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A hand cannon or gonne (also spelled handgonne to distinguish the device from modern handguns) (Chinese: 手銃; Arabic: مدفع; Russian: пищаль) is one of the early forms of firearm. It is possibly the oldest type of small arms, as well as the simplest type of early firearm, as most examples require direct manual external ignition through a touch hole without any form of firing mechanism. It may also be considered a forerunner of the handgun. The hand cannon was widely used in East Asia and later throughout Europe until at least the 1520s, when it was supplanted by matchlock firearms. The oldest surviving hand cannon is the Heilongjiang hand cannon, which was manufactured no later than 1288.
In modern usage, the term hand cannon may also be used colloquially to refer to a pistol or revolver chambered for a powerful cartridge, such as the .454 Casull or .500 S&W Magnum. This term is also sometimes used to refer to a novelty toy gun known as "pocket artillery", a small cannon firing steel balls by means of a smokeless powder or a firecracker.
Back in the day, I remember thinking the Grizzly looked like a fanastic piece. Particularly the later .50AE variant. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Regardless, Forgotten Weapons has a neat-o video on the earlier .45 Win Mag version, along with some equally ginchy conversion kits. Just passing...
I've got here a Smith and Wesson model 500 that needs to go to a good home! The 50 caliber monster here shoots more accurately than any of my other revolvers and the recoil is easily manageable. Comes with an aftermarket S&W blue case. This is the 4" model with the ported barrel to manage the...