When you gaze upon the racks and racks of polymer-frame pistols, AR variants, and 1911 clones, do you feel listless?
Bored? Wondering why people love the same thing over and over?
Well, then you and I are of the same spirit. Not to dis these very effective weapons, but I like the weird, bizarre, and unusual.
They capture my imagination. I find myself drawn to random guns like revolving rifles more so than the latest AR-15 that shaved 0.3 ounces from its receiver.
As such, I figured I would bring you an article on the most bizarre guns I’ve seen.
These nine weirdos capture my heart and my imagination.
So keep reading if you love a weird gun as I do.
Weird, Bizarre Guns
1. Remington 870 Competition
A Remington 870 is a simple weapon, right? It’s a pump-action shotgun that’s been an American mainstay for decades.
How weird can it get? I’m so glad you asked…
The Remington 870 competition is not your average 870. First, it’s a single shotgun, which is strange but not super out there.
But what if I told you that it’s not a pump-action shotgun but a gas-operated one?
Yep, a gas-operated single-shot shotgun that bears the 870 name.
It’s specifically made for trap shooting with the gas system reducing recoil.
However, it doesn’t eject the round.
The user still operates the pump to open the action and eject the spent hull. Also, shooters port load the gun prior to firing.
Trap is a single-shot activity, so no need for a repeating gun. Plus, you don’t have shells ejecting at your buddies and their expensive guns.
It’s also a high-volume sport, so reducing recoil saves shoulders.
Looking to get into trap shooting? Check out our recommendations for the Best Trap, Skeet, & Clay Guns!
2. Springfield 1911-A2 SASS
The Springfield 1911-A2 SASS isn’t necessarily a gun, but more like a 1911 slide/upper receiver.
SASS kits would be retrofitted to 1911 frames so the user can fire a rifle round through their 1911.
For some reason, rifle caliber pistols were big in the 80s and 90s. (I don’t mean AR pistols, either.) I mean real handguns in real rifle rounds, like .308 and 7mm-08.
Springfield’s SASS kit allowed you to fire these full-powered rifle rounds from various 10- to 15-inch barrels on a 1911 frame.
Shooters had massive, adjustable sights and a single shot breech-loading design.
A barrel release mechanism slid into the mag well and allowed you to open the gun’s barrel and load a single rifle round into place.
These frames dropped in with ease and were easy to remove should you want to go back to .45 ACP.
3. Stoehr Machine Pistol
Let me sell you this idea…
A bullpup machine pistol, in .22 Magnum, that utilizes a pan magazine, rests on your arm, and uses a blow forward design?
You’d buy one, right?
Well, you and I are cool, but the world wasn’t ready for the Stoehr Machine Pistol.
It died at the prototype stage. However, we can still gaze up its weirdness in joy.
The Stoehr Machine Pistol’s pan magazine uses a flexible metal tape that attaches around the rim of the .22 Magnum round. Its tape and shells eject as the gun fires.
You rest the gun on your forearm and point it like a magic wand spraying rimfire rounds like a mad man.
Now it’s nowhere near as useful as a 9mm subgun.
Aiming it is somewhat futile. In practice, it acts somewhat like an angry swarm of bees. But it looks cool nonetheless.
4. Cobray Terminator
Cobray were madmen, and I love them for it.
They produced affordable machine pistols before the Hughes Amendment.
They offered open-bolt, easily convertible machine pistols; the first .45 Long Colt/.410 handguns; and, of course, the Cobray Terminator.
Terminator makes it sound fearsome, but as a single-shot shotgun, it’s tough to consider it more than a weird range toy or short trap gun.
The Cobray Terminator is widely considered one of the worst guns ever, and I can see why.
First, it’s basically a zip gun — a little pipe that fits into a larger pipe, and uses a fixed firing pin.
The action is a basic slam fire, open-bolt design. However, it gets weirder.
Instead of the rear pipe slamming forward, the front pipe slams rearward and fires the gun. To reload, the user has to open the action, remove the shell, and reload.
Recoil is excessive, especially with the crude metal stock. It’s a dumb gun, but it’s kinda cool too.
5. OTs-38 Stechkin Silent Revolver
Let’s say you are a quasi dictatorial country, and you need a dissident removed quietly. You can’t leave evidence behind. What do you turn to?
