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Ha! Dutch PCP's pre-date Girandoni!

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Ha! Dutch PCP's pre-date Girandoni!

Unread postAuthor: Brian the brain » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:53 pm

for those interested in the history of PCP airguns

I found an old magazine I had once bought..wich contained an article about the early airguns.
Turns out the Dutch and Germans were the early pioneers.
It is said that it was the Dutch who invented the PCP ( why am I not surprised) and the triggermechanisms involved.

They were the first to use the removable buttflask ( reservoir), invented the valve later made famous by Girandoni and used the same style pump even before he was born.

The valve and trigger/ hammerdesign we all know to be typical "Girandoni" style were invented by the "Hollanders"!!! :D

The earliest example I could find online is found here:
http://www.museumboerhaave.nl/object/we ... mp-b02787/
made by Johan Leur and described in the book "Introducio ad philosophiam naturalem" by Peter van Musschenbroek in 1762.
Image

This particular airgun ( from 1736) seems to have held about 11 rounds.

The earliest one mentioned in the article is made by Peter Meesen from Utrecht ( NL) around 1650..
He made rifles ( not sure about the actual rifling though) and pistols.

His 1650 rifle was 147 cm's long and was in fact a coax!!
A brass tube around an iron barrel and it had an integrated pump in the buttstock.
Wow!

This particular gun was more than likely to be used to assassinate a dictator in England at the time called Cromwell.

The potential killer ( was caught before he got to England)) had perchased a weapon in Utrecht that fit the description perfectly:
"it could fire seven shots, without the need to be pumped up, with an effective ( meaning deadly) range of 150 passes."
The construction was, according to Cromwell's spy: " so that none could operate it except the person who was to bring it to England"

The earliest known description ( ever!) of a ball-reservoir ( spherical airsupply) airgun was given by Ole Borch, a Danish scientist who studied at the university of Leiden.

In Feb 1662 he visited a "wintroermaker"or airgunbuilder in Amsterdam named Matthijs Henrich who made Airguns with "globe"reservoirs at the price of 30 floryns.
The globes themselves went for 25F each.
The weapon could be discharged 6 times before pressure ran too low.
Later models from the Beeman collection. Second weapon from the left can be seen with a ball-shaped reservoir, or "globe" as Borch would have called it.Henrichs original version would have the pressureglobe sticking out the side, rather than the bottom.
Image

The article mentions several other Dutch airgunmasters.Another that stocks out is this one:

Andries Dolep, born 1650 ,made airguns for the De Medici family, amongst others.
He demonstrated his double barreled airgun-flintlock combination to the Royal Society in London on July 21st 1686.It could fire one round with traditional blackpowder and subsequently fire four rounds with compressed air.
He was likely the first to combine both methods.

At the end of the article I was disapointed to see that the writer mentioned a man named Scheiffel to be the last Dutch airgunbuilder.( up untill 1790)

I can't blame the man for not knowing, as the article was released in April 2006.... and I joined SF in December of 2005.
:D
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Gun Freak wrote:
Oh my friggin god stop being so awesome, that thing is pure kick ass. Most innovative and creative pneumatic that the files have ever come by!

Can't ask for a better compliment!!
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:06 pm

Very nice find!

Note sure if the Dutch can claim all the credit though, similar developments were happening around Europe at the time. Found this:

