Seven Great Guns That Need a Reboot!

It needs a reboot! That seems to be the mantra of Hollywood, video games, and TV these days. Do you know what else needs a reboot? The next seven guns on this list! Throughout history, there have been numerous firearms that have premiered too early and could never take off. Others were discontinued before they could get a modern touch. So with that in mind, I gathered seven guns I think could use a reboot.


What Is It?

FN’s 5.56 caliber rifle was designed to replace the FAL when NATO moved to the 5.56. It saw decent success overseas. The rifle utilized a long-stroke gas piston system, fired from a STANAG magazine, and generally was a robust and capable rifle.

Why Reboot It? 

The FNC combined the features of both the AK and AR 15 rather successfully and produced a high-quality, well-made rifle. The lack of an external receiver extension allows for the use of folding stocks as well.

It’s an awesome alternative to a world filled with boring AR 15 variants. Sadly, it needs to be updated before it can succeed.

The FN FNC in the movie Heat. One of teh seven great guns that needs a reboot.
Ah, the FNC’s most famed appearance…Heat.

What I’d Change

First, make it compatible with all the numerous AR 15 magazines on the market. Next, add an M-LOK handguard. Finally, make adding optics easy. We also need an LRBHO (last round bolt hold open) and a reversible charging handle.

On top of that, also look at going with a more modern folding stock like the SCAR or the Gen 2 MCX stock. Trim the barrel to 16 inches and make it semi-auto for the everyman.

2. Remington 788

What Is It?

Remington produced the 788 as a budget alternative to the famed Remington 700 but held its own. This little gun was produced from 1967 to 1983 and provided a bolt action hunting rifle in numerous calibers. This includes the standards like .223 and .308, but we also had oddballs like 44 Magnum and .30-30.

Great guns that need a reboot? The Remington 788 is one of them.
The Remington 788 was meant to be a budget option but turned into an awesome rifle.

Why Reboot It?

The 788 used a unique bolt and receiver design. The bolt used nine locking lugs located on the rear of the bolt. This allowed the bolt throw to be a mere 60 degrees leaving more room for optics and reduced bolt travel.

The receiver lacks bolt raceways since they are on the rear of the bolt, we also have a smaller ejection port, and the use of a single stack magazine reduces the milling to the receiver. This all means the front of the receiver has more material and is more rigid than most bolt guns. This makes the Remington 788 a very accurate rifle.

Remington 788 rifle
Gosh, I like iron sights on a Bolt gun.

What I’d Change

Let’s toss it in a chassis to maximize accuracy. Also, adopt modern calibers like 6.5 Creedmoor, but keep the weird calibers too. Heck, produce slightly longer five-round single stack magazines to replace the three-rounders too.

3. Winchester Model 1200 Defender

What Is It?

The Winchester Model 1200 Defender provided one helluva awesome pump-action fighting shotgun. Winchester makes a Defender model, but it’s a Turkish-made gun that’s far from the original. The Winchester 1200 Defender utilized an awesome rotary bolt design that makes the pump extremely fast to cycle for a pump gun. The Defender variant utilized an extended magazine tube that held seven 2.75 inch shells, plus one in the chamber.

Great Guns! Winchester Model 1200 Defender
The Defender uses a unique rotating bolt.

Why Reboot It?

If you’ve never handled a Winchester Model 1200, it’s tough to describe how awesome the action is. You can develop a rhythm with the gun and work the action almost faster than the gun can feed. It’s a sweet action, and currently, the quality pump-action shotgun community is in a shortage for good guns.

Great Guns! Winchester Model 1200 Defender pump-action shotgun
The action on the Defender and 1200 series is to die for.

What I’d Change

Let’s modernize the gun with both synthetic options as well as the classic wood design. I’d like an optic option to add a red dot to the gun as well. It might be a pipe dream but make it capable of using Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, friends. That way, integrated lights are an option as well.

4. Colt Detective Special

What Is It?

The Colt Detective Special is a legendary concealed carrier-oriented revolver. It was one of the original modern ‘snub’ nose revolvers. Unlike the J frame series, it carried six rounds instead of five. ‘Robust’ is a term that describes it well, and it was a proven little wheel gun in its time.

Colt Detective Special snub nose revolver
The little Detective Special fills many a detective novel (Courtesy Rock Island Auctions)

Why Reboot It?

