Tag Archives: Inland MFG

The Inland MFG. Model 37 Trench Shotgun Review

 

 

I first spotted the Inland M37 shotgun when on the Inland facebook page around SHOT show earlier this year.  I was intrigued instantly.  So when I got to the NRA 2016  show, I made sure the Inland booth was one of the first places I stopped at.  I wanted to see that M37 in the worst way. I was not let down.  After just a few minutes of handling it, I asked for a T&E sample.  After a month or so, the demo gun showed up.

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The “trench gun “and police “riot guns” have  taken off as collectibles over the decades.  The Winchester Model97 being an example that is really hard to find these days.  Finding original examples can be pretty tough.  The combat shotguns stayed in military service a long time.  From before WW1  to the Vietnam war all the way  until recently.  Some are well known like the M97 mentioned above , some are not as well known, like the Remington 7188 full auto shotgun.

The Ithaca M37 is an example that is well known by casual firearms historians as a police or riot model and sporting weapon of high quality.   The Ithaca as a military “trench gun” is likely not as well known by many. The action of the shotgun would look familiar to a lot of hunters out there.  Though the first thing you may think when seeing its action is the Mossberg 500, it and the 500 are really a simplified version of the most excellent Remington Model 31  shotgun. The M31 itself an evolution from the M17. The Model 17 designed by no less than John Browning himself.

The M31 is in my opinion  one of the smoothest pump action shotguns of its time.  Replaced by the cheaper to make and sell M870, the M31 action lived on in its ancestors.  If you are a fan of smooth as silk shotgun actions, tracking down a M31 is a must. I consider the new Model 37 to be as smooth as the M31and I don’t give that compliment out often. If ever.

The M37 has been one of those  martial  shotguns talked about, and sometimes seen in places like the American Rifleman and other places that reflect back on US service arms, but not really seen very often. Thanks to Inland MFG and Ithaca, we can now own one of the more rare trenchguns from US military history.

The Inland M37 Trench Shotgun all-American-made combat shotgun is faithful to the original from its bead sight, Parkerized finish, oiled stock, and ventilated hand guard to its hard-to-miss bayonet lug that fits the long 1917 bayonet.

The Inland M37 Trench shotgun is manufactured in a joint effort with the Ithaca Gun Company, Upper Sandusky, OH.  The original steps of shotgun manufacture that was originally used by Ithaca during WWII has been carefully duplicated utilizing modern technology and CNC machining which yields components that are precise and accurately reproduced.

The Inland M 37 is based on the original Ithaca Model 37 Trench Gun which was a variation of the Browning Model 17 and features the following”:

Gauge: .12 gauge / 3″ Chamber

Magazine capacity:4+1

Barrel length: 20″

Total length: 38.5″

Barrel Choke: Cylinder Choke .730

Action: Manual Pump, Bottom Load & Ejection

Weight: 6.7 lb

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The new Model 37 combat shotgun is first class in my opinion. They really did it right.   After using it for several months I find it really hard to put it down.  Hundreds of rounds have went through the gun this summer without a problem. Birdshot, 00Buck, 4BK, slugs, you name it.  The solid walnut stock really helping make it bearable to shoot the stiffer loads.  Being use to tactical shotguns of modern times with their synthetic stocks, I dreaded testing.  It is still a 12, but wood stock goes a long way towards a healthy shoulder.

The Model 37 is a combat shotgun so testing was done with combat and police loads.  Target below  was fired with low recoil OO buck from 25 yards standing with no support. This was a bit of a warm up for the real test, to get a feel for possible recoil.  Much relief was felt by all at how the gun managed to tame recoil a bit.

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Above is a target with 3 slugs fired from 50 yards.  No the gun did not fling them to the left.  After two test rounds, the shooter got a little flinchy on the trigger.   Shooting a 3″ magnum slug round from sitting is hard. Hard and painful. I sure  did not want to do it, and we only had 5 rounds anyway.  Even as much as the heavier solid wood stock helped, it can’t help that much.    With some one more willing to eat the recoil and hold steady ,the M37 would likely hold all 3 slugs in the head of the Q target at 50 yards.

