[[File:Hand-cannon 14263 lg.gif|thumb|300px|right]] The Hand Cannon (sometimes spelled as ''Handgonne'') was an early firearm, possibly one of the oldest in existence. It was the Special Weapon of
The hand cannon was simply a barrel attached to a handle, although there were many variations. Most drawings depict it with a wooden stake supporting the barrel, with a wooden stock in the back. It had no trigger; the powder was lit through a touch hole on top of the barrel by means of a smoldering piece of wood or coal, or slow-burning matches.
By the mid to late 14th Century; Handcannons spread across nearly all of EuroAsia and were called '''Hand Culverins'''. The French variation was called the Bâton à Feu.
During the Hussite Wars: Hussite Waggon-Forts made several successful stands against Catholic Knights; with the handcannons demonstrating its vital armor-penetration that stopped the heavy plate-armored soldiers.
The French use of handcannons were considered to be a major factor in their victory of the Hundred's Year War against the English: most noticeably the Battle of Castillon on 17 July 1453. John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury advanced his English army into the range of the defensive line of French handcannons and [[Siege Cannon]]s. Talbot (unaware of the effectiveness of the musket) saw his forces get slaughtered by gunfire before making any gains in the battle. The penetration strength of French handcannons was rumored to be able to kill 6 men with each shot; regardless of their armor. The English suffered 4000 casualties while the French suffered only 100 casualties.