Harrison is a kick. He goes along pretty good here and there and then he seems to run off the rails. But, when writing history -that has never been written about-, this is an easy thing to do. I've done it more than once in a while.
Here's my input, and I think this is the most important clue we have.
I believe, by " some accident" is that he didn't know how it happened. It was some unknown thing that did it.
We all know that a brass sight can work loose from a steel barrel and why. There's been all sorts of speculations about how repair was made.
What we do know for sure is that the Girandoni (looks exactly the same, caliber, etc., as the Beeman gun) at the Milwaukie Public library, has a dove tail sight slot on it's steel barrel and the sight is indeed missing. What's the earliest that this gun could have been manufactured? Well, since it's marked "Staudenmayer London," and he started business in London in 1799 (per City of London tax records.) So, yes, M. Lewis could have owned a Girandoni with a steel barrel and a jumpy brass rear sight. Does this mean that this is the L&C air gun? No. If Staudenmayer made one he made more than one. He's a pretty big name amongst 1800 London gunmakers.
One thing going for the Girandoni in the MPL is that it is from the original source collection. So, it was added something in the 1920s. Long before any general interest in antique pneumatic arms here in the US. So, there is less a chance that it might be a relatively recent import
Regulated: means sighting-in. It's use else where in the journal makes this use clear.
This message has been edited by DTFletcher on Jun 19, 2012 12:57 AM