Medieval Monday: Hand Cannon

If you’re new to these here parts, every Monday I like to do what I call Medieval Monday. I highlight a specific term from the medieval ages, and expand on the definition of that term and describe its appearance. If there is something you would like to see featured in a Medieval Monday, hop into the comments and say so.

This weeks Medieval Monday is brought to you by storiesbywilliams, who mentioned wanting to see something from the Saracen or Ming dynasty. Thus I bring to you the hand cannon.

I don’t look like much, but I was the cat’s meow back in the day.

While the hand cannon was invented some time during the Song dynasty (there’s some debate over just when), it was in wide use by the Ming dynasty. This is the earliest version of a cannon, even a gun, that there is.

The hand cannon was made up of a barrel, which was attached to a bamboo tube to serve as the handle. The hand cannon was then either held by one person while a second ignited it, or could be placed on a rest to allow for a single person to fire it. Ammunition varied, ranging from simple rocks on the ground to ammunition that had been fashioned for the hand cannon (which was usually just iron or stone shaped into small balls). By and large the hand cannons were ineffective, largely due to a combination of them being inaccurate and not packing a strong enough punch to pierce armor.

Do you enjoy reading about and studying the medieval ages? Tell me! I love chatting, so don’t leave me alone here. Also, if you found this post useful or entertaining, give it a RT, please. Thanks!

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2 Comments

    1. I’m unfamiliar with this one. I’ll definitely do it, but it may end up being featured on the MM after this upcoming one.

      Glad you’re enjoying them! And thank you for coming back and putting in requests!

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