In my post-apocalyptical-urban-fantasy setting, the main character is a mercenary mage who uses a gun with a big bayonet as his main weapon. The blade is supposed to be some kind of a glaive.

enter image description here enter image description here

The reason why I want the gun to function as a polearm is that ammunition can be hard to get, a shot can get you unwanted attention, carrying a gun and a polearm is too much trouble for a traveler and that a polearm is the kind of melee weapon you want if you go around expecting to get into combat. A sword would be much more convenient to carry around, but it is outperformed in combat by a polearm. A normal bayonet is not going to cut it since I want a weapon capable of thrusting, cutting and slashing. I know that the blade will be off-center so the bullet can exit unhindered but that is fine.

The gun is supposed to be long enough to be an effective polearm, sturdy enough to only need minimal reinforcement to be used as one, have a high caliber so it can do a lot of damage with one shot, needn't have a big magazine or be automatic or semiautomatic.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Aug 10 '19 at 4:24

Generally speaking I'm not a fan of hybrid weapons like this, since the general result is that you wind up, as @AndreiROM pointed out "Turning two good weapons into one crappy one."

There is an exception scenario though, so that's what I'm going to design to. That exception is when you have something big and fast charging you, and you want to be able to both shoot it AND stab it without letting it get close enough to you to do damage. African hunters solved for the shooting part with the Elephant Gun back in the 19th century, and European hunters solved for the stabbing part with the boar spear even further back.

I'm going to just give up on the idea of slashing, really. A weapon that's going to be useful against anything in the weight class of a Rhinoceros or a Tyrannosaur is inevitably going to be too heavy for any kind of kung-fu bo staff fighting. You want something you can point at the threat and start pulling a trigger and keep pointed at the threat right up until it impales itself trying to get to you.


Given the requirements you've specified, what I would use it were my skin on the line is a KSVK. Really, any of the .50cal Anti-Materiel rifles would work, but if you want a rifle that you can beat something with and still shoot afterwards, you always want to go Russian.

KSVK anti-materiel rifle. by StinkStar

Likewise, Russian construction is going to be more forgiving of the need to use hand-loads, and even potentially the slightly smaller .50 BMG rounds that western AMRs fire.

Obviously the scope needs to go, that's not going to survive melee combat, but that's ok, because we're not using it as a sniper rifle, we just need the muzzle energy for dealing with those Dinosaur-scale threats you mentioned, since ~13,000 foot/lbs or so is what you want if you've got several tons of whatever with thick hide and thick bone coming down on you and you want to put holes in it that will actually matter.

One advantage here is that putting a polearm blade on the end of the barrel is actually going to make the whole thing more well balanced for melee combat, since by default the rifle starts out pretty heavy at the back. The whole business is going to wind up weighing about 14-15kg, so using it is going to be a workout.

As far as the blade is concerned, I think you want to go with something like a boar spear. If big stuff is going to be charging you, you want a blade that's going to pierce bone and muscle deeply enough to get to something vital, and you absolutely need a good broad crossguard to keep whatever it is off you while it's bleeding to death.
From Reddit

So, there you go. You've basically got a REALLY big rifle with a REALLY big bayonet. You see a big nasty thing, you point, shoot, and keep shooting till it's almost on you, drop the stock from your shoulder into the ground and lean into it and let said big nasty slam right into that long blade and hope you can keep it off you till it notices you've killed it and stops trying to eat you.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you're at .50 cal, then why not an M2 Browning .50 machine gun instead of a rifle? $\endgroup$
    – Peteris
    Aug 10 '19 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Peteris, portability. This thing weighs in at a hefty 15 kg; an M2 weighs in at 58 kg before you add the bayonet. There's also the weight of ammunition: at eight shots per kg, you can't get much benefit from the M2's rate of fire unless you've got a team of bearers to carry around reloads. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Aug 10 '19 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Peteris to add to the point Mark has made, a single shot mechanism can be made that is really robust and capable of withstanding the stresses of being used as a melee weapon as well. Shark sticks/bang sticks are a type of weapon used against sharks, crocodiles and similar creatures that go off on contact. An MG although reasonably strong could suffer failures when the stresses of being used as a melee weapon as well transfer down into the mechanism. This adds to the weight problems. $\endgroup$
    – Sarriesfan
    Aug 11 '19 at 3:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Peteris - because a crew-served weapon that can destroy entire buildings isn't very romantic for hunting monsters in a made up story... If we have M2s then there's also an airstrike on the way, so why are we even there in the first place? $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Aug 11 '19 at 4:20

While everyone so far had provided very...entertaining...answers, there are already very old service weapons which fit the bill.

