Gonne Shield Garry James July 11th, 2011 | More From Garry James Share0 Tweet Email Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Over the centuries, two-fers have always been popular, in firearms as well as in other areas of endeavor. One of the odder combination weapons is a 16th century “gonne shield” ostensibly made for England’s King Henry VIII’s bodyguard. It consisted of a round shield about 18 inches in diameter, through which a breech-loading matchlock pistol protruded. The thought was that you could have an offensive and defensive arm all in one. Makes sense, but the only problem with the thing was, it was awkward as hell to use. I had the chance to play with one a few years ago, and can attest to the fact that unless King Henry’s guard was composed of a phalanx of octopuses, its almost impossible to manage easily, even under the most controlled circumstances. Too many things to have to do with too few hands. Interestingly enough there are a number of gonne shields still extant, so we can only assume that Hank Ocho, realizing their impracticality, stuck them away in the Tower and turned his attention to other more fun, practical things–like blowing off Pope Julius II, establishing the English Reformation and lopping off the heads of sundry spouses. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+ Share0 Tweet Email Load Comments ( ) Don’t forget to sign up! Get the Top Stories from Guns & Ammo Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week Even More From the History Books Show More Get the Guns & Ammo Newsletter FREE! Get the top stories delivered right to your inbox every week. 9 Awesomely Creative Ways to Kill ZombiesRead Now! Advertisement ▶ Now on Tablets! Subscribe & Save! Temporary Price Reduction! Subscribe Now Give a Gift | Subscriber Services LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? Get 12 issues for the low price of just $9! Subscribe!