The .46 Caliber Semi-Automatic Rifle That Changed the World
Behold the Girandoni air rifle, a 20 round high capacity tubular magazine and air reservoir which fired at roughly the same velocity as a modern .45 ACP. It can punch straight through a 2x4 at 100 yards.
Invented by Tyrollean Bartholomaus Girandoni around 1779, this revolutionary rifle is four feet long and weighs a manly 10 pounds. It's semi-automatic rate of fire and, for the period, its immense firepower reserve made it a fearsome thing to contemplate in battle. No appreciable bang, no smoke and at least 20 rounds before its punch began to diminish.
Well, it did take roughly 1,500 strokes on a bicycle pump-looking contraption to bring it up to full pressure. But other than that....
Lewis and Clark carried the Girandoni across what would become America during their expedition and their journals state that of all they had with them the Girandoni was what both impressed natives they met along the way and convinced those same natives not to fool around with these strangers.
The natives witnessed a single man stand deliver killing firepower round after round after round without having to reload. More than anything else this demonstration of superior firepower convinced them to leave the expedition be. No profit in going after these men and their repeating rifle. And no way to overcome that kind of firepower. Peace, through superior firepower. Reminds me of Thomas Paine; "...Arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace."
Lewis and Clark passed without incident in large part due to simply demonstrating the Girandoni.
There's a lesson here for Congress, especially the Left and most certainly the current Administration. Take away our guns and we will invent things more lethal, more usable, and more readily at hand than mere gunpowder weapons. Force our hand and you will ignite the illimitable reservoirs of creativity we possess in reserve. Bring your heavy boots to bear on our Unalienable Rights to keep and bear arms and we will prevail simply by virtue of need overcoming tyranny.
In short, when accumulated power gets too big for its britches, something unforeseen happens. Like when single shot cap and ball ran headlong into a repeating rifle that used air.
Go here and watch an excellent YouTube presentation by the National Firearms Museum of this historic rifle http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-pqFyKh-rUI#!
By the way, on the market today are air guns which fire even .50 caliber rounds at nearly 800 feet per second. The .458 LA Outlaw fires a 45 caliber 430 grain projectile at 732 fps. This is 509 foot pounds of energy leaving the barrel. At 50 yards it is capable of taking down large game with ease. The Gamo Hunter Extreme which shoots a .177 caliber round at 1,650 feet per second. The average velocity of a .22 long is 1,095 feet per second (yes, gunners. I know all the variations you'll now write me about. grin). Then there's the Benjamin Rogue .357. 175 grain bullets at 800 FPS but with a punch when it connects with the target big enough to hunt wild boar. Yes, wild boar.
The inventiveness of freedom loving people knows no bounds. Word to the wise.