With that done, we got serious about testing the shotgun for pattern at usual distances using a variety of shot and police buck loads.  The target below was one round of OO Buck at 25 yards.  The large hole is from the wad hitting the target.

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The next target shows a second  and third shot into the same zone.   Again, large holes are from wad hitting and punching through the cardboard.

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Target below shows hits from  4BK from 25 yards out. The 4BK was fired into the upper chest.  Bottom  circled group is from standard OO Buck round fired from 35 yards.   The “40 yards was written in error.

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The next target is  OO Buck from 50 yards out.  Two rounds were fired at the target  off hand standing. I know a lot of people, experts and average Joes have all kinds of things to say about what the best shotgun load is for whatever distance. Obviously it’s best to test the shotgun out with each load to determine what you want to use, in whatever situation, before generally deciding.  I think if I were a full convert to the tactical shotgun as a general purpose tool I would trust this one with OO buck to make a 50 yard shot if background was not a concern.  We do have video of me knocking down a steel popper plate from 60 yards with the OO buck round.  Once it is uploaded I will insert it into this post.

 

As promised here is the video of buck fired from 50 yards.  Camera  lens and angle makes it look much closer but it is indeed 50 yards

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The short riot/trench shotgun is a pleasure to handle. It’s fast and easy to work with and the slick action is as fast as lightning.   The original M37s would indeed “slam fire”  but this one will not.  As I understand it, this was done at the request of Inland when having the guns put together for them by Ithaca prior to the converting to “trench gun.”  I know some will gripe about this, but let it go. It’s a fact of modern America that lawyers and sue happy anti-gun activists would salivate at trying to prove the gun defective in court.    For those who do not know,” slamfire” refers to the lack of a disconnector in the originals that lets the hammer fall as long as you hold the trigger back. Just like the M12 and M97 etc

The gun does have the infamous “barrel shroud”!  Not to be confused with the shoulder thing that goes up.   The  ventilated shroud functions as the bayonet lug and sling swivel as well.  It marginally protects the hands from being burned by a hot barrel.  It will work for a while, but heat will transfer after enough rounds.   I think no one  other than a liberal can deny it looks cool.  Sad to say I don’t  have a bayonet to mount  for your gratification. The front sling swivel is nice. Very  big and tough.  You can attach about anything you want to the front and rear. I originally mounted a USGI leather sling to the gun as seen in pictures, but went to the  M1 cotton sling for easier use.

The Model 37 ejects and feeds from the bottom.  Handy for both left and right handed users. It can take a bit to get used  to if you have only ever used the M87o or most other pump shotguns out there.  The gun kicks out the empties with enough force to send them about 20 yards if you turn the gun sideways while operating the action . So no worries about any fired case getting hung up.

Pictured above, I fired that gun while wearing a WW2 belt with M1911 , holster  and mag pouch with a Pacific Canvas& Leather  WW2 shotgun shell pouch I purchased only to be used with the M37  for the full experience.  The shotshell canvas pouch holds a dozen rounds in loops in two rows.

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When the gun is empty, reach down and open the flap and strip rounds out of the loops to load into the gun.

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I have  seen some old timers turn the gun upside down and tuck it under the firing arm while loading to maintain solid control over the weapon while moving.  So I tried it out.  Please no comments about how Chris Costa says to load a shotgun. I am aware.  Process and gear used for nostalgia purposes only.

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When loaded, got back to making it empty again.

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Inland MFG has really been on a role the last few years.  The M1 Carbine I tested earlier this year was a faithful reproduction that was beautifully done. The M1911A1 made by the same company equally impressed me, and you know how hard it is for a company to impress me with a 1911 if their name isn’t colt.  The Model 37 is another hit with me.  Inland has turned into one of mt favorite gun companies in recent times.  All of us have seen a rise in demand for “retro” guns in the last ten years and while several companies make Ar15 retro models, few have offered quality reproductions of the weapons commonly used in WW2 and after leading to the AR15.

