The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 2, 2002, 01:04 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Palo Alto, People's Republic of Kaliforny
Posts: 724
Never mind the Best, who makes the WORST revolver?

We've got all kinds of threads about which revolver is best, who's the best bang for the buck, etc.

Let's do something a bit different. Wheelguns are somewhat hard to screw up, as they have existed for so long the technology has been exhaustively developed. Kinda like the front-engine rear-drive concept in cars.

My vote for Worst Revolver of All Time goes to the Clerke Corporation, of Santa Monica Californy, for the "Clerke 1st" revovler. Mine is a .32 S&W, (It'll chamber .32 ACP's though. I won't fire it with those. Heck, I won't fire it at ALL, now.) and it's made out of pot-metal with a steel barrel liner and cylinder. All the rest of the internal parts are crude stamped sheet-metal. The flash gap will accept TWO business cards, and the "forcing cone" is a 45 degree bevel in the end of the barrel liner. This gun was brand-new when I got it from my grandmother, as my grandfather had bought it as a desk gun to have and not shoot. They still had the original box of Remington "Kleenbore" ammo in the old green box, full up.

I put five rounds through it, just because I shoot every gun I've got, at least once. It threw the bullets ALL OVER the landscape, at twenty-five FEET. The hand is already showing significant wear from the ratchet, just from a few dry-fire cycles.

This gun is CRAP. I've seen RG's that are better than this gun. I don't plan to fire it again. I've seen others on tables at gunshows selling for as little as forty dollars. I think I'd rather have a Bryco or a Jennings! However, I can't get rid of it, because it was Grandpa's gun, and it's the only one I've got of his.

Too bad it's such a piece of junk. It has a nice-feeling grip, ergonomics-wise, the finish is in good shape, and it cycles nicely. It's a nice compact size, too. Crap it may be, but it WORKS, for now. It was probably completely appropriate for it's role as a just-in-case gun, as it would do fine at across-the-room distance, and better if not fired at all, as most defense situations resolve themselves.

That's it's only saving graces. What do you folks think is the worst revolver made? And why?
I find the world disappointing at best.

I'm reminded of that every time the phone rings.

"The telephone is an infernal device whereby any damnfool with a nickel can ruin your whole day."---Mark Twain

Hand_Rifle_Guy is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 01:13 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: June 18, 2001
Location: southern california
Posts: 679
RG .38 snubbie with stamped bolt.
Cal4D4 is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 01:37 AM   #3
Jim March
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,413
As far as "worst in current production", I'd nominate the lousy Argentine POSs that some poor of a distributor had at the NRA convention gun show in Reno. Called a...crap, I can't remember. Same maker as Llama though. Anyways. Sideplate gaps varied as you followed the edge around the frame.

Sing it:

"Don't cry for ME Argentiiiiiiina!
Cry 'cuz your GUN blew your haaaand off!"
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 03:50 AM   #4
Mike Weber
Senior Member
Join Date: April 24, 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 238
Clerke Revolvers

I remember the Clerke revolvers. They were still being manufactured into the mid seventies. They were offered in .32S&W and .22LR. Except for the barrel liner they were all pot metal and plastic as I recall. They sold for around $15.00 NIB in about 1975 or76. I once asked a police officer in a major southern city,what was the most common crime gun in his opinion.
His immediate response was the Clerke .22. They were so cheap that the criminals were doing strawman purchases of a dozen or more at a time. The police were finding them at crime scenes all the time. I believe that it was political pressure that forced the company out of business. Similar to the firearms industry lawsuits that we are seeing today. Today the worst gun that I,ve seen in terms of quality are the pistols made by HIPOINT ARMS CO. A friend of mine owns one and, can't seem to get a magazine through it without a jam. The sad thing is that he keeps it for self defence. Another gun that is mostly pot metal.
Mike Weber is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 05:56 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 27, 1999
Posts: 725
For me it has to be the harrison and richardson 22lr revolver
that I briefly owned back in 1987 or there abouts.

That revolver made a 9 shot "group" larger than any cylinder bore shotgun ever did.

