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Thread: little known fact about the battle of waterloo

  1. #1

    Default little known fact about the battle of waterloo

    you fought for the french side and you have a rifle in your hands that would get you shot on sight for haveing it
    what was the rifle that would get you shot on sight..

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    An airgun?
    Louis Knapp

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    If it were an airgun, it would have to be a Garendoni (sp?) that was actualy an Austrian issued air rifle, though other armys used a few as well.

    Lewis and Clark caried a simular rifle in 1803 during their treck to the Pacific and back, though who actually made theirs is not known for certain.

    I have a friend in Kotz who is Bonkers for airrifle and I blam him for all my info...~LOL!!~~ , no I am actually an interested party..
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    you get the door prize my friends

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    Shot on sight by whom? The French or British riflemen?

    Interesting, I have never heard of this rifle.

    From Wikipedia:

    It was 4 ft (1.2 m) long and weighed 10 pounds (4.5 kg), which made it the same basic size and weight as other muskets of the time. It fired a .51 caliber ball[1] at a velocity similar to that of a modern .45 ACP and it had a tubular, gravity-fed magazine with a capacity of 20 balls. Contemporary regulations of 1788 required each rifleman, in addition to the rifle itself, to be equipped with three reservoirs (two spare and one attached to the rifle), cleaning stick, hand pump, lead ladle, and 100 lead balls, 20 in the magazine built into the rifle and the remaining 80 in four tin tubes. Equipment not carried attached to the rifle was held in a special leather knapsack. It was also required to keep the leather gaskets of the reservoir moist in order to maintain a good seal and prevent leakage. [2]
    The air reservoir was in the club-shaped butt. With a full air reservoir, the Girandoni Air Rifle had the capacity to shoot 30 shots at useful pressure. These balls were effective to approximately 150 yards on a full load. The power declined as the air reservoir was emptied [3].

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    apparently a myth...

    from http://www.beemans.net/Austrian%20airguns.htm

    MYTHS ABOUT THE GIRANDONI AIRGUNS
    There are several oft-repeated tales about Girandoni system airguns which we now know to be fanciful. Some historical accounts simply are not true or they may contain comments that are not true.
    First, One of the most common myths is that Napoleon ordered the hanging of anyone in possession of an airgun. The late Arne Hoff, famed arms historian and curator of the Royal Danish Arsenal, and others, have commented that this story, told as the “eye witness” war experience of French General Mortier, has now been quite thoroughly refuted (Baer, 1973). This story may have grown from the fact that many towns, fearing these unfamiliar, terrifying guns - even without any negative incidents, banned airguns. A death penalty was common for many offenses, so it is possible that some airgunners were put to death. One story relates that the city fathers had a gunsmith, who knew how to make airguns, blinded!
    Second, apparently there never was any incident of the air rifles being used against Napoleon’s troops.
    Third, it is often related that these guns were silent. A number of city, and other governmental decrees of the 1800s, made the guns illegal, often largely on this basis. I can state from personal firing of one of Cowan's fully-charged museum copy of the Girandoni military air rifle that the discharge sound is quite audible, though by no means as loud as a similar large bore flintlock firearm and evidently much less loud than the report of many antique or modern pre-charged pneumatic rifle.. However, the fact that the guns discharge without smoke or muzzle/pan flash does make locating the position of someone firing such a gun much more difficult. (Modern note: Powerful, modern, silenced, 9mm PCP airguns are being used by U.S. Seals in Iraq to snipe at insurgents. Firing an M-16 at dawn or dusk could attract a lot of return fire to the flash point.)

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    Interesting.

    It sounds like th epanic that the Brits had in WW1 with german "butcher" bayonets with the saw back blade that was issued to Pioneer troops, or the German reaction to those caught with "Dum Dum " soft pointed bullets.

    Thanks for the touch up.
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    I don't know what it more interesting, that they used air guns in Napoleon's time, or that the Seals are using them to snipe in Iraq now. Great thread!!
    Andy
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    Default 44 cal air guns in the Revolutionary War

    The Brits had a group with repeating 44 cal air guns.... 240 grain bullet at 800 fps. Just like the Ferguson.... never given the respect....

    This was at a time when a wound.... especially abdomen and pelvis was very lethal....

    Remember... the Lobster Backs shot for effect... Americans shot to kill..... especially officers.

    This tactic of shooting to kill really hammered the Brits at New Orleans when facing Andy Jackson.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaBob View Post
    The Brits had a group with repeating 44 cal air guns.... 240 grain bullet at 800 fps. Just like the Ferguson.... never given the respect....
    Few give such respect until they've taken 240 grains at 800 fps.

    Remember... the Lobster Backs shot for effect... Americans shot to kill..... especially officers.

    This tactic of shooting to kill really hammered the Brits at New Orleans when facing Andy Jackson.
    How so?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palmer View Post
    How so?
    They ran through the briars, they ran through the bushes, they ran through some places that a rabbit couldn’t go.
    Andy
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    AD, Im imagining your referring to the Brittish emphisis on masses firings as opposed to Old Hickorys admonishing the troops to aim proper and hold their fire untill they were sure to hit ...."Dont shoot untill you see the whites of their eyes" or words to that effect.

    Use what you find nessarry, aimed fire, spray and pray, what ever your army deems best. The Soviets belived in massed firepower.

    The US Marine Corps took that a step further, and made EVERY Marine a Rifleman, First.
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    That’s a better description of it, aimed fire has always been a big factor in the US winning firefights all the way back to the war of independence. We have a very long history of country folks that grew up with a rifle in hand fighting our wars and becoming heroes, like Sergeant York who captured like 100 Germans by himself with aimed fire. But I was just trying to convey the effect of our aimed fire by referring to the song. The Brits were getting out as fast as they could so they must have come to understand that they were up agents some boys that could shoot and staying put would mean death. The song paints the picture very well I think.
    Andy
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