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Impossibly Cool Weapon
The laws of physics took one look at these blades, and just grabbed some popcorn.

"The double-ended laser sword. Now that is a seriously good way to cause major injuries to yourself. So you know anyone who dares to attempt to wield one of these suckers in battle is either incredibly good, or incredibly stupid. And if they were that stupid, they wouldn't be standing in front of you with all four limbs still attached."

A weapon that is either impossible, unlikely, or impractical in Real Life, but in fiction is both existent and effective, Rule of Cool be thanked.

Usually made from two methods: the Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot method (take a bunch of cool weapons and mash them together, such as many examples of Mix-and-Match Weapon), and the Up to Eleven method (crank up the weapon's abilities).

Naturally, this often relies on Art Major Physics.

The difference with Improbable Weapon User is that these are based on actual weapons, not non-weapon things used as weapons. A Flaming Sword would count as an impossibly cool weapon. A cardboard tube would count as an improbable weapon.

A Sub-Trope of Rule of Cool.

A Super Trope to:

A Sister Trope of Abnormal Ammo, Cool Sword, Improbable Weapon User, Oddly Shaped Sword.

Compare Cool Starship, Impossibly Cool Clothes, Scary Impractical Armor, and Weaponized Landmark. Contrast Weapons Are Better tropes, which imply normal weapons are impossibly cool by themselves.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Rave Master's Ten Commandments - a shape-shifting BFS with elemental powers.
  • The Devices of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Some of them speak in Gratuitous English. Some of them speak in Gratuitous German. Most of them can switch from one kickass form to another. Most of them are Determinators in their own right, demanding Deadly Upgrades if they lose and even continuing to fight even after their owner loses consciousness. All of them are human-sized versions of Humongous Mecha weaponry that can, and do, take out Humongous Mecha.
  • An episode of SD Gundam Force features the Zakos showing off an "ultra space universe bazooka cannon gatling triple double wonderful drill super missile rocket machine gun gun gun". It ended up actually impossibly cool, because it completely fell apart upon trying to use it.
  • In Kamen Rider Spirits, Skull Rider uses a bizarre weapon that's a combination of brass knuckles & a shotgun. It has shells in it that go off when you punch something. No explanation is given for how he manages to keep them from blowing his own hands off.
    • Rin from Mnemosyne uses a similar weapon a couple of times.
  • In Deadman Wonderland, Genkaku's double gatling-gun electric guitar. One of the creators even said in his blog that he isn't sure if it would even be possible in real life.
  • GIGA!!!! DRILL!!!! BREAKER!!!! - a drill-based Finishing Move that just keeps getting bigger, much like the title mecha itself - and when said mecha is 63 billion light-years tall, that's a pretty big fucking drill.
  • The goddamn rocket powered sledgehammer from Gunnm.
  • A villain from Samurai Champloo had a delightful kusarigama variant that seemed to violate several laws of physics. The scythe head shot off of the haft, propelled by springs, gunpowder or black magic and then retracted so quickly that the scythe somehow beheaded or bisected anyone in between it and the haft.
  • Bui's weapon of choice
  • The Goldion Hammer of GaoGaiGar. It's formed by Goldymarg, who can turn into a tank, turning into a giant fist holding an enormous golden mallet, which then attaches to the titular Gaogaigar. The three-move combo that always follows on is: a giant nail made out of light is plunged into the enemy ("Hammer Hell!"); the nail is removed, tearing out the enemy's core ("Hammer Heaven!"); and finally the hammer hitting the enemy and turning them into tiny little motes of light ("TURN INTO LIGHT!").
  • Alucard of Hellsing has two guns, the latter of which is this trope personified. Known as "The Jackal", it's 39 cm or 16" long, 16 kg (or 35 pounds), and fires holy bullets that are powerful enough to explode entire walls. A real gun like that would be too heavy for a human to lift, and the recoil would likely snap his or her arm; but Alucard is a vampire, so he has the strength for it.
    • There are several weapons that can be carried and used by a single human in that weight class, I admit all of them are two handed weapons like medium MG's and multi-use anti-tank weapons (FN MAG can be fired while shouldered, it has a weight of 11.79kg empty, the ammo adds 4-5kg dependant on the belt length).
    • Seras's shoulder mounted anti-zeppelin BFG. The doctor prescribed some 30mm Harkonnen II goodness for those crazy Ghostapo mooks!
  • Bleach: Pictured above is Ikkaku's Bankai, which turns his zanpakutou into that monstrosity of a weapon; all three blades give us one of the most creatively designed (and enormous) adaptations of a monk's spade seen in manga or anime.
    • Most captains' bankais are this. For examples, Soi Fon's bankai turns her weapon into a huge stinger missile with amazing attack power, and Byakuya's bankai manifests as a thousand blades that appear out of nowhere, which then dissolve and proceed to attack the target from all conceivable directions.
  • Killy from Blame! has the Graviton Beam Emitter, which looks like a small gun...that has recoil of cannon and firepower of a DEATH STAR. Oh, and that's pretty much the only weapon he uses. Needless to say, destruction, to both the city he is traveling in and his arm, ensues.
    • At it's lowest setting, the recoil causes Killy's arm to snap back while the projectile goes... well, we're not really sure what the range is, but nothing stops it until it reaches it. A full power shot causes Killy to go flying backward while things in front of him start blowing up. Also, Killy sometimes Overcharges the gun which, when fired, rips his arm off (though it's easily reattached).
  • Vash's angel arm. Apparently a large break-open, six-shot, low-barrel revolver - and one of really rather underwhelming power when you consider the size - turns on command into a gigantic laser cannon with wings that can wipe entire cities off the face of the planet, or put a large crater in the moon, in a single shot. Runs on life.
    • For that matter, the same series gave us Nicholas D. Wolfwood's "Punisher", a cross-shaped object wrapped in cloth which he claims is so heavy because it's "so full of mercy." It turns out that apparently Wolfwood considers "mercy" to be synonymous with "ammunition"; the Punisher is basically a (semi-)portable arsenal. One arm of the cross contains a rack of multiple Colt 1911s, the bottom portion contains a machine gun, the other arm most likely contains ammo for the machine gun, and the top portion contains a missile launcher. Wolfwood's mentor, Chapel the Evergreen, has his own Punisher, which splits in half to form two machine guns.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt gives us the panty gun and the stocking sword.
  • The Escudo swords from Magic Knight Rayearth. They start off as impressive yet plausible, but Escudo weapons evolve. The design of the hilts alter with each new iteration and the swords are duplicated in large form by the Mashin. And the final form of Fuu's sword is longer than she is tall by a good foot and a half.

