These are the ugliest rifles ever conceived.
A little while back we did a highlight of eight of the ugliest handguns of all time. It was actually a very easy list to put together because there is NO shortage of ugly guns like the FP-45 Liberator, the Dardick tround gun, or the Hi-Point.
But after that article, it got us to thinking. If there are that many ugly handguns, surely there had to be some awful long guns.
It turns out we were right. And it boggles the mind, because it's a lot harder to make a rifle ugly than a handgun. But these aren't just some of the ugliest rifles ever manufactured, they're some of the ugliest firearms period.
Yeesh, what a mess! This Soviet-made, bullpup rifle didn't make it past the prototype stage. Gee, we wonder why? This rifle was chambered in 7.62x39mm and featured a unique, triple-barreled design and a 90-round magazine that fed each barrel independently.
Why three barrels? After a little digging, it seems the Russians were simply trying to come up with a rifle that had a very high rate of fire. Personally, I think the designer, German A. Korobov, watched a few too many science fiction movies. After all, this gun was designed in the 1960s, during a golden age for those kind of films.
One thing is for sure, Korobov had a penchant for ugly designs. He also designed the equally ugly TKB-408 that is a little more well-known. But we just had to include the TKB-059 on this list for its wacky design idea that was too radical for even the Russians.
Ok, so there's a lot to take in here. There are no clean lines on this beast that weighed a whopping 20 pounds and was manufactured by the French for use in World War I.
A few versions of the Chauchat were manufactured. They were chambered in 8mm lebel (the most common variant), 7.65x53mm Argentine, and surprisingly enough, .30-06 Springfield. The .30-06 versions had an especially bad reputation, with many troops training on them and then opting for the 8mm or anything else they could get their hands on as soon as they had the chance.
The biggest issue with the Chauchat is the unusual, semi-circular magazine that features large holes. This may seem like a really poor design choice, but it made sense on paper. The idea was to be able to more quickly assess how many rounds were remaining. But the muddy trench combat of World War I caused countless problems for troops who struggled to keep dirt and debris out of said holes.
The Chauchat has gained something of a fan base in the last 100 years and it isn't generally thought of as a bad design anymore, but it definitely isn't a looker either.
Not everyone likes bullpup-style rifles and many could arguably get onto this list. But the Armenian-made K-3 stood out to us.
This blocky-looking firearm sort of bears a resemblance to the British-made SA80. But the K-3 is much blockier and much uglier. It fires a 5.45x39mm round and was developed for military use. Interestingly enough, this rifle has an ejection port fixed on the right side with no option to fire it either way, which seems like an odd choice for a service rifle.
There isn't much more to say about the K-3, other than a later variant of the rifle was introduced that allowed it to fire grenades without the attachment of a launcher. So, I guess it's got that going for it.
This futuristic rifle may hold the title of biggest ugly gun on the planet. This 43-pound 20x110mm anti-material rifle was developed in Croatia in the 1990s and is still in use to this day. This gun looks like something a movie studio would cook up for a sniper rifle in a science-fiction movie set hundreds of years in the future.
If you're wondering what that long tube on the back is, well, that's where all the gasses escape after you fire it. That's right, you don't want to stand behind anyone shooting an RT-20! That is probably another reason this firearm is relatively obscure. Most branches of military don't want a sniper rifle that gives away the shooter's position so easily.
ARMSCOR M1600 SA
The Arms Corporation of the Philippines makes a wide variety of firearms including several styles of rifle. Some are ugly, some are normal-looking, but the M1600 SA is arguably the ugliest of the bunch. This looks like what you'd get if a Ruger 10/22 and an original-issue, Vietnam-era M-16 had a baby.
The company markets this an "AR-15-style tactical rifle" in .22 LR, and it takes 10- and 15-round magazines. It does come with an awesome MSRP of only $200, but you'd best be prepared for a lot of stares and "What on earth is that?" questions when you head to the range with one of these things.
Here's another rifle that didn't really make it out of the prototype stage (surprise, surprise). This South African gun is chambered in 5.56mm and was designed in 1997. Much like the K-3, it is a bullpup design with a fixed right-side ejection port. Sorry to the left-handers out there who might want one. Really, this entire rifle is a conversion of an R4, a relatively normal-looking semi-automatic rifle. But this conversion looks like someone took a lighter to the plastic body of the gun.
This gun might have stayed in relative obscurity, but it made a notable appearance in the 2009 film "District 9." I have to be honest, I watched that movie a few times. But I never once realized the CR-21s in the film were real until I started researching this article. But you know something? In the universe of that movie, the look of this rifle fits in perfectly.
Hi-Point had a place on the ugly handguns list, so it's really only fair they end up on the ugly rifles list too. We're not sure who they hire as designers, but they've got some bad taste. This carbine is chambered in 9mm, 10mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .380 ACP. They're a bit on the heavy side at around 6.5 pounds, and they kind of remind me of the guns the apes carried around in the original "Planet of the Apes" movies.
While this gun gets knocked a lot for being hard to look at, it does get rave reviews for its reliability. They're also known for not being picky on ammo. They come with a really cheap price point of around $250, which is a big reason why Hi-Point has a dedicated fan base which enjoys these guns for their function rather than their form.
Heckler & Koch G11
This gun is quite possibly the blockiest-looking firearm ever made. The reason for this gun's strange look is due to the fact that this is a caseless ammo rifle. We won't get into the specifics of how that worked because it's highly technical, and the video above explains how it operates better than I ever could.
All you really need to know is that West Germany spent literally decades working on the development of this rifle. It was finally ended by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. Someone in charge probably also finally realized it was easier to re-invent the wheel than get this thing to work properly every time.
This is probably the most well-known rifle on this list simply because this gun had a prominent role in the hands of a terrorist in the movie "Die Hard." No doubt this rifle had many movie goers asking: "What kind of gun is THAT?" And I admit, I actually kind of like the look of this one, even if it is a pretty ugly firearm.
The Aug is Austrian-made and chambered in 5.56mm. It was first put into service in 1978. While the Steyr won't win any beauty contests anytime soon, this is a proven firearm being used by militaries all over the world and is a proven weapon in conflicts all over.