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Inland has gone a long way to meet that market of retro and nostalgia.  Now that easy M1s from the CMP are about to be gone and the M1 carbines being  long gone, prices  for originals are continuing to sky rocket. Repro guns are a great choice for those who want one of the old firearms but can’t afford or can’t find and original. Or just to have one to use hard without hurting the value.

Hopefully  Inland will keep expanding its line and one day we can buy a M1903A3 or A4  new production.  I would like to see  Inland produce a faithful M1911 to join the M1911A1 already in production.

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Inland MFG’s National Match Retro M1911

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If you read my review of the M1911A1 made by Inland MFG a few months ago, you know I was pretty impressed with it.  And I am hard to please when it comes to M1911s.  At the NRA show a couple weeks ago I stopped by the Inland booth to talk to the guys and see what they had coming out new.

While talking to the owner of the company, I mentioned how much I liked the look of the old  pistols built up by  military shooting team armorers for competition use  for the national matches etc.   He laughed and walked me over to look at their new 1911.   It is made up just like one you would have seen used by the military shooting teams in years past.

Usually the various service’s shooting teams had guns gunsmithed and built up to match specs by special shooting team armorers.  They would take a USGI  1911 in decent shape and work it over with skill and some NM parts to get its accuracy up to snuff and then add some large adjustable target sights of various makes.    The 1911 above has recreates that look , feel and accuracy.  It has been treated to all the work to make it a NM bullseye gun while giving it the look of one you would have seen in the 50s, 60s, 70s etc.

The front ramp sight really rubbed my nostalgia right as did the placement of the rear. Most impressive is the correct small original  thumb safety lock.  The front strap is still smooth while NM guns would have checkering or hit with a chisel to make it have something to grip. The owner of the company told me he was still deciding on which version of that they may add to it later.  The three hole trigger would have been a part in the later days but it looks fine on this model.   The gun is of course worked over in the same way as the custom carry from Inland and no doubt will deliver at least as good accuracy as that plain USGI   M1911A1 WW2 pistol I tested.   I really look forward to getting my hands on the NM  retro version.

 

Inland MFG’s M37 Combat Shotgun

The boys at Inland keep turning out some really great high quality and faithful reproductions of classic arms.  After doing well with the M1911A1 and the M1 Carbine they now are offering up a M37.  I have to tell you, after looking it over it is NICE!  The action is a version of the super slick M31 and it is just as slick and smooth.   We will have one for review in the coming weeks.

Inland MFG M1911A1 Test Part 2 Accuracy Testing

Friends, it can be said that I like 1911s. I love 1911s.   I love the feel of a M1911, the way it shoots, its ergonomics, its recoil and its over all beautiful looks. I Blue, stainless, nickel, parkerized or duaracote, I love a 1911.  But, almost without fail, my love for the 1911 is reserved for those made by Colt’s MFG.   Today I can say that I really am impressed with the Inland M1911A1.  It is not flashy or fancy, it is just a  USGI clone M1911A1 made to look like the typical WW2 service sidearm. It does a good job at that.

http://looserounds.com/2015/11/15/inland-mfg-1911a1-review-part-1/

Generally speaking, the 1911s made to look like USGI guns that we get on the market today leave a lot to be desired.  GI issue style pistols are common by the lesser makers because it is so cheap to make them in that configuration. No after market sights or parts, no extra time and effort fitting custom after market parts or things like forward slide serration etc.  I think of the GI style pistols churning out these days are looked at as pizza by the makers.  Even if its bad its still kinda good. Everyone wants a GI pistol even if its cheap. Especially if its cheap because they assume no one really shoots them much.   Well, that not really true and there are a lot of just pure crap 1911s on the market.  The Inland is made very well

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As I mentioned before, the gun is a but more than just a GI issue clone.  The bushing is a tight fitting match bushing. The same used on the company’s custom carry pistol and trust me, it shows.