    Art 

    Comic Books 
  • From this Superdickery page: It's a gun, Frank. A gun that shoots swords.
  • The Lawgiver, a pistol that has six different types of ammunition: Standard, Ricochet, Armor Piercing, Heat Seeker, Incendiary, and Hi-Ex. Each of these can be combined with More Dakka.
  • Captain America's mighty shield. It's almost indestructible, throwable, and ricochets off at all sorts of crazy angles to come back to cap after he throws it.
  • Tony Stark's Iron Man armor, and any derivatives thereof; War Machine, Iron Monger, Crimson Dynamo, et al.
  • The various power rings of the color-coded emotional spectra in Green Lantern mythos; rings that make the user's imagination happen through their expression of the appropriate emotion.
  • Green Arrow of DC and Hawkeye of Marvel both have a huge compliment of trick arrows.
  • Just about any Asgardian weapon in the Marvel Comics universes. The most famous example being Thor's Hammer Mjolnir; it can be thrown an comes back like a boomerang, only he (for the most part) can lift it, it shoots lightning...
  • Hank Pym's "Pym Particles" used to cause objects to grow and shrink at will by shunting matter into an Alternate Dimension when shrinking an subject or accruing extra matter from that dimension when enlarging.
  • Wonder Woman has weapons forged by Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths. Most famous is her Golden Lasso; unbreakable and anyone bound by it must tell the truth.
    • The other most famous of Wonder Woman's accoutrements are her bracelets, gifted by Zeus and nigh indestructible.
    • She also wields the Sword of Hephaestus, which is sharp enough to split molecules and because it is magic, can kill Superman.
  • Wolverine's skeleton is Made of Indestructium, including the 12" claws that pop out of his hands. They are mono-molecularly sharp, never dull, cut through anything and are indestructible.
  • Batman, being a Badass Normal relies on a whole arsenal of Bat-themed weapons repurposed from other sources.
    • Batarangs, based on boomerangs.
    • Bat-shaped shuriken.
    • The Batmobile, basically a tank stuffed into a rocket-powered car.
    • Bat boat.
    • Bat plane.
    • His Grappling Gun has, over the years, become as much a weapon as a mode of transport.
    • Batman also finds creative uses for more conventional weapons like flash bangs, grenades, C4, smoke bombs, tear gas, etc. For instance, he once used C4 stuck to the back of a dumpster to launch it as a missile against Amazo.
  • Frequent Thor villains The Wrecking Crew have construction-themed weapons gifted to them by Loki (or because one of them was mistaken for Loki Depending on the Writer)
    • Wrecker wields an indestructible crowbar with magical properties.
    • Bulldozer has an armored metal helmet and fights by ramming his victims head-first.
    • Piledriver fights with his over-sized pile-driving fists.
    • Thunderball wields a huge demolition ball on a chain.
  • Lobo's trademark hook and chain, as well as his extraterrestrial arsenal.
  • Marvel Comics' super spy organization SHIELD utilizes Helicarriers.
  • Having traveled back in time from a far-distant future, Cable has an arsenal of futuristic weapons at his disposal in modern times.
  • Thanagarians have armor and weapons made from Nth Metal which allows them to fly, bestows all sorts of powers Depending on the Writer and is immune to magic.

    Fan Works 
  • In the fanfic Those Lacking Spines, Jeffiroth gets the coveted Masamune that Sephiroth wields. This is lampshaded.
    Unfortunately, a seven-foot katana, while cool-looking and certainly intimidating, is just not all that practical for a battle. Jeffiroth was able to attack with it, mostly by spinning around in a circle with his arms stretched out and hoping it would nick Xaldin, Vexen or Lexaeus enough to make them give up their unceasing barrage of wind, ice, earth and stabbity-type attacks.
    • It's even impractical for self-use.
    Unfortunately, a seven-foot long katana, while badass and certainly intimidating, is just not all that practical for seppuku. What followed was a ten minute display of Jeffiroth trying in vain to impale himself on a sword that was taller than he was, in full view of his choir and Nobuo Uematsu.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos features Fuckslayer, a demonic guitar with six necks wielded by Beelzebub. It's the very first guitar ever invented. Not only is it both a Lightning Gun and a rocket launcher, the music it makes is so loud that it can shake battleships apart.

