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The fire lance (in Chinese, huoqiang) was the very first personal firearm created in history. Unlike modern guns, this weapon functioned more like a rocket launcher with a spear doubling as a launcher for a gunpowder-propelled projectile, most usually a dart. Later on, the spear was replaced with a long bamboo pipe as the launcher, improving its range and accuracy; although like many early gunpowder weapons it would still be inaccurate. Much later, the projectiles were mounted en masse in wooden frames which allowed launching of multiple missiles in volleys for concentrated fire, which formed the world's first multi-rocket launchers, in the form of the Bee's Nest in China and the hwacha in Korea.

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