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October 12, 2007

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The Worst Gear of All Time?

Last week, you may recall, we played a most excellent game whereby we nominated one or two items of the best hunting gear we've ever used. Now, we're going to do the reverse--the worst. As they say in Texas, "I'll take two o'them--one to s**t on an' t'other to cover it up with."
My first nomination: any poly underwear that is labeled "odorproof." Whose odor? Natalie Portman's? I am sure that if Natalie wore the stuff for a week in elk camp it would not smell too bad. However, when I wear it, dogs run off howling.
My second nomination: The last Winchester Model 70s produced in New Haven, CT. Guns built by people who had given up. It wouldn't have been so bad if they were another make or model, but these were Winchester Model 70s, and that name used to mean something.
Your turn.


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coach ike

worst gear? would that include trucks and suv's? bought a chevy tahoe (2003) to be exact. 30,000 miles into our ownership and the front end shit the bed (twice!) each time to have it repaired still under warranty, there was a shortage of the parts because of high demand. i wonder why! still own a 1995 toyota tacoma with 176,000 miles and could and will not complain to this day.


Bushnell digital trail cameras. I bought one and got tons of blank photos. Trigger time over 10 seconds. Since I'm a forgiving sort I figured I just got a bad one so I bought another from a major mail-order house. I'm an idiot. That one did'nt work work worth a hoot either except for stationary subjects under a feeder.


Someone earlier mentioned S&W and Remington knives. I have to say, I picked up a stainless folder with a pocket clip for 15 bucks at a Big 5 store. Supposedly on sale, normally 69 bucks. I thought the S&W name would endorse quality. All I found was they endorsed cheaply made, over-priced crap knives. THe screws backed out of the handle with little use, and trying to find a star pattern driver in that little tiny pattern has been impossible. I'll stick with Spyderco.


the worst gun ever owned the S&W Sigma. if you could handle the thing to begin with after about 25 rounds the hinged trigger startes to bite you. Said i would never buy another S&W and the same day its released that S&W merged with Thomson Center Arms. AAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhh

Bubba B.

Anything that claims to be educational or informative, but ends up just being an advertisement pisses me off. This goes for anything from the sparkly crankbaits that Bill Dance pushes on his show to Mossy Oak's new camo pattern for 2007 that seems to be the reason the guests on Huntin' the Country are getting so close to the bigguns. The worst was this dumb video my mom made me watch as a kid: My mother was not raised around guns so when my parents felt that I was ready to graduate from a Red Ryder BB gun to a high-powered pellet gun, she made me watch this "safety" video made by Crossman Airguns called "Your First Gun." It was nothing but an hour-long advertisement for Crossman. I remember as a kid thinking how stupid this thing was and how my mom just didn't have a clue. That's the first memory I have of being completely annoyed at something that clearly exists for advertisement purposes, but is disguised as something that is of importance to the consumer. My childhood best friend and I still joke about it 20-some-odd years later.

Dr. Ralph

Next door neighbor gave my wife a Lorcin 9mm. It was so big and shiny hopefully it would scare away any bad guys because you sure weren't going to shoot anybody with it. If you took it apart and cleaned it every ten shots or so it was somewhat reliable but it shot in a different direction every time you pulled the trigger. I guess for the $50- he paid for it new it would be alright as long as you were shooting at someone or something no more than three feet away.


Winchester Xpert .22s. Dirty nasty and couldnt hit the side of the barn. After ten rounds my Marlin Model 60 wouldnt cycle.

Brian T

Women's camo underwear from Cabela's. Girls, you have nothing you need to hide.

Dr. Ralph

I like the way you think Brian...

Tom Dean

I have a Sig Mosquito, It is the worst .22 I have ever owned. I was shocked to say the least. You buy and pay a big price for a SIG and get crap. It feels real nice in the hand. but so do a lot of things which do not cost $500.

Do not buy a Benelli R1. I have one in 300WSM. It will fire two out of three rounds respectable at 100 yards. Then it will through one round about 5 inches from the other two. you pay 1200 for a rifle from Benelli. I would expect it to hold 3 inch groups at 100 yards. I sent the R1 back to the factory, and guess what they could not find a problem. I guess they all fire like crap. BTW I spent well over $400 in differnt ammo of every type to try to find one which would work. CRAP. I will never buy another Benelli again.

I went with a much cheaper Remington 750 in 308. hmm for about half it will shoot a 2 inch group at 100 yards.

