Self-defense mistakes: 5 Guns that are NOT reliable
By Ethan Huff // Jun 15, 2019

The right to bear arms isn't properly exercised simply by heading down to the local gun shop and picking up whatever firearm happens to tickle your fancy. It's about carefully choosing the right gun for not only your personal needs, but also for its intended purpose as a powerful and accurate self-defense weapon.


In their eagerness to start packin', some virgin gun owners make the mistake of purchasing firearms with poor reliability or unseen design flaws. Even some popular brand-named guns fall into the "lemon" category, which is why it's important to always do your research before shelling out your hard-earned cash in a well-intentioned gesture of support for the Second Amendment.

To help our readers avoid making bad purchase decisions that they'll later regret, the following are five guns that, according to Tim Makay from Modern Survival Online, you should "avoid like the plague."

1) Cheap-quality AK variants

Though the beloved AK-47 and other similar firearm variants are largely regarded as the cream of the crop when it comes to reliable rifles, they actually don't live up to the hype – especially when they fall on the less expensive end of the spectrum.

According to Makay, firearms in this class are often made so poorly that they're not even worth owning. Poor assembly, improper heat-treating, mismatched parts, and other issues make "affordable" AKs a really bad choice when it comes to firearms.

2) Derringers

While these two-barreled, break action guns are famous for their portrayal in old "Wild West" films, they're not the best self-defense firearm by a long shot. Besides their terrible ergonomics, which make them difficult to handle and use properly, derringers are single-action, meaning they need to be cocked for every shot.

Another problem with the derringer is that after it's fired, the action releases while the barrels pivot upwards in the rear, requiring the user to clear the two chambers of spent brass in order to reload them with live ammunition, followed by a manual closing of the entire device.

On top of all this, derringers aren't typically manufactured to the highest standards, meaning even the two shots that you spend all this time unloading and reloading might not even work.

3) Any .25 ACP pistol

Even though it's a larger caliber than the popular .22, .25 caliber anything should always be avoided. Not only is this ammunition size a poor performer, but the firearms that use it are likewise troublesome and ineffective.

Believe it or not, .22 caliber ammo penetrates the target more deeply and consistently than .25 caliber ammo – so just stick with .22 if you're looking for a small, handy, and convenient pistol.

4) .410 shotgun-firing handguns

Hypothetically speaking, these "handzookas," as Makay calls them, are pretty incredible – at least on paper. But in real life, they're not all that accurate; they're clunky, and they're not exactly known for their durability.

While it might seem pretty neat to be able to shoot shotgun ammo from a handgun, .410 shotgun-firing handguns simply aren't a good option. Makay recommends simply getting a normal shotgun instead.

5) Pistol grip-only (PGO) shotguns

Speaking of shotguns, it's also a good idea to avoid another variation known as the pistol grip-only, or PGO. The reason is that PGO shotguns are exceptionally difficult to shoot without an incredible amount of practice – and even then many people still have trouble with them.

Since they don't have a stock to provide a third point of contact, keeping PGO shotguns stable is a pretty big feat, even for tough guys – think major recoil that's powerful enough to strike you in the face after you discharge.

"They are incredibly cool, and have utility as breaching tools, but for most shooters, they are a bad idea for a defensive piece unless you plan to put an appropriate pistol brace on them," Makay explains.

To learn more about how to get prepped, be sure to visit

Sources for this article include:

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