Unique weapon of the Ming Dynasty — Xun Lei Chong (迅雷銃)

Ming Chinese Five Barrel Matchlock Shield Gun
Drawing of a 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), Xun Lei Chong (迅雷銃, lit. 'Quick thunder gun') is a five barrel matchlock gun that also incorporates a cotton-padded leather gun shield, an axe that doubles as musket rest, and a spear that doubles as flare gun.

This weapon allows its 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. It slow reload time can supposedly be mitigated by directly swapping out spent barrels with pre-loaded spares. Due to its heavy weight, it is usually handled by a two-man team.

Unfortunately, the complex design of Xun Lei Chong also renders it cost prohibitive to mass produce, limiting its practicality.

Ming Dynsaty gatling-musket
Top: Xun Lei Chong being dissembled and used in close combat. Bottom: A soldier shooting Xun Lei Chong while his fellow soldier stand watch. From 'Shen Qi Pu (《神器譜》)'.


  1. I take it from your comments that this weapon never saw actual use?