I don't know who wrote this but it is a howler. Everyone has their particular favorite when it comes to shooting tools. And we all have our biases when it comes to those firearms we don't care for.
Someone took some time to craft bugaboos about many popular handguns and long guns. I'm thinking it was a Barrett 50 fan, since that big boomstick is not mentioned. Bottom line: there is something to offend everyone here.
On a serious note, as a fan of John Browning I take offense at the description of the 1911. On that one the writer is just stupid. I'm just sayin' . . .
M14/M1A: Clunky, heavy, and overpowered. Essentially a Garand tarted up with a removable magazine, in a half-baked attempt to adapt a 19th century rifle design philosophy to the mid-20th century. Most often named as favorite infantry rifle by people who never had to hump a 10-pound wood-stocked rifle with lots of sharp protrusions and no collapsible anything on a three day exercise, or try to make it through a firefight with the standard battle load of five 20-round magazines.
AK-47: Crude and inaccurate bullet thrower designed by and for illiterate peasants. Chambered in a caliber that manages to cut the ballistics of a proper .30-caliber battle rifle in half without passing on any weight savings to the grunt. Ergonomics only suitable for Russian midgets. Archaic cable trigger spring, crummy sights, no sight radius to speak of, no bolt hold-open device, and a clumsy safety. Favorite infantry rifle of Middle Eastern goat herders, guys named Abdullah, and backwoods militia types who like the fact that it shoots cheap ammo and has ballistics like their
H&K G-3/HK-91: Ergonomics of a railroad tie. No bolt release, and a locking system that requires three men and a mule to work the cocking handle. Fluted chamber that mauls brass, and violent bolt motion that dings the brass that didn't get mauled too badly by the chamber. Stamped sheet metal construction, yet just as heavy as a milled steel M14. Safety lever that requires unnaturally long thumbs, and a trigger pull that feels like dragging a piano across a gravel road with your index finger. Favorite infantry rifle of Cold War nostalgics and third world commandos.
M-16/AR-15: Underpowered varmint rifle burdened by a crummy magazine design. Nasty direct-impingement gas system that poops where it eats. High sight line, flimsy alloy-and-plastic construction. Generally favored by range commandos, tactical disciples, military vets who have never fired anything else for comparison, and Brownells addicts who a.) enjoy spending three times the cost on the rifle on bolt-on accouterments, and b.) never have to use their rifle away from a dry, sunny
G-36: Flimsy plastic rifle with non-user adjustable fair-weather optics that fog up when a gnat breaks wind in front of them. Magazines that take up twice as much pouch space than others in the same caliber because of the "clever" coupling nubs on the magazine housing. Skeleton folding stock that is about as suitable for butt-stroking as a plastic mess spork. Twice as expensive as other rifles in its class because of the "HK" logo on the receiver. Preferred infantry rifle of SWAT cops, and soldiers whose militaries haven't been in shooting conflicts since the 1940s.
Glock: Butt-ugly plastic shooting appliance with the ergonomics of a caulking gun. Five-pound trigger with no external safety makes it ill-suited for its target market (cops who shoot a hundred rounds a year for qualification). Favored by gangbangers because the product name is short and rhymes with other short, rap-friendly words.
Beretta 92F/M9: Clunky and overweight rip-off of a clunky and overweight German design from the 1930s. Shear-happy locking block, ergonomics that are only
suited for linebackers, barely adequate sights that are partially non-replaceable, and low capacity for its size. Favored by Eighties action movie fanatics and John Woo freaks.
1911: Overweight and overly complex piece of late 19th century technology. Low capacity, useless sights in stock form, and a field-stripping procedure that requires three hands. Favored by people who are at the cutting edge of handgun technology and combat shooting . . . of the 1960s.
H&K P7: Wildly overpriced, heavy for its size, low capacity in most iterations, and blessed with a finish that rusts if you give the gun a moist glance. Gas tube has a tendency to roast the trigger finger after a box or two of ammo at the range. Favored by gun snobs who think that paying twice as much for half the rounds means four times the fighting skill.
SIG Sauer: Top-heavy bricks with the rust resistance of an untreated iron nail
at the bottom of a bucket of saltwater. Ergonomically sound, if you have size
XXL mitts. Some minor parts made in Germany, so the manufacturer can charge 75% Teutonic Gnome Magic premium. Favored by Jack Bauer fans and wannabe Sky Marshals/Secret Service agents.
S&W Revolvers: Archaic hand weapons from a bygone era, the missing link between flintlocks and autoloaders. Low capacity, and reloading requires a lunch break. Heavy for their capacity, unless you're talking about airweight snubbies, which hurt as much on the giving end as they do on the receiving end. Rare stoppages, but few malfunctions that don't require gunsmith services, which are hard to come by in a gunfight. Favored by crusty old farts who just now got around to trusting newfangled smokeless powder, and Dirty Harry fans with unrealistic ideas about the power of Magnum rounds vs. engine blocks.
SMLE/Enfield: Refinement of a 19th century blackpowder design. Weapon of choice for militaries who either couldn't afford Mausers, or had ideological hangups about Kraut rifles. Rimlock-prone cartridge that only barely classifies as a battle rifle round because of blackpowder derivation and insufficient lock strength of the platform. Favored by Canadians with WWII nostalgia, and people who think that semi-auto rifles are a passing fad.
