10 Weapons That Backfired Horribly

A good weapon should be dangerous to the enemy while perfectly safe to the person wielding it. But there have been plenty of weapons with designs so flawed or execution so poor that they actually achieved the reverse. Some of them were good ideas that were too far ahead of the curve, others were merely terrible engineering failures. And some border on sheer stupidity.

10. The Nambu Type 94 Handgun

Imperial Japan had some amazing weapons, ranging from the rugged Arisaka rifle to the nimble A6M2 Zero fighter aircraft. This was not one of them. In fact, the Nambu Type 94 is a serious contender for the title of worst service handgun ever.

Introduced in 1934, the Type 94 was plagued by a series of design flaws which would have been embarrassing even for a Saturday Night Special. To start with, it used an oddly underpowered cartridge—and it could only hold six of those anyway. It also boasted a disturbing lack of accuracy. The slide was difficult to operate in moist conditions (such as the jungles of southeast Asia) and close to impossible to handle when wearing gloves (which were needed in the cold winters of Manchuria). The grip was not very comfortable and the design was top-heavy, which meant greater recoil than would normally be expected for such a weak cartridge.

But by far the Type 94’s worst flaw was an exposed trigger bar along the left side of the frame. If accidentally pressed when a round was chambered, this would cause the gun to discharge, as seen in the video above. Somehow, the gun actually got worse during the war, when workmanship declined and quality materials became scarce.