    Film 
  • The lightsabers from Star Wars. Most frequent users, such as the Jedi and Sith orders, are basically gods. The fact that they're telepathic, telekinetic, precognitive, and generally enhanced is meant to justify their usage of a weapon that'll kill you if you bump into someone.
    • Asajj Ventress has been known to use paired lightsabers connected by a cable from time to time.
      • Light-chucks? Bad. Ass. But not as badass as flaming sword-chuks.
    • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars Pre Vizsla wields the Darksaber, a black-bladed, lightsaber katana looted from the Jedi Temple centuries ago by one of his ancestors.
    • There's also the double-bladed lightsaber, wielded by such characters as Darth Maul and Exar Kun. Especially interesting because its impossibly cool even compared to other lightsabers. It's hard to use, ridiculously dangerous, and not very useful. But, because no one ever uses it, no one knows how to defend against it, so it's actually a superior weapon. Crazy.
    • And what's even more impossibly cool than an impossibly cool weapon? A weapon that disables that weapon.
    • "Lightwhips" are introduced in the Star Wars Expanded Universe; despite the name, they're not lightsaber-whips, they're electrified whips that can withstand a lightsaber's blade. Except for the ones that are lightsaber-whips. Confused yet?
    • In The Force Unleashed, a boss uses lightsaber tonfa.
    • Also, the Death Star. Okay mass murder is not cool, but you know what I mean.
    • The X-Wing Series introduces the blastsword, signature weapon of the Adumari. It's pretty much what it sounds like.
    Wes: "So it's like a blaster you have to hit someone with. I have to have one."
    Tycho: "Don't give him a new kind of weapon! It would be like giving a lightsaber to a two-year-old!"
    • Chewbacca's "bowcaster," a cross between a laser gun and a crossbow. Or something like that. Looks really cool, and requires a bandoleer for some reason. It uses a magnetic field instead of a string to fire a metal slug at hypersonic speed like a Gauss Rifle, and adds ionized plasma gas for armor-piercing capability.
  • Krull has the Glaive, a telekinetic ninja star with retractable blades. The Real Life weapon of that name is a type of polearm.
  • The infamous Flying Guillotine. Drop the basket on someone's head, pull the chain, and it's Off with His Head!!
  • Sorority Row has the villain using a lug wrench with innumerable blades jutting out of it.
  • The ZF-1 from The Fifth Element definitely qualifies, and doubles as a Swiss Army Gun.
  • The villain of Phantasm, the Tall Man, uses flying killer spheres to take out his enemies. They fly at you, stick into your head with twin blades that pop out, then they kill you by drilling into your brain, with the blood exiting through a hole in the back.
    • On that note, the Cerebral Bore, plus nearly half of the Turok series' other weapons. Remember the minimum of three barrels per rocket launcher? The landmines specifically designed to amputate at the shin? The electrified shotgun that can put the same bullets through a single target six times over? The rocket-propelled sledgehammer? The precision-guided boomerang chainsaw? That gun that desiccates enemies and leaves behind jerky? The sticky, radioactive flares that slowly microwave people?
  • Whatever the hell The Octopus was using at the end of Frank goddamn Miller's The Spirit.
  • Anything from James Bond, from his wristwatch/high-powered laser, to Oddjob's sharpened bowler hat which can be thrown like a disc and cut off heads.
  • Most of the built-in weapons used during the Casa Cristo Classic in Speed Racer.
  • The alien weaponry in District 9. One of the less impressive ones is a cannon that fires a burst of compressed air. Which can knock a guy through a wall. It gets better.
    • Also, pig gun. There aren't enough weapons that kill your opponent with a goddamn pig.
  • It seems fitting that the director who gave us the Iron Man movies made Cowboys and Aliens. The trailer shows Daniel Craig's character with an alien gauntlet attached to his wrist, and a holographic scope of sorts pops up; he aims it at an alien ship and takes it down. Then all the parts retract back into the gauntlet. The expression on the face of Harrison Ford's character is priceless. Especially since he is armed with only a six gun.
  • In TRON: Legacy, the discs are no longer neon Frisbees but awesome laser buzzsaw-chakrams that can be used in close-combat and can be thrown.
    • And are still really something like process ID codes. Evidently, this is what happens when a video game designer's running the system.
  • In Sylvester Stallone's vehicle Cobra, the director had the ultra-psychotic villain's bizarre knife custom-made, as he wanted "a knife the audience would never forget". His wish became reality to such an extent that actual steel replicas of the knife are now being made - never mind that carrying and pulling out a knife with a giant, almost-double blade and a handle full of sharp spikes without the use of velcro would result in one's clothes being torn to shreds every time.
  • Jonah Hex has dual wielded crossbows that shot sticks of dynamite! And horse mounted gatling guns!
  • Scarlett's crossbow from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It has two bows, one on top of the other, like a double-barreled shotgun. It has four Laser Sights. It has a hi-def camera to allow you to target specific body parts. Its arrows are somehow guided using the camera and onboard computers. The arrows also explode.
  • The Ghostbusters' proton packs, being man-portable "unlicensed nuclear accelerators" with the potential to destroy the world via Crossing The Streams.

    Literature 
  • Detritus's "Piecemaker" crossbow in Discworld. The Piecemaker is more or less a ballista held by a troll, which when it fired its regular bolts incinerated them due to friction with the air from the speed, creating a giant fireball of shrapnel that decimated buildings. Later, Detritus adopted tying a crap-ton of normal crossbow bolts tied together with some string, which snapped a few feet off the crossbow, blotting out the sun (The smaller bolts still caught fire.)
    • Whenever Detritus pulls this out, everybody stands behind him. Everybody. Those who don't are Not Very Lucky.
    • "When mister safety-catch is not on, mister cross-bow is not your friend."
    • When first firing it at the testing range, it took out the target, the earth behind the target, the ground, and a passing bird that was directly above Detritus when he pulled the trigger.
  • Also from Discworld, Death's scythe. In one novel Bill Door makes a replacement which gets sharpened on an increasingly-fine array of strops, including linen, silk, cobwebs, and eventually sunlight. It's so sharp that the edge glows faintly blue from air molecules bumping into it and getting cut in half.
  • Neal Asher's Gridlinked introduces us to Tenkian weapons, named after their designer. They're mostly low-tech thrown weapons, but with an AI embedded into them to aid in aiming and targeting.
    • Main villain minion John Stanton gets a throwing knife that can be called up into his hand with a flick of his wrist; the character he gets it from says the AI will keep it from slicing his fingers off as he does so.
    • The protagonist, Ian Cormac, has a shuriken that works on similar principles, but that can also expand up to 25cm across. (About the size of your average table saw blade.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Xena: Warrior Princess has the chakram, a precision guided frisbee of death that can defeat entire armies. It actually existed, although it lacked the ability to cut through multiple people at the same time. Probably.
  • Buffy has her Slayer Scythe, a multi-purpose super weapon that only the Slayer can use, and is basically Vampire kryptonite.
  • Angel's sleeve stakes and Wesley's arm sword thingy.
  • D'argo's Qualta Blade is a sword that works as a pulse rifle. Two weapons for the price of one!
  • The Master's laser screwdriver from Doctor Who. The laser screwdriver is a deadlier form of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver and a weapon that shoots out a laser beam that kills instantly and can rapidly age victims whose DNA it possesses.
    • Prior to this, he always used a shrink ray called a Tissue Compression Eliminator. It didn't shrink you neatly, it compressed (that is, crushed) your tissues down to the size of a doll, so it was quite lethal, and left a teeny tiny corpse. Regrettably, the show never addressed the fact that the doll-corpses should have been very heavy... But, eh, so what? Rule of Cool.
  • House (yes, that House) has a cane that transforms into an axe and a shotgun. Okay, it was just in a dream of his, but it was still impossibly cool.
  • On Game of Thrones, the Dothraki use wicked-looking sickle-swords. While similar weapons existed in the Bronze Age Near East, they were used by footsoldiers to get around an enemy's shield. They're not really appropriate for a culture whose warriors are all light cavalry, but they certainly look more exotic than a sabre or scimitar.
  • Walter practically mentions the trope by name in reference to an anti gravity pistol in the series finale of Fringe.
    Walter Bishop: If you shoot an Observer with this, they'll float away.
    Peter Bishop: Why would we want them to float away?
    Walter Bishop: Because it's cool.

