Wow necroposted.... big time.
Six years ago today I was half way through my masters degree.
On the subject cannons have all sorts of names during this period. A bit of the info above it a little off but to really get it one would need to spill much more ink (virtual ink here maybe). Bert Hall is a book that is a must if one wants the low down on medieval and early modern gunpowder, firearms, and their use.
Needless to say the earliest reference we have to real firearms that is clear(not simply explosive powder being used) is 1326 in Italy. The first picture is from the same year in England. Most of the next 50 years references are pretty small and indicate little real importance. First major use of handguns was the Hussites in the 1420s-1430s in Bohemia where maybe one or two out of 20 had a firearm- still not earth shattering. They likely did as well as they did because the wagons and religious convictions than guns but an important step on the development. It is not until the 1470s or 1480s individualized firearms start making real progress and replacing handguns and crossbows. They likely do not make the majority of any missile arm of a medieval army until this point perhaps but more likely this happens during the first half of the 16th. By the 1370s or so gunpowder weapons come in on the major scene for sieges but more supporting other traditional engines such as trebuchets, catapults, etc.
The equipment the Mongols had did not contain what most people would consider as firearms. More projectiles loosened by traditional means, great crossbows etc. that had some explosive, incendiary on them. There have been a number of people who have tried promoting the idea of early cannons and such brought by the Mongols but most have been refuted by lack of real supporting evidence. That said adding a material that is either explosive or an incendiary could easily have given the Mongols a major advantage in sieges which was not always their strong point but this does not equal firearms. Having looked over much of the evidence for this I am convinced they were not but I admit I am at the mercy of whomever translated it as I read very little eastern European languages.
It does seem like in the far east firearms were progressing in the 14th as well, perhaps independently. Regardless older, tried and true forms of arms remained the mainstay for them well into the modern period. Why fix something that is not broke.
There ain't nothin' girlie about a tunic...