Guns and rifles consist of one handle, one trigger and one barrel, essentially an instrument of death that works nearly 100% of the time. So why change the basic design? Because people are crazy. We have taken a look at some of the most unusual guns that people invented and actually used. Safe to say they are a long way off the sleek designs of a Hatsan air rifle.
The duck’s foot pistol, a type of hand held volley gun developed in the 19th century, was named as such because of the three or four barrels, splayed out to look like a foot of a duck. It was designed to take on large groups at close range, popular with officers on sailing ships who carried them to discourage possible mutineers. The obvious problem with the duck’s foot pistol is that you can never hit what you are aiming at, as none of the barrels point straight ahead.
You can only hold a limited number of guns at one time, and only two hands to wield them. Enter the LeMat revolver. The revolver was invented in 1856 and was actually two guns in one. The top barrel fires .42 calibre rounds, while the smaller barrel on the bottom holds buckshot. The man behind the revolver Jean LeMat brought the idea and a prototype to a US army major who wanted to equip all cavalry in the US army with it. Though a powerful revolver, the LeMat was deemed too unreliable for field use.
Much like the modern handheld pistol, the pepperbox gun can hold multiple bullets for repeat firing. However, unlike the modern handgun, the pepperbox gives each bullet its own barrel. So what could be the problem? The weight of the barrels is too much for the wielder to aim with any sort of precision, and keeping a steady supply of ammunition is hard to do on the battlefield. The pepperbox required manual loading by rotating the barrels between shots. And if you think a six-shot barrel isn’t too bad, like the gun pictured at the top of the blog, some pepperbox guns were made with up to 24 barrels! A little excessive!