|Research Points Needed|
|Building Needed||Army Staff College|
Rifles that use compressed air rather than gunpowder to propel bullets, airguns are almost silent in use and produce no muzzle flash or smoke.
There are two ways of powering an air gun: a pneumatic, pumped reservoir of air, or a spring-powered piston. The reservoir, which uses the muscles of the user to reach pressure, is by far the more reliable and practical mechanism. A piston requires very fine tolerances, making it too expensive and unreliable to manufacture. Given that any air gun is an expensive to make, it also makes sense to give them rifled barrels.
The Austrians were the only nation to employ airguns and with only partial success. The "Windbüchse" (wind rifle) was made by Girandoni (1744-1799), a gunsmith from the Tyrol. The weapon was accurate, quiet and quick firing, but too delicate for everyday use. It used a pneumatic system, fired a carbine-sized bullet, and had a 20-round integral magazine. An experienced user could fire off all 20 rounds in less than half a minute; a skilled rifleman would fire one round from a flintlock in that time. Cleverly, the reservoir was built into the stock, and could be removed independently from the magazine for recharging.
Available only to Austria, the research of Airguns unlocks access to Windbüchse Jaegers. Despite their regiment cap and their inferior numbers per regiment, these skirmishers are a deadly force on the field thanks to their rapid rate of fire.