Revolvers still rule. While automatics offer advantages, the wheel gun isn’t going to die anytime soon. Revolvers offer their own advantages for concealed carry, and let’s face it, they are a different kind of cool. Colt has brought back a few revolvers, and since CZ owns Colt and Dan Wesson, we could certainly see it.

Great Guns! Colt Detective Special snub nose revolver
It might be sacrilege to add a dot, but I want one.

What I’d Change

First, add 9mm to the lineup with half and full moon clips. 9mm offers plenty of revolver advantages, including tons of defensive ammo options, awesome prices, and availability. Second, the Colt Detective Special is already a bigger gun…so why not make it optics compatible with something like the Holosun HS507K?

5. HK P7M13

What Is It? 

The HK P7M13 is the famed squeeze cocker with a 13 round double stack magazine instead of the classic single-stack design. The HK P7M13 famously features a built-in cocker into the grip as well as a gas-delayed blowback system. It was adopted by numerous police and military forces and had a very successful run.

HK P7M13 pistol
Hans Gruber approved.

Why Reboot It? 

Good lord, don’t we have enough Glock and 1911 pistol clones? HK provided a super accurate, very low recoiling, and very reliable platform for shooters. The HK P7M13 gives us something new and different on an already proven design. Honestly, the performance alone should make it a popular choice among shooters, even if it’s tagged with a relatively high price point.

HK p7M13 pistol
Like most things HK expect to pay

What I’d Change

Drop the squeeze cocker design, and we’ve seen it’s not needed for modern handguns with a single action-only style striker. Next, add a Picatinny rail and make it optics compatible. Hell, you can ditch the metal frame and utilize modern polymer to reduce weight and reduce the cost as well.

6. CZ 2075 RAMI

What Is It? 

A subcompact CZ 75 that was terribly underrated. It’s the Glock 26 of CZ 75s and does have a slightly modified design from the CZ 75 but kept to the standard. The gun utilized a DA/SA action, CZ 75 magazines, and the classic rails in the frame design.

Great Guns! CZ 2075 RAMI
Make the Rami a P365 style micro-compact.

Why Reboot It? 

DA/SA is the way! Finding a DA/SA concealed-carry pistol isn’t the easiest thing to do, and we DA/SA folks need love too! The Rami design kept the famed CZ 75 design, and that reduces muzzle rise, which is nice in a little gun.

RAMI B Custom CZ pistol
A modern Rami should keep the hammer. (Courtesy CZ Custom)

What I’d Change 

Obviously, I’d do an optics-ready model for tiny optics like the 507K. Next, I’d ditch the CZ 75 mag compatibility and make it a P365 style micro-compact. Make it smaller and keep the DA/SA and slide and rails style of the CZ 75. Give it a little decocker and call it a day.

7. Spectre M4

What Is It? 

The Spectre M4 started life as an Italian SMG and later became an imported pistol. The M4 was an SMG of its time with stamped steel construction, a polymer pistol grip, and top folding stock. Famously the gun had coffin-style magazines that offered super short 30 round options, as well as 50 round options that were the length of standard 30 round magazines. On top of that, you could use standard double-stack mags.

Spectre M4
The Italian Spectre is too cool to stay dead.

Why Rebbot It?

The world of PCCs and braced pistols has exploded, and the Spectre M4 would be an awesome addition. Unlike any other sub-gun, the M4 uses a DA/SA design that allows for a long trigger pull for the first shot and shorter, lighter trigger pulls for follow-up shots.

Spectre M4 pistol variant
The Pistol variant is begging for a brace.

A manual decocker makes it easy to revert back to double action and eliminates the need for a safety.

What I’d Change

Obviously, let’s make it accessory and optics compatible. Toss an M-LOK around the barrel, and a means to mount a folding optics mount like the MCARBO mount from a SUB 2K. A side folding optic is necessary because I want to see an over folding brace with a Tailhook brace design. Also, make it Scorpion or Glock magazine compatible to reduce logistics.

Get Your Reboot On

I might be a little chapped that Matrix 4 is a soft reboot instead of an actual sequel, but my ass wouldn’t be chapped if the industry rebooted any of these guns. Plenty of guns deserve a reboot, and these are just the seven I’ve thought of. What else deserves a reboot?

Let me know below!

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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