The .46 Caliber Semi-Automatic Rifle That Changed the World

Michael Geer
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...(Read Full Post)