I was completely unaware that there were any air rifles produced in the late 1700s; let alone a .46 caliber rifled barrel REPEATING air rifle which could ACCURATELY hit and put a hole THROUGH a 1" pine board at 100 yards. The link below will take you to a video which discusses the Giradoni air rifle, one of which was used by Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame) on the famous expedition into the northwest areas of what is now the United States in about 1803.
Location: Third bunker on the right,Central Virginia
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If you search, we have talked about this, and the video. Pretty neat though, isn't it?
BTW, air rifles were used as a military weapon back in (IIRC the Napaleonic era. Their power an accuract was so feared that at one time it was ordered that any air rifleman captured with his weapon was to be executed on the spot.