Top 5 Weirdest Guns

There isn’t an incredible amount of variety in the marketplace for firearms these days when it comes to differences in design, but in this list we take a look at five truly unique offerings that make even the most seasoned firearm connoisseur raise an eyebrow. Like to wind your gun before you shoot it? Prefer loading bullets in backwards? Big fan of RoboCop? If you answered yes to any of these, we reckon you may find something on this list quite captivating.

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The full transcript …

– [Voiceover] Hey guys, it’s Alex C. with TFBTV and the topic of today’s video is going to be the top five weirdest guns currently on the market.

That means these guns currently have to be offered by the manufacturer for sale, so the weird guns of the past unfortunately aren’t gonna be on Ian at Forgotten Weapons channel.

Anyways guys, we’re gonna start the video off with a Boberg XR9 pistol.

This is an XR9-S, now it’s notable that these are kind of bullpup pistols but if you look at the magazine, there’s actually no follower and you load the rounds in backwards.

I’ve talked about this a little bit before but if we take a closer look at that magazine, it is actually kind of strange.

You feed the bullets in nose first and yeah, that’s just, I’ve never seen a firearm like that before.

I know of no other firearm that actually does that.

And then there’s a switch, like there is on a belt fed machine gun that actually pulls the round out backwards, tilts it up and into the chamber.

So if you take the Boberg apart, you can actually see kind of how it works.

It actually, there’s a dissasembly switch like there is on a Sig pistol, not really a strange feature, but you can see the switch right there, it’s kind of a brass color.

Very cool mechanism actually, very interesting how these work, I would say if you have a chance to fondle one, go ahead and ask the guy behind the gun counter to grab one up.

If anything it will satisfy your inner German with the weird engineering that went into this thing.

You can see there’s even a weird locking block.

It’s a rotating barrel pistol like a PX4 or an All-American, and it’s just a strange gun but very, very cool.

They actually shoot very well, they have a stout double action trigger, but all in all, not too bad, no worse than a J-Frame revolver’s trigger.

So yeah, if you get a chance to, try to get behind one of these, they are a lot of fun.

Anyways, second weirdest gun, we’ve talked about this a little bit before, this is a Calico.

The Calicos are famous for that weird magazine that sits atop the gun that is a helical magazine like a soviet Bizon sub machine gun.

And realistically, they’re not very well-designed.

They’re roller-delayed blowback like an MP5 but the sights are located on the magazine themselves.

They’re also quite heavy, you can see loaded they weight eight pounds, two ounces.

And then the weight is nearly cut in half once you take the magazine off.

Of course the magazines do hold 100 rounds, they’re giant helical concoction things, you can see the rear sight located about midway on the 100 round and then towards the rear of the 50 round magazine.

They’re ridiculous, I can’t imagine actually carrying around four or five of these in a pouch.

I really don’t know what Calico’s solution is as far as they would deploy with law enforcement, but to load them you do actually have to load ammunition and then wind the 100 round magazine 23 times.

And with each rotation it gets more difficult so once you get past about 15, it gets absolutely ridiculously impossible and it’s like a workout for your forearm.

And of course you see rounds pop out of the magazine there because I guess there was a little bit too much tension.

But to store them you actually press this button which is a little clutch that releases the pressure and tension and that way you can throw them in the safe and forget about them.

But these guns do shoot, I’ve never gotten through a whole magazine.

What they do actually do best, what you can see here is jam, which is unfortunate because they are kind of cool.

So next up’s kind of a broad category, I’ve just chosel Kel-Tec PLR-16.

But you know, any of these rifles that are scaled down to be a pistol to get around basically the rifle law in the United States is kind of strange.

However, the PLR-16 is just an example of one of the weirder ones, it’s an all polymer construction for the most part, you know, minus certain operating parts and whatnot.

You know, Kel-Tec’s famous for these weird, strange unconventional designs and this pistol is no exception.

I will say it’s very light and very nifty and George Kellgren can really make some interesting guns.

