When one thinks of the guns that won the West, one naturally envisions such familiar weapons as the Winchester, Henry, and Spencer repeating rifles, the trapdoor Springfield, the Smith & Wesson revolver, and the Colt Peacemaker. There is a possibility that replicas may be built. Despite great scientific and technical advances in weaponry, few single weapons can rival the Girandoni for the peaceful promotion of American interests. Much like the popular modern-day Daisy Red Ryder BB gun, the rifle balls were fed into the breech with the aid of gravity, the muzzle of the weapon being held upright as the bullets rolled down toward the breech. One such acquisition was a Girandoni air rifle in remarkably good repair. Due to the weapon’s complexity, there were some significant logistical challenges to be overcome. Largely unknown to the general public is a singular weapon that never belched out gunpowder or killed a single human being in the United States, but that was perhaps the single most influential weapon in the opening of the American West: the Girandoni air rifle, the secret weapon of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Report. I appreciate it. If you are not converted to order the products on the internet. I for one would like to have one for occasional use and eye candy for the living room wall. They used their air gun to amaze the natives they met along the way. Many simple conscripts, frequently peasant lads with no understanding of technology, were incapable of grasping the concept of the weapon or maintaining it properly. These rifles were built at harper’s Ferry. He claimed that it so impressed the Indians they encountered that they went unmolested in truly savage country. Sovereign Media, 6731 Whittier Avenue, Suite C-100 McLean, VA 22101, From Tolkien to Hitler: Famous Soldiers of World War I, The Battle for Omaha Beach: The Men of the D-Day Invasion, Napoleon Bonaparte’s Last Campaign: The Battle of Waterloo, Operation Barbarossa: World War II’s Eastern Front, The Battle of Gettysburg: Turning Point of the American Civil War, The Girandoni Air Rifle: The Lewis and Clark Expedition’s Secret Weapon, What Made the German Luger the Most Famous Pistol in Modern Warfare, The Essential Role of Navy PBR Boats in the Vietnam War, Lucian K. Truscott: The Soldier’s General, Jimmy Doolittle: The Warrior from Shangri-La, Lust for Glory: Napoleon’s Egypt Campaigns Helped With Invading Europe. It changed the world more than any other single event in history. Wounded in the buttocks, Lewis believed the party to be under attack. Filed Under: Culture, History and Museums Tagged With: air rifle, girandoni air rifle, lewis and clark. sitzme. The explorers donned their most colorful military uniforms—frock coats, sparkling swords, formal headgear, polished muskets and bayonets—and with flags flying and fifes whistling, they marched boldly into each meeting. … Merewether Lewis’s Air Rifle Read More » It did have problems and was eventually removed from service for several reasons’ decades after introduction. If Lewis's rifle resembled an Austrian army weapon, he could have stood on the foot plate and pumped up and down–as with a modern bicycle pump, although filling an air gun reservoir would have required a great deal more work than that. Very interesting, thank you. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. It changed the world more than any other single event in history. This means you need to practice. 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