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Air rifles meeting certain requirements are legal in Missouri for certain small game and white-tailed deer hunting.

A repeating big bore air rifle was first manufactured in about 1779 for the Austrian army.

  • Based on the design of the Italian Bartholomaus Girandoni, it was used until 1815.
  • This air rifle has significant value in American and Missouri history, particularly for its contribution to the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Lewis and Clark had at least one of these rifles with them as they traveled from east to west and back again. According to historians, whenever Lewis and Clark came across a group of American Indians, the first thing that they did was demonstrate the Girandoni. Reportedly, the American Indians were amazed by its very low report and lack of smoke, as well as the marksman’s ability to fire at will. Apparently, since the American Indians thought the rifle would fire endlessly, any thoughts of attacking the small expedition were quickly dismissed.
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