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November 09, 2007

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Six Candidates for the Worst Shotguns of All Time

A guest post by Shotguns columnist Phil Bourjaily

Browning Citori 425 Women’s Shooting Sports Foundation Edition: The Blue Ox
The idea 12 years ago was laudable—attract more women to sporting clays—and the gun underneath was very good. But the robin’s-egg-blue paint job didn’t fly.

Kmart Boito Double: The Blue Light Special
Kmart sold these Brazilian double-trigger side-by-side shotguns for a little over $100 in the 1970s and early ’80s, which even then was practically nothing. They were made of stamped, soft-metal parts that bent, broke, and wore out easily. The stocks and forearms often developed cracks after only a few boxes of shells. In short, they were everything you’d fear a Kmart gun might be.

Marlin Goose Gun: The Pipeline
Never mind that it’s a bolt-action shotgun with a 36-inch barrel, making it as suitable for pole-vaulting as for shooting. Marlin’s goose gun, which was introduced in 1962 and sold for years, has misses built into the design: It has a rear sight. There is no better way to miss with a shotgun than to line up the sights and shoot it like a rifle.

Remington 870 16-Gauge: The Frame-Up
Uplanders cherish the 16-gauge as the gun that “carries like a 20 and hits like a 12.” To live up to that potential, a 16-gauge needs to be built on its own frame, but manufacturers cutting costs often made 16s by sticking smaller barrels on 12-gauge frames. When Remington reintroduced the 16-gauge 870 in 2001, they went the 16-on-12 route, making a gun that “carried like a heavy 12-gauge, hit like a wimpy one, and shot harder-to-find ammo.”

Smith & Wesson 916: The Rock of Sisyphus
Eager to expand into the long-gun market, S&W bought the designs, patents, and tooling from Noble Manufacturing Co. and introduced the 916 in 1972. For gunsmiths, the early version of the 916 was the Rock of Sisyphus in shotgun form. Every time you fixed something on a 916, some other part broke. And some of them would fire out of battery. The story is told that S&W actually considered buying back—not recalling, but buying back—every 916 made.

Winchester Super X2 “Greenhead”: The Gutter Ball
I love most Super X2s, but not the Greenhead, circa 2002: The iridescent green synthetic stock made it look like a bowling ball.

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Comments

Blue Ox

Holy crap! Maybe that's why I'm still single!

Tommy

I'm just glad my Mossberg didn't make the list.

Hunter

I agree they look like a toy.

Scott in Ohio

Ha! I love this. my buddy has one of those pole vault Marlins. Can't wait till he reads this.

Cory

I think you are missing the old Winchester Model 1911 "Widowmaker". The shotgun where you had to pump the barrel, and guys would put their hand over the end of the barrel and push down, often resulting in the loss of that hand.

semp

Can you add the Reminton 770 to the list. It's a rifle not a shotgun ... but a clunker. Once the round is chambered and u ease the creep out da trigger ... it shoots fine. But the action is crap and the magazine(I have the 308, where Rem inserts a chunk a plastic to snug things up?) silly.
I bought a 710 in 300Win a few years back ... it's a 'custom' compared to the 770.

Tom OB

How about another article with the best ones?
Best Regards,
Tom

Dr. Ralph

Semp buy a freaking 700... what the hell? Gun companies often are made or broken on the reputation of one or two products. The Model 700 gave Remington such a strong push in the sixties it is still coasting on that accomplishment. Hope these new guns they are coming out with are good. Especially that AR variant...

I like the goose gun, and the few times I have used my friends I didn't have a problem. The thing I do is to totally disregard any and all sights on a shotgun, keep my head up and point the thing in the general direction of what I wish to kill. That so called pole vault out in front helps me with this. Now we all know why I can only shoot one shotgun and it's a freak of nature because it just happens to shoot where I look...

Greg

Maybe the 870 16 was a bad gun but plese dont make fun of it. It is like the brother you have that no one talks about! boohoo boohoo!!! I want my MOMMY! LOL

I’ll break this down into three categories:

Ugliest: I’ll skip those freaks of nature I’ve seen on the trap or skeet ranges and stick to factory monsters. In which vase my vote would have to go with any 60s/70s era single barrel shotgun from Brazil. They were the poster children of the bare-bones minimum in functionality, design, and quality in the union of wood and steel.

Worst: Same as above. You took your life into your hands every time you pulled the trigger on many of these.

Honorable Mention: Any numbers of lower-line German shotguns and drillings. Teutonic lines along with a stock made from an unnamed dark wood, 200 grit sandpaper, and a dull chisel. Das ist not gut.

SilverArrow

Once saw an old 10 gauge single shot break action H&R I believe, come in to a church rumage sale of all places; it was refused by the blue-haired powers that be of course. I got a brief moment to hold it and swing it a bit; somewhat akin to a trying to hold a hacked off tree trunk, clumsy and UGGGGLY! Start swinging though and it doesn't stop (yes Miss Jacob that is what happened to the sconce in the vestibule of the parish house!). It went back home with the widow who offered it up and that was the last I saw of it.
SA

Dick Gunlogson

This list, considering the number of guns that have come (and gone), and also considering that gunowners (bloggers) rarely have strong opinions on anything would seem akin to picking the 50 best wimmin!

