From a whirlwind cannon to a gay bomb these are the 10 strangest weapons ever invented.
10. Punt Gun
Punt guns were a very large type of shotgun used in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were used to hunt large flocks of birds resting on the water’s surface. The gun’s were so large they were mounted onto boats known as punts hence the name punt gun. They could fire over a pound (0.45 kg) of shot and kill over 50 birds with a single pull of the trigger. The sheer power these giant guns produced when shot was enough to propel the boat it was mounted to backwards. The gun was so effective in hunting water birds that it was banned in the US in the 1860’s due to a depletion in stocks of wild waterfowl.
9. The Man Catcher
The man catcher was a polearm used in medieval times used to capture noble opponents alive so they could be held for ransom. The design allowed the man catcher to be used against ground attackers as well as opponents on horseback. The end was designed with a spring loaded gate that could effectively trap and hold the opponent in place. Because it was a non-lethal weapon, the man catcher could also be used to restrain violent prisoners.
8. Whirlwind Cannon
This bizarre contraption known as the whirlwind cannon was invented during World War II by Austrian scientist, Dr Zippermeyer. The whirlwind cannon fired compressed air which was created by explosions in a combustion chamber then funnelled through a 12 metre (39.4 feet) long barrel and further 13 metre (42.7 feet) nozzle towards the target. The theory was that this burst of air may be directed at enemy aircraft, knocking them out of the sky. The weapon was produced after initial experiments were successful using a smaller cannon reportedly able to shatter wooden planks 200 yards away (183 m). Luckily for the Allied Forces, the results from the initial testing could not be replicated with a larger prototype due to the difficulty in directing whirlwinds at a moving aircraft.
7. The Claw Of Archimedes
The Claw of Archimedes was a weapon devised by Greek engineer and inventor Archimedes to defend the city of Syracuse, Sicily, against a seaborne assault. The contraption was reportedly some sort of crane with a large hook at the end that could lift an enemy’s ship out of the water then suddenly drop it, causing it to capsize. The historian Livy described these machines in use in 214 BC when The Roman Republic attacked Syracuse, attributing large losses of Roman Republic ships to Archimedes’ unusual but effective machine.
6. The Kolibri
Battlefield 1 fans will instantly recognise this gun. With a total loaded weight of a mere 218.3 grams (7.7 ounces) the Kolibri is the smallest ever gun produced with a centerfire cartridge. Patented by Austrian watchmaker Franz Pfannl in 1910, the Kolibri gets its name appropriately from the German word for hummingbird. The cartridge only weighs 5.3 grams (0.2 ounces) and is only 11 mm long (0.43 inches) and 3 mm (0.12 inches) wide. With a muzzle velocity of 200 meters per second (660 feet), the Kolibri lacked firepower even for its time. The pint sized gun was only capable of penetrating a pine board no further than 40 mm (1.57 inches). In comparison the Beretta M9 used by the US army from 1990 until today has a muzzle velocity of nearly double that at 381 meters (1250 feet) per second.
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