The bazooka anti-tank weapon is named after a its resemblance to a novelty musical instrument created by a radio comedian of the 1930s called Bob Burns. After firing the weapon during testing a General commented: “It sure looks like Bob Burns’ bazooka”, and the weapon gained its WWII nickname.
There’s a material called FOGBANK that’s used by the US Department of Energy that’s so top secret and compartmentalized, that the government once actually “forgot” how to make it due to a lack of actual records and dwindling institutional knowledge. FOGBANK’s precise nature is classified; in the words of former Oak Ridge general manager Dennis Ruddy, “The material is classified. Its composition is classified. Its use in the weapon is classified, and the process itself is classified.”
In the 1970’s after the popularity of Bruce Lee films, nunchucks were made illegal in many countries including the U.S. They were (incorrectly) believed to be extraordinarily dangerous and still remain illegal to possess in CA and MA. NY’s nunchuck ban was ruled unconstitutional in 2018.
A group of British schoolchildren ran their own international arms dealership during their lunch break. They bought and sold military weaponry to armies and militias around the world. This was 100% legal. The students focused on brokerage, which is basically acting as a middleman. For example, someone in the UK could broker AK-47s direct from China to Chad and the guns would not touch British soil. No government controls would have applied before 2004.
On a visit to Constantinople, Samuel Colt gave a custom gold inlaid revolver to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and informed him that the Russians were buying his pistols. The Turkish ordered 5,000 pistols. Colt neglected to tell the Sultan that he had used the same tactic with the Russians.
In the mid-1990s, a man in Montana was able to build fully armed Cobra attack helicopters out of supposedly demilitarized military surplus parts. He then used them to hunt coyotes.
In the Wild West, it was most common for 6-shot revolvers to only be loaded with 5 rounds (the ‘Cowboy Load’). A live bullet in the chamber below the hammer of a 19th century single-action revolver can be set off with a sharp knock, hence it was not desirable to carry one fully loaded.
The Russian Orthodox Church regularly blesses Russian Military Hardware, but has decided that it is inappropriate to bless weapons of mass destruction.
After 25 years of wondering about a strange dip in the floor beneath his couch, a man in Plymouth, England finally dug down into his home’s foundation and found a medieval well 33 feet deep, along with an old sword hidden deep inside.
In the early 20th Century women would use their hat pin to physically defend themselves from being harassed in public transport. It worked so well that law makers at the time outlawed it. In Australia, sixty women went to jail rather than pay fines for wearing “murderous weapons” in their hats.