I test fired the pistol for accuracy after some serious abuse. A lot of it I did not film due to the weather conditions that would ruin a camera.  I froze it. I buried it in mud and snow, I have fired 1,500 rounds through it without cleaning and with only a little bit of LSA  from the 60s on it. I fired some of the most filthy training ammo you have ever seen through it. I have tried very hard to see what it would take short of putting bad mags in it and faulty ammo which is unfair.  I did however use real GI Issue  original magazines and they worked fine. And as you can see in the link below, I shot up a muddy water hole to break the ice and tossed the gun in it and kicked mud over it, then shot it.

http://looserounds.com/2016/01/15/inland-mfg-m1-carbine-m1911-mud-frozen-water-torture-test/

After all that, and no cleaning, i started my serious accuracy testing by using bags and a bench.  I started out at 15 yards and I used jacketed hollow point ammo for accuracy testing and to once again make sure it fed hollow point bullets.   After I settled in on the bags and dry fired a few times, I fired this first group.  For a gun that is meant to basically meet plain old USGI standards you really can’t ask for much more.

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I then went on to shoot at 20 yards using different types of ammo including ball and PDX1.

I was really  proud of the last group of the day, a full  7 round loaded mag at 20 yards.

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I strung the shots vertical a bit, but I I don’t think anyone would hold that against  the pistol in this case.  I am sorry to say I did not get more groups with the HP ammo because I ran out.  The bulk of that ammo was used up on other reviews but I promise you that all groups shown are all the groups fired.  I did not toss out any that made me or the gun look bad.

Previous off hand plinking and goofing with the gun by shooting steel rifle gongs at 100 yards had already given me a pretty good idea I was not going to be shocked at horrible accuracy and the hunch was right.  One thing to point out is the trigger. On this particular T&E gun, the trigger is a typical milspec trigger, It is a little heavy.  It is not godawful, but if you are expecting a modern custom production 1911 type trigger you better get ready to have that illusion popped.  It is not a terrible trigger, It is what it is and what it is meant to be, a USGI trigger. If you buy a pistol like this expecting something else that is your fault.

 

I have really enjoyed my time with the piece.  Most non-colt 1911s  fail my standards with regularity of a swiss watch but not this one.  I would not hesitate to own one of these.  It is a lot better than most of the others of this type. I would take this over the Springfield Armory USGI model every day of the week.  If you are wanting a USGI pistol but are not worried about paying more than you would by a RIA, and want something more reliable and with really, really good accuracy, give this a serious look.

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Inland MFG M1 Carbine Part 2 Accuracy Testing

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This is the final part in the T&E of the Inland MFG M1 Carbine.  In case you have no read the pr4evious posts, I examined the gun closely with plenty of close up pictures and tested the carbine for reliability in mud, snow, water and ice.  Now at last is the accuracy portion of the review.

I fired the gun with a few different loads but no match ammo since I could not get my  hands on any  in an amount that would have mattered. I tested the gun using ball, which is what I think most buyers will be using and a federal soft point rounds that for some reason I marked as a hollow point on the record targets  I have no idea why I marked it incorrectly as HPs unless it is just out of habit.    Rest assured the  target groups marked as “HP” is a mistake and I actually fired the Federal jacketed soft point load.

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First I fired the traditional  25 yard group for establishing a zero. I used five rounds of ball.

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I then moved out to 50 yards and  75 yards.  This 50 yard  10 round group is with the mentioned Fed SOFT POINT load. The carbine really shot well with this load.  I believe this load is the ammo that was used by the PD in the town over in WV across the river from me. The ammo was provided by a police officer and came from the department so it may well be the load Federal intended as a LE or home defense load. It does shoot well in the carbine despite the ammo I used being at least 10 years old that I know of.