It’s kind of funny, they came with a little dainty 10 round magazine but this hand guard didn’t actually come with it, you have to purchase it separately, so I guess the only way to prevent your hand from being burned is with a giant asbestos glove.

They have a threaded barrel for suppressor or flash hider and all that kind of stuff.

Also kind of interesting here, you can see the cam pin actually doesn’t have anything that covers it, it just kind of protrudes a little bit from the gun’s receiver.

And of course, I’m not exactly sure what the big Picatinny rail on top is for, but it is the PLR-16 which I believe stands for pistol long range, so why not scope it if you’re gonna go all the way with something like this.

Anyways, next up is what I would consider my favorite and best gun on the list and that’s going to be the FN FS2000.

Now make all the jokes you want about how it looks like a fish or a yacht or whatever, but these things are a tremendous amount of fun and they are an extremely well made and well designed gun.

They actually look a lot bulkier in pictures than they are, but we’ll get to that in just a second.

The one thing I really, really don’t like about this gun is the way you check the chamber is by lifting what’s called the toilet bowl, or toilet seat, excuse me, and then you can actually see if there’s a round in the chamber or not or clear an obstruction that way.

Other than that, things are very ambidextrous.

You’ve got your selector here which is actuated by the pointer finger of your dominant hand, and of course it ejects shells out the front, whereas the Aug or a Tavor will actually just send shells in your face if it’s configured for a left or right handed user, or opposite whatever you are.

While this giant shroud kind of looks strange, you can actually remove this and then remove the factory optic if you want to.

Underneath it there’s a Picatinny rail so you can mount whatever you’d like if you just want iron sights or if you want Acog, what have you, then you can absolutely do that.

There’s also an adjustable gas regulator here, another well thought out feature, a lot like the SCARS, I think it’s actually just the SCARS.

But the FS2000 shoots like a dream, they look a little goofy but they definitely are weird in more ways than one.

All right, so lastly we have a gun that everyone kind of looks at and makes a joke, either about RoboCop or asks me, “Why would you buy such a ridiculously obnoxious pistol?” And I generally reply with, “Well, I wanted to and “this America and I can buy whatever I want.” It’s absolutely as big as a Desert Eagle, which is hilarious.

Here I’ve laid a Browning Hi-Power over it, which is a full size serviced handgun and you can see the Mark 23 is just ridiculously huge.

I mean, like I said, it’s Desert Eagle size however it is.45 ACP it holds 12 rounds.

It is more practical, it was developed as an offensive hand gun at the request of the United States Government.

HK did not come up with the term offensive hand gun despite funny stuff on the internet you’ve read.

But the United States Government put out the offensive hand gun request, Colt and HK came forward, HK won the contract, and then the Mark 23 was born and then it trickled into civilian hands as well as the Mark 23 instead of the NK 23.

And you know of course the Knight’s Armament Company produces a suppressor for this pistol.

You can buy those as well if you want to properly outfit your Mark 23 and pretend you’re Solid Snake on the weekend or whatever.

But realistically these pistols shoot fantastically, they are big and heavy and they don’t have much recoil.

Obviously as a part of the weight and all that but they really are just fantastic, I really love this handgun, it’s one of my favorites of all time.

I wouldn’t do anything with it aside from just use it as a range toy, but it is a terrific handgun.

Anyways guys, thanks for watching this list on TFBTV.

We really appreciate your continued viewership.

If you want, check us out on Patreon.

Another big next of Ventura Munitions.

We hope to see you next time.

(gun firing)


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV. A native Texan with a penchant for gun collecting combined with a degree in History from Baylor University have contributed to a passion for both early and modern firearms. You can reach Alex at acapps@gocapps.com.


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  • BattleshipGrey

    I’ve always liked the thought of the Boberg since they first introduced the concept. The price is beyond my budget though. In one sense, it’s a lot of extra money for a longer barrel in a shorter package, but it’s still pretty cool.

    • ExMachina1

      Boberg really priced themselves out of the market. I’m sure they had good reasons for the guns’ MSRPt, but @ just around $1k no one (other than “weird” people like myself) are going to be willing to take such a risky plunge.

