My inspiration and for easier imagining of this glaive-like weapon here is a picture from the Warhammer 40k universe of something very similar. (Picture courtesy of this site click to see larger version.) I'll describe mine below.

enter image description here

The idea is that I have this programmer, doomsday prepper living in the USA that is preparing for the apocalypse as he might have stumbled upon evidence that things are not going well.

This man lives in the USA so access to guns is not an issue, think Arizona or Alaska which are according to my research are very gun friendly states. Financially speaking just a little shy of 20 million USD. Setting is today. He has extensive gun and gun smiting knowledge, he is 35 years old and has being using guns for about 20 years of those And about 10 years of gunsmithing . and knows a bit about engineering things in general, like fixing cars and so on, assume advanced courses and several years in fixing things in general. And just because it is fun he knows about making melee weapons. Nothing too fancy just basic stuff like spears and shields. This is a recent pickup so about 4 years of that, not full time mind you. Any other limitations needed?

The proposed design as follows. Imagine a long metallic rod of about 1.4 meters. It ends with the glaive part which is like a single edged broad blade. The blade has a thick spine and measures about 0.7 meters long. Not sure of the distal taper on glaives but I imagine it a nice thick blade. Also when I say end I mean the glaive is below the metallic rod at the end so it can accommodate the gun part atop the glaive part. I imagine the metallic rod hollowed out, to reduce weight, and is made of high-carbon steel with an anti rust finish, if that even works.

Anyway the problems with a gun-glaive is would it be too heavy to unbalance the weapon? I thought so then I remembered that halberds had 2 things on on each side. So I don't think this is a problem.

Second the magazine. It has a helical magazine and so I can have it not protruding of the weapon. Basically the barrel would be aligned with the rod and magazine would set behind it as the unique magazine can feed the gun without it being like a normal magazine. Just search the weapon name and you would get it. The FN P90 is another obvious example. And for a bonus it can have a 100 rounds magazine.

Problem is: How the heck would you fire it? OK. Extend the trigger to a lower place on the shaft? But here are my problems.

  1. How would it fire in the first place? Pressing a button? rotating something?
  2. What to do with safety?
  3. How to make it reliable as possible? Especially seeing how we have to move the "trigger part"
  4. Would ejection the spent casings a problem? I imagine I can move the ejection port to anyplace as long is it follow the laws of physics.

This is not a precision gun. It is like fun project, surprise it will be needed. Sighting is not an issue because you can just mount a laser there.

I'm uncertain about many parts I know. But I think asking 4 different questions would be a waste. Way I see it those are smaller problems owing to a larger one.

Feel free to challenge any part about the weapon. Just not the need to make it please, I just think it's cool. If it can't be done then please try to be detailed as to why.

Sorry if it is long. This is the shortest I can make while adding all the limitations I think are relevant.*

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    $\begingroup$ You're welcome to copy images into your posts so long as you give credit to where you got them. Also, that's a lotta question marks. You might want to draw out on paper what it is you're trying to build and then post the image, so we know exactly what you're talking about. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 23:37
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    $\begingroup$ Could you add something about intended use? Is this meant to be primary a gun that can be used in melee, or a melee weapon that can be used at range? And also why you avoid the obvious existing solution (assault rifle with bayonet mount) $\endgroup$
    – Guran
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 8:12
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    $\begingroup$ Since you mention being in a gun friendly state, I infer that your character means to stay within the bounds of the law. Although firearm law is a particularly tricky subject in the U.S., it's worth mentioning that in very broad strokes, manufacturing single shot or semiautomatic firearms for your own use requires no federal license. You are also correct that Arizona is a notably "gun friendly" state. However, manufacture of an automatic weapon does requires a federal license, as far as I know, so a law-abiding character will either obtain the license or stick with semi-automatic. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 9:54
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    $\begingroup$ According to legal definitions, this would be an "any other weapon" or AOW, and he'd have to pay a $5 fee and file paperwork on it. Moving triggers is quite common for bullpup configuration rifles, and is a solved problem. If this were the element of a story or game, no one would bat an eyelash at it... it's just not implausible that such a weapon could be constructed. Whether it would be plausible to use it and use it well, meh. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ @mart, I don't think it's that crazy. Coming from a pro gun family he grows up with guns all his life. At like 13 he goes out the back to shot them with his father. The rest is more of a hobby. say he starts picking up hobbies seriously at the age of 20. That means roughly 15 of perusing those hobbies. Even if you do it for an hour a day you will get far into anything if you do it for 10+ years. I'm always amazed at someone like Matt Easton from scholagladiatoria for example. Somewhat similar things actually. So. I'd say it's doable. $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 16:44

5 Answers 5


You could, but don't bother.

