“A firearm is a portable gun (a barelled ranged weapon) designed for use by a single individual. It inflicts damage on targets by launching one or more projectiles driven by rapidly expanding high-pressure gas produced by exothermic combustion (deflagration) of chemical propellant.”
The hand cannon is the first true firearm.
The hand cannon was invented in China in the 12th century, some time before 1128. Here is a depiction of a hand cannon on the Dazu Rock Carvings in China (the sculptures were created around 1128):
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Here is a labelled photograph of the Heilongjiang hand cannon which is the world’s oldest confirmed surviving firearm and it was manufactured around 1287-1288:
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