Tuesday, March 04, 2014

1779: The first shoulder-fired Repeating Rifle....

Girandoni System Austrian Repeating Air Rifle, Circa 1795.

   The Girandoni Air Rifle was an airgun designed by inventor Bartholom√§us Girandoni circa 1779. It saw service with the Austrian army from 1780 to around 1815. It is reported to have been used on the Lewis and Clark Expedition of North America in the early 1800s. Lewis and Clark demonstrated the rifle to nearly every Native American tribe they encountered on the expedition.

   The advantages of the rifle were a high rate of fire, no smoke from propellants, and low muzzle report. In addition to having a 19, (plus one in the chamber), round capacity of .46 caliber balls in an internal tubular gravity-fed magazine. The velocity was equivalent to that of the .45 ACP cartridge. It was fired by utilizing a detachable air reservoir, which was capable of around 30 shots. It took nearly 1500 strokes of a hand pump to fill the reservoirs. which of course helped lead to its demise. Even though a wagon-mounted pump had been made available later.

Recreation of an Austrian Girandoni system Accoutrements Bag, including spare air flasks, air pump, wrenches, bullet mold and ladle.

   So next time an anti-rights person declares that the founders had no idea of the kind of arms that we would have today. You can let them know with confidence that they [once again] have no idea of what they are talking about.

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