Weapons come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny little pistols to huge tank-like cannons that are able to fire at targets miles away. While the vast majority of guns are instantly recognizable, as they follow a broadly similar concept, some past designers have strayed from the path and sought to create crazy weapons, unlike any other that had been seen before. On the other hand, modern advances in technology have allowed manufactures to design weapons that look more like they belong in a futuristic science fiction movie, rather than in the hands of real life operators. This article will explore the most bizarre weapons that have ever been created and used, from non-lethal innovations to giant machines of war.
10. Armatix Digital Revolver
The Armatix Digital Revolver is a gun straight out of a science fiction film. The weapon has a digital safety that can only be disabled if the operator is also wearing a special wristwatch that sends the unlock signal to the gun, allowing it to be fired. The wristwatch itself only becomes active once the user authorizes their use using their fingerprint. From then, it can be set so that it sends the activation signal to the gun for a certain duration or indefinitely until it is switched off. This effectively means that only specially authorized users can fire the gun, preventing the weapon from being stolen and used against its owner.
9. Hand Mortar
Hand Mortars are exactly what they sound like, a weapon that could be held in the hand, and fire an explosive round over a large distance. The user would light the fuse of a grenade and then put it into the barrel of the weapon, before using gunpowder to fire it at the enemy. It was used mainly between the 16th century and the 18th century, although, it was not a common firearm. Unfortunately, the weapon was unreliable and offered a number of safety concerns for anyone using them. The explosive grenades could often become stuck in the barrel and explode, while in other cases, the gunpowder would light the fuse too early and cause it to prematurely blow up.
8. R. J. Braverman Stinger Pen Pistol
James Bond films and other thriller movies have often seen guns and other weapons disguised as ordinary household objects, such as a pen or walking stick. The R. J. Braverman Stinger Pen Pistol differs from ordinary pen guns though, by actually folding into position and looking like an actual gun, giving them a designation of a normal gun, and therefore, freeing them of tight regulations that govern disguised weapons. They were created in the 90’s, but it is believed that only 4,000 of the guns were ever made, making them something of a collector’s item.
7. German Gustav and Dora Rail Cannons
During World War II, the Nazis developed a number of different powerful weapons that they envisioned would help them to defeat the Allies and become the supreme military force on the planet. One of these projects was the Dora and Gustav rail cannons. They were the biggest cannons ever created and were so big they had to be moved around in pieces and assembled in the desired location. With almost a 32-inch caliber and rounds that weighed in excess of 10,000 pounds, the cannons were capable of reaching targets more than 90 miles away, and travel through 100 feet of dirt and rock. The Gustav gun was used only once, as the huge size and weight made them large targets and incredibly difficult to transport.
6. Vomit Gun
The so-called vomit gun is yet another design that aims to be the most effective non-lethal weapon available on the market, to provide law enforcement agencies and military forces a way to incapacitate threats without causing permanent damage. This weapon is essentially a torch that features a pulsing light that is able to induce feelings of nausea and cause intense vomiting. Although the US military abandoned the project, two amateurs created their own version for less than $250, with pulsing LED lights and spare computer parts.
5. Auto Assault-12
Shotguns have long been a weapon of choice in close quarters combat, thanks to their high stopping power and ability to fire a shot that spreads over a large area. The main disadvantage with shotguns though, is that they often cannot offer sustained fire in the case of automatic shotguns, or fire quickly in the case of pump-action shotguns. The Auto Assault-12 was designed to address these problems. It is capable of firing at 300 rounds per minute and can be loaded either with an 8-shellbox magazine or with a 32-shell drum magazine, giving it plenty of ammunition. As an added extra, the shotgun can also use a variety of ammunition types, including slugs, buckshot, rubber batons and high-explosive rounds.
4. Active Denial System
The Active Denial system resembles some sort of advanced ray gun, rather than a modern day weapon, simply because of the way it operates. Acting as a highly powerful radar array, it fires a beam of electromagnetic waves at a frequency that only allows them to be absorbed by the top layer of skin for safety reasons. Anyone who is hit by the beam experiences a painful burning sensation on their skin, as the electromagnetic waves work similar to a microwave, causing fat in the skin to heat up. The effects are temporary and last only as long as the beam is acting on the skin, but it is useful as a non-lethal weapon, as it can even penetrate heavy clothing.
3. Duck’s Foot Gun
A Duck’s Foot Gun was a distinctive type of volley gun that was manufactured during the 19th century and the 20th century. Unlike other volley guns that had multiple barrels all aiming in the same direction, the Duck’s Foot Gun had four individual barrels that were arranged in a similar way to the foot of a duck. This unique arrangement meant that the user could use it to fire at more than one target at a time. This property made it very popular with those who might have to face threats from groups or gangs, such as prison guards and ship captains. It was far from a perfect gun though, as its heavy design and high recoil made it difficult to fire and aim.
2. Thunder Generator
The Thunder Generator is a gun that you would expect to find in a video game, rather than in the hands of a real life solider but it is in fact, a genuine weapon. It was first designed by farmers in Israel to scare away potential pests that might destroy their crops, but has since evolved into a non-lethal weapon to disperse crowds. With funding from Israel’s Ministry of Defense, the Thunder Generator is able to fire shock waves at people up to 150 feet away, using a mixture of gas, liquefied petroleum and air, causing them to feel as if they are being shot without actually sustaining any harm. Although, the device is capable of causing permanent damage to anyone standing within 30 feet of the device.
Developed by the U.S. Department of Defense at Kirkland Air Force Base, the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response Rifle (known more commonly as PHASR) is a non-lethal light-based gun. It was designed to be used by soldiers and law enforcement officials, so that they can temporarily blind enemies with focused laser beams. Another added effect is that the two lasers, which operate at different wavelengths, also disorientate people if they look into the light, meaning that they lose almost all combat effectiveness. The PHASR also comes equipped with a range finder so that the laser can be calibrated at the correct power, so that no permanent damage is done to the victim’s eyesight.