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Q: What was the most mentioned firearm
A: The Lukens air gun-"I shot my air gun with which they were much astonished." (Journals, Moulton: Lewis, April 2nd, 1806)
Q: How does the air gun work?
A: Pressurized air was pumped into the hollow buttstock. The buttstock
was then reattached to the barrel and was ready to fire its .31 caliber ball.
The gun was so creatively crafted that it was loaded like a traditional black
powder rifle (without the powder of course) and could be fired up to twenty
times before having to recharge the air reservoir. i
Q: Why did Lewis bring the air gun on the expedition?
A: The rifle was used to impress the Native Americans and demonstrate
the power and technology of the young republic. ii
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