    MMORP Gs 
  • Many of the swords in World of Warcraft. Either they're ridiculously huge, they look like they were designed by Kit Rae in collaboration with Fred Flintstone and a Taos jeweler, or both.
    • Truth in Television: It should be noted that Kit Rae's fantasy weapons are for display purposes only.
  • Guild Wars has "The Dreamer" a legenday bow that looks like a butterfly wing forged into a bow... And shoots Rainbow trailing unicorns.

    Multiple 
  • Any variation of a shuriken that is larger than the user's own body, especially the "pinwheel" types with a cross-grip in the middle. This kind of shuriken tends to come back to the user, often striking several foes at once.
  • Any and all Humongous Mecha. Tanks: acceptable, Walking Tanks: Possible, although with limited applications. Humanoid Tanks the size of skyscrapers: Rule of Cool.
  • A sort of shovel-tipped longsword shows up in various places. It looks cool, but is totally useless as a real-world weapon: the broad point prevents stabbing attacks from doing much damage, and it throws off the balance, making slashing attacks difficult. Existed in real life, but as a very specific tool for execution, not a weapon of war or for fighting.

    Music 
  • Fans of The Protomen wield the most intimidating weapon of all time: The chamethrawer, a chainsaw with a flamethrower attached to it.
  • The Arrogant Worms Let There Be Guns gave us this description: "super-duper-automatic weapon with a CD-ROM drive, and a big old hard drive, and a big guitar amp so I can play BTOs..." And it's only a start of it, there's also mention of it shooting a little nerf rockets among other things.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Most Warhammer 40,000 weapons fit this trope. The weakest weapon in the setting is a laser gun which can blow the arm clean off an unarmoured normal, and they just get bigger, and more awesome from there. For instance, the Ork gun which fires Snotlings THROUGH HELL into the target's brain. Chainsaw swords (and chainsaw fists). Demon-powered swords. Razor Floss cannons. Weaponised cutting torches which can shoot through tank armour. Molecule-thick shuriken shooters. Guns which fire needles of frozen poison. And so forth. And let's not forget that virtually all of the setting's weapons have versions which can be mounted to Humongous Mecha. And then, there's the Tyranids and their organic weapons systems...
    • Don't forget the eponymous Bolter, which is basically a rapid-fire RPG in assault rifle form. Also comes in pistol size, to be wielded alongide the aforementioned chainsaw swords.
  • The Valaes Tairn elves in Eberron favour a double-bladed scimitar. Despite the inherent impracticality of this weapon, the Valaes Tairn pull it off, possibly because they're Bad Ass Elf Proud Warrior Race Guys who will kill you if you point this out.
  • Bauhaus Jungle Kommandos from War Zone Tabletop Wargame use Big Freakin' Gatling Shotguns with two sets of barrels. Whoever gets hit by THAT, is in a world of hurt.
  • From Dungeons & Dragons the double axe, the two-bladed sword, the spiked chain, and especially the dire flail.
  • The artifact sword named Demonhealer from GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy doesn't have a blade so much as it has a hole in reality that happens to be in the shape of a blade.
  • Exalted has a fascinating variety of impossible yet awesome weapons. These range from the comparatively mundane (daiklaves, which are BFS's that would make Sephiroth jealous), to the slightly less plausible (the infinite jade chakram, which produces duplicates so you never have to actually throw it), to the straight-out absurd (gyroscopic chakrams, which are Captain America's shield as designed by Ash Williams). Any and all of this can be justified with magic. The kicker, however, is the Grand Goremaul. Imagine the Megaton Hammer tripled in size. In order to wield it, you need to use as much magical power as it would take to nuke a city, and also have a Strength of at least 4-one step below human maximum.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE has a ton of these, with most of their impossibly cool status deriving from a combination of size and ornateness. Some of the most notable ones are:
    • Tahu's magma swords. He had a Flaming Sword, but that got replaced by a pair of flaming broadswords that double as a surfboard.
    • Onua Nuva's quake breakers. They are effectively a pair of chainsaws that can cut through rock and double as rollerblades.
    • Nuju Metru's crystal spikes. Just look at 'em!
    • About all the Piraka weapons, especially since they are multifunctional.
    • Jaller's Sword a Flaming Laser blade that also comes with lightning. Yes, A flaming lightning sword made of lasers. Heck, every single weapon used by the Inika are basically "Lightning-infused Plasma, Laser, or similar" Weapon that's dual wielded with a rapid-fire version of the regular Zamor Launcher used by the Piraka.

