The Best Weird Guns of SHOT Show 2023 By: Travis Pike

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I respect and appreciate functional ergonomic, accurate, and reliable firearms. I believe as a gun owner, your important firearms should all have those features. I respect and appreciate functional guns, but I love weird guns. Weird guns are often not necessarily the most useful, but they can be a total blast at the range. Sometimes those weird firearms are innovative, and sometimes they’re just fun. With that in mind, let’s look at the weirdest guns I found at SHOT Show 2023.

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Fry Tech Brujeria

Have you ever seen “The 5th Element”? The Fry Tech Brujeria looks like it stepped right out of the hands of Gary Oldman and into the hands of the gun-buying public. Fry Tech displayed a prototype of the Brujeria at SHOT Show 2023 with a 3D printed frame locked around a 9mm AR-15. The idea is complicated, but the effect is simple. The Brujeria implements magnets in the stock and chamber of the gun, backed by a power source.

The fry tech rifle at SHOT Show 2023
In this thing sits an AR-9. This is bizarre, but I really hope it works.

The effect claimed by Fry Tech is that the system will reduce recoil significantly without affecting the reliability of the weapon. The system can be tuned for different recoil profiles in the same way an adjustable gas block can reduce recoil. The Fry Tech Brujeria’s onboard battery can also power the red dot. If it can power the dot, there could be a possibility of it powering other accessories.

The system is also self-charging and uses the energy from the bolt moving back and forth to charge the power reserve. If it works as promised, this could be an interesting step forward in firearms technology. It most significantly fits in with our weird picks of SHOT Show 2023.

Reap Weaponry Scy

Do you like the compatibility and upgradeability of the AR platform, but you want something short like a bullpup? Well, if so, the Reap Weaponry Scy is for you. This isn’t a rifle or firearm, but a kit to turn your AR-15 into a bullpup. Yep, it’s real, and hear me out. It’s pretty awesome. The Scy works with any MIL-SPEC AR-15 lower receiver and any upper and caliber compatible with a MIL-SPEC lower.

The scy at SHOT Show 2023
Yep, you can bullpup your AR if you so choose.

The system attaches to the lower and makes use of any standard buffer tube or stock. It’s compatible with BRN-180 uppers, so you can eliminate the buffer if you so choose. The Scy is a simple drop-in kit that requires no permanent modifications to your rifle. In a bullpup platform, it seems like a PDW-style stock would work best to keep things nice and short.

The controls change slightly, and you do get two safeties with the standard AR safety still in play. You can use your favorite AR trigger, and it might be advisable to get one that is crisp and light. As a bullpup with a trigger linkage, the trigger isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty dang clean for a bullpup. I was pleasantly surprised by the Scy, and I think Reap Weaponry did a pretty good job of making a bullpup AR a thing.

Pocket Roni

The Pocket Roni isn’t a firearm. It’s an incredibly compact stock designed for your Glock. There are two CAAs, and both produce Roni kits to convert your rifle into a subgun-like platform. I think there is some drama between the two, but that is neither here nor there. This is the Israeli CAA company, and they produce a few different Roni kits, including the Pocket Roni. The Pocket Roni is a stock, not a brace, so it does require you to stamp your stock.

pocket roni folded
This is the Pocket Roni all folded up.

The Pocket Roni kit is a collapsing stock system. When fully closed, the stock is basically a black square that could be carried in your pocket. There is a clip that even allows you to attach it to your belt. It would be quite well hidden on your person. It just looks like a black chunk of plastic. It’s not exactly hidden, but it’s not noticeable as a gun part.

pocket roni deployed for display at SHOT Show 2023
This is a mock-up of how the Pocket Roni works.

Press a single button, and the stock and attachment point deploys. This allows you to slide the rear of the stock into the grip hollow behind the magazine. It locks in place, and bam, now you have a minimalist stocked Glock format.

VRPF 14

In following the great traditions of the ‘firearm’ genre, Rock Island Armory is releasing a second firearm based on their VRPA40 shotgun, which is a mag-fed pump action gun. This time they trim the barrel to 14 inches and add a Shockwave style grip to the gun. These firearms are odd but a ton of fun.

VPRF 40 in hand at SHOT Show 2023
Who doesn’t want an affordable, mag-fed firearm?

Like the standard shotgun model, it is optics-ready and comes with peep sights. The front sight is a high-visibility design, and the gun comes with a five-round magazine. The magazine pattern follows the VR series, meaning ten and even 19-round magazines are also widely available.

This sits on the silly side but is a ton of fun. This is one of the few magazine-fed pump-action firearms.

POF Tombstone

Finally, we get to a gun some are calling a sacrilegious lever action. To me, the POF Tombstone is a weird take on a classic American design. I don’t mind when companies do things weird, and the POF Tombstone is weird but entirely impractical. I don’t know of a single state that bans lever action rifles, and this gun can pack 10 or 20 rounds of 9mm using the POF Phoenix mags.

POF Tombstone at SHOT Show 2023
The Tombstone is truly something different.

The Tombstone features all the modern accouterments, including an M-LOK rail, a Magpul SGA stock, its optics ready, and of course, comes with high visibility iron sights. The POF Tombstone has a super short action with a short throw.

It’s lightweight, short and handy, and very ergonomic. The POF Tombstone defies tradition, and defying tradition is plenty fine with me. Sacred cows are meant to be eaten.

What About the Zenk?

When I planned this list out, my first stop was the Zenk booth. Sadly the Zenk didn’t actually bring their gun to the show. That’s okay. There was plenty of weirdness to go around! Sometimes the gun industry can get really boring. An endless sea of ARs and strike-fired, polymer frame pistols can get awfully boring. The weird guns that punctuate the industry keep things interesting, and interesting keeps me coming to SHOT.