Handgonne Vedelspang Castle 1426

An early hand gonne.


A diagram showing a hand gonne being fired.

The hand cannon, also known as the handgonne (to differentiate it from modern handguns) or gonne, was one of the earliest forms of firearms to be used; it was invented around 1300. It is unknown in which country it originated, though China, many countries in Europe, the Arabs, (and others), claim to have created it. After the gonne was fired, a propellent (in a more primitive form) was loaded, along with some type of projectile. Next, a type of match (or wick) was lit, and lowered into the touch hole, this ignited the propellent, and shot the projectile. The gonne didn't always fire, and was not very effective against charging enemies, nor did the propellent always ignite. The gonne was more effective in defending against sieges.

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