Well, if you’re Russian, you turn to the OTs-38 Stechkin Silent Revolver.
It’s a super-compact revolver utilizing a silent cartridge instead of a gas seal and a long oblong tube with baffles.
When loaded with five 7.62x41mm rounds, the gun delivers a silent pistol with a 50-meter max range.
The cartridge opts for a propelling cartridge that, when ignited, drives an internal piston to propel the projectile out of the gun.
As it’s a revolver, no cases eject.
Modern variants align the barrel with the bottom cylinder to reduce recoil and use an integrated laser placed over the barrel.
Perfect for silently dealing with troublemakers.
6. Remington 700 EtronX Rifle
Much like the 870 Competition, it’s tough to think the Remington 700 could be considered a weird gun.
It’s one of America’s favorite rifles, but that doesn’t mean Remington couldn’t mess with it a bit.
The EtronX rifle offered an electronic trigger and ignition system. Ot had an 8-bit computer in the stock and used a 9-volt battery to power the thing.
The firing pin became an electrode, and the electronic primer charged the case. Then the electricity raised the temperature high enough for ignition.
Remington’s idea was to increase accuracy by reducing lock time by about 99% and decreasing trigger pull to a frictionless half-pound or so.
Obviously, the word “proprietary” was thrown around a lot, and in the gun world, “proprietary” can kill a platform.
The EtronX died a swift death but made new ground in the world of electronic firearms.
Sadly we just weren’t ready in the early 2000s.
That ole’ Uzi is a really neat design, right? Light, handy, compact, and perfect for a wide variety of tasks…but you know what?
Why not take some design influence from the Uzi and make a pump-action shotgun.
And that’s how we got the MAG-7 shotgun.
This box-fed shotgun made a weird choice with the magazine in the pistol grip.
Since we measure shotgun shells in inches…as you’d predict, they needed to make new ammo to work with this. So, they created a 2.36-inch round.
The pump-action was predictably a bit shorter and smoother. It also succeeded in being relatively compact with its 12.6-inch barrel and overall length of 21.6 inches.
Designers intended the weapon to be used in extremely close combat.
Predictably, it never took off. It was already a weird design, but its proprietary ammo really killed any chance it had.
If a MAG-7 came back using Aguila mini shells, I’d buy one…but I’m betting I’m 1 out of 10 people who would do so.
8. Dardick Revolver
There is this old Simpsons meme about a guy loading a magazine into a revolver.
While that Simpsons scene is nonsense, there is such a thing as a magazine-fed revolver.
This magazine-fed revolver was touted as the future of firearms, promising to combine the best aspects of revolvers and automatics.
The Dardick’s cylinders formed a U-shaped and were opened cylinders enclosed in a shroud. Overall, it had three cylinders.
One held the round being fired, one held the round that was the next round to be fired, and the final ejected the previously fired round.
The internal magazine was fixed, and users loaded it through a loading gate. It could hold 11 or 15 rounds, depending on its size.
When the trigger was pulled, a round was plucked from the magazine as a casing ejected.
To do this, the Dardick needed weird rounds that were triangular in shape. Dardick called them trounds.
Users could swap barrels and calibers, changing the gun from a handgun to a rifle with a long barrel and stock.
Caliber conversions even allowed the use of tround adapters to fire .22 LR fitted into tround casings.
As you’d imagine, the design didn’t succeed. Buck Rogers was left armed with only a disintegrator pistol and not a Dardick.
9. Ljutic Space Gun
The Ljutic space gun came to be because a man didn’t have a trap gun when he was invited to go trap shooting.
What’s a man to do? Well, he built one!
It turned out to be a rather crazy design for a single-shot trap gun.
But it worked, and Al built plenty more. He even jumped into rifle variants too.
This oddball utilized a fascinating internal design featuring a pull and release trigger.
When pulled, the trigger did nothing until it was released. That apparently works well for trap.
An internal anti-recoil mechanism brought the single shot’s recoil down to reportedly that of a semi-auto action as well.
It was also a bolt-action gun with the bolt and loading port at the bottom.
While it was a weird gun, it proved incredibly efficient for the task.
The guns were small batch due to their niche use and are now extremely valuable on the collector’s market.
Though some oddball guns worked (and others didn’t), I think we can all agree that weird guns rule!
Regardless of performance, let’s appreciate weird guns and the men and women behind them.