The first choice would be the classic Lee-Enfeild rifle fitted with a 22" "Sword" bayonet. The rifle is very accurate and powerful, with the round capable of killing man sized targets past 600 yards (older Lee-Enfield's were fitted with "Volley sights" allowing a platoon to engage field artillery at over 1000 yards (the hail of bullets would fall in a beaten zone centered on the field gun, killing or driving off the crew). The weapon is a full sized rifle with solid wooden furniture, making it an effective club if things get really desperate, but providing a solid platform for a thrust. As an added bonus, the Lee Enfield also has one of the highest rates of fire for a bolt action rifle. Consider this training description for the "Mad minute"

"Practice number 22, Rapid Fire, ‘The Musketry Regulations, Part I, 1909", required the rifleman to fire 15 rounds at a "Second Class Figure" target at 300 yd (270 m). The practice was described as; "Lying. Rifle to be loaded and 4 rounds in the magazine before the target appears. Loading to be from the pouch or bandolier by 5 rounds afterwards. One minute allowed". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute

enter image description here

A rather dramatic wartime propaganda photo. The length of the sword bayonet is very apparent here

If the monsters need something a bit different, the Winchester Model 1897 "Trench broom" can also fit the bill. 12 gauge 00 magnum shot or a slug can deliver pretty devastating injuries at short range, and the "Trench Broom" also can mount a sword bayonet. The USMC used in during WWI, and the Germans feared it greatly.

enter image description here

M-1897 with bayonet

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The M-1897 was so good it remained in Marine service for decades

So there is no need to look for exotic or fantasy weapons, what you want had already been created before the Great War of 1914-1918.

  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, +1 $\endgroup$ Aug 10 '19 at 9:01
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    $\begingroup$ If you are going to charge thru mustard gas, remember to wear your gloves. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Aug 10 '19 at 22:22

i dont know much about gun but there exist axe bayonet.

enter image description here from https://hugelol.com/lol/86852

enter image description here from https://www.reddit.com/r/mildlyinteresting/comments/6eonme/found_this_combination_axeflintlock_rifle_in_a/

enter image description here

from https://ilovefunnythings.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/the-british-had-the-bayonet-the-germans-had-the-axe-gun/

enter image description here from http://thegunsman.com/2013/12/axe-guns-gun-axes/

enter image description here

from https://www.reddit.com/r/ArmsandArmor/comments/bi13bu/a_silesian_flintlock_axepistol_from_1670_the_gun/

and the closest for your glaive enter image description here from https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtefactPorn/comments/5z5gvn/flintlock_combination_boarding_axe_and_carbine/

and european polearm is usually bring along using wagon rather than marching with it because its kinda cumbersome. and al though i dont know how effective this gun or the accuracy is, i believe it is still inferrior to usual gun or polearm, so why not just bring both like this person ?

enter image description here from https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/3cj6fq/before_the_bayonet_was_there_ever_an_attempt_at/

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks, I really like that picture and think I'll go for a similar setup. Polearm and dagger/short-sword for meele and a pump-action/semi-automatic shotgun and a high caliber pistol as a ranged option. $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '19 at 19:18

A bayonet is a small knife you attach to a rifle or a similar weapon. Emphasis on small. It has to be, otherwise the gun will be too heavy for you to use it normally. Make it too big and you will hamper the ability to use the gun as a gun - and once you do that, there is no point in attaching the thing to a gun anymore.

So, if you want to attach a melee weapon that is about 1.5m to 2m long to the muzzle of a gun, that gun's barrel is going to be larger than that. Since you also need mobility, we are talking about vehicle-mounted guns.

Vehicle mounted machine gun

To use weapons of these calibers and sizes, you are probably hunting giraffes, elephants or dinosaurs. And the only way you'll be able to use the spear is by impaling them by driving fast towards them. On reverse gear.

Don't forget to utter the magical words when doing that. State the names of the crew members and say "... and this is Jackass!"

  • $\begingroup$ Please add attribution for the image. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Aug 9 '19 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @SRM can't do sir, I found it in an old HD of mine. $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '19 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ That suffices for attribution. You’ve cited how you have the image and acknowledged that it isn’t your work. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Aug 9 '19 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ Google image search is pretty good these days, but it turns out that this is one of those images which has been used and reposted so much that attribution becomes impossible. $\endgroup$
    – Borgh
    Aug 9 '19 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ "small" is relative - as a knife the typical 10-13 inches is not really that "small" (but yes we moved away from guns as spears) $\endgroup$
    – LinkBerest
    Aug 10 '19 at 2:35

I would go for the classic pump-action shotgun.

For starters, when you expect to use a gun/melee weapon hyrbid you do so because you expect to be shooting one second and stabbing the next. Considering its post-apocalyptical-urban-fantasy the shotgun would be a favorite over more high-end accurate weapons like the .50 cal answer as the shotgun would be more suited for shorter range surprises while longer range combat can be avoided (or you could hack your way with slug ammo).

The advantages of a pump-action shotgun are numerous:

  • you have a melee weapon destabilizing the end, so you want something that doesnt require scopes or similar to aim and can be fired from the hip of necessary.

