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.
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 (手铳) whilst the larger Wankouchong (碗口铳) or Zhankouchong (盏口铳) rested on a supporting wooden frame.It was invented presumably as an advance in warfare, a new way to fight.
- "Chinese Military Technology and Dai Viet: c. 1390-1497" (PDF). September 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- "The World's Earliest Cannon (世界上最早的火炮)" (in Chinese). Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- History of Ming Army Records Chapter Four
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