William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Tuesday, 22, February, 2011

The Girandoni Air Rifle

Filed under: Boomstick — williamthecoroner @ 05:57

Bartolomeo Girandoni was an Austrian watchmaker who developed a military caliber air rifle in the late 1700’s. It was used by Austria-Hungary, but was withdrawn from service because the delicate mechanisms didn’t hold up to well to mud and grime. Meriwether Lewis carried a .45 caliber one with the Corps of Discovery. A little video of it is here:

These non-powder firearms had the advantages of being quiet and not spewing black powder smoke. I would think that their ignition train was also faster than one of a flintlock or even a percussion cap. I have a case of a homicide from an air-rifle appearing in the literature, it’s been accepted, but I don’t know when it will see print.

1 Comment »

  1. It is a fascinating piece! 800psi and 20+ rounds… not bad!

    Comment by Old NFO — Thursday, 24, February, 2011 @ 20:52 | Reply

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