On a 14 " x 14 " target at 15 yards, group size was 13 inches from bench rest.

Had something to do with an extreemly wobbly craine and poor lock up of the cylinder to the frame. Worst part was the gun was brand new but H&R has just been bought out by New England Firearms and the new manufacturer would not be responsible for defects caused by the old management.

So with a brand spanking new gun that couldn't hit the water from the bottom of the lake bed and a utterly worthless 1 year warranty, I was left to fend for myself so I sold the gun ,
at at loss,
to an unsuspecting FFL dealer who sold it to an unsuspecting customer.

Thus are problem guns unloaded.

The only other gun I had that was that bad, actually worst, because it made a 14 inch group at 15 yards, was a brand new Taurus PT99af --stainless 9mm double action beretta copy.

Seems that the barrel was incapable of locking up in the same place two times in a row due to the egg shaped so called
"barrell bushing" utilized on the baretta style copy open slide type pistol.

That pistol missed the target 100 times out of 100 shots at 50 yards from bench rest, printing instead a 4 foot group all in a circle around the 1/5 scale steel ram (siliouette) target I was aiming at.

I was used to hitting that ram at 100 yards with a 9mm sig sauer p226
9 to 12 times out of 15.

I sent the pt99af pistol back to Taurus (lifetime warrany) but was told that Taurus was unable to accurize that gun. It couldn't be done......
according to the (at that time) "gunsmith" at Taurus.

Again , I unloaded a bad gun at a loss .

While I still buy many Taurus revolvers and have had excellent
accuracy and good luck with them, the moral of this story is to avoid Taurus copies of open slide baretta style pistols.

Taurus revolvers are the equal of S&W revolvers at 1/2 the price and the Taurus semi autos that copy the sig sauer barell lock up are the equal of ruger semi autos at 1/2 the size of the rugers
and just a bit more in price.

So most Taurus's are good guns except I never liked double action only triggers like taurus puts on their pt22 lr and mellinium
series semis. But some people seem to like double action only, I guess, since taurus seems to sell those guns.

By the Way, I have a highpoint 9 mm in my gun collection,but I've
never taken it out to the range to shoot it. I have to try it out this summer and see if it jams. If it does, I'll try polishing the feed ramp and stretching the magazine spring as that usually cures
most feeding problems.If not, I'll end up dumping,
yet another lemon at a loss.

In 2002, we must become politically active in
support of gun rights or we WILL LOSE the right
& the freedom.
Every year,over 2 million Americans use firearms
not to take live but to preserve life,....limb & family
.Gun Control Democrats would prefer that they are all disarmed
and helpless and die victims of felony violence,instead.

Protect your gun rights, go to:
The Tyrany Response Team
ernest2 is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 07:11 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: March 18, 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,355
I hadn't seen one of those in years, but I do remember the "Clerke" revolvers. Absolutely the worst [ahem] guns I have ever known about. They were not even heavy enough nor did they have sufficient pointy edges to use as a throwing weapon. I did see a guy blaze away with 5 or 6 cylinders worth of ammo. Didn't hit the sillouette once at 5 yds. Never mind the black part of the target, didn't even get 1 on the paper anywhere. Guy got really pissy when I asked if he was "shootin' blanks". He was cursing with references to "...this is a great gun. Don't understand why I cant hit target....yada yada yada....
foghornl is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 07:28 AM   #7
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 78
My vote goes toward RG-14. I believe a German company.

At $34.95 retail price, truly Saturday Nite Special in .22lr with baked on blueish finish.

It had a trigger pull of 20lb in double action mode.
bmwguy is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 07:58 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: December 12, 2001
Location: Washington State
Posts: 456
After reading the descriptions of some of your revolvers, it makes the piece of junk I have not look as bad. I am talking about a .22LR Rough Rider made by Heritage Manufacturing. Extreamly inaccurate. Oh well, seven years ago the price was right.
NINEX19 is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 08:08 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
The one revolver I wouldn't want to own:

A few weeks ago a local gun shop had a S&W sale and, once again, had a Custom Shop gunsmith in for two days to do free checkups - one to a customer. After he pronounced my used 442 fit as a fiddle, the next guy in line gave him a big old shiney S&W .44mag and said that it was spitting lead every which way but the right way.

