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Antique Chinese Kung Fu Samurai Out the Front Hidden Sleeve Arrow Automatic
SKU: CHINA-SAMURAI SLEEVE ARROW-OTF125
Antique Chinese Kung Fu Samurai Hidden Sleeve Arrow Out The Front Automatic Projectile Weapon from the Qing Dynasty
This particular model is over 150 years old, it is engraved with a Samurai.
This truly is a museum piece and most likely won't even find one anywhere else like it unless you go to the Beijing Military Museum, it is in brand new condition.
The Ming and Qing Dynasties were the peak of the development of Chinese martial arts.
The hidden weapons were developed during the Qing Dynasty.
The Qing Dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912.
The sleeve arrow and the back cross-bow are the most popular tool-driven hidden weapons.
The sleeve arrow got its name because it is often hidden in the sleeves, including those for single hit and successive strikes.
The barrel for sleeve arrow is made of copper or iron with hollow inside.
It is about 1.9 cm in inside diameter and 18.5 cm long in barrel body with springs inside.
Under the drives of the elastic force, the arrow would be shot to attack enemies and the shot range is decided by the elastic force.
You can learn more here: http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com
These have been featured in the National Geographic special on "Top Ten Kung Fu Weapons of China"
This Samurai model comes with one brass tipped arrow.
The entire piece is high polished Nickel and is absolutely awesome.
Overall closed length is 7 1/4"
You drop one of the two arrows down the front of the barrel, push up up on the safety and secure the safety in place with the safety pin.
The next step is to push the charging handle into the body and twist to lock it in place.
When ready to fire, the safety pin is pulled back and the safety is pushed straight down to release the arrow.
The tip of the arrow was dipped in poision before being inserted into the barrel.
It is referred to as the sleeve arrow because it would be hidden in the sleeve of a chaofu or bufu robe, then as a stealthy kung fu master approached the victim he would aim and press down on the safety to take the victim out.
I had no choice but to let the kid in me play with this.
I fired it through a 22" cardboard box filled with shipping peanuts and found it sticking out the back side.
I also fired it into 5/8" fireproof sheetrock drywall and it went through it.
So weather poison was applied or not, I would not want to get hit with this.
I spoke with a Shaolin Kung Fu Master about when the sleeve arrow was invented and this is what he said to me:
There are more questions than just when; as you are assuming that it was invented only once. China has had a habilt of non-acceptance of inventions and often an item was 'invented'/discovered several times over. There is a vase, in BeiJing that had 8 Dragon heads each with a round hole. In the middle of the vase is a stone marble. Records suggest that this object was kept in the imperial Palace in the Han Dynasty and when-ever there was an earthquake in china, the stone ball would roll out of the Dragon head that faced the direction of the earthquake closest. Modern scholars still have not been able to make it work although very few doubt that it did work once.
A Sleeve Arrow device would need to either work on Spring Power and thus would be only possible from the time of the Iron Age (previous metals were too soft for springs). Early Metal, was first used in the Zhou Dynasty around 1000 BCE but made of Siderite, a ossibly biologically created metal compound FeCo2. It is brittle but not very stable, good enough for armour and short blades but more likely spear tips. During the Han Dynasty metal was firt 'created' but it would have been too crude, too crude for anything except small metal items, shields and armour; although somewhere a Chinese inventor/weapons/black-smith may have refined it in isolation and taken the skill to his grave but unlikely.
It was during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) that the production of high quality steel is recorded. During this period, expecially and the latter Ming, such weapons were known.
It is though very possible that Sleeve Arrows were used earlier but we would not have known about it for two reasons;
1 - It is a hidden and secret weapon used by assassins and such.
2 - Metal would corrode totally over a period of few hundred years, quicker if it is unprotecte or in a hostile enviroemnt (salt water, presence of Chloride)
3 - Most Chinese were not literate and records were almost never made. Even id records were made 99.9% of Chinese (during these periods) would not be able to read them or understand then.
So, short answer, propably mid Ming Dynasty, say 16th century with decreasing propability going back towards the Han Dynasty.
Sijo of the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy