The Girardoni Air Rifle was originally developed for the Austrian Army in 1780, just four years after the declaration of independence by the newly formed United States of America. In a day where the standard firearm was a single-shot flintlock rifle, people already had their sights on what many consider a modern ‘assault rifle.’ This fascinating weapon was one of the earliest versions of a repeating firearm. It could fire twenty two .46 caliber balls in less than 60 seconds before requiring a reload. Unfortunately they were taken out of service in 1788 and restricted to sniper units because they required specialized training for both operation and maintenance. Watch the video below to learn why this awesome weapon didn’t even require gun powder to fire.
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