2014’s Top 5 Worst New Pistols

2014 was an interesting year for the Gun Industry.  We’ve seen some shocking things… Some shocking in a Good way, and others shocking in a bad way.     Here’s the 5 worst from 2014.


#1 Disappointment for 2014 was the Glock Model 42.  We had all seen the teaser ads from Glock and we were all waiting for the sub-compact, smaller than a 26, single stack 9mm…  and when it released, we all found to our dismay that it was a *sigh* .380 auto.  A gun that no one asked for, and even fewer people actually wanted.  However, if you are going to be the Best in Class in something, might as well choose the lowest hurdle… and Glock leapt it.  Easily the best choice for a segment that hit it’s peak 4 years prior.  Now, the Glock 42 is a fantastic pistol for a .380 auto.  If you are looking for a .380, that’s the one to get.  But that’s just the problem.  Everyone was wanting – and expecting – it to be a 9mm.


#2 Worst pistol for 2014 was the Remington R51.    Remington teased it with a hand selected group of Gun Writers who got to test the pre-production ringers Remington prepped for them.  The gun had interesting reviews from these guys.  But there was something not right about it.  It was noticeably absent from the Media Day At the Range even which is always the day before SHOT SHOW opens.  No one was able to try it out.  Just Remington’s hand picked fellows.  This made many Gun Writer’s and Critics raise a wary eyebrow.  And when SHOT Started – there was the R51 on Display in a tiny area that had Remington Staffers physically blocking people by casual body positioning to keep people from being able to get their hands on the thing.
In spite of many warnings and misgivings about the pistol from guys such as myself, orders were placed and the gun went on sale… and was quickly recalled and we were all very entertained by all of the reports of problems… You had been warned.  Not my fault you didn’t listen.   But to be honest, I didn’t want to be right.  It’s a good looking pistol.  It looks cool.  I wanted to like it.  But the upside down grip safety, and the clunky action just felt oh so very wrong.   Honestly bringing back an outdated design that really was a commercial flop was just a poor decision on Remington’s part.  Had they used a 1911 style grip safety and then used a Modified Browning type action like most pistols use –  The R51 would have been huge hit.  Instead it was the biggest fail I’ve seen since… well… the Mauser M2.


#3.  The Bond Arms Backup.  All the worst features of an overweight, chunky and clunky derringer, but now available with a cheap and ugly finish!  Now the regular Bond Arms Derringers are good looking pistols.  They are well made, with great fit and finish… they are attractive guns, but thick and heavy.   But the Backup turns that into something from People of Walmart. (No, no image links on that one)   It’s horrid.  But someone out there likes them enough to buy them.   I don’t know those people… but they are out there.


#4.   Anything from Double Tap Defense / Heizer Defense.  These guys are making new modern Derringers, as if that was something we needed.  To make matters worse, they are now chambering them in rifle cartridges and not just the typical .45 Colt/.410 Shotshell.  You can get it in .223 and .308 now.  And if you really had no taste, you can get one of the HEDY JANE editions.   Nothing says cheap like plastic beads on a string as the backup up for a failed new product idea and marketing from watching too much “Saved By The Bell”.  Nothing says “I have no taste” quite like a Hedy Jane.  I think it may come complete with a Prancercise DVD.  Don’t hold me to that, I’m not sure.  But I heard a guy talk about it at the Heizer Defense booth at SHOT last January.  Or maybe it was a corporate thing.  I don’t know.  I just remember being very uncomfortable there and had to leave… I actually fled Las Vegas completely because of Heizer Defense.  That and the whole ditching a cabby thing that I can’t talk about.


#5.  The Taurus View.  Here’s something that should really spur international sales… A clear side plate on a pocket revolver.  Now you get to see how oil and lint and dirt can gum up an action!  Brilliant! You know that old saying about never approach a restaurant from the rear?  They don’t know that saying in Brazil.  They also think anyone that will want this gun will have hands like a malnourished 8 year old North Korean girl.    The gun is not just uncomfortable to look at, but to hold.  Let alone actually try to hit your target with.  I found it impossible to hold on to.  And the trigger pull just sucked.   Here’s the thing though.  Had they just put on a regular set of boot grips, and a regular side plate… I think the View would have been pretty cool.  But this was a swing and a miss.
Having said that though – I have to give Taurus props for at least Swinging and trying something different.   Give me this gun with a set of Boot Grips like this… and a regular side plate… and I could be quiet happy with it.  With some trigger work.

32 thoughts on “2014’s Top 5 Worst New Pistols”

  1. I held the Taurus view in a gun shop a few weeks ago. I was shocked by how small that grip is; pictures don’t do it justice. Popsicle stick-like.

    1. The 9mm Baretta Nano should be included simply for it’s trigger. the pull is exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxtremmmmmmmmmmmmmly long and uneven. Want a gun that you won’t know when it will fire?? this is it. even trying to jerk the trigger all the way back will frequently leave you with more pulling to do. first gun in the 60 years of shooting that I despise.

  2. With the Taurus View there’s always the chance you could
    ugly an attacker into going somewhere else.
    Kinda like Davy Crockett grinning a raccoon out of a tree.

    I will stick to my S&W snubnoses.

