Top 5 Overrated Guns

    Some guns just get way too much attention. In this list, we highlight 5 firearms that get unfairly placed on a pedestal for a multitude of reasons that we lay out for you to consider. You may disagree, and that’s just fine. Also the list is about overrated guns, not necessarily bad ones.

    Transcript …

    – [Voiceover] Warning. The following video may cause undue butt hurt to people who own one or more of the firearms on this list because for some inexplicable reason people get emotionally attached to their purchases and get bear it when someone dislikes something they like.

    Enjoy! Hey guys. It’s Alex C. with TFB TV.

    The topic of today’s top five is going to be the top five overrated guns.

    Know that this is just my list and, as such, these are my choices and you are free to disagree.

    So first up is the Mosin–Nagant. AKA the “garbage rod”.

    I’m going to use the term garbage rod because Mozin fanboys get all uppity when you pronounce the rifle improperly according to them.

    I wish that people could simply embrace this cheap surplus rifle for what it is but it doesn’t seem to be that easy.

    You constantly hear people on the internet talk about just how spectacular the garbage rod is and every neck beard worth his salt brags about how spectacularly accurate this pile of garbage is.

    Funny enough though, when I’ve challenged people to show me on the range, it generally results in a five inch group and some grumbling about bad ammo or some such.

    Because, you know, heaven forbid that $150 gun not perform like a $1000 one.

    Even Nathaniel F. in his article for TFB titled “In Defense of the Mozin”, he said, “It’s true that the Mosin-Nagant is not “the best bolt action rifle in the world.

    “It may be, in a technical sense, one of the worst.” I once squared off against TFB’s own Miles Vining, a Marine infantryman and firearm instructor, with a Mauser from 1901.

    While he used the garbage rod and he owns one, I was able to fire off 10 rounds before he could get through five.

    Working the bolt simply feels like dragging a grand piano across a gravel beach and the trigger feels the same.

    Of course, when you talk to the garbage rod fanboys, (shudders) they will tell you that theirs functions flawlessly and that I simply haven’t cleaned the cosmoline or some such out of my gun, despite the fact that I’m pretty damn good at that by now and do it all the time (laughs).

    Using clips is also ridiculous, as the Russians managed to design a gun that doesn’t automatically eject clips and they must be manually removed.

    This is how it’s supposed to work.

    Shown here is a Mauser.

    This is how the garbage rod works.

    But, you know, for every good Russian small arm, there are five or six that are horrendous.

    Also, don’t forget how the bolt handle and head are separate pieces as opposed to the Mauser.

    Way to go, Sergei.

    So the old garbage rod is loved by many because it’s cheap now.

    But I pray for the day when it is actually accurately compared against its peers, as only then will it be judged according to its merits, of which there are very few.

    So next up, we have the German G43 self-loading rifle.

    People have a strange tendency to put anything from World War II that’s German on a pedestal, despite how good or bad it actually is.

    While the Germans certainly have produced some innovative small arms over the years, consider that the crude, stamped Sturmgewehr was their best auto-loading rifle of the war.

    They produced some real stinkers, including the G41Walther and the G41 Mauser and the well-regarded, for some reason, G43.

    The G43 uses a fragile locking system with a reputation for cracking flaps.

    Parts are usually poorly heat-treated, too, and this results in breakages throughout the system.

    The rifles are so over-gassed that they crack bolt carriers and bolt sleeves, too.

    In fact, I know a guy who was shooting his G43 when the carrier exploded in his face and he might not be able to see today if it were not for his eye protection.

    The guns are prone to snapping actuator rods, as well, and what you didn’t seen in our Run and Gun video was Patrick’s run, where he was shooting and the actuator snapped at the wrist, requiring me to send it off to a specialist to have a new one fitted and clearanced to prevent it from happening again.

    I mean, you know these guns are crummy and maintenance-intensive when they are obscure and uncommon, yet multiple gunsmiths make their living working on them exclusively.

    So I guess it’s kinda like the RX-7 of guns.

    Anyways, the safety is susceptible to rendering the gun inoperable and its location is pathetic.

    They are also brittle guns and two companies specialize in making parts to try and keep them from breaking by restricting the gas system.

    The ergonomics are terrible, loading with stripper clips is horrendous, and, while users were issued with two extra mags, they were also issued with stripper clips.

    My favorite is when someone chimes in with, Better than Garand, or some such.

    When you ask why, they have no logical retort and their username is usually something that has “gaming” or “airsoft” in it.

    I wish I was kidding.

    But hey, it’s German and from World War II, so it has to be the best.

    So next we have a gun that I actually quite like but that doesn’t mean it isn’t overrated.

    This is the ArmaLite AR-180, the civilian version of the select-fire AR-18.