    Video Games 
  • Just about every weapon in the Ratchet & Clank universe is impossibly cool. The first ads for the games even showed how they just wouldn't work in real life.
    • Of particular note is the RYNO series of weapons, which only get bigger and more ridiculous as the series goes on.
  • Gunblades in Final Fantasy VIII are a cross between BFGs, BFSs, and Vibroweapons. Unlike most examples, the impossibility is acknowledged in-universe - it's so difficult to master that only the most dedicated soldiers can hope to use it. In-universe, it's speculated that the main character, Squall, uses it because it's so difficult to learn how.
  • Final Fantasy XIII seems to be made of this trope, along with a reappearance of the aforementioned Gunblade, we're also introduced to Twin Guns that combine into an Assault Rifle, a Giant Folding Battle Boomerang, a Double-Ended Spear that breaks apart into a Three-Segmented Nunchaku, and some sort of . . . Staff-Whip Fishing Pole . . . thing.
  • ''Two Worlds II'': about a third of the weapons that come with blades (as well as many of those that don't), with the second third consisting of almost game breaking ones, and the last third based strictly on actual historical weaponry. It is, after all, a huge RPG set in a fantasy world.
  • Xenoblade has the Monado. A cool Laser Bladed BFS Of Combat Clairvoyance And Plot Advancement. Try to compete with THAT.
    • Never mind that it's basically the embodiment of the game's main antagonist - the soul of the titan you live on and your planet's long-forgotten god.
  • Warcraft III has the same weapon as the Krull example above (with the same name) but increased to the size of a human torso. Throwing it (or launching it out of a massive slingshot) is apparently not a problem.
    • Even more confusingly, Illidan's Weapon of Choice, the Twin Blades of Azzinoth are also called glaives, even though they're more like two curved swords attached to the opposite sides of the same hilt. He took them from a demon he killed. The glaives in question had the option of detaching into the two blades, but Illidan just prefers to use them like that all the time.
  • The Lancer, a Chainsaw - Machine Gun hybrid. For buyers of the Limited Edition of Gears of War 2, it comes in a solid gold variety.
  • In the PS3 game Heavenly Sword, one of the playable characters, Kai, had a HUGE crossbow that fired like a Gatling gun. It also had unlimited ammo and had arrows that could actually be guided directly into an enemy's skull from a kilometer away.
    • The titular Heavenly Sword was also fairly cool, a pair of curvy ornate swords that could also be attached together into one big powerful two handed sword or strung out on chains and whipped around for God of War style long range attacks.
  • Monster Hunter is all about this trope. Serrated BFSs with teeth that fold into the blade when not being wielded, giant telescoping lances, and giant collapsible crossbows that worked more like BFGs were par for the course. The most impossibly cool weapons by far, though, were the gunhammer and gunlance. They were similar to the Gunblades of Final Fantasy VIII, but even more impossible. The gunlance was essentially an eight foot long lance with a revolver cylinder built into the handguard and a barrel running along the underside of the blade. It shot whatever you stabbed. The gunhammer got rid of the barrel altogether - it was nothing but a giant cylinder and hammer assembly on a stick. You hit things with it and they got shot (after being crushed of course). Both were awesome.
    • Gunlances were eventually expanded into their own weapon class, and now handle differently from lances. Now they can actually shoot at a distance (and don't use ammunition to boot!)and unleash wyvern's fire, an explosion that can break shields, knock over gargantuan beasts, and just about break the weapon itself in the process.
  • Power Stone 2 had the so called '3-way shotgun' and it's powered up version, the 5-way shotgun. Of course.
  • The Devil May Cry 'verse has many:
    • In Devil May Cry 3 you get Nevan, a frickin' electric guitar scythe that shoots out purple lightning and bats. And which used to be a massively hot succubus. And before that, Cerberus, a three-sectioned nunchaku made of ice.
    • Devil May Cry 4 has Pandora's Box, a demonic firearm manifesting as a briefcase capable of morphing into a variety of heavy weapons. A crapload of forms and they're all awesome. Also Lucifer — bright pink exploding energy spears, anyone?
      • On the slightly more mundane (but still strange) front, we have the weapons of the Order: a sort of revved-up flame/vibro-sword for Alto Angelos (and Nero), and the equally insane rocket-powered lance wielded by the Bianco Angelo armor suits for jet-propelled lunges.
  • In addition to chainswords, .hack//G.U. has Azure Kite's weird triple-bladed swords. They look like they'd be heard to handle with just two arms, but hey.
    • Slightly justfied by characters in Dot Hack being virtual avatars in a game being controlled by players at a computer. So the laws of physics and coordination need not necessrily apply. Further more Azure Kite himself is an A.I. in the system so they definitely don't apply to him.
  • Literally almost every weapon in Painkiller is based around this trope. To wit:
    • Your main melee melee/ranged weapon, the eponymous Painkiller, is essentially a horizontally held weed whacker that can be sent flying through enemy ranks, blades spinning.
    • Your standard garden-variety shotgun, which cannot only freeze your enemies, but packs enough of a punch to send them flying into the air.
    • A gun that shoots yard-long wooden stakes through the air at high speeds, pinning enemies to walls by their limbs.
    • A rocket launcher and minigun combined into the same weapon.
    • And lastly, the Electrodriver, a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning. And even shurikens which themselves shoot lightning.
  • A tradition of the Infinity+1 Swords of the Fire Emblem franchise:
    • Fire Emblem 7 features Armads, Durandal, and Sol Katti (Armads being a gigantic thunder axe which causes tremors when it touches the ground, Durandal a gigantic sword of "sacred fire", and Sol Katti just a really long katana).
    • Fire Emblem 6 has Eckesachs, Zephiel's sword/trident, which he uses just as a sword, in addition to the aforementioned Durandal and Armads.
    • The Tellius canon features Ragnell and Alondite, a twin pair of holy BFSs once dual-wielded by a slim, petite Lady of War.
  • Fallout Tactics: Fantasy Ball. Sole possible explanation for its existence: designed to weird the hell out of anyone in sight, thus compelling target to waive Agility bonus.
    • The same game has a weapon called the punch gun
    • Some craftable weapons from Fallout 3; namely, the Railway Rifle. It's a steam-powered cannon that launches railway spikes with such force that a kill instantly dismembers and pins the affected limb to the nearest hard surface behind the target. And as an extra, firing the weapon produces a train whistle.
    • And the Rock-It Launcher. Anything that can turn stuffed animals into insta-gibbing projectiles is automatically awesome.
    • The earlier games had the Super Sledgehammer. A giant sledgehammer with a rocket built into the head. Start it swinging and press the button and foosh! It was capable of knocking someone down and sliding them literally a full city block.
    • The Ballistic Fist from Fallout: New Vegas is a shotgun welded to the top of gauntlet, with a pressure pad as a trigger. It is also the most damaging unarmed weapon in the game.
      • Thanks to the Gun-Runner's Arsenal content pack, we now have the Ballistic Fist's big brother, named 'Two-Step Goodbye': killing shots implant a live grenade in the target.
  • The Evoker from Persona 3. It's basically a pistol. Except instead of using it to shoot people, you point it at your head and use it to summon the physical manifestation of your psyche.
  • Most energy weapons in Virtual-ON. Homing beams, beam swords, homing beam swords, anti-ship cannons, heart shaped beams, circle beams, scythes— anything is possible.
  • Alone In The Dark The New Nightmare had a triple-barreled shotgun and a double-barreled revolver.
  • Resident Evil 5 also has a triple-barreled shotgun.
  • Many weapons in Team Fortress 2. The Soldier has a semi-auto rocket launcher, the Heavy has several 150-kilogram minigun that can kill in a second, the Medic has a chaingun that shoots blood-sapping syringes and a bizarre mix of a saw, a short sword, and a hypodermic needle, the Spy has a Hand Cannon with the Scout's mom on it, the Scout has a shotgun with enough kick to send his target and him flying ten feet, the Engineer has his turrets, the Pyro has an ax covered in barbed wire that instakills people on fire, an ax that has a superheated coil for a blade that atomizes opponents, and a flamethrower shaped like a dragon, the Demoman has a sticky bomb launcher with so much firepower, the programmers referred to them as "winbombs", and the Sniper has a jar of piss that causes people to lose the will to live.
  • Parodied in No More Heroes. Rank 1, Dark Star, wields a LIGHTSABER DRAGON. He does not get a chance to use it before he gets punched through the groin shortly after revealing it.
    • And then in the sequel, the tutorial boss uses a revolver that revolves revolver cylinders.
    • It'd probably be easier to name characters in No More Heroes who don't use impossibly cool weapons. The final five-ranked assassins in the first game come at you with a portable brain-powered earthquake generator, a magic show, a Wave Motion Gun disguised as a shopping cart, the aforementioned lightsaber dragon, and...a wooden baseball bat. And the assassin who totes that last one is by far the deadliest of the bunch.
    • The sequel carries on the tradition, even moreso than the first game, with the aforementioned revolving revolver (wielded along with a triple-bladed buster sword,) a boom box/rocket launcher that transforms into a giant pair of robot arms, a flamethrower axe, a pair of sniper rifles/scythes, a double beam katana/recorder that shoots deadly bubbles, a pair of guns that shoot money, a giant football-themed robot, an improved, upgraded version of the first game's brain-powered quake-maker, and a backpack covered in waldoes, most of them with lightsabers on the end. It even delivers on the lightsaber dragon from the first game somewhat with a beam naginata that summons giant laser dragons.
    • There's also the Peony, a beam katana that grows in length with the user's fighting spirit, until it's longer than Travis is tall.
  • God of War. Swords. On retractable chains! That CATCH FIRE when you fling them around! And Kratos dual-wields them.
