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Air Gun Home Forum Index » General Air Gun Questions and Topics » Why is a 17th century airgun more powerful then todays?
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Why is a 17th century airgun more powerful then todays? 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:43 pm Reply with quote
exabits
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Start off by looking at the first military used airgun, dubbed "Girandoni Air Rifle". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_Air_Rifle

Not only is it a 17th century airgun but it was also the first military repeater ever used. We had this tech back in 17th century and it hasn't been matured at all it seems. Why are today's high powered airguns so weak....?

Pretty sad its tough to find a airgun that can break 1000fps but over 200yrs ago they could do that with a .46cal lead bullet? I really don't understand why today's airguns are so tame.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:14 pm Reply with quote
rsterne
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That works out to ~320 FPE which is quite easily achieved and surpassed by todays .458 cal airguns.... More than point out how little "progress" has been made.... it realistically shows the limits to airguns imposed by the laws of physics.... which haven't changed in the last 4 centuries either....

Bob

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:41 pm Reply with quote
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rsterne wrote:
More than point out how little "progress" has been made.... it realistically shows the limits to airguns imposed by the laws of physics.... which haven't changed in the last 4 centuries either....

Bob


I disagree....taking a look at a gun "that easy acheives this 17th century tech" like http://www.quackenbushairguns.com/LA_Outlaw.htm Where is the easy??? that modern .458 operates at 3000psi and doesnt even acheive 800fps. Still plenty of FPE no dought but where are the airguns that actually make use of current technology? Where's the guns that actually tests these laws of physics... The way I see it, every airgun made today is operating at 17th century psi...which is roughly 3000 or LOWER.

Edit: if this tech had progressed in any good way.....we should be running around with 10,000psi hpa tanks with guns that can handle upwards of 5000psi. Yeah physics limits use here a bit....but lets look at the modern .45 airgun I linked. It runs on 3000psi, Where are the .177 ,.22 ,.25, and so on other caliber airguns that run on 3000psi? There are virtually none!!!! Unless complete custom and homemade in the garage, they don't exist.

Instead we have modern airguns that don't make use of the current HPA tech available today.

The LA Outlaw shoots a 430gr bullet at 732fps, which is 509fpe
The Girandoni shot a ~400gr bullet at 1000fps, which is....higher!!! 850+

Unfortunately I can't find specs related to the Girandoni's ammo mass, so we'll just leave it as a tie.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:58 pm Reply with quote
rsterne
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Quote:
The Girandoni shot a ~400gr bullet at 1000fps, which is....higher!!! 850+

Incorrect.... It used a round ball which in .46 cal weighs 144 gr.... That is ~320 FPE....

Quote:
Where are the .177 ,.22 ,.25, and so on other caliber airguns that run on 3000psi? There are virtually none!!!!

There are LOTS of PCPs that run at 3000 psi.... made by many manufacturers.... In fact, running at a lower fill pressure is in the minority.... Bullet technology has progressed quite a bit since the 17th Century roundball.... Todays guns shoot at about the same velocities but with much heavier bullets.... Velocity is nice, but it's energy (FPE) that does the job....

It is certainly possible to use pressures higher than 3000 psi.... but why bother?.... It is not practical to hand pump to those pressures.... and electric compressors that do that are very expensive, or very slow....

My comment about the physics relates to the tremendous loss of efficiency when you try and drive a bullet past Mach 0.85 (950 fps), not to mention the loss of accuracy, and the huge decrease in the Ballistics Coefficient, which slows the bullet rapidly as soon as it leaves the muzzle.... The transonic range presents a PRACTICAL barrier to airguns, if not a physical one.... It is so much less expensive to use powder to acheive the pressures required to drive a bullet supersonic.... it boils down to economics....

CAN it be done?.... sure, if you throw enough time and money at it....

Does it make sense?.... Not in my opinion, and obviously not in the opinion of any of the manufacturers, even small ones like Quackenbush....

Bob

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:23 pm Reply with quote
AirGunEric
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18th Century- not 17th Century. 1779-onward. Notice we are in the "21st" Century but the year is 2011. A bit over 200 years in the interim.

Bob is correct that the laws of physics don't seem to have changed much. Bob is also correct in his statements about the huge volumes of 3000psi airguns on the market and the issue with a sound-barrier-breaking airgun being practical or economical.

It strikes me this topic is less a question than it is trying to incite pointless argument. Feel free to prove me wrong on this.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:55 pm Reply with quote
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rsterne wrote:
Quote:
The Girandoni shot a ~400gr bullet at 1000fps, which is....higher!!! 850+

Incorrect.... It used a round ball which in .46 cal weighs 144 gr.... That is ~320 FPE....

Well that makes much more sense to me now from a physics standpoint. Thanks

Quote:
Where are the .177 ,.22 ,.25, and so on other caliber airguns that run on 3000psi? There are virtually none!!!!

