I think the American Rifleman had an extensive article on this 3 ?? years ago maybe more or less. It was really an entertaining and comprehensive article on something I had no knowledge of. Those of you who have a look up capability for AR can find it.
Yes I did. I read something about it years ago. They had a hand held pump that would pump air in a blader that was located in the stock. When showing it off one time they it went off when they didn't want it to and skimmed the head of a lady. She was alright but wasn't to happy. LOL. England made them illegal because the poachers were having using the hell out of them and the game keepers couldn't do much about them. They couldn't hear them then they shot.
I think the NRA has one or two of them on display.
There are to my knowledge two people building this air rifle currently. One is in PA. The other is in MI. I have heard the PA air rifle costs about $25,000. I do not know the $$$ for the MI version. The one I saw was .40 (?) caliber and could fire a goodly number of shots before becoming empty. There is currently still great interest in L and C across the USA. I have a historian friend who really grooves on L and C. He knows much more about the air rifles and usually shares his info when asked. IMHO at the price of lead currently, I like 8s for reloading. Cheers, George
The rifle you guys are talking about has a bunch of debate surrounding it. Nobody, even Robert Beeman of Beeman Airguns fame and probably the worlds foremost authority on air guns of all types is sure if the one in the Smithsonian is the actual gun carried by L&C. He also owns one. They are pretty rare guns, and worth a fortune.
The gun was, best anyone can tell from the pictures, a "Girardoni" and was made by a Tyrolese Watch maker(Austria) They were .51 (13mm) cal and had a 20 round mag. They could penetrate a 1" thick board at 100 paces which is equivilent to 9mm Luger power.
A skilled rifleman could shoot 20 times in about 30 seconds.
The gun has a buttstock reservoir which was removable and interchangeable, for more shots.
These were used in Europe primarily as Sniper Weapons, and Napoleon would have you executed on the spot for having one in your possession.
There is alot on the internet on this subject, and when you see what is available today you will really be amazed. .50 air rifle today, running at 3800 psi will take a 2500lb Plains Buffalo. 2 shots per filling. Whammo!
The Lewis & Clark Gun currently resides in the Pentagon as part of the Army's new offices. The gun is on loan from the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center located in Carlisle, PA. The gun belong to Dr. Beeman and was donated/sold to AHEC a few years ago. The reason I know where it's at is because I was part of the team that installed the exhibits at the Pentagon in Dec 2008. It's valued at $2M the last I knew. I'm not sure when AHEC is getting it back. You can probably find info on it on the AHEC website: