5 terrible guns you should never buy

There are a lot of great, wonderful guns in the world. Some guns are works of art, handcrafted over countless hours to perform the simple task of tossing a bullet as accurately as possible. Other guns are basic machines, designed to protect and defend. Regardless of their intent and design, those guns are great. The guns on this list however, are not. These are five of the worst guns ever made.

1. Moores Machine Co. AR-15
The AR15 is a great design. It is quite possible to build a terrible AR15, and this entry is the only one on the list that we haven’t personally shot. However, good friend PDB did, and it was a pile of turds. Read his epic takedown here.

photo courtesy pdb
photo courtesy pdb

2. The Taurus Judge (in all its flavors)
The Taurus Judge was never anything other than a gimmick. A five shot revolver that accepts .45 Colt and .410 shotshells suffers from being a jack of all trades and yet master of none. Had it been a well executed gimmick, we could have laughed and moved on. But it isn’t well executed, and there’s nothing worse than a bad joke. Production models have trigger pulls that require the strength of 10 men, and samples I’ve personally handled have been out of time from the factory, had misaligned sights, poor finishes, and a host of manufacturing and production issues. The end result is a bloated, overweight handgun that is both a terrible shotgun and a mediocre revolver. Sure it’s good at killing snakes, but so is a shovel.


3. The S&W Sigma
Proving that not even great companies are exempt from making stinkers, we have the S&W Sigma. In the dark days before the M&P pistol came about and brought S&W to the forefront of the polymer gun game, the Sigma was a hastily executed attempt to get some of that sweet, sweet Glock marketshare. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Referred to as the “Smegma” by some enthusiasts, early production Sigmas were plagued with reliability problems, terrible triggers, and an actual lawsuit from Glock. While there are reports that later production Sigmas have improved, I wouldn’t know. The greatest sin of the Sigma though is that S&W had the audacity to offer it as an alternative to their excellent 3rd Gen autos.


4. The Kel-Tec RFB
“Truth or dare: George Kelgren wants to set off a .308 next to your head.” Yeah, I’d pick truth in that situation too, the dare is just too risky. And yet, the Kel-Tec RFB actually exists. Well, it exists as much as any Kel-Tec product does, which means that the only ones in existence are the photo samples provided to Oleg Volk. In all seriousness though, production guns that have made it out to the general populace are awful. Fit and finish are terrible, some of the guns have epic levels of primer wipe, and one sample I saw decided to forcibly reject some of its trigger parts. If you want a bullpup .308 (why?) you don’t want this one.

Photo courtesy battlefield.wikia.com/wiki/RFB
Photo courtesy battlefield.wikia.com/wiki/RFB

5. The COP Derringer
I guarantee you’ve seen this gun in a movie. Perhaps the original Bad Boys, in the hands of the villain before getting shot repeatedly in the chest by Will Smith. Or in the execrable Matrix 2, wielded by the ridiculously hot Monica Bellucci. There are a ton of other films and TV shows this gun has made an appearance in, and as a result it’s one of the most famous terrible guns ever. And it really is terrible. The trigger pull is usually measured on a fish scale, the sights are basically pointless because each of the four barrels has a different point of impact, and when firing the .357 Magnum it was designed for the gun has been known to disassemble itself. It has some value as a historical curiosity, which is like saying that getting polio would be an interesting historical experience. But here’s a photo of Monica Bellucci with it, because the gun is so terrible we need something good to end this article on.



  1. I own a Taurus Judge. It’s the only gun I have ever considered selling or trading. Deeply disappointing firearm.

    1. i had one for y first handgun and traded it off for a beretta 96. then got a nano. traded both of those excellent guns off on a px4 storm sub comp. its kind of like cross between the 96 and nano. it also is a excellent gun. i basically went from the worst to the best

  2. I figured, considering your history, a few more Kel-Tec products would make it onto this list. Admirable restraint, that.

  3. I was confident I would for sure see the HighPoint 9mm on your list! It is #1 for me! It is nothing more than an extremely over priced fishing weight to me!

    1. I have to disagree, though not because I love HighPoints. Anyone who is shopping for a gun sees the price tag and the look of a highpoint and instinctively knows it’s junk, and they only buy it if they are a)broke or b) ridiculously cheap. Either way they know what they are getting into. All of the guns on this list cost the same or nearly the same as actual functioning competitive firearms, and could be misleading to an uninformed buyer. Thus the warning against these guns is necessary. The possible exception is the sigma, if you hold a sigma a still decide to buy it you deserve what you get.

    2. I have got to say, Hi Points are cheap and ugly, but the damn things seem to function over and over. I watched a dude win 3 consecutive steel matches with a 9mm hi point. I won’t personally buy one, but I have to say, they go bang when asked to…

    3. I must have been one of the lucky ones. I had a Hi-point 9mm. I ran probably 2000 rounds thru it and had 2 stovepipes, nothing worse. I sold it to my nephew( it is too heavy for conceal carry, I’ll give you that). He has ran 1000 rounds thru it and loves it. you just have to watch what ammo you run thru them. I have a Ruger SR9C and can run ANY BRAND ammo thru it. Love my Ruger but my Hi-Point was a winner too.

