4 November 2016

Ba Mian Xuan Feng Tu Wu Hong Lei Pao (八面旋風吐霧轟雷砲)

Drawing of a Ba Mian Xuan Feng Tu Wu Hong Lei Pao, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Ba Mian Xuan Feng Tu Wu Hong Lei Pao (八面旋風吐霧轟雷砲, lit. 'Eight directions tornado mist-spewing roaring thunder cannon/bomb') is a type of swivel-mounted gun, similar to Bai Zi Chong (百子銃), that fires a cast iron explosive shell. It is one of the few Ming cannons that fires explosive shells.

The explosive shell, also known by the same name, is normally filled with incendiary and poison smoke gunpowder, while its metal casing doubles as fragmentation upon explosion. It can also be filled with a variety of other gunpowder, such as poison smoke and blinding dust, incendiary and blinding dust, as well as incendiary and ceramic fragmentation.
The shell of Ba Mian Xuan Feng Tu Wu Hong Lei Pao, from 'Huo Long Shen Qi Zhen Fa (《火龍神器陣法》)'.


  1. Can someone explain how these swivel-mounted system worked or at least (if some aren't) why they are built upon a framework with chains connected to the beams? I am looking at this,
    the Fei Yun Pi Li Pao (飛雲霹靂砲)
    and the Du Wu Shen Yan Pao (毒霧神煙砲)

    and I can't make any sense of the diagrams.

    Probably another question alongside this is, in the case these worked, why weren't they applied to the multi-prod crossbows?


    1. Umm, if the drawing doesn't make sense, that most likely because it is bad drawing. Ming military manuals have pretty terrible illustrations overall. A sensible swivel mount should look like the one in Bai Zi Chong.

      The chains are probably used to supress the recoil of the cannon. Since crossbow doesn't exert as much recoil, it doesn't need it.

      All reconstructions of multiprod crossbow I've seen can pivot on the frame.

    2. Some qing dynasty manuals are more realistic... is it because jesuits introuced linear perspective to china?


    3. @henrique

      Yes, it's likely due to European influence.


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