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Medieval Hand Cannon - This European “hand cannon” dates around 1350. They are the earliest known hand-held firearms. The gun tube was attached to a pole and held by the user, while he or an assistant applied a slow match to the touch hole to ignite the black powder propellant charge. Lacking standard ammunition, hand cannons were typically loaded with stones, nails, or other suitable projectiles. Hand cannons were inexpensive to manufacture, but not accurate to fire.
The First Guns "Employing the earlier Tang Dynasty era discovery of high-nitrate gunpowder, the earliest developments of the gun barrel and the projectile-fire cannon were found in Song Dynasty China. These 'fire-lances' were widespread in use by the early 12th century, featuring hollowed bamboo poles as tubes to fire sand particles (to blind and choke),
Hand and a half, possibly German, 1400 - 1430, held at the Metropolitan Museum, NY. his sword is an extremely well proportioned and elegant example of a type that was in use throughout Western Europe from the late fourteenth through the fifteenth century.
Snowball Fight - Detail from a fresco in Buonconsiglio Castle, c. 1405-1410.