|Soldier firing Xun Lei Chong, from 'Shen Qi Pu (《神器譜》)'.|
One of the craziest weapon developed by Ming Dynasty firearm inventor Zhao Shi Zhen (趙士楨), the Xun Lei Chong (迅雷銃, lit. 'Quick-thunder gun') is a five barrel matchlock gun that also incorporates a gun shield, an axe that doubles as musket rest, and a spear that doubles as fire lance/flare gun.
This weapon allows the shooter to discharge five shots in quick succession by rotating the barrels manually, then quickly dissemble the weapon and use the axe and spear for melee combat, at least in theory. Realistically, such monstrosity is too heavy to be practical and cost prohibitive to mass produce, not to mention excruciatingly tedious to reload (however given the tendency of Chinese matchlocks to explode after several shots, this might not be that big of a downside).
|Various components of Xun Lei Chong, including five barrels and a detachable matchlock mechanism. From 'Shen Qi Pu (《神器譜》)'.|
|Various componnets of Xun Lei Chong, including an unassembled barrel, a spear, a shield and an axe. From 'Shen Qi Pu (《神器譜》)'.|