      • It’s the economy of scale. I talked to the inventor a few years ago at SHOT, really cool dude. In order to get the project off the ground he did all the patents himself, and really put everything he had into the project.

        When it comes to manufacturing and setting the price, a) it’s a complex, all steel design and b) being made by a small company c) in limited quantities.

        For example, I’ve read that the cost of making a Glock is between $75-$125, and it sells for $500. Compared to the Glock, the Boberg is a much more complex manufacturing project, being made by a much smaller company. It’s understandable that it’s going to cost quite a bit more.

  • The Calico seems like it would be a really nice and fun, if impractical piece, i only Calico themselves got off there lazy ass and made some proper adjustments. It seems so cool to me.

    • Rusty S.

      For what it’s worth, I’ve never regretted selling mine.

      • Gonna be honest mate, not a whole lot.

        Also, hate to be a stick in the mud, but, besides the Calico,did most of these choices seem boring to anyone else?

        • I think it’s kind of just an indicator that companies aren’t so bold these days and often don’t color outside the lines for fear of their new expensive product flopping. I understand that completely.
          People always say they want something different or unique, but when it comes down to it that simply doesn’t seem to be the case (if it was, I might be buying a 2016 DeLorean).
          Of course I am over simplifying as there are many factors that stifle a whole lot of creativity. People are used to certain manuals of arms, operating methods, design aspects, etc. and of course the more innovative a small arm is the higher the price seems to be (AN94 syndrome).

          • Darkpr0

            “Great gun, but the controls aren’t like an AR. 6/10”

            🙂

          • Yeah, especially big companies and corporations, even though you’d think that they would have as much money to spend on such experiments. But no, it’s usually small ones like Chiappa; WTH?

          • CommonSense23

            People want something different or unique, thats cheaper than whats being offered and outperforms what they already had.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            I seem to be one of the few willing to spend for exotics and different designs. I almost bought a Boberg back when they were first rolling out, but I saw reports of them pulling projectiles from cases a lot. I’ve owned or own an FS2k, PS90, Fiveseven, and a Kriss. I’m really thinking hard about picking up a strike one here soon too and I would shell out for an AN-94 of if there were any way to, jam factory or not. I like mechanics a lot so I like to understand how all the designs work.

          • ExMachina1

            Boy, do I hear you! So many of those early Boberg reviews were terrible. Some were fair but most–in retrospect–were poorly conceived tests for what the gun was offering. The Boberg basically asks the shooter a question: would you be willing to be selective in the brands of ammo you shoot in order to get an extra inch of barrel, an extra round in the magazine and still have one of the smallest +p rated 9mm pistols ever? Many of those flawed “reviews” never considered this point, flagrantly ignoring ammo choice and then cried bloody murder when the inevitable case separations occurred.

            For me, I’m glad ignored them (or at least saw past their fundamental bias). Thousands of flawless rounds into my Boberg and I’m convinced that the design is perfectly suited for what it is supposed to be–a civilian pocket pistol with (in the case of my XR9-L) a 4+” barrel and a 7+1 capacity

          • BrandonAKsALot

            Interesting. I load my own ammo for the most part anyway, so I suppose the issue wouldn’t be something to worry about anyhow. I have the Lee factory crimp die for everything I can get it for and haven’t experience any set back.

          • The other issue is that the US shooting community is extremely resistant to innovation – there’s frequently a 50 year gap between invention and being embraced by the shooting public. It’s one of the only industries that I can think of where 30-100 year old designs outsell new, innovative products.

            1911 – invented 1911, catches on as ‘ultimate combat handgun’ 1960’s-70’s.

            Double stack 9mm handguns – Invented in 1935 w/ Browning Hi Power. High cap ‘wondernines’ only catch on with US public in the 1980’s.

            AR-15- Invented in 60’s, catches on w/ US shooters mid 2000’s.