The next two pictures are of another 50 yard group and a group fired at 75 yards  with the same ammo.  I did not fire a 100 yard group due to the fact that my eyes have a hard time with the iron sights on M1 carbines   for some reason.  I can shoot them just fine for general use, but I really struggle with them when it gets down to taking precise shots in an attempt to fire groups for accuracy testing  I have never done well with them  and felt it unfair to shoot much further and not know if it was me or the gun.  However 75 yards is close to 100 enough to get some kind of idea of what it may do.

I did fire the gun past these shorter distances.  I set up the steel target at 300 yards while shooting it when it first arrives.  My Dad was with us and before shooting I announced i was going to take some shots at 300 yards with the gun.  Everyone chuckled and said “yeah right”. i then asked them if they wanted to bet 20 bucks on me being able to do it.   Fortunately for them, they would not take the bet because I found it very easy to hit a roughly man sized target , ( head to belt buckle) at 300 yards with the carbine.

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The target  is a little hard to see in this picture. But it is in the center of the road.  I used a home made tripod to get over the grass but none of the shots used a sand bag or laying prone.  I then stood up and made a few hits off hand.  The carbine is capable for shots most modern rifle shooters can not make with  308 rifles or more sad to say.

The Inland Carbine is a handy well made and faithful reproduction of the original. It is much nicer and better made than its competition out there making some really rough looking M1 carbines.  You can also get the M1A1 paratrooper version of the carbine and a cut down “Advisor” model like used by US troops in Vietnam.

If you like WW2 weapons and history and want a carbine that you can shoot heavily without any guilt, or just want a small handy “trunk gun” this would be a good choice. I would certainly pick it over a SKS or nagant.   The rifle comes with the 15 round mag but obviously will take the 30 round magazines.   The M1 could be the answer for those people in certain states that governments that have been confusing their role with those of communist states.  Or for those who want something not as scary and evil looking as an evil black rifle.

Over all I am very impressed with it. I admit that everyone who was with me during the first testing had major doubts and rolled their eyes at it when I said I was going to do some of the stuff with it I ended up  doing, but they became believers. A lot of preconceived biases got busted by this gun.  it certainly impressed me.  This Inland M1 will perform above and beyond for you within its envelope and a little beyond.

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Inland MFG M1 Carbine & M1911 Mud& Frozen Water Torture Test

IF you have been reading us for the past 6 months you have seen the ongoing testing and review of the Inland MFG  M1911A1 and M1 carbine.  You can find the reviews using the search feature.  As an aside to those on going tests, today weather conditions gave us the chance to do little else other than abuse fire arms since it was so cold and raining our targets would melt away after being soaked in a matter of a few minutes.

We used the huge standing mud/water hole that was frozen over night to toss the guns in and see what happens.

 

First  the much maligned M1 carbine. Known the world over for being as feeble against the elements  as  tissue paper.

 

Next us was the Inland M1911A1 clone.   Everyone knows only a glock would work under such conditions.

As you can see. both did fine.  I admit I thought  the M1 carbine in the sludge and me kicking mud over it was giving it more than it could reasonably be expected to handle. But it did just great.    Shooting down myths of certain guns being unreliable and the myth of certain guns being super indestructible does get tiresome and redundant. But it is still necessary these days as much as it ever was.   Especially with the 1911.   So many companies make the 1911 now, and very few of them actually make good ones the way they are supposed to be made .  The result is poorly made 1911s that those looking for a reason to claim its not reliable find that reason in those many lesser companies who cut corners or just do not care.   Inland has proven to my satisfaction that they indeed make a good GI  spec 1911.

Best & Worst of 2015

Every year I try to do a list of the stuff we were sent for T&E  or anything else we evaluated and talked about.  This year is a little late but as they say better late than something or other.  Everything listed will have a review or at the least the 1st part of a 2 part review that you can read in addition to the list.