  4. I have a recurring nightmare where all I have is a Sigma during the Zombie Apocalypse… I always wake up before I die but not before the gun stops working.

  5. I owned, for a very short time, an S&W sigma, it was horrinle!! Trigger wouldnt strike the primer and there were other issues,,,as a result, will never buy another S&W. that and how they backed Clinton’s 10 round mag cap limit!!

    1. S&W has long since been sold back to American owners and no longer supports the gun control agenda like their British owners did when Clinton was president. I own a recently purchased S&W revolver and it is a wonderful firearm.

      1. True, and the M&P line is about as good as the Sigma was not, Their wheel guns are still the standard against which all others are measured.

    2. My SW9VE runs fine on both factory and my handloads. I did remove the ‘extra’ New York springs and the trigger is much better.

      1. Only time I ever had to use a pistol on a threat the Sigma worked fine for me. Used it for IDPA without issues and the reliability and accuracy was fine. Soon as I saw it on the list, there went the credibility of the article.

        1. I also have a SW9VE. Only time I’ve had trouble is when I’ve used bought reloads from on particular company. Factory fresh always fires. The trigger pull seems fine to me, I always seem to hit what I’m aiming at. A match grade gun, no. But I have no issue with carrying it for self defense.

  6. I just got to know what did Oleg do? Did he find a magic lamp, or help an old gypsy woman across the street, or what? Here’s a guy who not only gets to shoot photos of nekkid wimmin, but also gets all the working(!) kewl Kel-Tecs.

        1. Not me, Been there, Done that, Got the T-Shirt.
          Guns don’t tell me there’re Bloated or ask me if these pants make me look fat.

  7. The COP also made an appearance in the first “Repairman Jack” novel, IIRC.

    1. Repairman Jack used a Ruger revolver in “The Tomb,” (loaded with only 5, even though it was not necessary to keep the hammer down on a unloaded chamber), but a Semmerling later. Don’t remember a COP. I finally convinced FPW to switch RJ to a Glock 19. For “Gateways,” I suggested the Ruger RedHawk in .454 Casull, and for his allies backing him up, the Mossberg 590 and the Binelli Super 90. I own all three.

      1. NYJoe,

        You are exactly right, it was the Semmerling I was thinking of (subway scene?), not the COP. It stuck out at me as an odd firearm choice and I must have mashed it together with the COP as a unique gun choice.

    2. The COP, IIRC, is also used in the first scenes of Blade Runner where Leon shoots Holden during the Tyrell interview with the Voight-Kampf machine…..

    1. not sure why you want the ruger lc9 on this list, I have put about 1000 rds through mine with NO problems, after I learned to control the trigger which is long and heavy.

    2. The LC9 is a very reliable Pistol, trigger job is NOT that of a striker fired gun… Because it isn’t a striker fired Pistol, it is a Double Action ONLY Pistol and it behaves like one!!

    3. Ruger lc9 is a great gun. It has a long trigger pull but once you get past that… it ROCKS! it is small enough to be a very good choice for a concealed carry gun and it is reliable. My husband and I both carry the lc9. Love it!

  8. I have a quibble with PDB’s assessment of the Moore Machines AR-15. Not about that particular AR-15 but his assertion that “Folks, AR is not an AR, unless it’s a Colt, S&W M&P, Noveske, Daniel Defense, BCM, or LMT. ” I’ve seen many of the brands he listed as unAR work just fine. I’ve had an Olympic Arms AR-15 for well over 10 years and have had NO malfunctions except those relating to ammo.

    I’ve been lucky enough (or smart enough) to have no interest in any of the other guns listed.

  9. I desperately wanted a COP derringer because of its appearance in Blade Runner. Then one showed up in the case a my local range. The owner kindly offered to let me shoot it before purchasing, which I did and thus cured me of the desire to buy it. To simulate the experience of firing a .357 Mag from the COP simply lay your hand on a sturdy surface and swing the round end of a 24oz. ball peen hammer, as hard as you can, right into the center of your palm. Repeat 3 more times if replicating firing all four barrels.

    1. That was my experience with one that came through the range I worked at. Same feeling as shooting the Speer 38+P out of my titanium snub, like getting whacked in the palm by a stick of rebar.

  10. I have a Hi-Point 40 cal and have put several rounds through it. It is big and bulky, but it fits my hand. I have consistently tight groupings center mass with no failures. It may not be the nicest gun in the world, but it shoots straight and that is what counts.

  11. Funny, I got an RFB for Review.

    With Hornady TAP, we got a .62″ Group at 100 yards.

    I got Photos to prove it too.

    It reliably fed anything we put it in it and Primers were nice and round.

    Personally, I don’t like Forward Ejecting nothing, this one and the FN FS2000.

    But the one I have here works reliably.

    I don’t know about Production.

    On the list of Bad Guns, YOU MISSED A VERY IMPORTANT ONE!!