No forcing cone. Oops. Of course, the guy said that he'd owned it for 6 or 7 years

johnbt is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 08:57 AM   #10
Mike Weber
Senior Member
Join Date: April 24, 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 238

I'll have to admit that I have a personal bias toward the HIPOINT. A few years ago a friend of mine, the same one that I mentioned in my earlier post. Blew a 9mm hole through the tailgate of my pickup dinged the wheelwell took out my back glass,the bullet exited the open passenger side window and very narrowly missed me. This was with a HIPOINT. I had been set up prone shooting some rifle targets on the passenger side. He had been shooting some gallon milk jugs behind my pickup. He had his box of ammo on the back bumper of the pickup. His pistol got a stovepipe jam, he had been getting a lot of them that day. He turned toward my truck with his finger still inside the trigger guard racked the slide back, the slide slipped out of his hand and the weapon discharged, customizing my pickup in the process. He was trying to dump the empty onto the bumper. I had made the serious error of assuming that he was properly trained in firearm handling as he had previously owned two DA revolvers. He was so inexperienced if fact that he didn't know how to strip the weapon for cleaning. I had to do it for him. Thus I got to examine the inner workings of the HIPOINT. I didn't care for what I found for starters there is a takedown pin that must be removed in order to strip the weapon. Removal of this pin was difficult and replaceing it was even harder. I didn't care for the fireing pin design or the amount of pot metal used in the weapon. Oh by the way when I go shooting, I don't take this fellow with me any more .
Mike Weber is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 10:56 AM   #11
Ala Dan
Member in memoriam
Join Date: August 13, 1999
Location: In The HOT, Humid, and Mu
Posts: 6,116
In Revolver's-

I see a 3-way tie shaping up. Cuz all of these are P.O.S.-

1. the infamous RG's
2. those Clerke's

and last but certainly not least:

3. Arminus imported from Germany

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
Ala Dan is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 11:07 AM   #12
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,341
Great Thread!

Hey Jim,

I must retract my post that stated that Convention had nothing but quality stuff. Didn't stop by any of the Argentine displays at all and now I wish I had.

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 12:53 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: February 12, 2000
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,124
I think Rohm was the loss-leader inexpensive version of the upscale RG's . I had a .22 short model I bought from my cousin-in-law for (I kid you not) 3 bucks. I got took. Shame on him for duping a 12 year old. It was nominally a double-action revo, but it had a loading gate like a single-action. The operator had to unscrew what appeared to be the ejector rod, and use it to push out the empty cases. An intrepid 12-yo could file down the point (such as it is) of a .22lr, thereby shortening it enough to fit in the cylinder. From a dead-cold barrel/cylinder, it would put the first couple in the same zip code as the point of aim. After that, forget it. It was a real knuckle-baller.
"First, the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right -- subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility" -- L. Neil Smith

' I have an [in]alienable right to bear arms. I will exercise my own judgement in their use and accept responsibilty for the consequences' - Oakleaf
Hutch is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 02:49 PM   #14
'01 GSR
Senior Member
Join Date: April 16, 2002
Posts: 168
My dad found an RG10 in a bar....

back in the '60s.

I droped it when looking at it once and the barrel came off.


Funny thing is my uncle still has one his dad rescued from the county melt down program. I keep encouraging him to trade up to a pellet gun.
'01 GSR is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 03:03 PM   #15
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,160
Rohm was RG (Rohm Gesellschaft or Rohm, Inc.). The guns were junk and were the original SNS for reasons indicated above about the crooks.

The Aminius was a shade better. The Clerke was junk, maybe worse than the RG, which at least had to pass German proof.

I will add the Spanish revolvers and auto pistols of the early part of the last century (a whole lot are still around) and the small auto pistols (Davis, Phoenix, Raven, etc.) made a while back mostly in California.

I don't go along on the High Point; the ones I have tried have been reliable and reasonably accurate, if not pretty. Still, I guess if one was used to blow a hole in my truck, I might feel differently. But note that it worked!

