Guns that have disappointed me


Shawn wanted me to write about this, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I’m kinda of a negative nancy and I find disappointed in most stuff. It would probably be quicker for me to list the things I am not unhappy with. I’ve probably liked about half of what I’ve purchased over the years. I like my Surefire silencers. I like most of the Colt and Larue stuff I’ve purchased. I like the ARs I have kept. Umm. . .

I’m glad cameras have improved a little over the years

I had a HK P7. It grouped like a laser. Extraordinarily easy to shoot tight groups. It would also rust when I looked at wrong, and would get extremely hot fast. Not in a, “do rapid fire and get hot” way, but a “I was shooting groups and I burnt my self on it way.” At least it went up in value and I made a little profit when I sold it. It also requires a special scraper tool to clean that I didn’t have.

I’m glad bridge mounts never really caught on.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Beretta 92FS/M9. I don’t think it is a bad gun and many of the critiques against it are more just peoples personal feelings and opinions. Still, I feel like it is about 5-10% oversize for what it is. The grip and long double action trigger pull just made it not fit my hands. I could shoot it well but I couldn’t manipulate it well. I am glad I never had to rely on one to protect my life.

The top right corner of the grip panel is broken off in this picture.

While I was in the military, I went to a range that had rental guns. Several times I rented their CZ75B in .40. It was such a nice smooth shooting gun. When I got out, I decided to pick up a CZ75B in 9mm. It never felt as nice as the .40 I had previously used. Both grips cracked and broke. I asked CZ to replace them, they wouldn’t. So I bought new grips which cracked and broke. Then I started reading stories about CZ slide stops failing. You couldn’t buy a spare. I finally decided to get rid of it and just stick with Glocks.

I’ve had a laundry list of issues with Eotech optics. I had a 512 where the battery contacts broke. I had a 552 where it lost the nitrogen purge and became too dim to use during daytime. My 553 had broken battery contacts and the lens started delaminating so you could not see the reticle in a vertical strip on the left hand side of the window.

The KAC SR25-EC was a bit of a disappointment for me. By the time I got one to try it was old news and already discontinued and the replacements for it already replaced with newer models. I had always heard about how light and handy the SR25-EC and EMC were, along with how soft recoiling they are. When they came out, they might have been the best on the market. But by the time I was able to try a SR25-EC, I was able to shoot it side by side with a Colt 901 and a Larue Ultimate Upper and it was just a fat pig in comparison. It just has been surpassed by newer options.


My biggest disappointment would have to have been my SLR106UR. Besides having many problems with it, I spent a whole lot of money trying to build it into something that it could never have done well it begin with. I wrote about it a little here.

I have a SIG Rattler to fill that role now. It is ok.

After having a good bit of issues with my first MK12MOD1 upper, I never really cozied up the setup. Stuff like the Larue barreled uppers out shot it and were handier.

And lastly, the MP5. But I will talk about that another time.


  1. Every time I pick up a Beretta 92, it feels like 2×4. “This thing is this big and it only holds 15 rounds of 9mm?” It feels as big in my hand as a Glock 20/21, where I could have 13 rounds of .45 or 15 rounds of 10mm.

    And Beretta’s slide-mounted safety/decocker is just an ergonomic atrocity. Seriously, I’m not sure who handled the prototype and said, “Yeah, this will work great. Let’s produce this.” Did he have hands?

    • Hold over from the old European and P38 style. They never really had the pistol mindset over there that we have over here about running them 1 handed and such. (Maybe all inner cowboy/cavalry?). I feel the same about it. It’s a nice gun but it just doesn’t click with me.

    • Yours is a great observation. I was thinking “how do I describe why I don’t really like the 92/M9?” and you’ve put your finger on it: It feels so doggone large that it should have been packing 12+ rounds of 10mm, or maybe 10 rounds of .45 WinMag. The grip feels absurdly large for a 9×19 pistol.

      The slide-mounted safety/decocker: This is one area where I go on rants about the European “vision” of handgun design. The slide-mounted safety/decocker is a European-centric design issue, mostly because they want the decocker aspect. American handgun design usually omits the decocker aspect, sticks with a safety that is more ergonomic.

      The Beretta M9/92 was a gun produced more by committee than other Beretta guns, and it shows. People who have never detail-stripped one are in for more entertainment than they bargained for the first time they do one. The 92 is notorious for launching springs, pins and detents across the room. I don’t think I know of another gun that causes more cursing by a gunsmith per hour of shop time than the Beretta Model 9x pistols.

      • IMHO, guns should have either a safety or a decocker, but not both. I prefer Sig’s decocker mechanism but a slide-mounted decocker is OK since it’s not between you and somebody who needs shooting.

        I’ve never handled a gun that had both a safety and a decocker that was anything other than an ergonomic disaster.

        I’ve never so much as field stripped a Beretta 92, but I read a story once about a unit armorer or something like that. His story included the line, “You took the grips off, didn’t you, sir?”

      • I bought two of the first available M92FS pistols available through the Rod & Gun Club where I was in Germany. The thing that I grew to loathe about both pistols (one was a full-size, the other the Compact…) was that they were fussy little bitches about maintenance, had poor corrosion resistance, and just generally sucked as what they were supposed to be–9mm service pistols.