BALL RESERVOIR AIRGUNS
An easily recognized, but diverse group of antique, vintage or modern pneumatic airguns, characterized by a ball or otherwise rounded, detachable, external air reservoir.
Pneumatic airguns, that is "pump-up" airguns which employ pre-compressed air as their propulsive force, may go back to ancient times. Leonardo da Vinci considered pneumatic devices, but Arne Hoff, surely the dean of airgun history, notes (Hoff, 1972, 1977) that proof is lacking that da Vinci, or any other ancient artist/inventor ever invented an airgun. Hoff reported that the French gunmaker, Marin le Bourgeoys, made the first airgun with an air reservoir about 1605, only a decade or two after the very first known mechanical airguns (as contrasted to blowguns), powered by an internal bellows. These early pneumatic guns stored their compressed air in internal vessels. The earliest surviving pump-up airguns, from about 1640, employed a "barrel reservoir", a long tube concentrically sealed around the barrel. Others had an air reservoir built into the buttstock, sometimes in combination with a built-in air pump. These built-in reservoirs suffered from having two valves, one for air input from an internal or external pump, and one for air release at the moment of firing, as well as having the handicaps of difficult construction and lack of flexibility.
In the early 1670s, a young Frenchman, Denis Papin, experimented with using vacuum to drive a bullet, but his big contribution to airguns came about 1675 when he moved to London to work with Sir Robert Boyle. This was a detachable ball-shaped reservoir. His idea of using the barrel as both barrel and pump-cylinder (!) was impractical, but the ball reservoir opened a new century of airgun development. In 1686 John Evelyn demonstrated the first practical airgun utilizing a pre-charged ball reservoir, a gun apparently made in Amsterdam by an unknown maker (probably Andreas Dolep, a Dutchman who later worked in London), at the Royal Society in London. The ball reservoir required only one valve. Perhaps even more important, it could be instantly replaced by another ball with a fresh charge of air. A small supply of pre-charged balls added huge convenience to the field use of an airgun. A bonus was the instant replacement of the air valve. This freed the shooter from the sudden and acute problem of the failure of a valve buried within the gun. Airguns with built-in butt reservoirs and airguns with barrel reservoirs continued to be made into the 1700s but ball reservoir airguns, independently developed by several makers, came to dominate airgun design. Airguns with unscrewable butt-reservoirs that provided many more shots per reservoir, but whose reservoirs were heavier and more difficult to build, joined them.


edit: I've seen one of these in the flesh, very curious device :)

http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/antique ... 12410.html
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Unread postAuthor: Brian the brain » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:22 pm

but his big contribution to airguns came about 1675 when he moved to London to work with Sir Robert Boyle. This was a detachable ball-shaped reservoir

In 1686 John Evelyn demonstrated the first practical airgun utilizing a pre-charged ball reservoir, a gun apparently made in Amsterdam by an unknown maker

Unknown? Sounds like Henrich to me...
Although his contribution might have been made even earlier, it was first noted in 1662.

The earliest known description ( ever!) of a ball-reservoir ( spherical airsupply) airgun was given by Ole Borch, a Danish scientist who studied at the university of Leiden.

In Feb 1662 he visited a "wintroermaker"or airgunbuilder in Amsterdam named Matthijs Henrich who made Airguns with "globe"reservoirs at the price of 30 floryns.
The globes themselves ( indicating the were removable!!) went for 25F each.



Ha!

Marin le Bourgeoys, made the first airgun with an air reservoir about 1605,

ah..Yeah...

Same guy is mentoined in the article.
I seem to have skipped that part and rushed on to where we stepped in..

He ( Bourgeois) invented the "valve", so it says.
The ancient Greeks invented the pump, the idea resurfaced during the Renaissance.. and pressurevessels where no problem for a blacksmith at the time. His mayor contribution was the valve.

So..I shouldn't have said the Dutch invented the PCP.. :D
I eagerly started this topic right after I read the article..and I started quoting it after where the Dutch came in..
"The Dutch played an important role in the development of the airgun and some say the most important steps took place here"

Oops..the most important piece is the valve...wich was invented by Le Bourgeois
...
French king Henry IV bought one and was very impressed BTW..
"Ziss is cooleur zen French friez-euh" he must have said..

I read over some vital info in my enthousiasm...

We developed the PCP...?

Ah wait!
HA!! the Europeans invented the PCP..not...Gir..
never mind.. :roll:

I like the link you supplied with the ballreservoir gun.
At least that seems to be of the Dutch design as mentioned in the article.
The lock is placed sideways on the bottom of the gun...awkward and very typical.
Not the eureka moment I had hoped to claim for my country LOL!

Anyway...very cool stuff.
I'm excited to learn about the early development and about the Dutch involvement.
Today it seems very unlikely that we were once concidered to be at the top of airgun design.

Best of all is to see what designs influenced Girandoni.
Up untill now his army rifle was my favourite airgun.
Now I realise it is just the best known example ( Lewis and Clark) out of a long lineage of developments.
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Gun Freak wrote:
Oh my friggin god stop being so awesome, that thing is pure kick ass. Most innovative and creative pneumatic that the files have ever come by!

Can't ask for a better compliment!!
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:14 pm

Hehe yes yes, clearly it was in your genes, not denying that ;)

Going back a couple of millenia, they should have had some more inventive types at work on Indiana Jones tomb traps.

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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:34 pm

Get out of my head JSR.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:13 pm

mark.f wrote:Get out of my head JSR.


That's refreshing, usually it's "Get your head out of me!!!!" :roll: :D
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