Hi, dear friend, I am from the Ukraine, my name is Mykhaylo - Michael in English, and I am new one here! This is my first post!
An year ago, I have met in the internet an interesting story, how a group of Girardoni fans have made a replica of this rifle - this rifle was so fascinating - that I wanted to know more about, after a long search I have met many other people hwo have made replicas of Girandoni ... of cause it was imposible to start the reproducing of the rifle in a little flat without tools, and without skills ... everything what I have head only a very large wish and notebook - I have seen once on one internetforum, who the people reproduce the modern weapons with very simple method - like this ones ...
I started to search for pictures in internet, it was imposible to find something exept of Beeman.net, where he shows his reconstruction attempt, nothing to do and I have used very dirty trick, , I have put a notice on one internet forum, that I am a very rich crasy antique air rifle collector from Russia, who is looking for the Girandoni Rifle and ready to pay thousends for it, may be more , and I have get pictures, of cause I was not satisfide - I must look in wich state the rifle was - it is normal, by such deals - even if you want to get a good car, you must throgh alook inside a motor appartment ... after getting pictures fromvsellers, I have desapeared from antique weapon forum and gone to the 3d designers school, where I have said - I want to be an 3d designer in a week ... they have gave me a pair lessons have called me crasy - to my idea - they have said - it is impossible!
After an year of my waisting time near my notebook you can see a result of it ... then I have searched for the CNC-Worker, who want to loose his job making in a dinner pause ordering other people ... sorry, but this is so ... a pirson have made a 3D-Model, want to realise it in metal, looks for someone - who take private orderings ... because if I ask a CNC firm to make my Girardoni parts it costs like an BOING 747, in this way it was not so expensive - it was expensive - because only one part - and for this part was made a programm, and I have said to the worker - the tolerance must be 0,00000001 - or .... BANG-BANG
in 3D ...
and in steel ...
to be continued ...
(my big thanks to Grant the Kiwi, who have shown me on his forum all stages of making his replica and who consulted me, he is a very friendly person who has a very large pation and inspite my bad English has always answered my letters and my questions, he is very good same minde person !)
Well I did My Best to help You by supplying every picture I had of My Girandoni Pistol during the varous stages of building it, but not being familiar with the Modern CNC Machinery its hard to pass on Hand Skills Learned over 40 years to somebody on the other side of the World with No Hand Skills, and expect Him to build the Girandoni by the Old Methods. As I explained to you many times, I was Suckered into a Girandoni Project by a well known US Guy and spent 8 months of Free Time on the Project, just to be left several Thousand Dollars out of pocket and time by Him because he couldnt live up to His part of the Job. That put Me off any further Girandoni Mass Production Projects.
I did build this though for Me and have enough Castings left for a few Future Personal Projects.
I think that You will Eventually Discover that You still NEED Hand Skills to Fit all the Parts together into a Unit that Works.
Thank you one more for your help ... of cause the parts which I have got from CNC-Machine - are not perfect - they have no tolerance in the holes and axes, I must work with file or sand paper to bring them to end - the machine is not a human - it has a command drill a hole 9 mm an make an axe 9 mm, but machine do not understand the axe must rotate in the hole ...
Yes you are right even here a worker must have hand worker skills
Your replica is simple great - but I cannot brass in my little flat, and my tools set consists only a hummer, a pair screwdrivers and a box of screws ... so I need to look for a way out from it - so I have done this model and have find a CNC worker, ... whom I have promiced a world for it ... if you have a broken car and you have no opportunity to repair it in your little flat - you must look for a workshop ...
I wanted to ask you for help, but I know how busy you are, and I did not want to bother you with so crasy offers from other side the world ...
One more thank you for your help, consultatins and your forum ... it is real usefull
I make a replica of an antique big bore air rifle! part - 2
October 17 2010, 9:30 AM
Now, the second part of my story I want to show the inside of my work, how I have done the 3D model how I have reproduce the pictures which I have got from internet on one forum (sorry it in Russian) meet youself different people who has an interess on weapon, making 3d models for games e.g. CS, some of the what to be new Kalashnikov they show there work and wait for discussions some of them looks for the recognition, may be not the world less this forum ... look here (sorry thay I change the line of my topic ) ...
