The Seven Most Overrated Guns Ever

Oh boy, this should be a fun one. Weird cults of mechanical objects plague the world of firearms, often clouding the view of a weapon.  These cults can be influenced by history, pop culture, and even real-life experiences. Fanboys can’t often admit that there are problems with certain guns, which creates quite a few overrated guns.

What’s an overrated gun? Well, it’s not necessarily a bad gun, but it’s a gun whose flaws are often ignored. If fans of a firearm ignore specs, features, ergonomics, and reliability in favor of their emotional response, then that creates overrated guns. With that in mind, I’ve gathered what I think are the seven most overrated guns.

1. M14

As far as overrated guns go, the M14 certainly takes the top spot. From the bottom up, it was a bad rifle, but don’t tell its fans that. The M14 promised a modern, magazine service rifle that could use the Garand’s machinery, Well that turned out to be a lie. Construction was a mess mechanically, and the guns were rather unreliable.

overrated guns - M14
The M14 gets a rep of being loved by G.I.s, but surveys show different.

Everyone likes to look to the M16 and talk about its failure in the beginning of Vietnam. These same folks ignore the fact that the Report on Tests for Ad Hoc Committee on Accuracy and Testing of 7.62mm Ammunition and M14 Rifles examined H&R, Winchester, and Springfield rifles and found that every rifle in the survey was out of spec. Additionally, when experienced infantry Marines were surveyed in the Small Arms Use in Vietnam: M14 Rifle and 45 Caliber Pistol, the Marines almost unanimously wanted the M16.

2. M1911

Since we are coming in hot with the M14, let’s turn to the M1911. Without a doubt, in 1911, the gun was fantastic. Times change, and the 1911 and the 45 ACP chambering are outdated by a large margin. It’s a heavy, huge pistol that contains seven to eight rounds of 45 ACP. Yawn. The grip safety is silly, and the low capacity and inefficient size make it tough to compete outside of the fanboys.

overrated guns - WWI soldiers with 1911 pistols
The 1911 was an amazing pistol in 1911, but in 2021….well it’s overrated.

The M1911 is easily one of the most overrated guns of all time in 2021. Actually, it was overrated in 1935 when the Hi-Power came to be. The reason it gets number two on the list is because 2011-style double-stack 1911s are mostly great.

3. Glock 19

Yep, following the M1911 is the Glock 19. The Glock 19 is reliable, easy to shoot, and it set the industry standard…in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since then, Glock has gotten somewhat complacent, and like Colt, the gun remains uninspired. It’s a Glock, which means it will work and provide a lot of performance for the price.

Overrated guns - Glock 19 pistol
Glock has become complacent and the world is passing them by.

However, when you stack it against modern guns like the CZ P10C and the Sig P320C, it quickly becomes one of the more overrated guns on the market. What does it provide that other guns don’t provide, plus some? Hell, Glock won’t even make the MOS 3 series to the everyday shooter. While the Glock 19 set the standard, it never moved beyond it. If I have 500 to 600 dollars for a gun, it won’t be a Glock 19.

4. Colt Python

Let’s be clear here. The Colt Python is a sweet revolver that was made for one purpose and then repurposed to another. The Python was developed to be a target revolver. Something aimed (no pun intended) to make tight groups in a competitive setting. The gun’s features maximize accuracy. Yet the Colt Python became a duty revolver.

Colt Python
If you need a target revolver the Python is tough to beat, but for combat use, it has some issues.

The Colt Python could be a fighting gun but wasn’t great for that role. It’s an extremely accurate and precise revolver, but it’s fairly fragile as well. Shoot enough 357 Magnums through the gun, and it will eventually come out of time. Once this happens, you need to have the lockwork retimed.

5. SPAS-12

If you watched movies and TV, you’d think the SPAS-12 was one of the most dominant fighting shotguns in the world. The SPAS-12 has a weird look to it that makes it distinctive and eye-catching, something important for film and media. In reality, a SPAS-12 was a cool gun, but not a super practical one. The ability to convert from pump to semi-auto was neat and allowed the gun to function with all manner of loads.

Robert Muldoon with the SPAS 12 shotgun
Sorry, Muldoon, your shotgun sucked.

However, it was clunky, heavy, and not entirely reliable. On top of that, it was difficult to reload and required you to press a button to insert shells into the tube. The SPAS-12s lack of success often gets blamed on gun control and imports, but in reality, the gun was expensive and just kind of sucked overall. It’s one of the more film-oriented overrated guns.

6. Taurus Judge

I thought the gun industry was beyond the .410 revolver and beyond something that’s silly and fun to shoot. Yet, I’ve seen this weird uptick in the advocation of the numerous Judge models as carry guns. The Judge sold in massive numbers because a shotgun handgun sounds awesome! Yet, in reality, these overrated guns just kind of suck.

Taurus Judge Public Defender .410 revolver
Friends don’t let friends carry .410 Revolvers.

They suck as shotguns, and the massive chambers make the 45 Colt option not superbly accurate due to bullet jump. The Taurus Judge doesn’t do anything well beyond being fun to shoot. I own a Judge and shot it until it broke (which wasn’t much) and have seen the terrible patterns and poor accuracy up close.

7. The Thompson SMG

Finally, we get the last gun on the list, the Thompson SMG. In 1921 it was a fantastic firearm that tiered above anything else on the battlefield. However, even by World War 2, it wasn’t a great gun. Yet, its use by gangsters and soldiers has propelled it to be one of the most overrated guns in history.

WWI soldier with Thompson SMG Tommy Gun
Tommy guns would’ve been fantastic in WW1, but by WW2 they were clunky, heavy, and sucked ergonomically.

The M1 Thompson weighed ten pounds, and the battle rifle of choice, the M1 Garand, weighed only nine and a half pounds. General Thompsons SMG was also prone to jams and required constant maintenance to run. The heavy trigger, excessive stock drop tended to decrease the gun’s controllability as well. The M3 Grease Gun served up into Desert Storm, and the US Army ditched the Thompson after Korea for a reason.

The Overrated Guns

Overrated guns are like overrated vehicles, games, and electronics. They’ll always exist, and their fandoms will always come forth to their defense. I look forward to hearing how I’m wrong in the comments below. It’s all in good fun but provide a good reason as to why I’m wrong. Look outside your emotional response and serve me up some logic.

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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