Air gun pellets and darts


I just research prussian training guns, aiming tubes and converted Ordnance guns.
There are several devices and guns and I need some informations about air guns.
Anybody knows when the first “modern” air guns where build? Those guns like we know them today. In german language we know the arrow shaped bullets as “Bolzen”. These little darts
with a needle at the front and a bush of threads at the rear where fired insmooth barrels?
What is the caliber of these projos? Are there different designs and diameters?


Air guns have been around since the 16th century. There is one in the tower armoury with a big brass ball underneath.
As for those darts, they were common when I was a boy. Trade name Milbro.


Re: the little darts. The ones I have and others I’ve fired were .17 cal. (BB)


Any idea when the first spring loaded - piston air guns where made breech loading these darts.


There’s this article on the spring-piston design. … rguns.html


From an old book (1868)

Have you od documents (books, catalogues, aso) about shotshells or Flobert ctges ??



Thanks a lot for the artcles and the comments. Ive found a spring loaded piston
smoothbore gun in an old german Hunting book dated 1836. Never guess these guns are so old.
These are very early breech loaders.

Some more infos about those early darts, pellets ect. Early boxes?


I believe Lewis & Clark carried an airgun on the journey to map / discover the Western United States for President Jefferson. ca 1804-1806


Thats not as silly as it might at first appear since their primary need would have been food gathering.


couple packets from my collection


Thanks for showing the nice boxes. The very early ones must have been thicker.
.25 prussian inches = 6,45 the bush was made from squirrel hair :-).


Ive been successful with some researches - a box of 1 Dozen was very common - 12 darts.
They even make them today in 4,5mm .177. Paperbag of 10 ; 10 bags in a box.

The next caliber step is 5,5mm .217

And the magnum - the 6,3mm .248 darts with 1 Dz bag ( 1 Dutzend = 12 darts )



Geco 1934


A variety of air gun darts were tested at Ft. Detrick for use as delivery systems for bio/chem agents. I have the air gun which was used for the testing which came from the Yonetz collection.