I have the same problem a large wish to have 3d model of Girandonis Rifle and the absence of the original, nothing to do ... I started to collect the pictures of cause the site of Dr. Beeman was learned by heart from upstairs till downstairs and from downstairs till upstairs his schematic of the rifle have helped me very much ... of cause it was great help the pictures are not very good by magnifiing but they have scale, which I have used by getting dimensions of the rifle parts... look here
I make a replica of an antique big bore air rifle! part - 3
October 18 2010, 2:26 PM
Today I was by a smith - have clair the task to him, I did not want to go a modern workshop, because the price ... I have asked some mates where there is a common blacksmith - some monthes ago - I have asked a few modern CNC-firms about making spare parts for Girandoni ... they have said the minimal quantity must be 50, then in 10 pieces step ... I have posted some topiks on the forum - and have nobody who wanted take part - I understand it - unkown rifle ... so I wanted save money, and get emprecions - because it is like live TV, you are here and everything makes here, not like you bring in the office, they say - you get your order in a week ... So I was by the normal black smith who repair horse shoos ... he have taken my parts and put in the fire, time to time he have taken it from the fire, he looks on the calour of the metal to know the temperature ... sorry fo such explaining, but I am not mechaniker - I am a biology teacher ... afterwards he has thrown these parts in special oil ... as he said - now, they are so hard like a flint stone
After the harden procces - the part became very dark ...
By us, we say so dark, like in popo of the africaner ...
but we have never seen them ... sorry
This young worker, whom I have find on Gunz.RU - he makes two rifles ...
one for me, and one for himself ... I have a lot classmates - who works in my hometown, and they help us ... one of them have helped us with a bronze, he works at the plant, and we can not find the gun bronze, now we have some ... and so on ... sorry for this details, but they are part of making the rifle ...
It is wonderful to see the progress from picture to metal. I enjoy your english, it is good. I will wait for the finished gun and look forward to many pictures. Best wishes as your project continues!
I don't see any mention of it in these posts, but, a great reference work on the repeating air rifle is "The Construction and Operation of the Air Gun" by G. Baker and C. Currie. Not sure if is still in print but this book contains detailed drawings of every component of a large bore repeating air rifle.
It is exactly what you want to build such an airgun.
While a good reference work, neither these authors, nor most airgun folks, understand that the rifle referenced in this book and by Beeman in his writings is most certainly not an Austrian Army Military air rifle. Instead, it is a later model made in England by Staudenmayer and others.
In particular, a true Austrian large bore airgun (military or civilian) will have a decocking mechanism. The decocking mechanism allows the gun to be decocked without firing the gun. The later design seen in the Baker/Currie book has no method of decocking the gun without the gun firing at full power. In other words, it is an extremely dangerous design.
If you are intending to actually build and shoot such a weapon, you need to fully understand the importance and function of the decocking mechanism. Unfortunately, there is almost no information generally available about this subject. However, ignorance, in this case, could produce deadly results.
Myself and Mykhaylo worked / working from the 1st Edition of the Baker / Currie Book that You mention that used a Military example from the Tower of London Armoury. The 1st edition had far better Drawings and Dimensions included. When Beeman got involved the 2nd Edition came out with very Scant information on How to Build one but lots more Self Gratification about Beeman in it. It would be almost impossible to build one using the 2nd Beemanised Edition.
How does some KIWI from knowhere know this??? well I built My Pistol Version straight from the size to size drawings of the 1st edition.
The 1st edition did not have a Half Cock Notch on its Tumbler which is One feature that My version does Not have.
Never have seen a 1st edition, so, there is no way I can comment on the two versions. I was never aware that there was much difference in the technical information presented. I have only some small complaints about the technical info. What Baker/Currie did of their own hand seems pretty good. My problem is with the historical side of things; Beeman et al. As far as I can tell, it seems that Baker/Currie relied on outside historical "experts" and did little or no research of their own on the historical side. So, my criticism is not of them so much as it is of the people they relied on for historical information. Bottom line, the history presented in the Baker/Currie book is just full of garbage.