  • Bayonetta has, well, nearly every damn weapon of the game. To list, normal handguns and shotguns, a demonic katana, a whip that's actually a snake demon, a pair of claws that can switch between fire and lightning modes, ice skates, rocket launcher tonfa, laser pistols, gun-chucks, a lightsaber, and rings which turn into every angelic weapon in the game.
    • Did we mention that those guns, shotguns, bazookas and laser pistols come in sets of four, are all wielded at the same time and that two of each set are attached to the heels?
  • Hayden's Glaive from darkSector, you can even use the PS3 motion control to use it sometimes. (Though it's damn hard.)
  • Kaptain K Rool's blunderbuss in Donkey Kong Country 2. It can fire cannonballs, sure, but it can also... suck in objects, fire spiky mines, fire mines that bounce across the screen, fire mines that rotate and fly around, sometimes in pairs, fire barrels that rotate and fly around, be used as a sort of engine, fire gasses that freeze Kongs in place, reverse the controls and slow them down, and it even manages to turn K Rool invisible.
  • Parodied by many Kingdom of Loathing weapons, such as the Ridiculously Overelaborate Ninja Weapon and the Ridiculously Huge Sword.
  • Mass Effect 2's M-490 Blackstorm, a black-hole gun.
    • And if you thought that was impressive, try swinging around a pseudo-nuclear cannon that can cause a mushroom cloud on impact and take down minor Reapers in one shot. That's the M-920 Cain, for you.
    • Not to be outdone, the heavy weapons in the sequel are pretty impressive: aside from the triumphant return of the M-920 Cain, there's the Geth Spitfire (a rotary plasma gun), the Reaper Blackstar (basically the Blackstorm, but as built by the Reapers), and the M-560 Hydra (which shoots eight rockets at once).
    • There's also something of an arms race in Mass Effect 3's sniper rifle category. The second game's M-98 Widow anti-materiel sniper rifle is only the start. Upgrades include a semi-automatic Widow, the Geth Javelin, which shoots "beams" of red-hot molten iron, and the M-90 Indra, which shoots ordinary bullets but is fully automatic (the only full-auto sniper rifle in the game, in fact). Then DLC came around and things went a little crazy: Resurgence brought the Kishock Harpoon Launcher, which sometimes instantly kills humanoid enemies on a headshot regardless of damage, then Rebellion featured the Krysae sniper rifle, which fires explosive bullets, and finally Retaliation dropped in the Collector Sniper Rifle, which has modest performance but automatically regenerates ammo.
  • In Virtual-ON, Temjin has a beam rifle that doubles as a beam sword.
  • The Javelin from Dead Space 2 is a pneumatic spear gun. As if shooting mutated corpses with spears wasn't already cool enough, its alternative fire mode causes the last spear you fired to emit an electrical storm. Powerful, and useful for mopping up many smaller, weaker necromorphs such as The Pack. Even more awesome than that, once you upgrade the Javelin sufficiently enough, its alt fire mode now causes the spear to EXPLODE after the electrical charge in it runs out.
  • Borderlands has a plethora of guns that, at best, simply should not work as well as they do and, at worst, violate the laws of physics. Some prime examples include a shotgun that fires rockets and several special weapons that replenish their own ammo supply from nothing.
    • In the first game, the basic Psycho enemy uses a handweapon that is basically an axe with a circular saw for a blade. Dr. Ned from the first DLC also uses it.
    • Torgue guns, all of them shoots explosive rounds. This includes: pistols, assualt rifles, shotguns, SMGs and even sniper rifles. The Assault on Dragon Keep DLC ups the ante with the SWORDSPLOSION!!! shotgun, which fires swords that explode. Into three smaller swords. Which also explode. Even better if you manage to get the coveted 'Casual' prefix, which causes the gun to shoot three swords that explode into nine smaller swords that then also explode, carpeting the battlefield in explosions, or, even better, detonating right in the face of the enemy you originally shot at, making it a nearly One-Hit Kill on all but the most Badass. It's one of most powerful weapons in the game.
    • Tediore guns, which EXPLODES if you throw it, has shotguns that shoot electric tornadoes and SMGs that shoots like a bouncing betty.
    • Hyperion guns, GOLDEN guns with a futuristic design, loads bullets mechanically and increases accuracy the more you fire.
  • Hellgate: London is full of these. Every weapon the Cabalists can use is one, notably ones that shoot bees or tentacles. The Hunters get more conventional firearms, but even they can play with a rifle that fires electrified spinning sawblades that explode.
  • Jet Force Gemini gives each of your characters their own tri-rocket launcher relatively early in the game.
  • Damn near everything in the Turok series is one of these. Among them are a gun that shoots land mines that shoot up and shoot out a ring of shrapnel at roughly knee-height, a gun that launches energy helices that carbonize foes and cause them to explode seconds later, and the cerebral bore, which fires an orb that embeds itself in your enemy's head. Then it starts digging. Then it blows up.
  • Many weapons in League of Legends, though Jarvan IV's lance takes the crown. It is a giant lance that can launch its head at a target point where it falls from the sky and deploys a banner of Demacia, raising the courage of his allies. It can also extend to about the range of a frickin' arrow in order to impale all enemies in front of him and break their armor. If this connects with his flag, it pulls him to the flag and flips the enemies in his path into the air.
  • An Up to Eleven example: the Farsight from Perfect Dark. One-Hit Kill, unlimited penetration and equipped with a scope that can see through walls and doors and automatically track people. You literally just have to sit back and pull the trigger.
  • The melee weapons in the Xbox/PS3 Ninja Gaiden games mostly avert this since they are inspired from real weapons in the first place (apart from one or two BFS). Except the Vigoorian Flail: a pair of chained sickles used like a nunchaku, that would be far too dangerous to use in Real Life. There is also the Plasma Saber Mk. II, a high frequency electrified sword (although gameplay-wise it's every bit identical to the True Dragon Sword). And of course, being a Ninja game, the projectile weapons are mostly this, from explosive kunai to Fuuma Shuriken, let alone a gatling spear gun and a portable canon.
  • The Dark Cannon.
  • Fate/stay night features Ea, Gilgameshīs drillsword and the single most powerful weapon in the Nasuverse, which comes from itīs ability to rotate so fast that it literally breaks the world around it apart, destroying anything in the vague direction itīs pointed at, including the world itself if itīs given enough time to charge. Even at an absolutely minimum of itīs power it can easily overpower Saberīs Excalibur, the supposedly strongest sword. On top of all that,it looks fucking awesome.
  • Neo Cortex's ray gun from the Crash Bandicoot series.
  • The titled protagonist of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has different types of boomerangs.
  • Bentley's Cool Chair from Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, which can fire rockets and has a jetpack.
  • Monster Girl Quest has the Angel Halo, an incredibly black sword that's created from 666 fallen angels and their figures are still on the blade in rather painful poses. Extremely eye-catching and evil looking. The only reason The Hero's using it is because it seals and reduces monsters' power upon defeat rather than killing them.
  • Most of the weapons from the Mega Man series. Hell, ALL OF THEM.
    • Except for Top Spin. Nobody likes Top Spin. Until you need it to beat the final boss, anyway.
    • Acid Ace from Mega Man Star Force 3 wields a Ray Gun with a built in Laser Blade, which can also shoot a bunch of other attacks at you.
  • The cast of Mana Khemia use weapons that range from cool to downright improbable, among them Nikki's giant hammer with retractable dual flails for a head, electric drill claws for Pamela's possessed teddy, and Flay's shuriken-launching mechsword. The sequel adds Enna's Power Fist and Et's bladed hula hoop, complete with dual and bow forms.
  • Some weapons in the Tales Series qualify when they're not verging on ludicrous. Hubert's...weapon...thing in Tales of Graces leaps to mind. It's a dual-bladed sword that can separate into two regular swords. And a pair of handguns. Which fire bullets made of magic. And it can also shoot arrows like a bow. No wonder it gives the wielder INSTANT BALLS.
    • Hubert is slightly explained by it being a custom weapon he personally designed to be over the top to give off the image as a bad ass military warrior to inspire fear in his enemies and morale in his subordinates. It was actually based off a weapon from his universe's equivalent of Batman. He spent years training himself to become proficent and make it an effective weapon. In other words he was intentionally invoking this trope and struggled hard to make it work.
    • Tales of Vesperia: Shotgun. Scythe.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance gives us Jetstream Sam and his High-frequency Katana which can be shot out of its hilt like a bullet for insane quick-draws.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor has waaaay too many to list, what with the massive amounts of weaponry that is either a reference, amusingly weird, or both. But some examples are a dagger that looks more like a metal bush, because the blade branches and branches until every tip's a single atom sharp, and thus stabs a zillion times each thrust, a seriously big pole with six axe blades, three on each end stacked vertically, making for something like a macahuitl made of axes, a double-chainaxe with two running edges at the front, which sometimes swings itself at foes for an extra blow, and a quadruple razor sword, like a giant's shaving tool which you swing around without the plastic clutter, "for when you really, really, really, really need to be sure". That's just the start, by the way.
  • Sunset Overdrive includes a bowling ball launcher, vinyl record gun, toy helicopters with pistols attached to them, and teddy bears strapped with dynamite as part of your arsenal.
  • Dark Souls II features the Samurai Bonus Boss known as Sir Alonne, who wields a katana as long as he is tall (and he's way larger than the Player Character). This katana has the distinction of being a classical depiction of a zanbato, combining an extra large handle and a lengthy blade, which makes it only practical for two-handing it. On top of that, it can power itself with Abyss magic by absorbing the blood of whoever it pierces.