Jim K
James K is offline  
Old May 2, 2002, 07:15 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2001
Location: Palo Alto, People's Republic of Kaliforny
Posts: 724
Clerke's sold for $15 in the seventies, huh? I believe it. it's the only true SNS gun I've got, and it's an embarassement to own. I bring it out to serve the same purpose as a mistake: as a negative example! "Here's what NOT to get!" I've got 100-year-old "Suicide specials" I have more confidence in. At least they're made out of steel!

"Shooting blanks." That's a good one. If I hadn't had a dirt bank on a dry day to show me where the bullets were going, I might have thought that too.

Now I REALLY have to keep it. I won't sell a gun I have no faith in. Besides, I don't think any "Legitimate" market would give me any sort of actual money for the thing. The "Illicit" market is not a consideration, of course.

This is fun. Here's hoping for more horror stories of gun-shaped paperweights that accept live ammo. They make for amusing reading!
I find the world disappointing at best.

I'm reminded of that every time the phone rings.

"The telephone is an infernal device whereby any damnfool with a nickel can ruin your whole day."---Mark Twain

Hand_Rifle_Guy is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 12:08 AM   #17
Mike Weber
Senior Member
Join Date: April 24, 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 238
Cheap Bad Revolvers

I forgot to mention another .32S&W snubby that I saw not long ago. It was of German origin, not an RG or Arminius. It had been inherited by one of my friends. It had a loading gate on the frame like a Colt SAA. and it had a very weird ejector rod setup. I can't Remember the brand name, it was also largely made of pot metal.
anyone here ever seen one?
Mike Weber is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 12:13 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: March 25, 1999
Location: KS
Posts: 1,558
I've got a Clerke 1st .22, it works great - as a bookend!
Bought it in '73 or '74 off a buddy for $5. Shot it once and had to pick the lead splatters out of my hand. Threw it in a box and pretty much forgot about it until a couple of years ago, made a bookend out of it to hold up my reloading manuals. Works just fine.
Actually saw one of these on either Gunbroker or Auctionarms a while back, bidding was up to $50. Someone needs a bookend real bad!
"I don't mind it when stupid people say stupid things. Stupid people should be encouraged to say stupid things, that way we always know who the stupid people are." ~ Ted Nugent
Sisco is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 12:58 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: January 27, 2000
Location: Washington State
Posts: 687
Those Rexico Pucara .22's are pretty nasty looking. I've seen them in SGN for cheap, finally saw a used on in a gunshop and it looks really cheap.
makarov is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 04:48 AM   #20
Mike Weber
Senior Member
Join Date: April 24, 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 238

Bookend eh:
Sounds like a good use for a Clerke,certainly wouldn't pay $50.00 for one though. I believe that the .32 snubby that I mentioned in an earlier post was a Rohm, only in .32S&W. same loading gate and ejector rod.
Mike Weber is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 09:50 AM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: March 8, 2001
Location: Kentucky, Refugee from California
Posts: 1,096
Another vote for RG
Russ is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 12:14 PM   #22
Tropical Z
Senior Member
Join Date: September 6, 2000
Location: Atlantis
Posts: 1,683
I never saw a Hi-Point revolver!
As for revolvers,Tervas from Argentina are the WORST!!!:barf:
Tropical Z is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 12:58 PM   #23
Steve Smith
Senior Member
Join Date: December 9, 1999
Posts: 4,131

Let the flames begin!
Favor the X.

Steve Smith
NRA Life Member
Steve Smith is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 12:59 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: October 27, 2000
Location: Virginia
Posts: 287
I saw a deputy sheriff in a very small Kentucky county one time carrying an RG 4 inch 38 special..... I believe the crap honor will have to go to the Valor 22's made by Arminius.
seadog is offline  
Old May 3, 2002, 06:07 PM   #25
don't shoot it's me
Senior Member
Join Date: March 29, 2001
Location: NY first/LA second
Posts: 1,537
ditto on the Taurus....traded mine for a clerke and never looked back.
don't shoot it's me is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:19 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10413 seconds with 7 queries