I sort of understand why people get emotional about this subject. There's lots of money and prestige involved. However, that doesn't change things. The gun used by Baker/Currie is not an Austrian airgun at all. It's English. There's plenty of proof that goes to that conclusion. I won't rehash all the details. However, to the point made in my first post, one of the big differences between Austrian and English airguns of this era is that the Austrian versions invariably have decocking mechanism. The English sometimes have a decocking mechanism (very different from the Austrian style) but usually they don't.
Imagine what it would have been like in the airgun-equipped Austrian units to have an airgun that when decocked (a common safety action to take with a typical black powder gun of the era) the gun fired full force. What a hell of mess that would have been! Take some time and take a look at the known civilian Austrian airguns of the era and every single one has a decocking mechanism. Then note how strange it is that this "military" version doesn't have the most critical safety feature seen on the Austrian civilian versions. It just doesn't make any sense that the Austrians would equip elite military units with a second-rate airguns without a critial safety feature.
Read Wolff's Airguns(nobody has yet produced a better book on these airguns) and he clearly states that no unquestioned example of an Austrian Military airgun exists. Something that Baker/Currie doesn't even address, even though they use Wolfs "Airguns" as a refence. Apparently, they never bothered to read their own references.
Today, it seems everyone (including museums), myself and Wolff being the lone exceptions, fully believes the line about these repeating airguns being Austrian Military airguns. Apparently, most folks think that they know more about these airguns than Wolff did: when the truth is that none us do. So, I say we need to go with Wolff and question anyone who states that they know exactly what an Austrian Military airgun is. Also, understand, that when you put me down for stating what I see as obvious, that these "Austrian Military' airguns are not Austrian at all, you are also putting down Wolff (arguably the greatest airgun historian ever) I think I stand in good company. If I may say, the rest of the airgun world is standing with....the B-man. Think about it.
I must say that it suprises me somewhat that folks get so fired up about this. It's only history.
And how You want it portrayed. I have BOTH Copies of the Baker / Currie Book SO I CAN Comment on what I have seen and I have Woolfes Book as well. Im generally on your side regards Beeman, But you seem to have a Blank Spot when it comes to listening to anything you dont agree with. I consider that I know just as much on this Subject as You, even More when it comes to building a Girandoni. I know you will not be able to resist getting in the last word, but You are WRONG as I stated.
Sorry you feel so passionate about this, Grant.
I am more than willing to listen to any intellectual/historical arguments on the subject. (I don't listen to passion.) Like I stated, I stand in the good company of Eldon Wolff on this subject, and, nobody today knows the subject better than he did.
Just something from the muzzle loading rifle side. Most military muskets did not have any safety mechanism. Although the majority of flint and percussion locks have a "half-cock" that is often called a safety, it is really there to give room for priming the pan or capping the nipple and is not a safety in the modern sense. Few period sporting rifles incorporate a true safety and these are usually of the sliding variety, a flat piece on the lock which, when pushed forward, joins a notch in the rear of the hammer's base. (Simply prevents the hammer from falling.) If you cannot build a decocking lock, you might be able to add one of these. Not as safe but better than nothing and useful if you intend to use the gun for hunting. I could not come up with a good picture of a sliding safety but did find a second type as used on an early fowler:
It uses the same principle. Anything which blocks the hammer's fall would work.
What you are missing is that the decocking mechanism is not a safety per se. Instead, it is a mechanism to safely decock a large bore airgun. With these antique airguns if you cock the gun and then go to decock the gun, literally, it fires with full power. This decocking mechanism is extremely important, when you consider that decocking a firearm of the day is the best way to make the gun safe. Decocking is a normal and expected action to be taken by someone familiar with blackpowder firearms. So, to say that military firearms of the day usually didn't have a safety only goes to say thay you don't understand what the decocking function is all about. It is not a safety at all.