SilverArrow

Gun owners rarely have strong opinions??? Take a look at some of the posts on here! You are either being sarcastic or have severe hoof-in-mouth disease!
SA

Greg

Hey Silver, I shot THAT shotgun when I was about 11 or 12 and got a good black eye. My uncle thought it was hilarious. In hind sight is was pretty damn funny. I have a H&R 12 that kicks like a mule. I can only take 2 or 3 shots! That will be for my boys. Gotta keep tradition alive!LOL

Clay Cooper

The biggest problem I have with manufacturers is some goober smootcher will come up with an idea to destroy the function of the product. I actually wish I never bought my Remington 870 3 ½ turkey gun. Upon firing the bolt is released to expend the casing and does it ever over 6 feet away and you don’t even need to pull the slide back it slams back on recoil. According to the kid at customer service (Remington) this is normal and it is designed that way to make it faster and easier to chamber the next round. The fact is, it happens so fast the round in the magazine doesn’t have time to move. If I wanted an semi auto, I would have bought one!

Dannie

I have one of those "polevault" Marlins. Since the day I got it, over 20 years ago, it has been my turkeyshoot gun. It has taken many a turkey and ham when I couldn't afford to buy them. I am thankful to have it.

Bubba

Worst shotguns of all times!

I have my thoughts, fortunately, I've been able to avoid most of the "tent stakes" that have come along. I may not recognize a really, fine wine and I might not really appreciate the difference between Grade I and Grade II engraving, but I have a pretty good idea of what wood to metal fit should be and the difference in "pot" metal and ordinance steel!
Stumbled into a Mod 1200 Win. Had spent many hours afield with a Mod 12 so thought, "Gotta have it!" IT WEREN'T NO Module 12!!!!
Every time I fired it, I had to pump forward first, then back and forth! The forward stroke had to be so strong and forceful as to always push you off target! Was mine the exception to the rule? I don't know but I wasn't about to try and find out!
If the Mod 12 was the "Holy Grail", then the Mod 1200 must have been the "Holy Flail"!

Bubba

Bucker

Bubba, I shoot a 1200 and I've never had the problem you mention. I have double-shucked when shooting magnum buckshot loads (the slide came all the way back and a little forward again, so I wound up ejecting a live round). But that's it.Mine is one of the early ones; got it in the mid 70s. Dunno if your problem is something a smith can fix.

WA Mtnhunter

Add Mossbergs to the POS list. My son has a pump and autoloader down hard for bolt parts right in the middle of duck season!

Good thing he has a 870 and a BPS 10 in reserve. I guess they weren't as worn out as he thought...

I'm thinking of buying one of those Turkish made Stoeger autoloaders in camo. Looks nice and the price is right. If it breaks the investment is rather small.

But for nightime defensive operations, 870 12 ga. short barrel, long magazine. Always goes bang.

SilverArrow

Certainly my preferences for original A.H. Fox doubles and Winchester M12 trombone actions has been well stated above. Of course I own neither at present. I own a Rem 870 and a Mossberg 500, after a change of cartridge interupter the Mossberg has become my choice for most hunts. I hang the rifled barrel on it for deer, fitted with an Aimpoint it is a great performer. Upland the 26 inch IC tube patterns real nice for grouse, rabbits and woodcock (I think good for woodcock -- I haven't hit one with anything yet!). The Remington is great for turkey, ducks, geese and with the rifled tube can do double duty for deer as well. Oh how I wish I needed a new shotgun! But right now, want as I do, a new gun, I can't justify it. Both of mine now bang unfailingly wtih every pull of the trigger.
SA

Bubba

Bucker

A 'smith might fix it, but it won't be ME takin' it to 'em!
I swapped it first chance I got. Ended up with a fine little Stevens pump 20 in 3" mag. Don't remember what I swapped that for but swappee was an old high school buddy. He didn't have it too long before it went to the great "Swap Shop" in the sky!
Like I say, coulda just been that particular gun, but I still haven't tried another. And won't!

Bubba

Mike Diehl

I don't have the range of experience in shotguns. So here's my two bits anyhow ;).

I had a stovepipe break action 16ga when I was very young. It shot. Whether it shot well or whatever only god knows. But I remember it fondly enough that a couple years back I bought a Stoeger Classic Single. It's no one's idea of a great shotgun. But it's light, it shoots, and it's a 12ga. It's hit birds and rabbits. It won't win any prizes for looks, functionality, or target clay shooting.

I have an older 870 Wingmaster. Excellent gun. Heavy. I've seen the new 870 "Express" shotguns. IMO they are pieces of excrement. Something that ugly with crappy wood and a matte barrel should not run more than $100 dollars.

I have the Stoeger because I had to have a second shotgun. One I could use when I loan the Wingmaster to guests. But the Stoeger is very light, and makes an excellent all around late-season upland game gun.

When I have some money, the Stoeger will be supplanted by a Ruger Gold Label, because as someone said 'round here, "Life's too short to hunt with an ugly gun."

JIM FREE SPIRIT

I have a Stevens/Fox side by side 20 ga.made by Savage Arms.My dad gave it to me when I was 12.Still have it,it has went on many rabbit&squirrel hunts.I'm 37 now and I would'nt get rid of it if I had to.It still shoots as good as when I got it,and I don't know how old it was when I got it.Found a bolt action 12ga. at a pawn shop not too long ago,it's a nice one though.It's says Revelation/Western Auto on it,I've done some research on it and found that it was made by Mossberg.It's made fully choked,I've been told that it is for turkey/fowl hunting.It's very light the stock seems to be made of sweetgum.

WA Mtnhunter

As evidenced by the relatively few posts on the subject, most of us don't really give a darn about shotguns!

BOB DEACON

glad to see my rem870 & mossberg500 made the list but i would'nt knock the goose gun.
an uncle of mine has one and while we don't hunt geese in the mountains of virginia any deer, grouse, or turkeys that jump up in front of it, fall in front of it. loaded with slugs i'd put him up against any shooter out to 300 yds.




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