The Earliest Known Gun
One of the oldest guns in existence is a Chinese hand-fuse gun in the collection of Francis Bannerman of New York City.
This ancient gun is merely a bronze tube having a bore 1 inch in diameter and a barrel 12 inches long. It is cast in one piece of metal and has a wooden haft, or handle, 10 inches long fixed to and in a line with the barrel so that it can be held and aimed. A swivel is also fixed to it which permits it to be rested on any convenient object and steadied when it is fired, all of which is shown in Fig. 10.
The barrel is reinforced with a piece of wood on either side held in place with split bamboo wrapped around it. It was fired with a match, which means a slow-burning fuse, and this was held in the hand and applied to the touch-hole.
This extremely crude gun, hoary with age and a relic of the dead past, was probably made very shortly after the introduction of guns for the purpose of warfare. Old and crude as it is it was nevertheless the forerunner of the modern gun.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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