Huochong (simplified Chinese: 火铳; traditional Chinese: 火銃) was the Chinese name for hand cannons. The oldest confirmed metal huochong, also the first cannon, is a bronze hand cannon bearing an inscription dating it to 1298 (see Xanadu gun).
By the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) two types of huochong were in use. One was a hand held version with a wooden shaft known as a shouchong (手銃) whilst the larger Wankouchong (碗口銃 — bowl-mouthed cannon) or Zhankouchong (盏口銃 — cup-mouthed cannon) rested on a supporting wooden frame. It was invented presumably as an advance in warfare, a new way to fight.
Ming Bronze Gun, 1377 AD, Hongwu Emperor's reign.
- Hu dun pao, the term refers to trebuchet and cannon.
- Heilongjiang hand cannon, hand cannon, ca. 1287–1288.
- Xanadu gun, a bowl-mouthed hand cannon, 1298.
- Wuwei Bronze Cannon, late Western Xia (1214–1227).
- Gunpowder weapons in the Song dynasty
- Military of the Yuan dynasty
- Bedil tombak, Nusantaran hand cannon.
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- History of Ming Army Records Chapter Four