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replicas and/or tributes

Started by thom, January 17, 2023, 04:17:39 PM

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New here so forgive me if I ask stupid questions, please. But, has anyone built a version of the large caliber gun that Lewis & Clark carried? Or an airgun that looks like a muzzleloading rifle, like a Kentucky rifle?


Thom, welcome to the board.

Other than one or two replica Girardoni rifles I have seen on YouTube and some originals I have not see someone on a forum building a replica.  Not seen any
Kentucky long rifle types either.  XP Airguns in Wichita make a muzzle loader, a talented stock maker could adapt to a long rifle style stock. 


Hey Thom. It would appear we have similar interests. I love traditional muzzleloaders so I have tried to research air guns of the same period. I'm no expert researcher but finding information on these guns has been extremely difficult. It seems the Girardoni is the most famous, but there were lots of makers in the air gun market. Very little in America though it seems, I assume due to the extra complexity and cost of air guns and the limited manufacturing capabilities in early America. There are some other interesting guns known as bellows rifles from this period. There is a site called vintage Air gun gallery that has pictures of some early guns. I've been day dreaming of different ideas to make a longrifle era looking air rifle.


I've has several thoughts about how to configure an air chamber or pump or spring piston inside the rear portion of an octagon shape such as a barrel on a long rifle. Figure a typical long rifle barrel is 42 inches long. Judging by other air rifles it seems you could use half of this length or more to house the power source and still have a 20+ inch barrel out front.

The buglespanner design is also of great interest to me.


It's been a while since my last post, a year next week, but I'm still thinking about a replica of a muzzleloader in an airgun. I recently bought a Chinese side lever thinking I would restock it and get a piece of octagonal tube to shroud the barrel with. But the guns shoots so well and I like the fit & feel of it so much I might find another to modify.


The real drawbacks for the Girardoni, were the tank and requisite pump. Originally, the tank was brazed strips of metal designed much like a Damascus barrel. To call is high-pressure was a bit of a misnomer. I don't remember reading what the pressure was, but certainly not much more than today's CO2 guns, if that much.

The pump was the other issue. I don't remember ever seeing a photo of the pump, but no doubt it was lever operated. And certainly of similar construction as the reservoir. Makes one wonder how it managed to shoot 20 or so rounds without refilling?

As for building one today... With the correct metals employed, I suspect you could built one with modern pressure levels. But the question remains... Why?

I have a Hill EC-3000 compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your tank as a courtesy (4,250 PSI limit).