There are LOTS of PCPs that run at 3000 psi.... made by many manufacturers.... In fact, running at a lower fill pressure is in the minority...


I can't really agree with this though. Can you link one or 2 that use this pressure? They may use 3000+ Hpa tank but most don't actually operate at that pressure. It gets regulated down to suitable pressure for the gun. Normally its ~1000 for your average co2 and 1200-2000 for top of the line small cal airguns. I haven't really seen any that actually operate at 3000+ as a standard feature or even 2500+.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:26 pm Reply with quote
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AirGunEric wrote:
18th Century- not 17th Century. 1779-onward. Notice we are in the "21st" Century but the year is 2011. A bit over 200 years in the interim.


kk, you got me, thanks for pointing out my fail to compute the various things I've read about antique airguns. What I meant was, first airgun made was in the 17th century. That some how got crossed with the antique Girandoni Air Rifle I linked.


AirGunEric wrote:
Bob is correct that the laws of physics don't seem to have changed much. Bob is also correct in his statements about the huge volumes of 3000psi airguns on the market and the issue with a sound-barrier-breaking airgun being practical or economical.


I would say physics haven't changed at all, except for things like E=MC^2. As to the 3000+ small cal airguns. Please link a couple, As far as I know, most if not all get regulated down to suitable pressures for the gun. Fill pressure and operating pressure isn't the same thing.


AirGunEric wrote:
It strikes me this topic is less a question than it is trying to incite pointless argument. Feel free to prove me wrong on this.


Take it easy tiger, I mean no harm. Hopefully just starting a decent debate over today's available airguns and operating pressures. Bob's response to the ammo mass cleared up alot of my confusion..ty.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:16 pm Reply with quote
rsterne
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http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/show.pl?cmd_category=show&category_id=2

That's a heck of a lot of PCPs available through just one dealer.... and most of them are unregulated and have a 3000 psi fill pressure....

HTHs....

Bob

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Airsonal:
.177 Diana 34, 1750 CO2 Carbine, .177 Uber-Pumper, .22 Uber-Carbine, .25 Discovery, 22XX PCP 8-shot Carbine, 2260 PCP Rifle (50 FPE), Hayabusa PCP, .22 B-26
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:30 am Reply with quote
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I agree with Eric...it's a pointless argument.
As others have pointed out, it is possible to surpass the airguns of yore.
Is it economical? (no)
Is it practical)? (no)
Considering the sophistication and resulting cost required (a modern PCP is far more sophisticated than a high-powered, accurate PB...and so, much more expensive), who would buy the thing...legions of people are already carping about the expense of the Crosman Rogue.
It's like anything in our mass production world...until someone comes up with an uber powerful airgun, that can be ready on a moments notice and costs less than $700 (what you get a with nice CZ American)...it isn't gonna happen...though it is technically feasible.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:05 pm Reply with quote
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I have a 300 bar bottle here. Gets me a good amount of shots but I wouldn't wanna carry it around all day.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:57 am Reply with quote
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May be that there is a parallel between airguns and automobiles.

When cars were first invented, there were gasoline, steam, and electric cars all being used. Gas won out and the electric went without much improvement for decades because it's just easy and economical to run cars on gasoline. Steam seems completely off the radar.

Airguns showed huge promise back when the Girandoni became the first military repeater (I haven't checked that fact, but for the sake of discussion I'm OK with it) As time has gone on, the metalic cartridge rifle has proven itself to be a practical and economical way to punch holes in animals, people and material without having to walk all the way over there and put a hole in it. The airguns are mostly relegated to sportsmen's uses ranging from targets to small game with a few big bores, which are also mostly sportsmen's guns and not martial weapons.

Personally, I like the option spectrum of having both powder and air. We all like the convenience of shooting airguns in places where a 'real' gun would be inapropriate. One draw to an air rifle is the ability to shoot at home. If it were shooting a 400 grain projo at 1500fps, it would require more backstop than a 10 grain projo scooting along at nearly 1000fps. Having airguns and powderburners gives you shooting options ranging from small, light projectiles at modest speeds up to big, heavy projectiles moving at obscene speeds. I like that.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:11 pm Reply with quote
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Personally I like to believe that being able to sell oil has a lot to do with the succes of combustion engines. Steam cars worked pretty well, and some electric cars weren't really that bad either. Razz

And airguns? Well, they're just kinda basic. The idea is simple and you want to keep it like that. Nobody wants to run out of air in the middle of a battle and carrying something highly pressurised around doesn't really keep many advantages. Burners give huge amounts of pressure when needed.

Airguns also cover a lot of ground in countries where civilians aren't allowed to buy a burner (either at all or under certain restrictions).

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Why is a 17th century airgun more powerful then todays? 
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