  • it is is extremely reliable

  • can take a multitude of ammo types with a bit of care and potentially adaptation of the ammo

  • you can quickly load a specialized bullet when necessary (say a solid slug so you dont have to unload your buckshot)

  • it has a great punch per shot and if say an orc (?) Or hypogriff or something charges you the shock it could cause could be vital in slowing it down enough for the Glaive to do its job.

  • the weapon is ineviteably build sturdy and rugged and often already has a length that would accomodate a glaive.

  • ammo is likely easier to find or adapt. Especially if wax is available almost any ammo type that fits the barrel could be fired. How accurate and powerful it is after the modification is a different matter but if you have the choice between a doubtful shot versus no shot at all, I'd go with a doubtful one.

  • the gun will have less problems if you accidentally hit with the barrel and it is a bit warped compared to more high end guns.

  • availability of shotguns is also more likely than that of high end weapons. So if you need replacement parts or to replace the entire weapon a pump-action is a much safer bet.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm trying to imagine a configuration where the glaive does not get blown to pieces by the wide spray of buckshot. Maybe a short time release to narrow the spread up close? $\endgroup$
    – Muuski
    Aug 9 '19 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Muuski the buckshot does not instantly spread out. In fact the spread you see in games and some movies is highly exaggerated. So if you used something similar to a Trench Broom design which I just shamelessly saw in Thucydides's answer (example: images.app.goo.gl/n5842rNVDzb3Ju7K6) you could have one. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Aug 10 '19 at 6:35

The XM500 mixed with a halberd. While I like MorrisTheCat's answer, the American M82 is a superior sniper rifle, also using lovely .50 BMG ammunition (which is the same size as 12.7mm, because Americans can't metric), as it carries a ten-round clip and is semi-automatic, as opposed to the KSVK's bolt action. (Though it's not Russian-quality so don't whack people with it.) Now, I'm suggesting the the XM500 because it's basically the M82 with one change - it's the bullpup variant. For the unfamiliar, this means the firing chamber is behind the trigger. Why would I recommend this? Because that means you can have the parts separate.

Using a halberd as the base for the weapon, not a boar spear because boar spears need pointed tip on the pole whereas halberds do not, we create a titanium pole and use a steel head for the halberd. (Do not use titanium for the edge, it doesn't hold one well.) The back end is left empty, and a modified XM500 is left to be slotted into it when your monster hunter wants his rifle, otherwise it's safety kept clean of the weapon, keeping it's integrity. The bullpup choice is to keep the rifle part more compact, and the halberd is chosen because it naturally leaves the tip open for the rifle at least, in a few designs.

There are some problem, namely, you want to have a cover for the barrel that you only pop open when using the gun part because otherwise it will get clogged, and there's a good chance the barrel cover might get stuck close if you've rammed the thing into a monster. A workaround might be to use a wooden cover that the first round can easily blow clean through, although that'd be a slight risk. The halberd might be a bit unwieldy because of the hollow inside and the slot you've set to insert your XM500, so you might want to have a counterweight of some sort slotted in there when you aren't firing, though that will increase the time it takes to insert the XM500. Also, while I said the bullpup is more compact, it's still going to be one really long gun if you've inserted it into a standard halberd, which can easily be six feet long. You might want to have a neat mechanism where the blade of the halberd can swing around to stab the earth and stabilize the gun when you're sniping. Good luck!


The only gun any true monster hunter needs is this little jobbie:

enter image description here

Yep, your basic punt gun! Fix a claymore on the end of that and Bob's your monster blasting uncle! As used in Tremors 4: The Legend Begins

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    $\begingroup$ I think you are obliged to also wear the boater hat, so it can fly off when you fire the gun. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Aug 10 '19 at 17:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Willk --- Yes. Standard monster hunting attire, that. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Aug 10 '19 at 21:42

Detachable long rifle.

A "takedown gun" can be disassembled. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takedown_gun

Having the firing apparatus (stock, receiver) attached when you are swinging your polearm around offers no benefit and you are liable to damage the firing apparatus. Keep that stuff wrapped up and in your pack. If you are at close quarters you are going to fight with the polearm.

The gun is for long distance sniper shots. It fires a heavy large caliber bullet. The extremely long barrel offers excellent accuracy in the manner of a Kentucky longrifle. Your protagonist puts together the gun in cool blood and takes time to steady the barrel and aim the shot. The barrel has three sights along it to make sure it is straight - it is prone to getting bent out of true when used as a polearm, but your protagonist is good at bending it back.


A Shotgun / Boar Spear

enter image description here


Using the rounded hollow spearhead, a single shell could be loaded into the haft like a zip gun

The person could set spear against a charge attack and then fire a specialized round directly into the monster. You could pick from silver rounds for werewolves, solid wood rounds for vampires, brass rounds for efreeti or dragon's breath rounds for wendigo.

The advantage of a boar spear is it keeps the monster at length away from you as a wendigo, werewolf, vampire or even a simple zombie can easily kill you even with a big hole poked in them.


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