1. A. Remington Model 51.
Although designed by genius John Pedersen, the Model 51 was overly complex and potentially dangerous. A recent improved version—the R51— also failed after a brief introduction in 2014. The other three pistols were all highly successful.
2. C. India’s INSAS.
Designed and built by veteran manufacturer Ishapore Arsenal, the INSAS should have been a runaway success. Some reviews suggest that poor quality control was the problem. The other three rifles have been very successful.
3. C. Colt Lightning.
From first to last, the Lightning proved troublesome. Although built for 20 years, it developed and sustained a bad reputation for disfunction. Exact replicas and “improved” versions can’t seem to shake the cloud the Lightning has lived under.
4. D. Madsen M47.
An excellent design and well-made, the bolt-action M47 was introduced into a world awash in post-war bolt-actions. Plus, its .30-06 cartridge beat up the smaller soldiers it was designed for. Only Colombia bought some— and quickly sold them to the American sporting market. The other rifles listed were all fantastic successes.
5. A. Smith & Wesson i-Bolt.
When introduced just over a decade ago, the homely i-Bolt was an immediate disappointment. Then, an urgent safety recall offered the venerable manufacturer an escape route. The other modern firearms listed are all highly successful.
6. B. 6.5mm Deaudateau.
This short-lived rifle was a product of interservice rivalry. The same issue created the U.S. Navy’s failed 6mm Lee-Navy. The Japanese Arisaka was used as a substitute standard by the Royal Navy, and the 6.5 Mauser was a Swedish cavalry carbine.
7. A. 1883 Winchester-Hotchkiss.
This excellent .45-70 rifle was “too complicated,” according to U.S. Army evaluators. The other rifles listed are all successful single-shots.
8. C. 1910 Ross Mk III.
Based on the straight-pull 1905 Ross, failure of its bolt lugs led to a failure of confidence in the mud of Flanders. The other two straightpull rifles listed had long, successful lives.
9. A. Simonov AVS-36.
Unlike most Soviet rifles, the AVS-36 was beautifully finished. However, after just three months of service against the Finns, they were withdrawn. The Finns discarded captured rifles as well. The other rifles and the DP LMG listed were excellent combat weapons.
10. B. Armalite AR-10.
Built of aluminum and plastic, the AR-10 yielded mediocre service in several African brushfire wars. It’s distinctive “waffle-patterned” magazine stands out in photos of the era. The other rifles listed were all successful and were manufactured with conventional steel and wood construction.