    Web Comics 
  • Sword-chucks, yo!
  • The chainsaw nunchucks of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • In "Tokyo Delta Jetlag D," the in-universe anime/manga series from Unwinders Tall Comics, main character Jaded Lament uses the Katagun, a katana that shoots bullets in the shape of the blade. Check it out (and some entertaining lampshading of anime/manga tropes) here.
  • The 'black rose' a plasma flamethrower from S.S.D.D that often explodes into a mass of plasma and radioactive shrapnel.
  • Inevitable in Homestuck with its volatile combination of Item Crafting and young protagonists; their weapons are often created by fusing together actual weapons with whatever random shit they find lying around, frequently leading to some awesomely ridiculous arsenals. Examples include the Wrinklefucker (a sledgehammer with spring-loaded electric irons attached to the head that can launch the user into the air), the Caledscratch (a broken BFS that has the ability to reverse its own timeline to a point when it was whole, and back again), the Thorns of Oglogoth (a pair of knitting needles that can harness the powers of the Horrorterrors), and the Pop-a-Matic Vrillyhoo (a combination of TWO Infinity+1 Swords).
    • There's also the concept of innocuous doubles (originating in Problem Sleuth); weapons that exist as other, more harmless objects until they're ready to be wielded. Keys become handguns, a sextant becomes a sniper rifle, a typewriter becomes a Chicago Typewriter, etc, and most prominently Kanaya's weapon of choice: a tube of lipstick that transforms into a chainsaw.
  • Problem Sleuth features Death's scythe, which can transform into anything. ANYTHING. Anti-tank rockets, F-16s, nuclear bombs, Manny Calavera's head, you name it.
  • 'Manly Guys' has an action figure with a big gun that shoots handguns that shoots deep fried beer cans.