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Fist up is the Colt 6940 Piston carbine.   The ( obviously) piston operated version of the 6940 DI monolithic carbine.  It was more accurate than we thought it would be fore a piston gun and held up to some of the most serious abuse I have ever doled out on a AR15 including multiple 60 round mag full auto mag dumps and has yet to be cleaned or oiled.  In my opinion colt never fails and is always the right answer to any question.

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Next up is the newly made Inland MFG M1 carbine.  The M1 carbine is much maligned in some places for various and dubious reasons.  Regardless this is a very faithful remake and is a real beauty. It shot great and was as about as accurate as you would want  with decent ammo.  And it just looks great. Part 1 is up and part 2 of the review will be posted shortly.

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Up next is another Inland gun.  Inlands rep was a little worried  about how I would like this gun knowing I am solid devotee of Colt 1911s as THE M1911 maker.  But it proved to be very reliable and very faithful to the M1911A1 it is a clone of. It looks great and is tough. Another gun I have been merciless with. It is not a 100 percent 1911A1 since it does use the “series 80 “type safety but only  the pedantic and the people who repeat nonesense about that type of safety  would care. It is not a real WW2 relic and is meant to give you the look and feel without the price and it does it job very well.  You are not going to win a bulls eye match or IPSC , but it is plays its role perfectly even if its not a Colt.

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the compTac  pistol and M16 mag pouches.  No they are not flashy or tacos, or made by crye. But I love them.  They snap on over a belt easy and really stay secure. You can adjust the tension and they are lo profile.  I use the pistol pouch every day and the rifle mag almost as often . I really , really like these. Since they clip over instead of needing the belt threaded though, they go one fast and come off fast but they do not fit as snug against your body. I can live with that as they fill my need perfectly most of the time and fit over a larger amount of belts with different widths  than the other type of loop.

 

Some More quick mentions that I have not got the chance to write a  review or may not be withing the umbrella of what we do here int he case of my Father’s cross bow.

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The Mathews cross bow my Dad took two deer with this past year, One at 40 yards and one at 55 yards.  Not being a bow guy and not liking anything bow and arrow related  I will not nor ever will be reviewing them but felt this was worth mentioning for those of you who do like them. I was impressed with the distance  enough to mention it here regardless.

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The Leupold  Mark 6.  It is hands down, with no exaggeration or joking , in my opinion the best optic I have used so far. It is everything I would want or need in and optic of this type. I can not expressed how much I love this scope.

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Tug Valley Armament’s ammo is safe and reliable and accurate.  I can get some of the more odd ball stuff I use affordable and have  choice in bullets weights. And it saves me from making 7.7 Jap brass myself.  It is good stuff and all the massive full auto testing done over the summer used this company’s 556 and 308 ammo exclusively.  Having the trust to use a certain ammo brand in machine guns is not something to take lightly.  Give them a call if you need something or just want some 556.

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The Barrett  bors scope system. I had thought it was kind of a gimmick since it came out.  What can I say? Even I am wrong sometimes.  I have had many years of experience with the M82A1 but never with the BORS till this year.  Its very nice with the 50. IF you can afford it..

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The Century ( I know, I know) HK 33 pistol.  This one was converted into a SBR and was purchased with that in mind.  It works great and  no arguing it looks cool.  Its accuracy is about like you would get from a middle of the price range 556 AK. And its ergo is about as meh, as every other HK rifle/carbine. But is just  has a quality you can only say in french.   For a century it worked well and surprised me.   This is more of an honorable mention since a lot of people seem to have hit or miss luck with these and their reliability.   but this one works for the nonce . So keep that in mind.

 

 

WORST!

ATI stg 44

 

Pure garbage.   Then again it might be on the best of list for tomato stake or boat anchor.  So bad I would rather have an M14. Stay away I would not even dream of suggesting some one try to waste precious, precious 22Lr in one of these obamas.