24 November 2015

Li Hua Qiang (梨花鎗)

Li Hua Qiang (梨花鎗, lit. 'Pear blossom spear')

Chinese Fire Lance
Drawing of a Li Hua Qiang, from 'Chou Hai Tu Bian (《筹海图编》)'.
Li Hua Qiang is commonly thought to be the quintessential fire lance. However, it is actually very atypical for a fire lance-type weapon, as it mounts either a paper tube or reusable iron tube on its shaft instead of the more common bamboo Pen Tong (噴筒) found on other fire lances. Li Hua Qiang is also much longer than typical Chinese fire lance, as it is converted from a Chang Qiang (長鎗).

The fire tube of Li Hua Qiang can also be tied to a Lang Xian (狼筅).

Zhao Shi Zhen's modified Li Hua Qiang

Chinese Fire Spear
Zhao Shi Zhen's modified Li Hua Qiang, from 'Shen Qi Pu (《神器譜》)'.
Ming Dynasty firearm specialist Zhao Shi Zhen (趙士楨) also devised an improvement for Li Hua Qiang by attaching two extra tubes that are all connected to a single fuse. Zhao Shi Zhen's Li Hua Qiang can project a stream of flame for longer period than ordinary fire lances.


  1. I thought you might like this mughal painting showing fire lance in action used to create smoke screen to try to guide a elephant path away from the royal cavalry, much like how ming used smoke as area control weapons in warfare and I assume the same thing was try for mughal too

  2. https://www.rct.uk/collection/themes/exhibitions/splendours-of-the-subcontinent-four-centuries-of-south-asian-paintings-and-manuscripts/the-queens-gallery-buckingham-palace/prince-awrangzeb-facing-a-maddened-elephant-named-sudhaka-7-june-1633

    1. Thanks for the pic! Painting showing fire lance in action is surprisingly rare, I think I've only seen a few Qing period one, and the fire lance is yet-to-be-fired too.


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