Browning HP: Fragile frame designed around a popgun round. Near-useless safety in stock form that's only suitable for the thumbs of elementary schoolers. Strangest and most circuitous way to trip a sear ever put into a handgun. Favored by wannabe SAS commandos, wannabe mercenaries, and Anglophiles who think that hammer-down, chamber-empty carry is the most appropriate way to carry a defensive sidearm.
Benelli shotguns: Plastic boutique scatterguns made by people with the martial acumen of dairy cows. Hideously expensive, and therefore popular with police agencies that get their equipment financed by tax dollars.
FN FAL: Long and lightweight receiver that's impossible to scope properly. Overpowered round, twenty-round magazines that run dry in a blink, and an overall weapon length that's only suitable for Napoleonic line infantry, but utterly useless for airborne and armored infantry. Made by Belgians, a nation with a military history that is limited to waving German divisions through at the border. Favored by Falklands veterans, Commonwealth fanboys, and people who think that dial-a-recoil gas systems are the epitome of infantry technology.
9mm Luger: European popgun round that's only popular because the ammo is cheap for a centerfire cartridge. Cheap ammo is a good thing for 9mm aficionados,
because anything bigger and more dangerous than a cranky raccoon will likely require multiple well-placed hits. Wildly popular all over the world, mostly in
countries where people don't carry guns, and cops don't have to actually shoot
people with theirs.
.45ACP: Chunky low-pressure cartridge that hogs magazine space and requires a low-capacity design (if the gun needs to fit human hands) or a grip with the circumference of a two-liter soda bottle (if the gun needs to hold more than seven rounds). Disturbingly prone to bullet setback, expensive to reload, fits only into big and clunky guns, and a recoil that has an inversely proportionate relationship with muzzle energy.
.40S&W: Neutered compromise version of a compromise cartridge. Even more setback-happy than the .45ACP, and setbacks are much more dangerous because of higher pressure and smaller case volume. Manages to sacrifice both the capacity of the 9mm and the bullet diameter of the .45. Twice the recoil of the 9mm for 10% more muzzle energy.
.357SIG: Highly overpriced boutique round that does the .40S&W one worse: it manages to share the capacity penalty of the .40 while retaining the small bullet diameter of the 9mm. Noisy, sharp recoil, and 100% cost penalty for ballistics that can be matched by a good 9mm +P+ load. Penetrates like the dickens, which means that the Air Marshals just had to adopt it...only to load their guns with frangible bullets to make sure they don't penetrate like the dickens.
.38 Special: Legacy design with a case length that's 75% longer than necessary for the mediocre ballistics of the round due to its blackpowder heritage. On the plus side, the case length makes it easy to handle when reloading the gun. This is a good thing because anyone using their .38 in self-defense against a 250-pound attacker hopped up on crack will need to empty the gun multiple times.
.32ACP: Inadequate for anything more thick-skinned than Northeastern squirrels or inbred Austrian archdukes. Semi-rimmed cartridge that is rimlock-happy in modern lightweight autoloaders. Doesn't go fast enough to expand a hollowpoint bullet, and it wouldn't matter even if it did, because the bullet would only expand from tiny to small-ish.
.44 Magnum: Overpowered round that generates manageable recoil and muzzle blast...if you're a 300-pound linebacker with wrists like steel girders. Often loaded to "Lite" levels that turn it into a noisy .44 Special while retaining the ego-preserving Magnum headstamp. Considered the "most powerful handgun cartridge in the world" by people whose gun knowledge is either stuck in 1960, or who get their expertise in ballistics from Dirty Harry movies.
10mm Auto: Super-high pressure cartridge that beats up gun and shooter alike. Very brisk recoil in anything other than all-steel S&W boat anchors, with a shot recovery that's measured in geological epochs for most handgun platforms. Often underloaded to wimpy levels (see ".40 S&W"), which then gives it 9mm ballistics while requiring .45ACP magazine real estate.
.380ACP/9mm Kurz: Designed by people who thought the 9mm Luger was a bit too brisk and snappy, which is pretty much all that needs to be said here. Great round if you expect to only ever be attacked by people less than seven inches thick from front to back.
.357 Magnum: Lots of recoil, muzzle blast, and noise to drive a 9mm bullet to reckless speeds in an attempt to make up for its low mass and diameter. Explosive fragmentation and insufficient penetration with light bullets; excessive penetration and insufficient expansion with heavy ones. Still makes only 9mm holes in the
5.7×28mm: Ingenious way to make a centerfire .22 Magnum and then charge quadruple price for the same ballistics. Awesome chambering for a police firearm . . . if you're the park ranger in charge of the chipmunk exhibit at the zoo, and you want to make sure you can take one down if it turns rabid on you.
.25ACP: Direct violation of the maxim "Never do an enemy a minor injury." Designed by folks who wanted to retain the bullet diameter of the .22 rimfire round, but take a bit of the excessive lethality out of it. Favored by people who don't feel comfortable carrying anything more dangerous than the neighbor kid's rusty Red Ryder pellet gun.
h/t to Jonathan O'Conner via Randy Van Fossan