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Girardoni 1779 system Windbüchse

Designed in 1779 by Austrian inventor Bartholomäus Girardoni, copied and manufactured in Great Britain c.late 18th century.
.48/12,2mm caliber barrel, 20-round tubular magazine, gravity-fed repeating air rifle, leather-bound brass pressurized air tank fitted as the stock.

Hailing from the soon-to-be-extinct Holy Roman Empire, the Girardoni air rifle might be famous to American readers as one of the weapon brought by Lewis and Clarke on their expedition into the untamed West.

Possibly that exact same rifle, manufactured c.1795.

The rifle adopted in 1780 by the Austrian army was a .46~.51 caliber design fitted with a 20-ball gravity magazine and a 30-shot air tank made of sheet iron. These characteristics gave it a high rate of fire, a low muzzle report, no smoke upon shooting, and made it the very first repeating gun in military service, as well as one of the very first tubular magazine designs. Reloading was made through the forward end of the tube, after which the rifleman would be good to shoot 20 rounds by simply holding the weapon skyward and work the spring-loaded breech block to the side. Each soldier was equipped with two air tanks - not counting the one currently screwed on, a full magazine, 80 extra shots in 20-round tin tubes as well as a cleaning kit and a hand pump.


Staying in limited service throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, the Girardoni rifle had a few defaults that prevented its widespread usage, foremost of which was its stock/air tank. Although very difficult to manufacture in 18th century factories, it wasn’t tough enough for military service, and every dent would render it useless. On top of that the pump issued with it required upward of 1500 hand strokes to fill it completely if no specialized utility wagon was available

It also comes in pistol size.