I’m not a firearms expert. Not even close. But like all modern Millennials, I have opinions. My opinions are my own and I realize that they mean about as much as that silly trucker hat you wear to impress your equally worthless peers.
The firearms market has exploded in the last 8 years, thanks in part to a rise in unfounded fears of a zombie apocalypse and more importantly, very well founded fears that our sacred right to bear arms is in danger of falling within our lifetime. It’s been said that Barack Obama is the firearms salesman of the year, 8 years running. It’s hard to deny the impact a liberal presidency has had on the growing firearms market. At the same time, the sunset of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004 reopened a stagnate market for both gun sales and firearms innovation.
This is where my worthless opinion finds it’s genesis. Some of the designs spawned by this golden age of the gun culture can only be characterized as red headed step children (no offense to the soulless gingers out there). I’d like to take a moment to recognize these bastards of the gun family. These are guns that exist for no other reason than that perhaps we have run out of good ideas, or because the principle that the more it costs the more people want it, even if it’s ugly and serves no useful purpose.
Number 5: Keltec KSG 12
Never has a gun been so disappointing after it’s initial hype than this plastic double magazine shotgun. A bullpup design is a challenge for any platform, but it also very appealing if it can be done right. Moistening the wet dreams of home defenders everywhere, the KSG promised a compact and ergonomic design that packed enough firepower to kill the bad guy and all his relatives without having to reload.
Unfortunately there are several factors that made this boom stick a major dud. First of all it was made by Keltec, a company all too well known for coming up with cool ideas and then producing only enough hardware to keep the gun magazines and blogs busy writing about them. For those of you still searching for a Keltec Sub2000, you know the struggle. It was hard to find real world reviews of the KSG for a long time because almost nobody could find one. Thanks to the laws of economics this also naturally led to high prices for a gun that failed to deliver in many ways.
Besides complaints of broken pieces, poor customer service and less than satisfactory reliability, the KSG has another more important problem. It seems that it is a little too easy to shoot yourself with it. More than one person has had the picatanny rail on the slide fail and had their poor support hand drift in front of the muzzle (don’t click that link if you’re eating). Firearm safety rules aside, if this happens more than a couple of times, it’s time to start looking at the hardware involved.
Number 4: Rifle Dynamics AK-74 chambered in .300 BLK
For those new to .300 BLK, this caliber was developed by Advanced Armament Corporation as a .30 caliber substitute in an AR platform that was extremely versatile. While some may consider the price too high, AAC largely succeeded in their goal. They created a round that can spit fire with 125 grain projectiles moving at Mach 2, and also run suppressed subsonic 220 grain projectiles without changing out any parts. It’s a great round that has really opened up some new territory for the AR platform.
But whether it was out of boredom or just a dare that went too far, Rifle Dynamics and SilencerCo decided to bring this modern cartridge to the AK platform. I’m not sure if they are being facetious or not when they claim they did it so they could run subsonic rounds out of a Kalashnikov. Surely it must be a joke? At close to the price of a used Honda, I’m pretty sure the joke is on the few out there dumb enough to buy it. AK platforms are harder to successfully suppress, and part of the appeal of an AK for many people is the relatively low cost to feed it.
I have to admit though, it does look sexy.
Number 3: Kriss Vector
The pistol caliber sub gun is one of the quintessential notches in the belt of any self respecting gun collector. There is something very satisfying about laying down 20 or 30 rounds into a silhouette target at 2o yards just as fast as you can pull the trigger. Cheap ammo, low recoil and 80’s action movie nostalgia come together to create irrepressible grins. I guess this is what Kriss had in mind when it created this abortion.
I know that looks are not everything when it comes to guns, but dammit looks should count for something. The Vector looks like something your 12 year old self would have drawn in Mrs. Wilson’s Home Economics class. Nothing looks like it belongs. The trigger is too high, the barrel is too low. The magazine is too forward and the stock is too backwards. This gun has the ergonomics of a pinball machine on roller skates.
I’m convinced that there are only 2 reasons anyone on this planet or any other planet would buy this gun, the caliber and the price. A .45 acp sub gun is very appealing for those who already have everything else in their collection. It’s a fun round to shoot suppressed, doubly so in a rifle platform. And at $1500 before accessories and almost obligatory SBR stamp, it’s priced perfectly for gear queers who can’t resist an over priced gun that no one else has (or wants). If this gun sold for under $1000, I am certain no one would buy it.
Number 2: Definitive Arms AKX-9
Keeping on the sub gun train, Definitive Arms showcased a revolutionary sub gun design at Shot Show last year. It’s a 9mm AK. I’m guessing the idea was to take all the best features of a traditional sub gun and the beloved AK platform and throw them in the trash.
Sub guns are supposed to be relatively light and easy to hide? Let’s make a sub gun out of all steel and put it in a long action. AK’s are supposed to pack a big punch? Let’s throw an anemic round in there. 9mm carbines are usually range toys and AK’s are supposed to be relatively affordable? Lets make a $1500 range toy that can’t keep up with a $500 WASR.
At least Definitive Arms made an effort to make this gun somewhat useful with features such as a standard 1/2×28 thread pitch, Colt mags, left hand bolt release, last round hold open and AR style mag release. But make up and high heels aren’t enough to turn home school girl into a prom queen. With so many better options out there, including the similarly priced Zenith Mp5 clones, there is zero reason to consider this useless design. If I see anyone at the range with this gun, I will point and laugh.
Number 1: Taurus Judge
It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason why I hate this gun so much. Is it that it’s made by Taurus, a company with such inconsistent quality control? Is it because everyone who owns one has to enthusiastically explain to you that it shoots shotgun rounds out of a revolver? Or perhaps it’s because it has the ballistic performance of a steam powered Volvo?
I think it’s easier just to sum this gun up as the reason I can’t stand the majority of gun owners. I hate to throw such a blanket statement out there but I can’t help it. Just like many gun owners are too busy talking about how they are going to take down a bad guy to notice that they are flagging everyone in the same zip code with their muzzle, many gun owners out there fall for flashy features rather than take the time to learn about what matters when it comes to ballistic performance.
A .410 shell loaded with bird shot will inflict what amounts to a series of mosquito bites into the bad guys face, especially out of a 3 inch barrel. Similarly, a .410 round with #3 buckshot is woefully under performing. The only round that stands to do any serious damage to the bad guy is the .45 Long Colt cartridge. And if you are going to carry that, you may as well pick a dedicated gun for that round.
Yes, I’m sure it’s great for killing snakes. Most people who buy this gun do not have snakes in mind, they are thinking about the bad guys who’s heads cartoonishly explode when hit with 5 rounds of ferocious bird shot. I’m not paranoid, but I wouldn’t turn my back on a Taurus Judge owner. I’m worried that they are the kind of person who might not be able to resist the urge to shoot a person just to see what their gun can do.
I hope you enjoyed my rant. You can deposit your hate mail in the dumpster out back where all these guns belong.