Dr. Ralph

But for $429- you could have gotten a Weatherby Vanguard in .308 that was GUARANTEED to shoot an inch and a half at 100 yards and a target of the first three rounds fired through your rifle... unfortunately Weatherby is no longer available at Wal-Mart so you pay $30- more. This could be a good thing.

News on the 597 front... saw a web site about the new improved Remington 597 clips (third generation) and everyone on there that has tried it swears their gun went from a jam-a-matic to shooting 100 rounds with no feeding problem. Called Remington and they are sending me one free. Said it was actually their forth magazine for this particular gun. Thanks to Dan and www.rimfiresports.com


Just read this - and then it struck me. I saw my gun listed as a POS!?!?! Well - for any and all that think the Rem. 710 is a POS, I'll invite you down to shoot mine. Last weekend I took 5 shots at 100 yd target and punched 5 holes that you could cover with your fist. The only thing I've done to the gun is to swap the scope out. Seems very narrow minded for someone to judge and criticize a gun they have never fired. Saying it’s a POS just because you don’t like the way it looks is what I would call prejudiced. It’s mentalities like that which has lead to the whole “black gun” thing. The aren’t traditional, carrying a wooden stock and the like, but they sure get the job done that they were built to do. The key to my Rem. 710 was finding what it liked as far as ammunition goes. I shoot with "mass produced" ammo from whoever has it on sale and give the brass to a friend of mine that loads his own. Yes his groups from the bench are usually smaller than mine, but come on, as long as it's in the vitals, I'm happy! I find it very amusing when people talk about groups of 3 that look like just one hole. Personally, I don’t know anyone that can shoot that well without a rest of some kind. If you want a real measure of how good a shot someone is, have them shoot free-standing. Or better yet, from a tree stand 20 feet up that’s swaying in the breeze.

As for real POS's - I'd have to agree on the fishing stuff listed above.

Cheers – have fun, and be safe.

robert griffith

i resently purchased 9mm on the barrel slide it said i could get,
manual free from F.I.E. Miami Fl.
ive been looking for the address or phone number could you help Tanfoglio model TZ 75 thank you

Dave in St Pete

F.I.E. is out of business. They did not make guns, F.I.E. stood for Firearms Import and Export.

Here is a site that deals in Tanfoglio guns maybe they can help you.



What are everyone's thoughts on the Remington 788? Not made in a while, but mine still works great.

Swen Swenson

We still have a Western Auto in Worland, Wyoming. Am I caught in a time warp? Like any place else they've got some good stuff and some crap.

My vote for worst all-time product has got to go to waterproof hunting boots. They leak, so your feet still get wet, but they don't breath, so if you walk any distance your feet get wet from sweat even if it's dry out. Add insulation and your feet just sweat more and get cold faster. The only exceptions I've found are the 'Bean boots' with a good thick pair of SmartWool sox (my vote for best gear), and pack boots with the removable thick wool felt liners and SmartWool sox (did I mention that I really like SmartWool sox?).

My other vote for best gear goes to the high-tech, light-weight hiking shoes (and SmartWool sox, yada, yada). I've found a brand that fits well and my feet have never been so happy.

I also third the vote for carbon steel knives. They're generally easier to sharpen and hold an edge longer than a stainless knife of equal cost.

Swen Swenson

I should add that there's considerable variation between carbon steels. I've bought several brands of carbon steel knives recently searching for "the best" and found that "the best" depends on what you want to do with it.

At one extreme, the Boker knives have a fairly soft steel that takes a wicked edge very easily but requires frequent touch-up. A few strokes on a soft Arkansas stone brings back a toothy edge that cuts like nobody's business. I like a really sharp, 'toothy' knife and don't mind sharpening knives, so I really like the Bokers.

At the other extreme are Queen's knives. Somewhere I read that D2 tool steel 'takes a mediocre edge and holds it forever'. That's not strictly true. You can put a fine edge on a Queen, but the D2 is so abrasion-resistant that it takes a fine diamond hone and the patience of Job to do it. On the other hand, in a pinch I've used my big Queen folding hunter to do landscaping, chopping into rocks and wire stakes for an hour or so. At the end you could still have shaved (someone else) with it.

I can't seem to get the same toothy edge on a Queen, so it's a better knife for carving and shaving-type work like whittling, than for sawing/slicing like meat-cutting. It's also nice to have an every-day carry knife that will hold an edge through some abuse.

Various other brands fall in between there. Unfortunately, there aren't many brands left on the market, but I've got older tool steel Kabars, Westerns, and Cases that all take a great edge. Most of these are toward the soft end, much like the new Bokers.

Every pawn shop I've ever been in had a whole case-full of used pocket and hunting knives and, because they often have staining and even light rust on their blades, and because they weren't all that expensive to begin with and are common as dirt, the old carbon steel knives often go for cheap.

Keep your eyes out at the pawn and surplus stores for Cold Steel's Carbon V steel knives too. They were a good compromise, being neither too soft nor too hard, but Just Right. Their checkered rubber handles were great too, ugly but easy to hang on to. Unfortunately, Cold Steel no longer markets their Carbon V steel and I've only limited experience with their new steels, so I don't know about them.

The ross rifle of WWI. those peices of shit would jam up and get so hot that the sights would melt


the ross rifle was probably the worst peice of equipment ever made. those peices of shit would jam up almost every round of ammo that went through it and if you shot it enough, it would get so hot that the sights might melt

Mike Mancuso

In California, you need to pass a test to purchase a pistol. Gun dealers I contacted won't just give you the exam without actually purchasing a pistol, so I ended up investing $74.99 for a used "legendary" FIE Miami six shooter. I haven't shot it yet, but if feels tight and heavy just like a Ruger single six. Four clicks! Great site. Thanks.

What's URL?

Mike Mancuso

Me again.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have been able to read the Best 50 guns on your website. I originally read it at a customer's waiting room. You don't know how much trouble I have been through with your customer service department since July trying to get the back issue that had the original article. I finally gave up and told them to keep my five dollars. Your website was worth that and more.
What a hoot!

Thanks again.


Ah, Western Auto. Back in the Neolithic age--about 1954--I bought my first repeating weapon at good old WA. It was a 12 ga J.C.Higgins shotgun. A smooth-as -silk slide action that rivaled an 870 and sturdy as an oak. Just gave it to my son a couple of years ago. WA sold some good stuff back then. That brand of shotgun was some of that stuff--made alternately by Hi-Standard, Mossberg (sp?), and I have heard even a few turned out by Savage.

Del in Kansas

Took me a while to stop laughing. This stuff is better than comedy channel. My first gun was a revelation (WA brand) 410 bolt action shotgun. Got it for Christmas in 1960. It was a good little gun. The POS Stevens 22 auto I bought 2 yr later would jam every 2 or 3 shots but I did a bang flop kill a big Fla. wild boar hog with it on my uncle's ranch. I was a kid and didn't know it wasn't supposed to work. Lucky shot broke the neck. Back in 86 I bought a Chipmunk youth 22 single shot for my son. Nice walnut stock but would not extract most ammo and stock comb too high for anyone with cheeks. Sights could not be adjusted properly. I bought a Marlin Mod 39 lever action 22 in the 80's pre-cross bolt safety and it's the best 22 I've ever had. To this date it has never jammed. Had a Mod 70 Fwt.270 Win that looked like a rat gnawed out the barrel channel. The forend warped so bad it looked like the barrel was going left and the stock right. I have looked at a half dozen Kimber 8400's and the woodwork was very good on all of them. I bought a 2506 mounted an old VXIII scope and shot it (while hunting)twice this past fall. First was a 154 yd shot that dropped an 8 point with 11 inch G-2's. I watched that buck hide from another hunter and shot him when the other guy left and the buck raised up to slip away. The other shot dropped a fat young doe at 205 yds. Cabela's Kangaroo leather upland boots are very light, tough and will keep your feet dryer than most. Mine are 6 years old and finally wearing out. I will buy another pair. I too was embarrassed to say I had a drawer full of calls that never worked. But last Nov a Primos buck roar call turned around a 10 pt buck that was leaving for parts unknown and I put a carbon force Maxima hunter tipped with a RAGE 2 blade thru his ribs at 7 yds. Wow what a wound. There was an immediate gusher of blood and he only made it 50 yds and fell. That is one amazing broadhead Also shot a doe with same results. I will never own anything from Dillon's again.Stick with RCBS, Redding, Lyman and MEC for reloading.

D. Kovac

I have a new Winchester Model 70, .30-06, bolt action, checkered walnut, that I purchased some 20 years ago. It has never been fired. Would anyone know what I could sell it for?


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