I would say is overly complicated.

It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.

I’d like to make that clear in this video.

None of these guns are necessarily bad for being overly complicated.

But this is, of course, an Nagant revolver, an M1895 Nagant revolver, adopted by the Russians.

Nagant revolver is very interesting because it features a round that is unusual by any metric.

You’ll see here, coming up, how the round is very strange.

The bullet actually doesn’t crest above the brass cartridge case.

You can’t see the bullet.

It almost looks like the round has already been fired.

The cylinder also holds 7 rounds as opposed to 6 like most revolvers.

And there is a very good reason for the bullet being set like that.

And that is, of course, what I’m about to show you here.

When you pull the hammer back on these revolvers, the cylinder actually moves forward to create a gas seal, and coupled with the unique ammunition, allows you to get about fifty more feet per second out of it.

So, that gas seal is nice, as far as gaining power, but I kinda doubt the utility.

It seems like a conventional revolver woulda been cheaper and a little more reliable.

‘Cause a link to our Nagant revolver video, and you can see it in action right here.

It does not work too well, and I’ve also heard a rumor that you can suppress these.

I’m not sure, but that is the internet talking to me.

Okay, so next, we’ve got the Boberg pistol.

The Boberg pistols are really cool.

They’re very compact.

They have a really cool feature.

The barrel length is actually quite long.

Because, they’re almost like a bullpup pistol.

However, they are very complex.

You can see here.

I’m going to cock the pistol, and the barrel rotates.

A rotating barrel is not unusual.

Some Beretta pistols have ’em.

The Colt All-American 2000 I believe had a rotating barrel.

Not that unusual.

But here, you can see, the magazine has no provisional load cartridges in the front.

That is, of course, because you load cartridges backwards.

You load them nose first instead of rim first, and I’ll show you why, here coming up.

But this is pretty strange, and it throws a lot of people for a loop.

There’s also no magazine follower, which is strange.

Anyways, the reason for that, I’ll show you.

I disassemble the pistol here.

Disassembly’s not too bad.

You just flip this little doodad here.

The switch kinda like a Sig pistol, everything comes forward.

And then, there’s a switch just like there is on a general purpose machine gun, like an M1919, or a PKM, that withdraws the bullets, rotates them upwards, and puts them into the chamber.

Now this, of course, has led to some problems with bullets actually getting ripped outta the cartridge brass case.

So, use the ammunition they recommend.

Also, here, you can see the I guess what you’d call a locking block that you remove to field strip the gun.

Boberg, in the manual, recommends putting grease in the surfaces.

I believe it’s molybdenum grease in the surfaces of the, the cam surfaces of the block and on the stud on the barrel.

So grease your Boberg if you have one.

And fully field stripped, it does look kinda weird.

I couldn’t figure out how to remove the barrel.

And I don’t have the instruction manual, so that’s about as far as I could get it.

But, let’s see what we have up next.

That’s, of course, gonna be the wonderful Sig 510.

This is actually a Sig AMT, but it applies to all the Sig pattern rifles of this type.

And, we have done a video on this gun, and it was very fun to shoot, very awesome gun.

Very great shooter, I can’t really praise this rifle enough, especially for a large 7.62 by 51 battle rifle.

It is light. Shoots well.

Not the most attractive firearm, but I really like shooting it, and the “beer keg” charging handle is pretty fun to operate.

I’m not gonna lie.

Another unusual feature is it’s got this winter trigger that you flip down if you’re wearing heavy gloves.

I also like it because it gives you some extra leverage if you’re trying to shoot it very accurately.

As for complexity, if you look at the guts of the system here, this is actually the bolt.

You can see it has rollers, but it also has flappers.

I’ve seen this described as a flapper locked gun.

However, it’s not really flapper locked.

That was, more or less, to circumvent the patents on roller locking.

Here’s a close-up.

You can see the flaps in there kinda retain the rollers.

So it’s not really flapper locked, but you can see what they were going for.

And, I believe they successfully skirted HK or whoever sent me these patents.

You can also see the silly straw extractor spring that’s pretty characteristic of Swiss complexity.

Now, it has two extractors.

It’s got I guess what you’d call a primary and a secondary extractor.

You can see on the bottom it had a primary extractor.

Next up’s gonna be the broomhandle pistol.

Now the broomhandle pistols, I really like.

This proofmark here is very cool.

That means it was accepted into the military in World War I, the German military, or Prussian.

Great pistols.

They are short recoil operated.

They’re very complex.

They actually only have one screw, and that’s to retain the grip.

Very beautiful pistols. I love shooting these.

The muzzle flash is incredible.

They fire a hot little round too.

Thirty mauser is a very stout round.

There also are, of course, select fire versions.

This is a M712 Schnellfeuer.

I was planning on actually field stripping one of these.

I have done it in the past, but it is an absolute nightmare.

Here is about as far as I like to take it down because they are ludicrously difficult to take apart, so I figured a picture would do.

I’m sorry guys! Maybe on a Friday field strip, I’ll make a thirty minute video on how to take it down.

But anyways, this is Alex C. with TFB TV.

I really appreciate you watching this “Five Overly Complicated Guns” video.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Maybe hit that subscribe button if you liked what you saw.

Until next time, Alex C. signing off!

Alex C.
Alex C.

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

More by Alex C.

Join the conversation
4 of 42 comments
  • Mikial Mikial on Oct 17, 2015

    I just want to tell you that I am completely impressed by so many of you in terms of your firearms knowledge. I am a lifelong shooter and have done my time in Iraq and Afghanistan and plenty of other places, but I cannot hold a candle to so many of you. That's one reason I really enjoy these blogs . . the reader's comments often teach me more than the articles.

    • See 1 previous
    • Mikial Mikial on Oct 18, 2015

      @Micki Thank you, Micki.

      I guess we all just go with what we're good at. ;-)

  • Asapdod Asapdod on Oct 20, 2015

    They left out the pathetic Beretta M92/M9