Gunpowder and Guns

by Abdul Baaish Ibrahim
Gunpowder and Guns

Once upon a time, there was a great emperor who yearned for immortality. They discovered gunpowder in the process. This eventually led to the development of the modern-day "gun." The amazing discovery altered the course of history.

The first Chinese empire was the Qin empire (221 - 206 BCE). This was not as long as many other Chinese empires. It was no more than 18 years after the empire as a whole collapsed. Nonetheless, there is a riveting story behind the Mesopotamian legend.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was in a thirst for immortality. So he sent a batch of his best alchemists, people of ancient philosophy and science, in search of a solution. To be clear they were just scientists of that time. The alchemists went on their expedition. After a while, they accidentally stumbled upon a substance called Saltpeter also known as Potassium Nitrate. This was a substance not known at that time so they thought that was the correct potion ingredient to give to the emperor, Qin Shi. The emperor consumed it till he collapsed to his death.

Some modern-day scientists say that Saltpeter (Potassium Nitrate) is a preservative for canned food like beef jerky, etc. So it damaged his blood vessels which lead to his heart stopping and which eventually lead to his death.

Then came a new empire and this was one of the most inventive periods of the Chinese era. There was an intelligent Korean scientist amongst them. His name was Choe Mu-Seon. Although gunpowder was found by the Chinese, Choe bought the unknown formula off a Chinese merchant and brought it to Korea and evolved it. They made weapons to fight off the “Wokou” Pirates also known as the Japanese Pirates.

The Chinese marketing was very exclusive even at that time so the Mongolians got hold of the gunpowder made in China effortlessly. The Mongols and Genghis Khan made weapons out of iron and wood bark. They put arrows in a barrel referred to as the modern-day barrel cannon and put some gunpowder on the base. And then will shoot out when ignited. This was one of the first cannon and fire-charged weapons. The weapon became very popular in wars and the Chinese also saw this and had an idea. What they had in mind was to make a more portable and efficient fire-powered weapon. The Chinese basically shrank the design of the cannons and added a few handles, levers and a smaller system to eject the fire arrows. During this process, the Chinese utilized smelting frames. Which are a stone box with the inside with stone and they carved the stone box into the gun’s shape.

The fire powered weapon called the “gun” has been through every single corner of the globe. From a simple firework barrel that shoots out arrows to machine and rail guns that have over 90% accuracy, the style and technology of guns have changed as time evolved.

Although the world has gone beneath its feet several times, guns and gunpowder are some the most important and helpful things in history. For defence, for conflict, for food, for mining, gunpowder and guns have been through a remarkable era of human history. Used in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the gun and gunpowder have been the main cause of victory. Even in the war, the United States is facing right now with catfish, gunpowder as a poison and also as a demolition tool, it has been used. All of the land, all of the buildings, and all of the progress all around us is because of guns and gunpowder which made the cities come back onto their feet every time when knocked down. This is the great invention of the recipe for life and peace as well as death and chaos.

Hand Drawn Gun and Gunpowder by Abdul Baaish 


Author biography

Abdul Baaish Ibrahim, a 12-year old, from Malé, Maldives, is a student of the sixth grade and a current member of the prestigious Leaders of Tomorrow programme by Professor Ugail. He has enjoyed researching and writing about the topics such as gunpowder and guns as his history of humanity project. He finds his fascination in engineering, technology, and the study of history. In his spare time, he likes to draw, code, make animations and make videos for his YouTube channel.

Abdul Baaish Ibrahim

Cite this article as:
Abdul Baaish Ibrahim, Gunpowder and Guns, theCircle Composition, Volume 1, (2021).