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Lewis&Clark cleaning

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

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  1. Byron

    Byron Member

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    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 Member

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

    xXxplosive Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    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. Member

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

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    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 Member

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

    saltydog452 Member

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

    salty
     
  11. S.B.

    S.B. Member

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

    arcticap Member

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

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5749648&postcount=13
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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

    Byron Member

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    Thank You all for your responses. Byron
     
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