Skip to comments.The .46 Caliber Semi-Automatic Rifle That Changed the World
Posted on 02/12/2013 1:23:10 PM PST by virgil283
"Behold the Girandoni rifle, a 20 round high capacity tubular magazine which fired at roughly the same velocity as a modern .45 ACP. It can punch straight through a 2x4 at 100 yards.
Invented by Tyrollean Bartholomaus Girandoni around 1779, this revolutionary rifle is four feet long and weighs a manly 10 pounds. It's semi-automatic rate of fire and, for the period, its immense firepower reserve made it a fearsome thing to contemplate in battle."
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Lewis and Clark carried the Girandoni across what would become America during their expedition and their journals state that of all they had with them the Girandoni was what both impressed natives they met along the way and convinced those same natives not to fool around with these strangers.
The natives witnessed a single man stand deliver killing firepower round after round after round without having to reload. More than anything else this demonstration of superior firepower convinced them to leave the expedition be. No profit in going after these men and their repeating rifle. And no way to overcome that kind of firepower. Peace, through superior firepower. Reminds me of Thomas Paine; "...Arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace."
Lewis and Clark passed without incident in large part due to simply demonstrating the Girandoni.
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Why didn’t the US Army develop this weapon to deliver more firepower in the War of 1812, Mexican-American, and Civil War?
The air rifle cost far too much.
Another example of the mindset: after the Civil War, the Army rejected lever action weapons because the rate of fire was too high and might cause the soldiers to waste ammo.
According to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes only feared one thing, “air rifles”.
This gives the lie to the gun grabbers’ silly idea that the framers of the 2d Amendment didn’t even contemplate modern high capacity repeating rifles.
And when you’re all done shoot’n it doubles as a baseball bat.
I posed this to a gun grabber. He authoritatively dismissed it as a glorified paintball gun.
I can’t figure out if they’re really that stooopid....or if they’re just playing dumb.
Apparently the air reservoirs were difficult to manufacture using the technology of the time.
“This gives the lie to the gun grabbers silly idea that the framers of the 2d Amendment didnt even contemplate modern high capacity repeating rifles.”
Another way of looking at this - the founding fathers absolutely anticipated the unpredictable. This is why they set forth a clear process to amend the constitution. So, if a gun grabber uses the above listed argument, challenge him to amend the constitution. They know that won’t happen, because the people are against it...they’re just trying to circumvent the will of the people.
Yet another argument - what about all the technological advances that could not be predicted concerning speech. Bloggers publishing without editors? The spoken word broadcast hundreds of miles on radio waves? These weren’t predicted. So lets ban high capacity speech and limit radio stations to 10 miles broadcast radius. Lets make bloggers go through a federal background check before they post. Its the same thing right?
Plus the fact that both Jefferson, and of course Franklin were avid inventors.
I am simply amazed, the concept is so simple, but I couldn’t have come up with this myself. 800 PSI, wow. I did not know this, thank you for the information!
“the Army rejected lever action weapons because the rate of fire was too high and might cause the soldiers to waste ammo.”
Not at all true. Quite a few lever actions were put into the field on a test basis and were uniformly rejected by officers and soldiers alike. The rounds were too light, not at all the equal of the .45-70(particularly the 500 grn round issued to the infantry).
Our doctrine at the time was to engage the enemy at longer distances than the lever actions were capable of reaching with any degree of certainty.
This is well documented in the reports of the Ordnance Department.
“Plus the fact that both Jefferson, and of course Franklin were avid inventors.”
I’ve pointed this out to a local liberal. With a straight face he denounced the 18th century as a backward looking dark age with almost no progress. He even looked up some article that cited ‘only’ one invention a year.
Yep, ‘only’ one game changing invention a year. It wasn’t an age of enlightenment after all.
This guy falls into the ‘can’t fix stupid’ category.
Might be an Urban Legend, But I think I read somewhere that Napoleon feared the air rifles and ordered the execution of any soldier caught with one as it was considered “sneaky” (or the French equivalent).
I’ve read Steven Ambrose’s “Undaunted Courage” about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and I can’t remember him mentioning this gun. I’ll have to find the book and see if I can find a reference to this gun.
That's what Custer thought ... His troops were equipped with Springfield carbines. The Indians were sporting Henrys. We know how that one turned out ...
“The Indians were sporting Henrys.”
A few of them did have Henrys but large numbers of the indians were sporting bows and arrows and single shot rifles. Not every indian had a repeater.
The metallurgy of the time was not sufficient to support a .45-70 lever action. IIRC most of the lever actions of the time were .35 caliber and were fairly short range.
You are right, but I do recall there were arguments against faster RoFs because of “wasted ammo.”
And I bet Custer would have liked a bunch of those lever actions at the Little Bighorn.
Several of the more famous repeaters were chambered for rounds larger than .35 As I recall the Spencer was chamber for .56-56, and the Henry was chambered for .44-40. Larger calibers than .35, but also much smaller powder loads than .45-70. I believe that the smaller powder loads resulted in faster bullet drop and thus shorter range.