Latest in Firearms—a Rifle That Shoots With Liquid Gas (Aug, 1931)

Latest in Firearms—a Rifle That Shoots With Liquid Gas
NO ONE could believe that guns would ever fire gas, but such a thing has come to pass. That, strictly speaking, is more truth than poetry. For visitors to the Outdoor Show held recently in Chicago were treated to the spectacle of a recently invented gun firing 40,000 rounds of shot supplied from a tank of carbonic gas showing 50 pounds pressure. Favored because of its economy and harmlessness by shooting galleries, the gun is noiseless, smokeless, and has no recoil, so that it has a wide margin of safety. Projectiles fired by this undangerous weapon are simply slugs that are ejected by gas pressure, which is supplied by means of a rubber tube leading from a tank to a valve under the rifle, as shown at the left.

  1. fluffy says: September 2, 20081:06 pm

    Although I get what they’re saying, isn’t “liquid gas” sort of a contradiction in terms?

    Also, how could it be recoil-free? It might be very low-recoil but there’ll still be some. Newton’s third law etc.

    I may be entirely too pedantic.

  2. Toronto says: September 2, 20082:13 pm

    Well, “LPG” stands for “Liquified Petrolium Gas” (a mix of propane and butane.) But this article mentions “Carbonic gas” which is also known as carbon dioxide. And CO2 doesn’t liquify, does it?

    I can see why the little 8, 12 and 16gm CO2 cartridges became more popular for pistols. A 40,000 round supply of gas would probably be the size of a 20lb propane tank.

  3. fluffy says: September 2, 20082:30 pm

    CO2 does liquify at a high enough pressure and low enough temperature. All gases do, really. But probably not at the pressures/temperatures that toy was dealing with.

    Fun fact: liquid CO2 is pretty good at dissolving caffeine. The way they decaffeinate coffee is by bathing the beans in liquid CO2, which draws most of it out. The extracted caffeine is then used in soda, caffeine pills, etc.

  4. cbellamy says: September 3, 20081:03 pm

    CO2 in those large 50 pound cylinders is in a liquid form. If the pressure is suddenly released, the CO2 cools quickly, and condenses into dry ice flakes. The gun would have probably produced little dry ice pellets as it was fired. Here is a device that makes blocks of dry ice by that principle. I’ve used one before (back when I was a chemist), and all it takes is about 30 seconds to make a 1-pound block of dry ice with this device. All it really is is a box with porous sides to catch the CO2 “snow” and hold it as it packs into a block.

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