        Shot both competitively for a couple of years, and after one misfire-prone string after I’d failed to detail-strip and clean the damn thing, I had to borrow a Glock. Sold both Berettas within months, never looked back.

        My personal belief is that the Beretta has about thirty more parts than it really should, for a service pistol, and that while it’s a wonder of fine Italian machinery, it is emphatically not a combat pistol suitable for issue to everyone. Every single “trouble child” I had running pistol ranges in the Army for the M9 with, I made an offer: Buy me the ammo, come down to the range with me after hours, and we’ll teach you to shoot. I always found that the simplicity of the Glock enabled the tyro to learn more easily, and once they gained confidence on the Glock, the Beretta was something they could handle. Too many parts, too many moving pieces on the Berettas… Confused the hell out of them. The Glock, on the other hand? It’s got two modes: Ready to fire, and not. All you need to do is draw the damn thing and use it; the holster is the safety. Much better for poorly-trained soldiers to deal with.

        The other thing about the Beretta is exactly what you say–If I have to lug that mass of metal around with me, I want something with more power than a 9mm. Biggest gun I think justifiable in 9mm is the Glock 19–Any bigger, and you’d best be giving me more power to go with it.

        It’s interesting to me that the Glock 20 is roughly the same size as the M9, but I get 15 10mm rounds for about the same amount of carry weight and size. The mass of the M9 is just not justifiable for what you get with it.

        • You are correct that the Model 9x design seems to have “more parts than necessary,” and most of those are in the slide, but with a bunch of them in the frame to transfer the trigger pull to the rear.

          The Model 9x complexities don’t end at just the number of parts, but also of the actual specifics of the parts themselves. For example, the roll pins that are all over the gun are a) metric in diameter (OK, that’s to be expected given the European origin of the gun) and b) in need of being replaced every 3 or 4 (I can’t remember which just now) times you detail-strip the gun if the gun is used by LEO’s or the military. A spare parts kit for the 9x pistols from Beretta is $170 or so, and that’s a bit spendy for small parts, IMO.

          I’m a 1911 supporter not only because I’m an American traditionalist, I’m pro-1911 because you can detail strip the pistol with a cartridge case rim and a pencil or twig to depress the firing pin so you can remove the firing pin retention plate, which gives you the punch you need to finish detail stripping the gun. That’s it. I can detail strip a 1911 with a .45 ACP case rim and a twig or pencil. That, to me, is a gun meant for improvised environments.

      • Oh yes, detail disassembly nightmare. When I retrained into small arms repair they taught us to do it inside a big ziplock bag so as to not lose the detents and springs. Locking blocks and barrels were on cyclical purchasing schedules and as Kirk said the barrels had squat for corrosion resistance. Just accepted that’s how it was until I picked up my first 1911. Then they sent me to the Glock armorers class and I never looked back.
        That’s not to say it’s not a functional pistol. It works for what we needed it to do. I’ve seen firsthand that it’ll put an end to an evildoer’s depredations. If they had upgraded to the M9A3 variant I think they’d have been fine. Not the best by any definition but wholly “good enough.” I’ve no experience with the new Sig 320/M17 but I’m sure it’ll be good enough too.

  2. I have big hands and long thumbs, I love Beretta’s, I was able to acquire some 20rd mags that are almost flush with the frames of mine. It is a bit heavy and big for a 9MM but to me, they are one of the highest quality pistols you can buy. Most of the opinions I run into are second hand COD kids who think it’s a POS because of the excessive complaining of .mil types were issued worn out pistols from the 80’s when the WOT cooked off. 95% of the complaints are from the cheapo CM mags the .gov bought in bulk and from over-cleaned and worn pistols.

    My biggest disappointment was a SPAS-12 I bought in the mid-90’s, overly complicated with too many bells, whistles and features that made it heavy, hard to field strip and eventually something I just traded off. Cool to show off, everyone thought it some sort of magical power more than other 12 gauges. As far as cool factor goes a USAS-12 is way cooler, so I bought one of those.

  3. Glock 36. Too much power in too small of a package, I found it totally uncontrollable past the first shot.

    Runner up, Smith & Wesson M&P 45 auto. Approximately the same size and configuration as a Glock 21, yet with three less rounds. You’d think Smiff could have figured out how to duplicate the magazine capacity, at least. Had to put an Apex trigger in the gun to get as nice a trigger as a standard Glock trigger. Wanted to like this so much because “it isn’t a Glock” but eventually had to move on to something else.

    • I have a G36 and I shoot it well. Then again, I’ve been shooting .45 ACP pistols for almost as long as I’ve been shooting pistols at all since I was about 12. I didn’t shoot a 9×19 pistol until I was in my mid-20’s. To me, the .45 ACP w/ 230 grain ball ammo just “feels like home.” I cannot tell you why. All I can tell you is that as a pre-teenager, I fell into the company of a couple of Marine vets of the WWII island campaign, and after they taught me how to shoot a Colt .22 Woodsman, they hauled out their 1911’s from WWII and said “this is a real pistol.” I’ve preferred shooting .45 ACP ever since to most other pistol rounds – just because it is what I’m used to.

      The extra-round baseplate for the magazine helps control of the G36.


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