In the firearm community, the word “tacticool” emerged in the early 2000s to describe weapon accessories that did little else other than look pleasing — functionality be damned. But as you’ll see in the video below, this is not at all a new concept. Ambitious weapon makers have been throwing things together for the simple pleasure of it since the beginning of time.
Today’s example is the Model 1864 Milanese style saber-revolver. And we have to admit after looking at this thing that we really wish it was as functional as it is simply badass looking. To its credit, the firing grip works well with the blade, and doesn’t seem to impede one’s ability to either fire a bullet or swing a blade. The problem is that the design makes the weapon pretty bad at doing either, even if it is capable of the bare minimum.
As Ian from Forgotten Weapons notes, the blade doesn’t have a tang — that is, the unseen portion of the blade normally held in the handle to keep the weapon steady. Knowing this, taking a hard swing at something with a weapon like this would break the blade fairly easily.
Now, onto the actual firearm portion of this Frankenstein of a weapon, you wouldn’t be in much better shape. The firing pin mechanism seems to work just fine. However, the barrel of the weapon tightly hugs the blade itself — which is curved upward in the typical saber fashion. Because of this, you don’t have a sight in the traditional sense to aim your weapon with. Instead, you have to align your arm with the bottom portion of the blade just to have a simple idea of what you’re going to hit (or not) when you pull the trigger.
Now, with all of that out of the way, we’ll leave you with this — it looks really damn cool. It’s also an interesting highlight in history. We’ve seen a lot of gun enthusiasts put crazy attachments onto modern rifles (including chainsaws), and might assume that this is a modern trend. It isn’t. Gun owners and makers alike have always competed for the “wow” factor, and this piece certainly holds up.
Here is Forgotten Weapons with the full presentation.