    Web Original 
  • Check out this Cracked.com article for their picks of the most impossibly cool fictional weapons that would be retarded in real life.
    • And here you can find the Seven Most Awesomely Insane Guns People Actually Used.
    • Collumnist Robert Brockway has on two separate occasions, invented the Taserchucks (two tasers attached by a bungee cord) and the Octoshotsword(a shotgun made of swords that for some reason also has a bayonet).
  • Dubstep Guns
  • The character Ruby from the Rooster Teeth animation RWBY wields a sniper rifle that transforms into a combination gun and scythe, using the recoil to add more power to her scythe swings.
    • Blake has a sword that's also a gun that can be wielded at the end of a long ribbon, turning it into a sword-gun-flail.
    • And Yang has bracelets that turn into gauntlet mounted shotguns. Plus, the guy she fights has a rocket launcher which fires six rockets at once, AND transforms into a giant bat.
    • Basically, the show is well on track to making it easier to list the characters who don't have ridiculously awesome weapons. So far that's pretty much just Weiss (who "simply" has a rapier with a revolver chamber that casts magic), and Jaune (who has a sword and collapsible shield...).
  • Special Effect Artist, Freddie Wong made use of this in his video Huge Guns

    Western Animation 
  • Voltron's Blazing Sword, an indestructible blade the size of a good-size building, wielded by a giant robot for hacking apart other giant robots. A solid object, but re-created out of Pure Energy every time it's needed. Despite the name, it is not a Flaming Sword.
  • The Arborians' ice arrows in Filmation's Flash Gordon (which turned out to be very handy for putting out a forest fire in one episode). Meanwhile, Ming himself was fond of using a Flaming Sword in combat.
  • The title weapon from Galtar and the Golden Lance, an enchanted weapon of prophecy that can only be wielded by a Chosen One, it can split into two smaller blades and shoots powerful energy zaps.
  • The Star Sword and the Power Sword from Blackstar, which would join to form the even more awesome Power Star if they weren't wielded by the hero and the villain respectively. Used for shooting energy beams more often than as actual swords.
  • The Sword of Plundarr from ThunderCats. Two curved jagged blades, each attached to the opposite side of a little tiny handle. Mumm-ra mostly used it to create giant whirlwinds of fire. Naturally, it shrank down to the handle when he wasn't using it.
  • Muscle Man's sport's equipment from Regular Show.
  • The KND have a wide array of 2x4 Tech weapons built out of seemingly random objects (such as hair-dryers, or gumball machines) yet prove to be surprisingly effective. Though sometimes subverted as said weapons occasionally break or come out of the wielder's hand depending on who the KND Operative is fighting.
    • In one episode, Numbuh Four used a handheld gun that shot mattresses. Entire mattresses.
  • Most of the weapons on The Pirates of Dark Water look like they were designed by Kit Rae.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: AR-15-mounted crossbows, which are probably best used for stealthy sentry kills. The fact that there's still space for an underslung grenade launcher makes it even cooler.
  • In real life, Hira Shuriken (Ninja stars) are like this. They were rarely used to directly kill people, instead being used as a distraction which looked like it would kill you used by ninjas who were fleeing. Obviously people would get slowed down by trying to dodge these weapons which looked deadly, not knowing that the thrower probably couldn't even throw them with accuracy. Example: A ninja is trying to get inside a building with guard on the door. The ninja throws a shuriken at a group bushes/small trees, making a sound that the guard mistakes for someone running in the bushes, possibly a ninja! The guard goes to investigate, while ninja sneaks in. Sounds like a scenario from a stealth videogame.
    • Sometimes it's about distractions within distractions. A ninja might throw several shuriken at once, missing several times, scoring only a scratch with another with only one direct hit (which isn't even deadly itself). The missed shots and direct hit were simply to distract the target from the poisoned blade that barely nicked them, but will probably kill them in less than an hour.
      • And they become a little less impossibly cool (or more... YMMV) when you learn what the poison was. The most easy-to-obtain toxic material when you're out on an infiltration mission for days... they used their own faeces to poison the shurikens.
    • They were often referred to as the "invisible swordsman" due to those who got hit by it (usually from cover) thinking they got slashed by an unseen swordsman.
  • Japanese Officer'ssword/pistol Mix-and-Match Weapon: Katana with a Nambu taisho 14 8mm pistol as the hilt. It's quite literally "Impossibly" as the pistol made the sword useless and vice versa, not to mention Japanese pistol designs having placed so much emphasis on safety discipline on part of their users that by late WWII they had been more dangerous to their users than the enemy.
  • The Nazis had a thing for building large guns; in the latter part of the Italian invasion, the Allies' airforce spent half their time looking for two artillery pieces so large they could only be moved by train. Which meant that the two guns could only be moved where there was track laid.
  • Most Hidden Weapons that actually try to be hidden or hide-able versions of a conventional weapon have to sacrifice much of their parents' lethality, durability and/or versatility. There's a reason most infantry still carry their battle rifles instead of wearing them in their helmets or body armor.
  • Henry VIII had a giant, triple-barrelled "gun mace" that he supposedly stalked the the streets of London at night with. No, seriously [1]
  • Another British king had a weapon that was impossibly cool, or impossibly ridiculous depending on how you view it. Purdy, a gun manufacturer known for making high-quality birding and hunting shotguns for wealthy clients, presented King George V with a pair of fully-functional and detailed minature double-barreled guns in 1935 for the Silver Jubilee. The guns were 1/6 the size of a regular double-barreled gun and can fit on a person's hand, coming with their own functional ammunition. King George reportedly liked to "hunt" moths with the guns, but eventually had to give it up as "the cartridges were too damn expensive".
  • On the same principle as His Majesty's "moth guns", but rather more serious, was the U.S. Navy "Hand Firing Device MK 1" of World War Two. It was a single-shot .38 Special caliber weapon, fired by a spring-loaded plunger-type "trigger" in front next to its (very short) barrel, that was riveted to the back of a heavy work glove. Both muzzle and plunger protruded about 1/2" beyond the knuckles when the wearer clenched his fist. Legend states that it was an Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) brainstorm. In this case, legend is wrong. It was developed by the Naval Gun Factory for the Naval Construction Battalions, the Seabees. During the island-hopping campaign across the Pacific, Seabee heavy-equipment operators were vulnerable not only to enemy sniper fire, but also to "close assault" by enemy soldiers in an ambush attack. They kept weapons (.45 pistols, etc.) close to hand, but the Japanese soldiers, being no fools, adopted the tactic of jumping onto the bulldozer, etc., on the right side and grabbing the driver's gun hand to prevent him from shooting them. The HFD MK 1 was mounted accordingly on a left-hand glove. When attacked, the Seabee simply punched his opponent in the face with his "free" hand- which depressed the plunger and fired a .38 slug right into the attacker's head. Messy, but very effective. Not least because it was basically impossible to miss.


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