Late 1800s: Juggling rifles

“As well as the comedians and singers, part of a music hall programme would include dancing, acrobatics or aerial acts. Novelty acts came in all shapes and sizes and might include any of the aforementioned skills, but with some unusual twist to make them more sensational or, as in this case more dangerous – the rifles have bayonets attached.”

- V&A

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Goggles aficionado. Retronaut’s founder and curator.

4 Responses

  1. Thomas Wictor

    Those cruciform bayonets wouldn’t do much damage unless the rifle came down on you barrel first. A bayonet with a cutting edge is a whole different kettle of fish, I say as I mix my metaphors.

  2. cbpelto

    TO: All
    RE: Precision Rifle Drill w/Bayonets

    You should have seen the Strategic Air Command team perform at Aksarben.

    Imagine two files of ten men each. Each has an M1 rifle with an 18″ bayonet on it.

    The man at the head of each file throws the weapon spinning through the air over the heads of the eight men between him and the man at the end of the file. And that man catches the rifle.

  3. ZZMike

    It’s not all just for show – that’s something they might need to do in combat.


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