13 Dec 2014

Over-Rated Guns

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A bit awkward when used as a canoe anchor.

Let’s start a fight. I ran across an amusing column in which this fellow Caleb has a go at identifying “the Five Most Over-Rated Guns of All Time.

The Mosin-Nagant

If I’d written this list 7 years ago, this entry would have gone to the SKS; but as prices have climbed, the SKS is no longer the darling of the TapCo catalog, it’s simply another $250 C&R rifle. The Mosin-Nagant on the other hand? Well it’s now number 5 on this list, because it’s adored by an entire generation of internet fanboys who are too poor to buy a proper rifle, and can’t appreciate a $100 C&R gun for what it is. “If I put $400 worth of crap on my Mosin, it’s just as good as a Ruger American Rifle!” No, you fedora wearing neckbeard, it isn’t. It’s a $100 C&R rifle that’s fought itself in every major war since WW1 and lost every time. But that’s not good enough, because people need to justify their purchases, so instead of just enjoying it, these spazoids have to pretend that they’ve bought a WW2 sniper rifle while they watch Enemy at the Gates for the 3,299th time in their mother’s basement.

I’m not sure what Caleb means by “lost every time.” The Russkies did win WWII, after all, even if it was despite, not because, of using the Mosin-Nagant. I do agree with him that Mosins are ugly, clunky, not terribly accurate rifles with characteristically bad trigger pulls, which bring to mind hordes of sub-human totalitarian slaves making human wave attacks into Nazi machine-gun fire during some of the ugliest moments of human history. In my own view, not even incredibly cheap (corrosive) ammo makes the idea of owning one seem rewarding.

Caleb is right about the Luger, too. The Luger is a cool-looking pistol, but one which is persnikety as all get-out about its ammo, and will jam or even stovepipe rounds at the drop of a hat. One could forgive that problem and just stock up on super-hot 9mm Parabellum cartridges, but insane dealer/collectors have successfully cornered the Pistole 08 market and these old (and usually beat up) pistols are now being offered at the kinds of prices which ought to get you a used car. Lugers are just not worth the money, by an order of magnitude.

3 Feedbacks on "Over-Rated Guns"


I’m not a fan of Mosins or Lugers but guns for fun are like cars and mates, it’s whatever makes you happy.


I do like the comment about the AK47: “… designed to be used by literally the dumbest human beings on the planet, and in that role it excels.”

Furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree with the author’s points about the XD, the popularity of which can best be described as mystifying (Croatia?). The Glock is a much better firearm and I suspect the M&P bests them both.


5. Mosin-Nagant – meh.
4. Luger – exotic-looking, but suffered somewhat in reliability, particularly the toggle action in wooded areas. I’d dispute the Hollywood factor though; it was already an immense souvenir magnet in World War I.
3. AK-47 – the “use by dumbest human beings” translates as “reliable”. And it was, certainly more so than the early-issue M-16. The author may dispute this, but my experience with it holds otherwise.
4. M-14 – love it, but then I started out with it thus it becomes a gold standard for me, particularly its use as a 7.62mm platform (it all depends on the environment in which it’s used). I agree, though, that the FAL (or SLR as the British tagged it) was a notch above, if only because it had a flash suppressor that was welded on.
5. XD – don’t know, don’t care. There are others clearly just as good or better.


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