    Of course, you can’t mention the AR-180 without some wise-ass chiming in with, Better than AR-15 or We should’ve adopted this instead.

    And you can’t even mention it without someone saying, I wish they would reproduce these with more modern materials.

    And then you show them the AR-180B that was literally what they just described, and it flopped.


    So it’s obvious that people these on a pedestal, despite the fact that they flopped twice and I’m not quite sure why people do this.

    The AR-18 was literally designed with licensed production to poorer, less advanced countries in mind, who did not have the means to produce more complex designs that required a lot of milling.

    Tolerances are relatively loose, the guns are ugly as sin, the stamped and welded construction makes them look like a Max Max prop reject, and still you might think the rifle is AK simple in its disassembly, but it isn’t.

    There are more small bits and pieces to lose on an AR-18 than an AR-15.

    And there is even a non-captive takedown pin.

    The folding stock is a complete joke and the hinge is notorious for breaking.

    Hell, it even feels flimsier than Bill Cosby’s morals.

    Magazines are rare and expensive and not interchangeable with AR-15 M16 mags, which really sucks.

    Performance is often exaggerated, too.

    The British government tested it and found that it performed poorly in mud and sand and the US government tested it multiple times at Aberdeen, deeming it unsatisfactory each time.

    So the AR-180 was designed to sell to nations who could not afford or produce AR-15s, but remember, the internet tells you that it’s better.

    Here’s one that’s going to piss everyone off but whatever.

    This is the IWI Tavor. The worst bullpup in production.

    If you like being gassed in the face, especially when running suppressed, then the Tavor is for you.

    While the AUG is priced the same, remember that the AUG has pesky features like the ability to quickly remove the barrel for cleaning that you might not want.

    Also, the Tavor features an easily bumped magazine release for tactically, accidentally removing your ammunition feeding device.

    But IWI has great marketing and will get you to buy into the hype.

    A mistake I made and regret terribly.

    I have most of the major bullpups on the market and even some obscure ones, and the Tavor is the worst by a long shot.

    The gun is so rear heavy that it’s ridiculous.

    Controls are poor, ergonomics are terrible, and the guns aesthetics were designed before the internal workings.

    Call me crazy but that seems backwards as hell.

    Don’t forget little things like the omission of adjustable gas.

    The heat is retained inside like crazy, the worst, most unnatural balance, ever, and the fact that nothing properly co-witnesses with it.

    Oh, I also forgot the incredibly mushy trigger.

    This one is going to piss off Tavor owners, especially those that haven’t shot an AUG or FS2000, but I don’t really care.

    It sucks and I wish I could trade it in for another Galil.

    So, lastly, we’re going to finish off with a slice of Americana.

    Yep. This is the American Thompson submachine gun.

    This is another gun I like a lot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t overrated.

    In the 19-teens, the Thompson would’ve been the business.

    Hell, I would argue that even in the 1920’s and maybe in the early 30’s the M1928s were still pretty relevant.

    Then you realize they served on into the 1960’s.

    It’s hard for me to explain just how unbelievably heavy the Thompson is, so I’ll just show you.

    Here it is in ‘Merican units.

    And here it is for countries that have not put a flag on the moon.

    So yeah, it’s heavier than a milled RPK-74 and it’s a blowback operated, pistol caliber gun.

    I can’t say that I don’t enjoy shooting the Thompson because I do.

    But on semi, the heavy mass of the bolt carrier, well, bolt going forward, doesn’t do you any favors in the accuracy department, the cyclic rate is also too damn high, and even people in the 1920’s complained about this and they lowered the rate for the 1928 model.

    The M1A1’s were cheaper but the firing pin is fixed, allowing out of battery detonations to happen easier.

    The sights, also, like a damn Sten gun, are not adjustable.

    So why is it overrated? I don’t know. Romanticism, I guess? In Nathaniel’s “Weight Omnibus” series of articles he posted awhile back, several commenters refused to believe or even acknowledge that the weight of the Thompson was any kind of hindrance to the men who carried them, and I certainly call shenanigans on that nonsense.

    I’ve also heard where people refer to the “high levels of craftsmanship” (laughing) that the M1A1 has over its peers which makes me wonder if the person behind their keyboard has ever even seen an M1A1.

    Thompsons are reliable and they certainly don’t suck.

    But damn if I wouldn’t rather carry just about any other small arm that was available to me in World War II.

    Thanks for sitting through my long, drawn out, opinionated, and, presumably, disagreeable rant.

    I’m sure owners of these firearms will go ahead and mash that dislike button, but I’m surprisingly okay with that.

    Big thanks to Ventura Munitions for making our videos possible, the best place to buy ammunition online.

    And a big thanks to you guys for watching.

    See ya next time, if I didn’t piss you off.


    Alex C.

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