29 February 2024

Qian Dan Yi Wo Feng (鉛彈一窩蜂)

Qian Dan Yi Wo Feng (鉛彈一窩蜂)

Drawing of Qian Dan Yi Wo Feng in shoulder bag for transportation (top right), and the same cannon when deployed (top bottom), from 'Wu Bei Ji Yao (《武備集要》)'.
Qian Dan Yi Wo Feng is a portable anti-personnel cannon that entered Ming arsenal in the early to mid-sixteenth century. Forged with the same method as a matchlock gun barrel, Qian Dan Yi Wo Feng has a short but wide body that can be loaded with up to 100 lead bullets, yet is light enough to be carried by a single person. It also comes with a small iron bipod, which is used to prop up the muzzle when the cannon is staked to the ground for firing, as it has little to no extra weight to offset its considerable recoil.

Qian Dan Yi Wo Feng is also known as Bai Zi Chong (百子銃, lit. 'Hundred bullets gun'), although it should not to be confused with another weapon of the same name. It may also be the predecessor of Hu Dun Pao (虎蹲砲).

Volley gun version

Drawing of a matchlock volley gun Yi Wo Feng, from 'Wu Bei Ji Yao (《武備集要》)'.
This version of Yi Wo Feng, though still called by the same name, is only inspired by but not directly related to the anti-personnel cannon above. It is actually a matchlock volley gun consists of four to six gun barrels recycled from damaged matchlock guns, modified and bundled together and mounted on a wooden receiver that also houses a matchlock mechanism and a handle bar. The volley gun is mounted on a tripod-like gun mount that allows the gun to be freely traversed and elevated, and each of its gun barrels is loaded with four lead bullets.

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