Worst Pieces of Crap II: Machine Guns


Active member
Every time I come here, which, according to my wife, is far too often, I read about how this weapon or that weapon is the best ever fielded. Well, I decided that it was time to have some fun at the expense of those poor sots who had to deal with pieces of kit or weapons that turned out to be total POC! (pieces of crap). What I would like to do is to start a thread wherein we will discuss the worst stuff out there and try to come to a decision as to which was the worst ever in the category that we are discussing. In order to make the contest useful, I would also like it if everyone followed a few simple rules.
1. The POC in question must have been issued as standard in at least one army.
2. Note the word "standard". The POC in question cannot have been experimental, either in designation or in nature.
3. You must give a good explanation why the weapon in question is truly a POC.
4. I can't think of anything else at the moment.
Now, to decide the worst, seeing as I started the thread, I have decided that I will be the judge, but if this works out even half decently, I would like to invite some of the regulars as a sort of ad-hoc jury, particularly with regards to weapons categories that I know next to nothing about.

Todays subject Machine Guns: I'll accept only light, medium and heavy machine guns, not SMGs or machine cannon. I already have my opinion on which was the worst, try to prove me wrong.

I'd also include the MG 35/36 Knorr-Bremse light machine gun used by the SS. The gun would fire sometimes when the safety was released and the buttstock often would fall off during firing.

It seems like the Japanese type 11 Nambu used a hopper system instead of a magazine or belt. That would be very inconvenient to reload inside an armored vehicle. If I'm not mistaken, the 6.5 mm cartridge it used was too small to make an effective tracer round with the technology of the times.
The Chauchat was bad design, but as the article stated it did introduce features that would become standard such as select fire and a pistole grip. Therefore it does have a minor redeeming value, as it inspired future innovation.

2dold4this already mentioned it so I will give a 2nd nomination the Original Japanese nambu 11 (not the 2nd edition). Like most Japanese small arms it was unreliable due to its 'hopper' magazine, it fired a low power rifle cartridge and was designed to carry a Bayonet. Not exactly redeeming qualities for a LMG.

Japanese infantry weapons were among the worst in WWII, some were actually dangerous to use (i.e type 11 pistol). Its a mystery when they had such genius designers in the Imperial Navy and Imperial Air Forces and the army got all the washouts.
Last edited:
If I'm not mistaken, the type 11 had to be fed cartridges that were loaded at a lower pressure than the standard 6.5mm rifle ammo.
I would have to agree with you guys, the Chauchat and the Type-11. They both pretty much suck.
ezblackgun said:
I saw nothing on that site about the m60 at all. What experience do you have with that mg? I have used it in combat many times and have no complaints about it except maybe that I wish the barrel life was longer. I have also fired it competitively while part of various mg teams, all good and you?
Hello DTOP

Well your more of an expert than I, but wasnt another problem with the M-60 its weight? 23 Pounds plus the weight of all the ammo is quiet a load to carry espically in hot places like Vietnam. Its like carrying a 20' CRT monitor around in combat, (I'll pass).

BTW whats your fastest time changing out a barrel? :cowb:
mmarsh said:
Hello DTOP

Well your more of an expert than I, but wasnt another problem with the M-60 its weight? 23 Pounds plus the weight of all the ammo is quiet a load to carry espically in hot places like Vietnam. Its like carrying a 20' CRT monitor around in combat, (I'll pass).

BTW whats your fastest time changing out a barrel? :cowb:
Heavy? I guess that's all a matter of your frame of reference. The way we looked at it back then was the M60 was a light mg, it packed more power than an M16 and was a lot lighter than a .50 cal. BTW, a shirt was too heavy to carry in that place but you wouldn't leave home without one. BTW the ammo wasn't just carried by the gunner, the load was spread around the squad or at least one other guy.
I don't remember how long it took me to change out a barrel but I do remember it was inversely proportional to the amount of bullets coming my way ;-)
As an infantry scout in Vietnam and although I did carry the m60 from time to time (we all took turns) after a while, what I carried most often was either a thumper or a good old 12ga. scatter gun.
Last edited:
DTop, I have to agree that the M-60 was not the worst out there for one reason. If I had to carry a Chauchat or an M-60, there would be absolutely NO hesitation on my part.
The reason that many people disliked the M-60 was because it's reliability was often called into question, and at the time M-60 was adopted, the MAG-58, which that became the M-240, and the MG-3 were available. But, the US Army wanted to buy American, and the M-60 was the result. Some were good... some not so good. Its replacement, the M-240, had none of its problems.
Well, as usual, the learned members of Military-Quotes ahave come up with some truly memorable contenders. Now in the interests of fairness, I try to use one standard. In all probability, was the use of this weapon responsible for the deaths of the soldiers who had to use it. The answer for the Chauchat and the Namba is yes, so they are both contenders. I will declare the Chauchat the winner for one reason. The Namba may well have caused problems, but I remain uninformed of them as the Japanese of WW II were not given to complaining about much. As a result, we know very little about how many Japanese soldiers fell victim to their own weapon. The Chauchat is another matter entirely. We ALL know ALL about the Chauchat, and has become a gold standard lesson in how to avoid saddling yourself with a lousy weapon. It's too bad that some people (are you reading this Robert S McNamara???) never read about it.

Thanks to all who entered their "favourites"!

Next up?? Tanks.

there was one worse machine gun than the chauchat in *mm lebel, the same thing in 30/06. the magazines even had open sides so the mud could jam it before the action jammed on it's own.