  12. A trigger pull measured with a fish scale isn’t necessarily ALL bad. My P-64 has a fsh scale trigger (hey, I got it down from 29+ pounds to 19! ), but at least it’s smooth.

  13. I agree about the Judge. However, Smith & Wesson Governor is GREAT. 6 shot. 45LC, .410 and 45 ACP Light weight. It is my home defense gun.

    1. Yeah, I hear ya. The Gubner weighs more, is longer and taller, and costs $300-$400 more. What’s not to love? Plus, it’s a proven design by another company so why not copy it? Oh, and it says “Smith and Wesson” on it

  14. Hmmm. . . my {chuckle} got converted to a blank HTML tag. . . (Don;t get me wrong, I love my P-64, and have – and would – happily and confidently carry it for protection. . . only I now have a pair of much better guns for the roles I used the P-64 for (first it got replaced as the “suit gun”, then as the “pocket carry” gun). Something that doesn’t require HGH injections in the right index finger on a daily basis. {snicker}

    I might never carry it again for portection. But it’s still scary accurate enough to flip people out when I pick IT for showing off on difficult shots.

  15. I’d be perfectly wiling to watch Monica Bellucci wield whatever the hell she wants…and she’ll swoon when I charge in and save the day with my Browning Hi Power, natch.

    Someone had to say it…;

  16. I was with the AR comments until he listed Colt and S&W as “real” AR’s. Sorry but Colt’s QC has slid to the point I wouldn’t buy one of their current production. S&W builds an ok rifle but it’s nothing special. Most Armalite, Bushy or DPMS are easily their equal. It’s funny there are still some people willing to attach their credibility purely to a name without any thought to the fact “that was then, this is now”.

  17. If you have ever wondered what happened to all the Smith and Wesson Sigmas, well, wonder no more. Starting around 2005, the US Government bought them, and issued them to senior officers and NCOs in the Afghan National Security Forces…I have spent many an hour over the last several years drinking lousy tea, listening to ANSF folks prattle on while wearing ornately-tooled shoulder holsters with Sigmas inside. I have been around when several managed to shoot themselves or their chai boys with their Sigmas. Alas, I have never seen them shoot a Taliban with one.


    1. For some strange reason, a CAPSLOCK!!1 defense of the Judge seems… fitting, somehow.

    2. “CAPS LOCK” WILL, I’m with you on that one. I had the same pistol and it always worked like a charm, no issues whatsoever. Using Federal .410 defense buck shot rounds I was getting 5-6″ groups at 7 yards. .45 colt accuracy wasn’t too bad either. The gun worked great for what it was designed for. I carried it around the ranch in a thigh holster and when hunting hogs in the brush. The pistol only cost $329, was fun to shoot, dependable and served the purpose I needed it to serve. Why does that make the Judge a bad gun?

      I think a lot of the problem with the Judge is the same problem that’s wrong with many comments and opinions in this world: people talk about things they don’t know or understand.

      If you want to be in the know, this would be a good place to start: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/01/daniel-zimmerman/shootingthebull410-takes-taurus-judge/

  19. I would much rather own a judge than any pistol from Hi point, Lorcen and cobra.

    Kel-Tec makes some really innovative stuff but maybe they missed the 10 ring on that rifle.

    What tips me off that you have no clue what you are talking about is not one of these shooting platforms are “GUNS ”

    Ha ha

    1. If communication is the objective, I would like to point out that I didn’t have any trouble understanding anyone who used the term ‘gun’. You must be very clue-ful.

  20. I had a Taurus Judge. It was my first revolver and I enjoyed it. I only sold it because I didn’t know, at the time, how much cleaning a stainless revolver with poor tolerances requires. Sure, trigger was heavy but it was intended as a home-defense weapon, not a daily carry.

  21. Just an Opinion of Calib.
    I carry a COP. It is heavy, compact and the trigger pull is long. It however is 100% reliable and easy to shoot the 375 due to the weight. It is very well made. Stupid write up. Funny thing is if you want a used one you will have to pony up $1700. to buy one. Hummmmm kind of clueless write up.

  22. I have the last gen sigma befor the put out the Sd series, and once I got the trigger worked on, it has been a great gun. I’ve put close to 6000 round through it without a single jam.

  23. I see the Sigma in my Carry Permit classes from tome to time. The big thing I’ve seen is some will have an ok trigger, some will have a 20+lb trigger.

    And I see High Points. They’re heavy, ugly but they work and the people who bring them shoot well with them.

    That said, I would never carry or own either of them.

  24. Ok s retired LEO, Paramedic (30+ yrs) I’ve seen plenty of dead people shot with kinds of guns. The only one that is bad is none of them. ALL guns have their own personality just like you and me. As for myself and the protection of my family I will take what ever is at hand because in the trenches all guns are your friend. Poor taste for a story in MY opinion.

  25. after i ready this article, im damn glad that no .44 mag or .45 acp ( ruger super blackhawk and RIA ccw 1911 far as i care really) made the this list

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