I do understand blackpowder firearms (first gun I ever bought was an 1863 Remington Zouave musket) and don't mean to bend the discussion away from where it was. I was only saying that the half cock notch was not really intended as a safety. You can decock a flint or percussion gun by pulling the trigger while arresting the hammer and then carefully lowering it. Before doing so, it would be advisable to clear the pan or pull the cap. I think I understand what you are driving at with the air guns, though, and that seems to be that going to full cock releases a charge of air which escapes when the lock cycles back. The safety mechanisms I discussed were soley to prevent accidental discharge. If you can't incorporate a decocking feature in the lock, could you make a pressure release to vent off the charge?
Take your description of decocking a Black Powder gun and now apply the exact same action to a Repeating Airgun. Using the same process, the airgun is liable to discharge. No matter what, the action of lowering the hammer on a repeating airgun will put pressure on the exhaust valve. There is some variablity that depends on how strong the latch spring is, but, since there is a direct mechanical connection between the hammer/tumbler, latch, and exhaust valve (completely different from any modern airgun) there is a significant risk for an accidental discharge when decocking a repeating airgun.
The decocking lever seen on all Austrian repeating airguns and some English repeating airguns is a simple lever that pushes down on the latch spring. This allows the latch to fall away from the tumbler. This removes the direct mechanical connection between the hammer/tumbler and the latch/exhaust valve. This makes it completely safe to decock the gun.
In the journals of Lewis and Clark an accidental discharge of their repeating airgun is described. With no real details about what happened it's not possible to be conclusive, but, I suspect that what happened is that the shooter (not M. Lewis or Clark) went to decock the repeating airgun and in the process it discharged.
The latch spring of a repeating airgun is the key to generating power with these airguns. If the latch spring is weak, the gun will be relatively low on power. If the latch spring is strong (keeping the latch in direct contact with the tumbler) the power will be relatively strong. For a repeating airgun intended for military use, a strong latch spring would be best. This would increase the possibility of an accidental discharge from decocking. So, just like all known Austrian sporting repeating airguns, it is almost certain that the Austrian Military repeater would also have had a decocking lever.
There are known examples of repeating airguns from this era that have a lever for varying the output power. Varying the power of a repeating airgun is simply accomplished by varying the strength of the latch spring. Varying the power of a repeating airgun can also be accomplished by simply bending the latch spring. This is almost certainly what M. Lewis did to vary the power output of his repeating airgun as described by Thomas Rodney.
There is really only one reference for any of this which is Eldon Wolff's Air Gun Batteries (a rare book). However, once the information in Air Gun Batteries is understood, it is pretty easy to identify the internal operation of virtually any of the antique pneumatic airguns.
Sort of like decocking a pumped up Crosman 101 or 102. If you try to ride down the hammer it will still contact the valve enough to discharge the air. You also have to unscrew the hammer plug (cocking knob) to remove all hammer pressure on the valve to safely decock the rifle.
A Girandoni is nothing like a Crosman. I dont know why You, Red Heather and a few others keep sticking your noses into this Thread. The only person so far with any decent contribution has been LD. The rest of you know Squat about this subject, but you just have to stick ya noses in to LOOK IMPORTANT.
My Intention was to just point out that the Info you have is Good and that was Proven back in 2006 when I built My Girandoni straight from the Drawings in the 1st Edition of that Baker / Currie Book. Im getting out of this Crap cause in the End Your Post will be Ruined with Disruptive stuff just like My Girandoni Post was back in 2006. I also apologise to You for having My Opinion swayed by that Liar on another Forum who made the claims with his own Agenda in Mind. Carry on with Your Passion and dont let people sway you off course.
you can always shoot out the load. That's what is usually done with a muzzle loading black powder gun if, at the end of a hunt, you have not had the chance for a shot. Not as safe nor convenient as a decocking device, but effective.
That I First tried to Help an American to mass Produce these Girandonis and in True Fashion just like My Custom Parts I Make, I was Crapped on and Ripped off!! When Mykhaylo approached Me I decided to Help Him and He has been using My Advice. You Knowalls can add all your disruptive garbage, but all you are doing is Confusing things for Mykhaylo with all your CRAP. If his Project Fails it will be because of YOU Idiots.