            Now we just have to wait 12 more years for Bullpups (Steyr Aug 1978) to really take off 😉

          • There were 9mm double stack handguns as early as 1915-16 with the double stack C96 broomhandles.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Pedantic, love it. Still, the stripper clip pistol was already starting to get a bit long in the tooth by the time WWI rolled out, and the C96 just made more sense as an awesome micro-SMG with a detachable mag than as a normal sidearm in the end. There was a reason Saive’s mag was more popular with other designers.

          • In WWI, revolvers and handguns fed by stripper clips were quite common and not considered obsolete at all. The Steyr-Roth and Hahn pistols were quite good, and the C96s had not yet been blessed with detachable mags or select fire capabilities. Surely experimental pistols existed, but I have never seen a C96 that was select fire, took detachable mags, and had an imperial acceptance mark.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Ha! The French didn’t consider the Mle 1886/M93 rifles obsolete at the start of the war either, but perception is not reality. In fact, revolvers were still considered perfectly viable and even outnumbered all the autoloader pistols being fielded. And in most respects the revolvers and stripper clip pistols served more than admirably enough on the battlefield, but their days of parity with the slide & grip mag style sidearms were numbered even before Archduke Ferdinand was murdered by one of John Browning’s creations. Though the C96/M1916, the M1907, and the M1912 were all fascinating and brilliant designs, that wasn’t enough to overcome the inherent complexity and expense that hindered almost all of the handguns of that nascent era of development, when pure innovation trumped economy of mechanism & efficiency of production. I was not asserting that the C96 served as anything more than a standard pistol during WWI, but that its saving grace after the war was that it was so readily adapted to become the light and handy Schnellfeuer SMG.

          • jcitizen

            Especially since sub guns were late to the field in that war.

      • Andy B

        +1

    • Tom

      I think the only reason a person should own a Calico is for the great 80s/90s action and SciFi movie nostalgia.

      • Right on! Thing looks like it crawled outta the ass of a Cyber-punk Novel.

      • Rusty S.

        Yeah, first saw one in “Stone Cold”. Great cheesy film with the Boz.

    • gunsandrockets

      I’m just shocked Calico is still in business, I thought the 94 AW ban killed the company back in the late ’90s.

      • Probably due to a mixture of “Downsizing” and This .22 LR rifle they offer now

        • jcitizen

          What?! As far as I know you cannot get that wood combination at all now, and in fact they disappeared even after the thumb hole law came into affect. Calico changes hands more than any other gun company, and who knows who is building them anymore?

          I’ve always wanted that wood furniture for my M100!

  • SP mclaughlin

    I have never heard of the Boberg before.
    Has it ever been mentioned here?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Been around for years and years. Garbage trigger. Three worst triggers last year at SHOT for me, were the Walther CCP, Remington 51, and Boberg… But only one of them is stupid expensive.

      • ExMachina1

        I completely disagree re “garbage trigger”. The three Bobergs I’ve fired have had superb triggers–no stacking and super smooth. The only negative is that the pull is on the longish side…which might actually be desirable on a pocket gun

        • JumpIf NotZero

          That’s too bad their shot show model last year had such a bad example then.

          A little grit, what seemed to be a mechanical notch halfway through, and probably the worst reset I’ve felt in a modern fee dive handgun.

          The reset is probably because of the complicated action.

          Regardless of how anyone “feels” about it, this is a gun for a history book, that’s about all.

          • JK

            Hopefully Bond Arms can get that sorted out.

          • Leigh Rich

            Bet you don’t even have a Boberg pistol do you. You probably can only afford a Hi-Point which work well.

  • mosinman

    Winding up the Calico like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tNJeS6O6ds

    • jcitizen

      I and my buddy used to shoot a lot of 9mm Calico, and I didn’t remember it being that stiff to fully load. We didn’t have that many failures, but maybe it was the ammo we were using. The thing I hated about it, was actually the cheap roller lock used in it – as it wore out rather quickly and then broke. I don’t think we put over 5000 rounds before this happened. When you look at the fact that i’ve seen many a 10,000 rnd or 20,000 rnd torture test on Glocks, this makes it look bad!

