One of my players wants to use a spiked guantlet with his offhand. He also wants to wield a hand crossbow in that hand. This seems silly to me, but I can't find anything in the rules saying he can't do it, and he thinks it's completely reasonable.
According to Martial Power 2, on page 6, your hand is still free even with a spiked gauntlet on it. This tells me you can hold a hand crossbow in that hand, but doesn't imply you can wield it. Compare to the rules for Light Shields (Heroes of the Fallen Lands, pg 325) which says that "you can use your shield to hold another item, to climb, and the like, but you can't make attacks with that hand or with anything in it". I assume this is because you're wielding the shield.
It seems like wielding the gauntlet would prevent wielding the hand crossbow. Maybe you could stop wielding the guantlet as a free action, without dropping it, and then start wielding the hand crossbow as a free action, shoot, and switch back to the gauntlet? But how can you properly attack with a guantlet with a crossbow in your hand? Kind of hard to punch with an open fist.
I considered telling him he could wield the hand crossbow with the gauntlet on, so he wouldn't have to drop the guantlet, but that he couldn't wield the guantlet unless his hand was empty. The sticking point here is that he wants to be wielding the gauntlet in order to satisfy Two-Weapon Defense, but doesn't want to have to put the hand crossbow away in order to do so.
Does anyone know of any relevant rules, or have any gameplay or real-world experience which would help me decide how to rule on this issue?