In every instance when the expedition encountered a new tribe they would dress up in their best split tailcoats, unfurl the American flag and to the rolling of drums, enter the village. After presenting the chiefs with colored beads and large coins, Meriwether Lewis would unveil the Girandoni air rifle and demonstrate the gun, much to the amazement of the Indians. It could fire 22 times in 30 seconds and struck fear that caused intimidation amongst the tribes, and they quickly spread the word . . .
Lewis would demonstrate the gun with every new encounter and the Indians, not knowing how many more of these guns where in their longboat, repressed their aggression, traded with the expedition and allowed them to pass. Without the Girandoni, any of the tribes could have overcome the 36 to 38 members of the expedition, taken their muskets, pistols, power and other supplies and used them against their neighboring tribes and greatly alter the course of land procurement for the fledgling new country.