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Lewis&Clark cleaning

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Byron, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Byron

    Byron Well-Known Member

    Just finished Stephen Ambrose's book "Undaunted Courage" on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. What methods were used to keep the rifles clean?It seems the rifles saw extreme usage.
  2. Smokin'Joe

    Smokin'Joe Well-Known Member

    Water to clean. Bear grease to lube. They also used air rifles. Guess these didn't need cleaning, just lube.
  3. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Well-Known Member

    Only 1 experimental air rifle I believe.............cleaned with warm water and ashes from the fire...........used those since the early 18 Century.
    Lubed with animal fat / Talo also used Talo to smear on themselves to repel misquitos..
  4. J-Bar

    J-Bar Well-Known Member

    Do I recall this correctly...that Lewis designed his blackpowder containers out of lead, so that when one was emptied of powder, it could be melted down into lead balls for the guns? Pretty good planning!!??
  5. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Well-Known Member

    Yes that is correct. They had lead containers that were exactly the right proportion of lead to powder...sealed tight. They were very ragged when they got back but every man had a working rifle and they brought back powder and ball. Just about every other thing they ran out of (trade goods, etc) but their superior planning meant they had plenty of powder, ball and rifles. Of course, it helped that they had very little real trouble along the way in terms of violence. They had one run in with the Blackfeet and Lewis accidently got shot in the butt by one of his own men...but they had a pretty peaceful trip which helped on the ammo conservation of course.
  6. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    An amazing adventure, and a must-read for all history/black powder enthusiasts. The trip was a great success on many levels. Not the least of which was the peaceful yet powerful representation of our government to the natives.
  7. S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

    Smokin'Joe, one air rifle. It was used to scare the Indians not hunting. That's all I've seen in print, anyway.
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    The typical cleaning material was tow.

    There was only one airgun, a Giradoni repeater. Virginia Military Institute says they have it in their collection. The National Firearms Museum says the same. Anyhow, some feel its presence awed the Indians who were amazed by its silent killing ability and its ability for rapid reloading. They never knew there was only one gun and it's mystique may have prevented the natives from wiping out the Corps of Discovery.
  9. Smokin'Joe

    Smokin'Joe Well-Known Member

    xXxplosive, S.B., 4v50 Gary.... OK, OK only ONE air rifle. I get it. Only ONE! ;-)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  10. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Well-Known Member

    So maybe, just maybe, the ' Gun That Won The West' and opened the door to Manifest Destiny was an air rifle.

  11. S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

    Smokin'Joe, sorry didn't mean to be soo hard on ya.
  12. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    Lewis & Clark also handed out many "Jefferson Peace Medals" to the native Americans which may have also greatly impressed them. ;)

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  13. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    ...and also sent some western chiefs back to D.C. to meet "the great white father" (Jefferson).
  14. Byron

    Byron Well-Known Member

    Thank You all for your responses. Byron

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