Wu Lei Shen Ji (五雷神機) and San Jie Shen Ji (三捷神機)

Wu Lei Shen Ji (五雷神機, lit. 'Five thunder divine engine')
Ming Dynasty Pepperbox Handgonne
Drawing of a Wu Lei Shen Ji, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Wu Lei Shen Ji is a type of late Ming Dynasty five barrel handgonne. Like many late Ming Dynasty handgonnes, it comes with a stock, front sight and back sight, inspired by similar devices found on matchlock gun. It also has a simple match holder to facilitate firing. The match holder is not a true matchlock mechanism (not even a serpentine lock), as it does not have a lever or trigger. The gunner actually has to manually press down the match holder with his thumb in order to fire the gun. Nevertheless, Wu Lei Shen Ji still allows the gunner to discharge five shots in quick succession by hand-rotating the barrels.

Although probably unrelated, Wu Lei Shen Ji is very similar to Xun Lei Chong (迅雷銃). Unlike Xun Lei Chong however, this is a much more practical weapon.

San Jie Shen Ji (三捷神機, lit. 'Three triumphs divine engine')
Drawing of a San Jie Shen Ji, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
San Jie Shen Ji is the triple-barreled version of Wu Lei Shen Ji. It is similar, but unrelated to, other triple-barreled matchlock firearms such as San Shen Tang (三神钂) and Xuan Ji Yi Hu (旋機翼虎).

Another weapon known as Wan Sheng Fo Lang Ji (萬勝佛狼機) shares many similarities with both Wu Lei Shen Ji and San Jie Shen Ji.


  1. Hi I sent you an email. I'm asking about generic names of weapons. I'm confused on what to call arquebus. Is it Chong or Qiang. I know Qiang is also spear. And Chong is same for firearms and handgonnes.