Landsknecht Mace/Gun Combo Weapon,
During the early 1500’s the Landsknechts were an elite group of soldiers who operated out of Germany and Switzerland. Traditionally pikeman, the Landsknechts also carried shortswords, and a very large longsword called a Zweihander (two hander). Among their arsenal was a much stranger and less common weapon, a special mace made to double as a four shot matchlock musket.
Crafted by German gunsmiths and blacksmiths, this odd weapon was a large club studded with spikes, much like any other mace. On the end a spike provided the user the option of stabbing as well as smashing. However, the spike was situated on cap, which when opened revealed four gun barrels. The barrels would have been loaded with loose powder and a round bullet. To fire the gun powder was placed on a touch-hole close to the grip and ignited with a slow match. The user could then rotate the weapon to fire the other barrels.
While an interesting weapon few were produced due to cost and difficulties in production. Most were used almost exclusively by the Landsknechts, although Henry VIII of England carried a similar weapon which is now on display at the Tower of London. Most surviving mace guns are also relegated to museum display pieces.