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Great post, entertaining and educational. I never knew air rifles went back that far in history, or had such historic use. In the very beginning of the video I thought it was a put on. I will now look at air rifles in a very different light, can't wait to share this with a couple buddies. Thanks.
That was a very informative piece and that is a pretty impressive airgun, especially considering it's age and it's ability to repeatedly fire a lethal round. I want one, but reading through the comments of that video, apparently a reproduction runs 26k
The guy says "it would take 1500 pumps from a typical bicycle pump to make this gun fully charged."
Gonna' hunt on Saturday? Start pumping on Monday.
Seriously though.....how is it pressurized?
That did not make sense, and I found it difficult to believe in the beginning because I didn't think such an efficient pump and reservoir system was possible back then?
Seems there might be some argument as to the specifics. This is a air rifle forum discussion on the subject. http://www.talonairgun.com/forum/vie...da39298d25e844
In part 2 of one of the other video's it showed the hand pump, which was quite long... looked like about five feet with the cast iron stock screwed to the outer end. While 1500 pumps seems like a lot, it went on to explain that extra cast iron stocks (the pressurized tank) could be carried.
Interesting technology, even for this day, as most air rifles that I've seen don't offer this kind of repeating performance (velocity/caliber) even with factory pressurized tanks. (And who could afford an 800 psi compressor?) I wonder too, why the military didn't pick up on this in the decades to follow. I may well be mistaken, but wasn't the standard issue weapon of the 1870's, a single-shot weapon? It may have been a breech-loaded cartridge, unlike the mostly powder and shot muzzle-loaders of the early 1860's Civil War era. Either way, a few repeating air-rifles would have been a great addition to infantry or, perhaps better, field artillery units.
Pretty nifty weapon though, and it certainly makes sense for the mission.
I wonder too, why the military didn't pick up on this in the decades to follow. I may well be mistaken, but wasn't the standard issue weapon of the 1870's, a single-shot weapon? It may have been a breech-loaded cartridge, unlike the mostly powder and shot muzzle-loaders of the early 1860's Civil War era.
The weapon was used by the Austrian army for a short period of the late 18th century before it was withdrawn from service. "A repeating rifle capable of firing 22 balls from a pre-loaded magazine was a revolutionary advance, but this complex technology undoubtedly required more maintenance and care in operation than the ordinary soldier operating in the field could typically supply. Perhaps, also, threats from the French adversary of denial of quarter to troops found using this unconventional weapon helped bring about its withdrawal from service." http://neveryetmelted.com/categories...oni-air-rifle/
Plus, "the balls for this gun had to be molded with extreme care. If too large, a ball would jam in the barrel; if too small, air escaping around it would diminish the muzzle velocity. If Lewis carried a repeating air gun, this need for time-consuming precision could be one reason why he apparently used it only for demonstrations." http://www.lewis-clark.org/content/c...ArticleID=1829
Numerous eye witness accounts as well as being mentioned 39 times in the Lewis and Clark expedition journals give the gun substantial provenance.
It now seemed to me that all the beasts of the neighborhood had made a league to destroy me, or that some fortune was disposed to amuse herself at my expense, for I had not proceeded more than 300 yards from the burrow of this tiger cat, before three bull buffalo, which were feeding with a large herd about half a mile from me on my left, separated from the herd and ran full speed toward me. I thought at least to give them some amusement , and altered my direction to meet them. When they arrived within a hundred yards they made a halt, took a good view of me, and retreated with precipitation.