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  4. The Taurus Curve is about as solid as an other modern pistol design in .380.
    I can understand why its not on the list. If you match up other .380’s in a head to head comparison they all seem to have the same pros and cons on the bottom line.

  5. I bought one the Views. Really small and well made. Titanium, aluminum and stainless steel. I did try mine and with 90 gr light .38 loads not that bad. A 357 stubby is more harsh on the recoil. Glad I got it for my collection as Taurus already dropped the little revolver. If you want one buy now as there are very few of them.

  6. The Double Tap Defense and Heizer Defense are not the same company. Do a Google search to find out the real story.
    As for Bond Arms chubby. A 2.5″ barrel costs only $117 so anyone can make their BA Derringer into one.

  7. Agree with your picks, but not the order of the first two. Yes, the G42 was a letdown in .380, but for Remington to put out a POS like the R51 to the public after massaging (can you say cover up?) the intro units, is deceptive and dishonest. Much worse than simply choosing a lesser caliber for a new model. Glock’s marketing methods may be questionable, but the G42 will go bang all day every day. Stay tuned for the 9mm version in 2015.

    1. Never will happen. Glock will not allow its G26 to be dethroned by its sibling. Glock is the kind of company that tells the shooter what it needs to be shooting, not one that listens. They dropped the ball and came way late to at the single stacked CC ball. And worste of all, they brought their cousin!

      1. Plus, Glock could have made the G42 a staggered magazine and add a few more rounds. IT just seems like this pistol was an afterthought, like the Ruger SR9.

  8. The G42 was, indeed, a let down but not for the reasons you described. You hate .380s. I get that. There’s a place for it and it will stop bad guys. The place for it (and people have asked for it of Glock, I believe) is in the pocket pistol format where the pressure of a full on 9mm may not be OK. Had the G42 actually been an actual pocket pistol, I’d have bought one. I carry a G26 pretty much all the time. For those times where the “pretty much” takes effect (and I can carry), a pocket pistol is called for. So, I have to forgo my trusty Glock for my trusty S&W Bodyguard. I’d rather have a Glock that’s the size of my Bodyguard, though.

  9. Funny to see the Glock 42 on here. This GREAT pocket pistol I’d still flying off the shelves as fast as they come in. I regularly checked multiple dealers (independent stores and large chains) and every time was told they sell as soon as they hit the shelf. I got lucky and hit the local big chain store the day one was put on the shelf (it had been lost in the back room for a month). These are harder to procure than .22LR ammo. I bought it for my wife and she has been carrying it every day and loves how it feels, she wouldn’t carry her other gun because it is too bulky. Do although you don’t like the .380, I have to agree with the review on another site that called it the best gun of 2014.

    1. I agree. The Glock 42 is a great pocket pistol and should be included as one of the best for 2014. I purchased one for my wife. She loves the G42.

  10. Bought an R51 from a dealer without hearing any of the bad news first. I own an R1enhanced45cal 1911 and love it so I’m totally bewildered by Remington for pulling this bs. Still waiting (after 8 months)for a replacement but might take them up on an offer for a reduced price on a carry 1911. A lesser company I could see doing this but Remington must be going down the crapper.

    1. Remington should just cut you a check for what was the MSRP, and call it good for everyone.
      Then bury the R51 for the failure it was.

  11. I have a Glock 42 and am not disappointed in any way with it. That author saying the 42 is ” a gun that no one asked for, and even fewer people actually wanted ” is a joke. Glock 42’s were selling so fast when they first came out that people were waiting months to get one, and they are still selling as fast as Glock can make them. The ogre really is mad.

  12. I have a Glock 42 and am not disappointed in any way with it. That author saying the 42 is ” a gun that no one asked for, and even fewer people actually wanted ” is a joke. Glock 42’s were selling so fast when they first came out that people were waiting months to get one, and they are still selling as fast as Glock can make them. The ogre really is mad.

  13. I simply cannot agree with the contention that because the G42 was a single stack .380 pistol rather than the single-stack 9mm everybody and their brother expected from Glock that it is somehow deserving of the dubious honor of being one of the worst pistols of 2014. I owned one and it pointed well, shot well, and never gave me one bit of trouble.

    Perhaps I’m in a minority here, but to qualify as a “worst” pistol, the pistol in question should have some potential issue with its quality or shootability. For example, I had a Beretta Nano that I had to return twice due to failure to feed and failure to eject issues. I finally gave up and bought a Glock 43 (not a bit of trouble from that one). How about the Beretta Pico, which has one of the worst trigger actions I’ve ever encountered in a pistol? These lists kinda piss me off because guns that end up on it are there for no good reason other than “it wasn’t the pistol the public expected (Glock) or “somebody said they were crap (Hi-Point; Kel-Tech). Find something endemically wrong with the gun before you put it on the list; don’t just put it there because it didn’t fit your particular idea of what market niche the manufacturer should have tried to go for with their product line.

    If we’re using the proper criteria then the Remington R51 should be number one with a bullet (no pun intended) and the Glock 42 shouldn’t be on this list at all.

  14. The Bond Arms is not for anything but using if you are going in the woods and may expect snake or something you need pellets to hit. Its not for riot control. That Taurus View is not a very good looking gun and the grip to the rest of the gun just looks stupid.

  15. Beretta Nano is a perfectly functional and accurate handgun. I carry one every day and feel confident in doing so.

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