Here's answers to your four sub-questions:

  1. The best method would be what's used on regular guns: a trigger. They are remarkably good at keeping your fingers unbroken, while things like buttons and rotating something are most definitely not.

  2. Who cares about safety? It won't hurt you so long as you hold it correctly, and the whole point of this thing is to hurt somebody else.

  3. To be perfectly honest, the basic idea of "strap a pistol to the end of this thing" still works. Reloading will be a bit of an issue, but that's why you have high-capacity magazines.

  4. It depends on the action. If it's gas operated, you'll have a similar reliability to an M16 (in other words, relatively decent). However, you will have major problems if it's recoil operated (there's a reason pistol instructors tell you to hold it very tightly, and it isn't accuracy).

That's all well and good, but here's why you shouldn't bother.


You'll note that in this whole engagement only one GI gets hit. Now, admittedly the Jaffa were trained by Stormtroopers, but my point still stands: Polearm-based ranged weapons are incredibly innacurate.

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    $\begingroup$ i feel like you are talking about glove gun rather than glaive gun, but correct me if i am wrong, since iam not knowledgeable about gun. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ @LiJun - The answer is talking about melee weapons with guns attached to them in general, and using the glove-gun as a real-world example to illustrate the point that they are incredibly inaccurate, because they're designed first as melee weapons, not as guns. (Rifles with bayonet mounts don't have this accuracy problem because they're designed primarily as guns with the blade as an add-on instead of the other way around.) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 8:43
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    $\begingroup$ @DaveSherohman yeah its obvious, even as non gun expert myself, i know handgun was bad, still OP was talking about glaive gun not glove gun, meanwhile the answer here using glove gun make me think maybe Dalek is misunderstanding or misread the question, just want to confirm. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ @DaveSherohman I too think, just like LiJun, that this answer might be mistaking a "glaive" for a "glove". Especially with such remarks as "keep you from accidentally putting your hand in the line of fire" (how could anybody put their hand at the end of a 7 foot rifle while the other hand is on the trigger? also there's a big ass blade in there, no place for hands), "You'll want to have a knife handy" (on top of the one I'm holding, you mean?) and, most obviously, depicting a "gun glove" instead of a "gun glaive" as an example. $\endgroup$
    – walen
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 9:09
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    $\begingroup$ @LiJun I got my melee weapon terms mixed up; I thought "glaive" meant "one of those fancy armored glove-things". I'll update my answer to reflect that. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 15:20

Sure but why bother?

The only reason to integrate a polearm and a gun is if you're attacked by surprise and don't have time to reach for your gun. If this is the case, you need nothing more than a single shotgun round. It packs a punch and doesn't need much aiming and if nothing else, will give you the time to reach for an actual gun that is designed for that exact job.

enter image description here A boar spear like this could easily integrate a single shot 12 gauge round which would allow you to fire quickly and reach for a pistol or rifle.


For full on, total impracticality, but for a terrifying mad max vibe, might I present "Henry VIII's walking staff"

This is an 3 shot pistol, concealed in the head of a mace. Not a practical weapon, by any means, but it exists. I'd swap the pistol barrels for shotgun ones, and possibly make them all fireable in rapid sequence. It'd be ideal for taking on zombies at least.



i am not knowledgeable about gun and i dont get the detail you mention so maybe i misunderstood your questions or its already been mention there, but how about doing this? by pulling/shortening/closing or retracting your hand position on the shaft to near the gun or to the balance point of your hand in order to shoot, this can help you use both hand to shoot the gun to secure it, and hopefully the protruding shaft can supported/fixed by your forearms and armpit can result in some good effect to ease the strain (or end up injure it due to the recoil, though from my attempt to simulate it, i dont think it would but correct me if i mistaken), i believe you can shoot it side way position too, to not exposed much of your front body like wielding rifle or shooting using rifle.

example image of it.

from:https://www.warhistoryonline.com/medieval/artillery-100-years-war.html enter image description here

from:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_cannon enter image description here

or using two person to fire it while another wielding it.

