An air rifle is a type of gun which fires pellets, BBs, arrows or darts using compressed air and mechanics without the usual chemical reaction required for a firearm to function. Air guns are thought to have dated back to at least the 16th century, and have been used for sporting, hunting and military activities since. Air rifles have many preferable qualities, such as lack of smoke, fast discharge and producing a quieter shot. One of the most famous air rifles is the Girardoni air rifle, designed by inventor Bartholomäus Girardoni around 1780; it was used both by the Austrian army and during the first expedition across the west of the United States, known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-6). Like other forms of weaponry, antique air rifles are sought after on the collectors' market for display purposes.