Excerpt from article "'Should I Buy It?' – The Last Word & Other Exotics":
"The chosen one is back again. The almighty The Last Word is a rapid-fire Hand Cannon, boasting a quick time-to-kill in skilled hands. It looks, feels, and sounds great. It has a unique feature, Fan Fire, so it can be shot "quickly and continuously." Two talents improve firing from the hip; great for panic situations. Although its Range (14) is worst-in-class, its Rate of Fire (32) is exceptional with Fan Fire – and catches many people off-guard.
SHOULD I BUY IT?
Yes. If you play PVP, absolutely. The Last Word is insanely-good for the Crucible. It has a bit of a learning curve early on, but it's oh so worth it. It's tremendously fun to use and extremely potent. Is there anything else you can ask for? There's one thing to note: it's not meant for PVE. We can't think of a specific PVE situation to wield The Last Word over another Exotic – or even your favorite Legendary. So, if you stay away from PVP altogether, consider The Last Word a luxury buy.
The Last Word is, unsurprisingly, even more effective for Gunslingers with Chain of Woe and Gunslinger's Trance. Not that The Last Word needs them; you'll simply become an unstoppable Crucible pistolero."
The Last Word is likely based on a real-life counterpart called Revolver No. 5. It was a weapon devised in 1928 by Elmer Keith, a "firearms enthusiast" from Idaho renowned for his six-shot expertise. He wrote about this weapon in 1929, in an article titled "The Last Word".
From Forgotten Weapon's YouTube description:
Elmer Keith's No.5 Single Action Army is arguably the most famous custom revolver ever made. Keith had it built in 1928 after developing a friendship with Harold Croft, another revolver enthusiast. Croft had shown Keith his own custom revolvers, which he had numbered 1 through 4. Croft had been trying to make an ideal pocket gun, and Keith used several of his ideas along with some of Keith's own to put together a revolver for general-purpose field use. In recognition of Croft's work, Keith called his gun Number 5. It featured an extended flat top with windage-adjustable sights, an improved mainspring, redesigned cylinder pin, custom hammer spur, and modified Bisley grip. It was chambered for the .44 Special/.44 Russian cartridges (the Russian being a slightly shorter version of the Special), and it was Keith's favorite shooting piece until the .44 Magnum cartridge was introduced in the late 1950s. He described this gun in detail in a 1929 American Rifleman article entitled "The Last Word".