If you love firearms and everything about them, it can be hard to not justify a new gun purchase. However, there are quite a few that are of limited use, unsound design or just pure novelties or range toys.
That is not to say that there is no use at all for that particular firearm or that it brings no fun or it is not something to fill a void in a collection. But for a self-defense or survival battery, there are better options.
Let’s take a look at five guns you should avoid:
1. Desert Eagle in 50 AE. Arguably, it is the most powerful semiautomatic pistol ever made. The Desert Eagle has it all in the looks department, too, and the manufacturer offers them in a number of attractive finishes. The power and look made it a natural for placement in movies and video games, as well. Realistically, however, this is a special purpose handgun designed for hunting and silhouette shooting sports. It is a heavy pistol with a large grip that makes it impractical for self-defense for most people.
If you must have one, do so after you have enough “real guns” to fill your needs.
2. S&W 500 or S&W 460. These revolvers leave the Desert Eagle far behind in the power game. What they really did was put the rifle caliber bolt-action and single shot pistols out of business. Why grab a Remington XP-100 chambered in 7mm BR or 308 Winchester when you can duplicate the ballistics in an easier shooting revolver?
Still, the recoil is extremely harsh, and most new shooters who try one seldom make it through a box of 20 rounds before trading it in or selling it at a loss.
3. Sphinx SDP. Many shooters have never heard of these fine pistols from Switzerland that are renowned for their perfect craftsmanship. Holding a Sphinx is like holding an engineering marvel in your hands. You will find no flaws or machining marks on one of these pistols. Almost as if it were created by magic.
Why is it on the list? Craftsmanship of this nature comes at a price, and $1,200 for a CZ75 clone, no matter how well it works, is a bit much. We have never found these pistols to be more accurate than a CZ or Tanfoglio offering. Save the money and buy more ammunition.
4. Winchester 1911. No, not a 1911 pistol, but a semiauto shotgun that was made that very same year. In an effort to bring a semiautomatic shotgun to market without infringing on John Browning’s patents, Winchester came up with the most dangerous design in the world.
The recoiling barrel means that once it is loaded, the only way to unload it is to push the barrel rearward. More than one gunowner did this by placing the butt on the ground and pushing downward with their head in front of the muzzle.
This had catastrophic consequences, earning the Winchester 1911 the nickname “Widow Maker.”
5. TEC-9, DC-9 or MAC clones in semiautomatic. As full auto machineguns with stocks, these guns are fun and actually pretty useful. In semiautomatic with no stock, you end up with a heavy awkward clunker that is not very good at anything apart from looking cool in a photo op. Why shoot an awkward and heavy 9mm when you can do better with any real semiautomatic handgun, such as a Glock 19 with a 32-round magazine?
There are others out there, but these seem to be the ones we see new people drawn to that end up being rather expensive mistakes. If the world is your oyster and you have money to spend and a battery of dependable firearms to defend yourself and your loved ones, then by all means seek one of these out if it is on your short list.
But if it is going to be one of your first firearms purchases, know that you can do better.
What would you add to this list? Share your additions in the section below: