guns The Worst Guns in History  

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Among the countless number of firearms designed and built in the last few centuries, a select few lay claim to being the worst. Some are so bizarre that they could have only come from the mind of a madman. Others among the worst weapons were products of necessity, designed and built during desperate times by nations at war. Still a few of the worst firearms in history are new spins on an old product, but just don't work as well.

Bad guns have many differences, but a few key similarities, no matter if it's a tiny Kolibri pistol, a nuclear warhead firing Davy Crockett rifle, a futuristic Gyro Jet, or a ludicrous volley gun. They tend to be hard to fire, bulky, inaccurate, and prone to jamming. They're impractical, often to the point of being pointless. Soldiers they were issued to threw them away, and civilians who bought them demanded their money back. At their very worst, they have a nasty habit of maiming their owners through horrible recoil and flying parts. Whether you're fending off pirates in the 1800s or target shooting in 2015, these are things you don't want in a gun.

Here are some of the worst, most impractical, least effective guns ever made.
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Cochran Turret Revolver


Cochran Turret Revolver is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst Guns in History
Photo:  uploaded by Mike Rothschild
With the advent of the Colt Revolver in the early 1830s, a number of gun manufacturers tried to develop their own versions of the iconic revolving mechanism. Likely the strangest was the concept of the "turret gun." The turret was a round disc with holes bored into it that would hold powder and a ball. To fire the next ball, you moved the disc from an empty hole to a loaded one.

It's not the worst theory, but it winds up with the shooter essentially having a loaded gun pointed at them. If the gun misfired, which it did often, the other chambers could discharge - including the one pointing at the shooter. Needless to say, turret guns did not spark the public's imagination.
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Chauchat


Chauchat is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst Guns in History
Photo:  uploaded by Mike Rothschild
Soldiers in World War I needed light, powerful machine guns that could be easily moved during attacks, and provide copious firepower for defense. Unfortunately for French troops, they had the Chauchat light machine gun. Its construction was so shoddy that parts weren't interchangeable, while the distinctive magazine had large holes that easily became caked in mud, making the weapon useless. It jammed easily, overheated, and was impossible to aim. Troops who were issued Chauchats often threw them away, preferring to use anything else they could get their hands on.
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2 mm Kolibri


2 mm Kolibri is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst Guns in History
Photo:  uploaded by Mike Rothschild
A tiny pistol that fired a bullet about half an inch long, the Kolibri (German for "hummingbird") was designed in 1914 by an Austrian watchmaker to be the ultimate concealed self-defense weapon. In practice, it was so small that handling and firing it were next to impossible. If you did manage to get a round off, you probably were better off delivering a swift kick to the shin. The bullet had no spin, no velocity, and was so weak it could only penetrate about an inch - of pine board. Kolibri pistols are now collectors' items.
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Davy Crockett


Davy Crockett is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst Guns in History
Photo:  uploaded by Mike Rothschild
Seeking a way to give infantry the power of killing millions, the US developed the Davy Crockett ultra-close range nuclear recoilless rifle. It was hard to use and inaccurate, but would theoretically form a first line of defense against Soviet tanks rumbling past the Inner German Border. NATO commanders were less than enthusiastic about them, since they'd escalate a conventional conflict into a nuclear one - and they'd likely kill a lot of US troops, as well. Nonetheless, the US Army manufactured over 2,000 Davy Crocketts, and deployed them from 1961 to 1971. A Davy Crockett test explosion was the last above-ground nuclear test in US history.