      • mosinman

        a shame really, as it’s a cool design

  • PLR-16 is one of the lightest guns in 5.56×45, so it has its charms in that area.

    • gunsandrockets

      Yep, light enough to be fired one handed like a large 96 Mauser pistol. So adding a forend is superfluous.

      After I escape from the doomed state of California, I intend to get one of those PLR-16. Hopefully by then Kel Tec will offer it in a more useful caliber like .300 BLK.

      • DW

        300blk has been talked about years ago for the SU16. Still no sign of them, damn shame.

        • gunsandrockets

          .223 shot from a 9 inch barrel is ridiculous. The muzzle blast must be ferocious, a blast defuser mandatory.

          • iksnilol

            Uh, I’d call it an advantage.

            Adversaries will get blinded and won’t see you.

          • DW

            More reason they should be making PLR-16/SU-16 in 300blk

  • Don Ward

    TIER 1 OPERATORS HATE HIM!
    FIND OUT WHAT ALEX C DISCOVERED WITH THIS ONE WEIRD GUN

    • John Yossarian

      You win Internetz for the day!

  • Southpaw89

    I think calico figured that with that capacity you wouldn’t need to lug extra mags, or at most one, would personally prefer a Bizon though, same idea, but much more practical.

  • Joe

    Great list but no “Curve”? It definitely deserves to be on the list.

    • MR

      That one seems kind of conventional to me. Other than the extended middle finger to lefties and the lack of sights, its oddity mostly comes from the integrated light and laser housing. Though I did expect to see a Kriss Vector on the list.

    • Simcha M.

      Different, yes. Unique, yes. But “weird”, no.

  • LG

    The Mars pistols extracted the round from the rear of the magazine as the Bouberg. They had the same problems of vibration in the extraction carriage.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Some HK too iirc 😉

  • Trey

    M4 Alaskan derringer comes to mind 45.70 derringer and all.

  • ExMachina1

    Am I crazy or did TFB release a nearly identical video a while ago? I really remember seeing a lot of this stuff before…

  • Giolli Joker

    The Boberg is interesting and I hope soon Alex will have news about them from Bond Arms…
    Regarding weird handguns, TFB could contact LifeSizePotato, I think he has an interesting collection of unusual exotics.

  • Lance

    Mk-23 wasn’t as wide spread in SOCOM even after its adoption 1997. Most part SOCOM uses Glock .45s, M-45 (M-1911), and some still use M-9 Beretta. The Mk-23 was just too darn BIG for any real use. Only US Navy SEALs have them in there inventory.

    • NoNamesOnTheNet

      Impractical flight of fancy, but an FS2000 (or more specifically, an F2000) in .300 Blk and an integrated laser/light handgaurd (PEQ Guts?) Would serve one helluva niche purpose.

      Last I heard they were out of production though.

      • DW

        In the US, yes, not in Belgium.
        I “guess” the US Tavor killed the FS2000. Real shame, because Tavor doesn’t look like a fish and gas the shooter pretty bad.

        • NoNamesOnTheNet

          That’s what I meant–no new production guns for us.

          I wouldn’t say the Tavor was more popular though. The FS2000/F2000 was a relatively unknown firearm here (unless you played Splinter Cell as a kid), and it went the way of the ACR with very little support. On top of that, it came out at a time when OMG RAILZ and Uber Tactical ARs became commonplace.

          So a futuristic design, unfamiliar/misunderstood manual of arms (WUDDAFX U MEAN THE MAGS DON’T DROP FREE?!), the lack of accessories, and a weak public desire for bullpups at the time with 0 effort from FN to address the issue (since the SC AR was released very shortly thereafter) torpedoed this rifle’s chances at success–even though it’s only real naysayers probably never handled one.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Well, at least in the foreseeable future, you could purchase a Desert Tech MDR in .300 BO and have a variety of different barrel lengths available for it. And it will probably be less expensive than the FS2000.

