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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What we all have in common here on the Collector's Forum is a passion for firearms. We share in the history, development, implementation and geopolitical consequences.

But before the first gun was shouldered some time in the 15th century, gunpowder had been throwing fire and projectiles for at least 200 years. And an infantry soldier could use a gonne. I won't get into the debate of whether gunpowder was first formulated in China or Europe. Instead, I'd like to show you what I found at a yardsale today.

It appears to be an eight-shot hand gonne (handgonne, hand cannon), which could be utilized by an individual or in tandem. It's well aged piece of cast iron, and missing its handle. The pole could be braced against the ground or another solid object, or held underarm to absorb recoil. This one could be equipped with eight loads of powder, rocks, ceramic, lead or iron shot. It has nine fuse holes, and could be ignited with flame, coals or slow burning match.

Not very accurate, and not meant for long range. But it had to be quite an attention getter when it was first used in battle.

My best google-fu identifies mine as Chinese, and from the late 15th to early 17th century. I may be way off! And anyone with any better information, please be free to add to this early hand cannon topic.

Pics, and thanks for looking.















 

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One heck of a nug! Oh darn my dyslexia...;)

How does it shoot....;) I won't own a nug if I cain't shoot it...;) ;)

Interesting find!

Pahtu.
 

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Jesus H. and all the saints! If that thing is a real artifact (and it sure looks like it) you have one helluva find there. Talk about history, a lot of museums would be interested in that. At a Yard Sale???? I really have to start going to those things.
 

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Jesus H. and all the saints! If that thing is a real artifact (and it sure looks like it) you have one helluva find there. Talk about history, a lot of museums would be interested in that. At a Yard Sale???? I really have to start going to those things.
+1 patchnball. One member on here got a $100 Carcano with ammo recently, and now THIS? I've got to get my butt out yard sale'n.
 

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That is just way over the top cool. How the heck did you even know what it might be? I wouldn't have had a clue. Thanks for posting.
 

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Cool as heck if that's what it is.
How much did it set you back if you don't mind.
That's an episode of "pawn stars" for sure.
How did it all go down? Did you know what it was? Did the seller know? Just curious.
 

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I think you've picked up an illegal NFA destructive device mortar. Send to me for confirmation. I'll make sure you don't get in trouble!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a hint. Never suspect that everything for sale will be in a box or on a table. Always ask. The seller retrieved it from a shed, and did identify it as a hand cannon. The story, which I can't confirm, is that an uncle brought this back from Vietnam.
 

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I've seen single-shot versions of these, but never a "repeater" or volley gun at least. The inventor must have been a great-great great uncle of Sam Colt.
 

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If it is cast iron, could be anywhere from 200 to 1000 years old, China or related Asian country.
The Chinese had well developed foundry techniques in both Bronze and Iron as far back as the heyday of Republican Rome. The shape looks definitely "Chinese" and given the centuries of Chinese-Vietnamese conflict, It does not surprise me of the Purported origin. Ho Chi Min's forces ( Viet Minh) were still using French M1842 Percussion Musketoons in 1944-46, alongside M1 Carbines and Berthiers/Arisakas, etc.

Doc AV
 

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I guess I don't get it.Do you load powder in all 8 tubes and then have to reload the main barrel with projectiles after each shot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I guess I don't get it.Do you load powder in all 8 tubes and then have to reload the main barrel with projectiles after each shot?
I'm assuming that what you perceive as a "main barrel" is actually the collar where the handle is inserted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_cannon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_cannon#/media/File:10_shot_hand_cannon_(handgonne).jpg


from Sea The Stars website:



Edit to add: Sorry about the lack of pics. My hosting site went down this morning - hoping it will come back up soon.
 

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That is VERY, VERY COOL! Congratulations!

While in Korea about two decades ago, I visited a few of their antique stores, etc.... Found a very interesting and old small bronze cannon, about two feet long, maybe 20 mm or so, being used as a doorstop. Had seen similar ones at the War Museum in Seoul the previous day. Wish now I had picked it up, but at the time, it was more than I was willing to spend, and taking a cannon back might have been a little hard to explain. Best I ever did at a flea market in the US was finding a very cool old Indian Katar (push dagger) in a box with rusty old tools and metal scrap. Found out it came from the estate of missionary who had spent time in India. I still haven't figure out how to date the thing, and I've had it now for 30 years.
 
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