Thanks for the great article Mike,
Have known about the gun for quite some time. Like many articles and info, some newer info is included with each one making the guns story more complete. Was a good read.
This article was awesome. I've always been an astute follower of American history and I really enjoyed reading this article. I couldn't believe that there was any use of air powered firearms at this time in our country's history. I have been under the impression that when Pyramid Air came out with their large caliber air rifle a few years back, that was the beginning of the use air powered firearms. Oh baby what a history lesson.
It can be amazing to think about, that type of weapon, that technology, was created and used over 200 years ago to this date, before electronic computers or more modern modern machinery methods and some people are just hearing about it now?
In perspective, what's actually available now to a select few that's kept discretely tucked away from average person? May make a person think about what? And, it should?
Once again,, AL has published an Excellent Article with the history of a truly innovative, ahead of its time weapon, ignored by the history books for the most part. I'm really intrigued that the evidence strongly supports that Dr. Beeman's rifle is the original rifle Lewis carried.
Theoretically, one could use air to achieve projectile velocities rivaling modern smokeless powders. It's the practicality problem of achieving 5 digit pounds per square inch of air or another gas in a small enough package to carry.
Still 800 PSI in the early 19th century is pretty impressive, considering the technology of the day and the still primitive metallurgy of the era. Pressure Vessels were still low pressure at the time and not in common use yet. Girondoni was definitely at the forefront with his concept, design and execution. 1500 stroke of a hand pump to get it up to pressure. My arm aches even thinking about it.
Thank you for an enjoyable article.