4. The Chauchat
First manufactured for the French army in WWI, the Chauchat has actually become known as the worst light machine gun to date. Not only did the bolt find itself locking in place when it got overheated, but the gun was effectively unusable thereafter until the metal would cool, and reform to its original size.
Unfortunately, the Chauchat’s bad design of an oddly-shaped, curved magazine and large cutouts that caused jamming in muddy trenches made it a horrible, flawed weapon. Furthermore, troops were in danger of hurting themselves because the mechanism could hit the user in the face. So not only was the Chauchat overly complicated, but the quality of manufacturing left something to be desired.
3. The Bombard Cannon
The Bombard was destructive, but was certainly hard to maneuver, as well as difficult to load.
This large-caliber cannon was a huge weapon of the Middle Ages, and it could fire off huge cannonballs, each carved out of solid stone. The early models were effective at penetrating the walls of castles, even as the stone cannonballs would generally crumble on impact.
But a single bombard weighed thousands of pounds alone, even without the cannonball. So transportation and aim of the weapon became a serious endeavor. Bombards were replaced over time with smaller cannons for better transportation, with projectiles that were faster and more accurate.
2. The M50 Reising Machine Gun
Adopted by the Marine Corps during WWII, this submachine gun was intended to complement the Thompson, since the latter model couldn’t be manufactured in sufficient numbers. And despite being cheaper to make and lighter to hold, the Reising wasn’t as efficient as it appeared on paper.
Sadly, it was very ill-equipped for the environment the Marines were generally located in. Sand would jam in the gun, and would then be hard to disassemble and clean.
Parts weren’t interchangeable either, as each was handmade for its individual model, so many soldiers had to clean their weapons at the same time just so they had a working firearm to use at all. In fact, the Marines were so upset with the M50 Reising guns that there is documentation recounting how troops threw their firearms into a river in protest.
1. The Double-Barreled Cannon
Invented by John Gilleland for the Confederate Army in 1862, the double-barreled cannon could fire two connected cannonballs at the same time – and they only and cost $350.00 to manufacture.
However, instead of flying out of the cannon simultaneously, the two cannonballs were rarely accurate, on either launch time or on impact. In fact, during a test run, the cannon clearly was off of its target, as it only mowed down trees, decimated a chimney and sadly killed a cow.
So, despite Mr. Gilleland’s endorsement of his weapon, the Confederate government considered the cannon a flop, and thereby decided not to adopt it for use in battle. The cannon was never used, and only stands outside of city hall in Athens, Georgia today instead.