        • NoNamesOnTheNet

          I don’t know about that, because at one point the FS2000 had an MSRP hovering between 1700 and 1800 (well under that of a premium AR).

          But the MDR is an example of what the FS2000 should’ve been, albeit without the exceptional ergonomics.

          If I was a wealthy man, I’d see what it’d take to license production of the damn thing, make minor updates, and market it in a not only 5.56, but .300BK, 6.5, 6.8, and 7.62×39.

    • JK

      Interesting-and not real surprising-that the U.S. government is responsible for the dumb-ass “offensive pistol” term.

      • gregge

        It’s better than “conciliatory pistol” or “complimentary pistol”.

    • maodeedee

      The SEALs like them because they weigh 5 pounds so they can just remove 5 pounds of lead from their diving belts and then it’s perfect for underwater operations.

  • Robert Rodriguez

    I like all the choices except for the H&K. I think the C96 Mauser might have been a better pick if you are talking about giant and oversized pistols for the caliber it fires.

    • ostiariusalpha

      If you & Jas were to pay attention to the video, Alex had set the criteria that the gun had to still be in production. So neither the Mars or C96 are qualified for the list.

  • Kristoff

    Kept you waiting, huh?

  • MrEllis

    At first I thought that was a DL-44…

  • Jas

    Apparently the guy never heard of a Gabbett Fairfax Mars.

  • “Weridest”? Really, Alex? Clearly, you haven’t taken enough dynamic titlecard training courses, like I have.

    • iksnilol

      I feel this is a poke at a specific individual that regularily posts on TFB.

    • Wetcoaster

      The Mk. 23 isn’t weird, just big. That spot might have been better filled by the Chiappa Rhino or its Mateba predecessor

  • Odinson

    I don’t see anything weird about the Mark 23. Just a 12 shot .45. I have a HK USP in .40 cal. Had it since 1994.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      Have you ever held and fired a Mark 23? They are literally the size of a Desert Eagle.

      They are twice the size of any other modern full-size .45

      But because of that, they’re awesome to shoot. So little recoil, very long sight radius.

  • Leo

    why would I call mk23 weird? it is best .45acp pistol on market!

    • maodeedee

      Try lugging one around for 12 hours and see how perfect you think it is. Not only that, but it has a DA/SA trigger so that the all-important first shot has a stiff trigger pull and only subsequent shots are more conducive to better accuracy.

      However, if it can be carried cocked and locked, then it would be the best 45 pistol on the market that you could carry on the belt as long as you wore some sturdy suspenders considering that loaded weight is 5 pounds.

  • Leo

    weird is high point, chiappa not FN or HK

  • Simcha M.

    Looking at the Boberg makes my CZ-52 look positively conventional by contrast. Thanks for a very fun and informative video, Alex, even though I was already vague familiar with all of the weapons mentioned.

  • FarmerB

    I have a real one – with real suppressor. I would never think of using it tactically (by choice). If you only had one weapon and sized had to be limited, then a PDW would be better and if it was a backup, then something like a compact USP 9mm much more appropriate. There might be some use cases for it, but not many.

  • maodeedee

    The FS2000 is as large as a Desert Eagle ? Any handgun that is as large as a Desert Eagle should be considered a crew-served weapon.

  • gregge

    Waited for it… no mention of the Calico being used in large quantities in “Spaceballs”.

  • anonymouse

    Agree on the F2000 point. It looks enormous, but actually it handles really well. Haven’t used it with a UGL though, which I’d have thought would make it horrifically front heavy, but perhaps again I’d be surprised.

  • USMC2090

    Alex: Question…not a Jibe. But if the PLR is attempting to get around the SBR laws, probably moreso with a brace, then what about bullpup designs? My FS2000 and my Kel tec KSG are shorter than my SIG M400 pistol with brace. Why wouldn’t the bull pup design be an attempt to get around the SBR laws?

  • Brent

    In the video you said Aug. Is it A U G (like CIA),or Aug like you said in the video? Just wondering.