Lei Huo Bian (雷火鞭)

Chinese Thunderfire Whip
Drawing of a Lei Huo Bian, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Lei Huo Bian (雷火鞭, lit. 'Thunderfire whip') is a relatively straightforward, if uncommon, weapon that combines a Tie Bian (鐵鞭) and a handgonne. Lei Huo Bian can be made of either iron or bronze. It has a length of three chi two cun, the first five cun of the weapon is hollowed out and drilled with a touch hole. It is typically loaded with three lead pellets.

Lei Huo Bian is quite heavy for a one-handed weapon (as it is basically a one metre long solid metal rod). It can only be used by exceptionally strong warrior.

Ming Chinese Lei Huo Bian
A Lei Huo Bian with its touch hole and hollowed part visible. Private collection.
Although not mentioned in Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》), Lei Huo Bian shaped like a Tie Chi (鐵尺) is not unheard of.


  1. So this is a pistol in the shape of a sword (like a permanently attached bayonet)?

    1. Sorry I just realized it doesn't have a cutting edge.

  2. Any info on how it was fired? Presumably there's some sort of touch hole near the hilt. Did it fire all three balls at once or could they be fired consecutively? I realise there may be no clear information on this.

  3. @Clibinarium

    Sorry I should clarify. It is fired by means of touch hole. Lacking complex mechanism, it fires all three balls at once.

    Edited my post.

  4. @Jayson

    I mistakenly call it a "fire lance", it is actually a handgonne that can be used to bludgeon people.