Napoleonic Giradoni Air Rifle

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Chuckman
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Napoleonic Giradoni Air Rifle

Postby Chuckman » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:54 am

The Giradoni Air Rifle was used by the Austrians, not sure if anyone else used them. (famous from Lewis and Clark expedition; see below real life use of this gun)

These were rightfully feared. They held up to 22 shots at a time, were smokeless and silent and were good up to 150 yards. They had a very fast rate of fire, were about the same weight as a musket but were much more delicate.

There is a refuted myth that Napoleon ordered that anyone who had one would be executed.

They were hard to manufacture, but think what an army of these would have been able to do.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9WEsILY92o[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fRu5tYH-4Q[/youtube]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_Air_Rifle
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Lord Bloody Bill
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Re: Napoleonic Giradoni Air Rifle

Postby Lord Bloody Bill » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:52 am

The 1500 pumps to make the rifle shootable would not be a good thing. The weapon was very expensive to produce and not made availabe in mass. Only one company had the weapon in the Austrian Army. Ther is a Austrian website that has alot of info on this weapon and how it was not effective as a military weapon due to expense and time to load. I will try and get the web page and post it on here for everybody. Wonderful invention imo just amazing.

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Chuckman
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Re: Napoleonic Giradoni Air Rifle

Postby Chuckman » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:15 am

Soldiers would get up to 30 shots from it. More than the average soldier would fire in a battle. Once those 30 shots were shot it sounds like that would take an hour or so to reload.

A unit though that could fire a shot every couple of seconds for 30 rounds would be deadly.

The Austrians found them too expensive and fragile to produce, if it had even a small crack it would no longer work. Still, seems like so much more advanced technology than a black powder musket.

I would be interested in reading more on the site you mentioned Bill.
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Seimour01
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Re: Napoleonic Giradoni Air Rifle

Postby Seimour01 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:03 am

Well, the austrians had several archdukes ascend to the throne during the late 18th-early 19th and they each had a different view on what to do of the airgun. It was rather unreliable in battle and most of its components had to be handcrafted delicately by experts which did not make it cost effective.
Plus, fast firing weapons tend to be emptied quickly by soldiers that are panicking which would have most likely caused most of the bullets to be wasted. The reloading process itself had a tendency to break the rifle because you had to use great strenght to remove the used pump and replace it with another one.

If you want to see what happens when you have fast firing weapons against an army that still thinks it's the napoleonic wars, look at the Franco-Prussian war or early World War One on the french side, it's pretty self explanatory methinks :orly:
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