The Top 5 Wildest Firearms Ever

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In about the year 650 A.D., or somewhere near either side of that, someone somewhere in Ancient China discovered a way to mix sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter in such a way that they would explode violently when exposed to flame. This was the birth of what we now know as gunpowder. And therefore the portent of death for billions of poor bastards the world over. As time progressed and the true power of gunpowder (AKA black powder) was harnessed for use in firearms, the “inventiveness” of the human mind took off, creating ever more exotic, complex and, often enough, totally insane guns. Say, why not talk about five of those crazy firearms right now?

5 Metal Storm: The Very Name is Horrifying

Metal Storm Limited, an Australian company that is no doubt soon going to take over the entire world, has created the world’s fastest firing gun. The Metal Storm gun, which looks like a box but is in fact pure deadliness incarnate, consists of 36 separate gun barrels that can apparently shoot projectiles at a rate of MORE THAN ONE MILLION PER MINUTE! Do NOT anger the people over at Metal Storm Ltd.!

4 That’s a … HAND Gun?

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The biggest production pistol on the market can be used to hunt elephants, rhinos or 18-wheeler tractor-trailer trucks, if you want. It is the Smith & Wesson X-Frame Model 500 magnum. It shoots a round so large and packed with so much powder, the company literally had to design a new frame (thus the X-frame) to handle the power. It is a .50 caliber round, which means a half inch, FYI – and when fired with the right ammo, it produces nearly three times the “foot pound” load (think of that as power, OK?) as the famous .44 magnum.

3 A Salty Little Number?

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The “Pepperbox Pistol” might sound like a quaint little fellow, but say that to the face of someone aiming one at you, and you’ll likely be shot three to nine times, depending on the model of the pistol. The Pepperbox gun, which came into semi-regular use in the late 18th century, was a classic example of technology racing ahead of itself, creating a rather inelegant solution to a problem. The problem was that pistols didn’t offer enough bullets with which to shoot people. The clunky solution? Add more loaded barrels to your pistol! It took a few more decades until gunsmiths mastered the true revolver design, realizing that you can move the bullets in a circle, rather than the whole gun barrel.

2 Two for the Price of Gun

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If the sword is good, and the gun is great, then the gunsword must be fantastic, right? No? Yeah, actually not so much. Multiple “inventors” have attempted to create some successful merger between the dagger or sword and the firearm, and never with anything but middling results. These contraptions may look awesome, especially in a steam punk type of show, likely on SyFy at 3 a.m., but in reality they always amounted to weapons that were not much good at being a gun or a sword.

1 The Original Hand Canon

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Matchlock firearms were the first true handheld “guns” in the modern sense of the word: The shooter could hold his weapon with both hands, and use a mechanical device to lower a source of ignition – in this case a smoldering wick – into the “pan” of his matchlock musket, and bam! Out came the projectile. By the middle of the 1400s, people were blasting away at each other with these babies, and occasionally blowing up their own hands. After all, the matchlock is nothing but the exact design of a canon miniaturized and placed in your soft little hands …

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