and maybe add some kind of lance rest support to the person outfit to balance and secure the shaft in place (assuming your glaivegun has quite a long shaft) or using shield to support it.

example image for lance rest

from:https://www.outfit4events.com/eur/product/7191-lance-rest-16th-cen/ enter image description here

example image of shield to support/secure the gun

from:https://twitter.com/parthu_potluri/status/1255190023537750017 enter image description here

or maybe make the trigger longer and lay horizontally like medieval crossbow design, though i dont know how bad or feasible that would be for gun though.

from:https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Early-handbuchse-After-Kyeser-as-n-39-fol-103v-Afterdrawing-G-Zabinski_fig1_320713374 (its actually not a trigger but a fuse match the image make it look like it)

enter image description here

here original european crossbow that show the trigger

from:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbow enter image description here

regarding safety, i think your gun barrel/mouth is vulnerable, assuming you are in melee situation, since the glaive blade can slide the opponent blade or other melee weapon and hit the barrel during contact or binding, so i guess add blade guard to it, like ring guard in a distance from the gun mouth or basket guard to envelop the gun while (optional) cover the inside with thick fabric or somekind of bullet proof vest material to prevent concussion or bullet hit just in case, though if it manage to bend the guard even if minimal, i think it can screw the shooting though, beside i dont know how delicate modern gun is to make it worth such protection, not considering the possibility of the blood or meat chunk screwing the gun mechanism.

example for ring guard (not necessarily positioned like that you can put it in the spine)

from:http://therionarms.com/reenact/therionarms_c1657.html enter image description here

something akin to this 9 ring Dao but only use single "fixed" ring as guard in the spine (dont take the blade shape literally).


enter image description here

example for basket hand guard from:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basket-hilted_sword enter image description here

if you mean the trigger is hindered by the glaive blade/shaft just cut/open a hole in that part or make the trigger not near the glaive blade or make it upside down, so when you want to shoot you change the angle or position or shoot it like that since i did see some that manage to shoot gun upside down.

also maybe some answer here Best gun to modify into a monsterhunter weapon? can help for certain detail, since the OP there also bring out glaive gun too, although most of them focus on rifle type and not how to fire it. though i do think rifle would be a better choice than hand gun.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I added an image for easier visualization. I hope it helps. $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Seallussus so do my answer is mistaken in a way? $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ I won't say it's totally wrong or anything. You raised a good point about protection. But like in the photo I imagine that there is a sort of guard to separate the two parts. slicing through weapons is mostly a myth. You don't really do that in real-life or expect it. Guns are very resistant to a lot of things but you are right. If you cover it in blood it won't work. That's why if the gun totally stops you still got a glaive. Rifle glaive does not make sense to me. Too much power and complications $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ 1/2. It can happen but never a real concern for melee weapons. It's like one of those things that happen in the movies 1000 times more than reality. sure if you have a rotten quarterstaff against a shinning new spear you can break it. But that becomes: CONTEXT. That's all. Not saying totally wrong or anything but only very context. Rifles? No need. You get a rifle to engage target in excess of say 200 meters. But on such a weapon that range is a joke since you can't scope it at all. So you are shooting a stronger cartridge true. But wasted because of terrible accuracy... $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ 2/2. Recoil might be a problem too. Maybe with a two handed grip it becomes less of a problem. But what about that energy that goes into the entire weapon as you shoot 5.56 NATO round daily. Lastly the weight it brings would be higher. 9mm rounds are smaller so less weight. With rifle cartridges you increase the weight AND reduce the ammo. Might completely unbalance the weapon. Not to mention that I'd imagine the weapon part that handles rifle caliber rounds would be larger an heavier than that of a pistol. Can be done for sure. But maybe for another context than mine. Just my 2 cents $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 21:02

It's been done.

pike-gun detail

I mean, you can stick a gun on literally anything: axe-gun


The point is, these things never really took off, other than in the "exploding and flying through the air with bits of the user" sense, because they combined the worst of both worlds.

That's sort of what the Warhammer 40k universe is all about, though: the characters screw practicality, go full-on maximo insane toxic-machismo religious nutcase, crank that up to eleven, and use that as a minimal baseline to build on. Kinda like Final Fantasy with extra religio-fascism.

If their gun didn't slice a lesser man's hands to ribbons when they tried to fire it, they'd have scope to be justly disappointed.


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