Confederate Lorenz Rifles


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major bill

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I understand that the Union purchased 226,000 Austrian Lorenz and the Confederacy 100,000. I have a few questions for the weapons experts.

1. Did most of the Lorenz come with a scabbard for their bayonets?

2. Did the Lorenz come with any cartridge pouches or belts? Has anyone seen photos of such?

3. How common were former Union Lorenz in the Confederate Army?

4. Based on the numbers, are Lorenz under represented in re enactments?
 

johan_steele

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I understand that the Union purchased 226,000 Austrian Lorenz and the Confederacy 100,000. I have a few questions for the weapons experts.

1. Did most of the Lorenz come with a scabbard for their bayonets? Yes & no, depended upon when they were received. Some did some did not. The US & CS both were producing bayonet scabbards to fit the Lorenz bayonet.

2. Did the Lorenz come with any cartridge pouches or belts? Has anyone seen photos of such? Not to my knowledge, I've not seen evidence of either side importing Austrian leathers. Standard US or CS would have been used.

3. How common were former Union Lorenz in the Confederate Army? When captured they would have immedietly been reissued to CS troops as they were considered a modern arm. The ANV got a number after Chanclorsville & the AoT after Chickamauga.

4. Based on the numbers, are Lorenz under represented in re enactments? Grossly.
Originals can be had in shootable condition from $750-1200 on a fairly regular bassis. With the correct ammo (.55 IIRC) they were/are a first rate shooter. In .58 they had a good rep w/ US troops. Reliable and robust but like the majority of Enfields in North America they were not machine made and had some quality control issues. The biggest complaint I've read of was inconsistant accuracy but that was because of dropping a .54 minnie down a weapon designed for IIRC a .55.
 

Delhi Rangers

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The lorenz did not come with any particuliar cap pouch or cartridge box that I am aware of. It did come with a bayonet of course and a sheath for the bayonet. There is evidence that there were quite a few Lorenz rifles in the Confederate AOT. Yes they are under-represented in reenacting but it is because IMO there is not an accurate or good reproduction on the market. Loyalist Arms did make a repo but unless it has changed it was nowhere close to an original. Their repo model actually has a .62 caliber smoothbore. I know some guys that do own original Lorenz's and I personally love the rifle. If someone made an good repro, it would be my choice to use for reenactments and/or Living Histories. That is if I still did the events.

http://pcalloway.tripod.com/austrian_lorenz.htm

http://lazyjackmess.com/lorenz.htm
 
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Mdiesel

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Ok, just a bit off the topic but it is a story of a Lorenz.

This Lorenz was carried by VMI cadet Charles H. Read Jr. At the Battle of New Market. It was mangled by an artillery shell & Read was wound but luckily survived. Read kept the ruined weapon as a Souvenir of his brush with death. It's currently on display at the Visitor center "Hall Of Valor" New Market Battlefield.
Note: looks like a cartridge pouch in the bottom of the exhibits case but that's not what I was photographing so I didn't really get a good image of it sorry.
Apparently the weapon remained loaded for 135 years (who knew?)before the round was extracted! :smile:
image.jpg
image.jpg
 

johan_steele

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Too add to the discussion there were several different versions of the Lorenz as used by the ACW soldier. Some had a cheek piece others didn't. Some had a simple fixed rear sight others had a simple flip up rear sight. To add to the confusion multiple arms were called Lorenz that were not. In particular the M1854 Jaeger which was actually a distinctivly different rifle w/ a saber bayonet on a socket.

The standard Austrian bayonet scabbard had a distinctive throat for the cruciform blade. These have been found dug in both CS AoT positions and elsewhere. I've been told but have never verified that Lorenz that had been in storage longer came into the CS & US sans bayonet scabbards but that newer manufacture came w/ scabbards. Others have said it depended upon which arsenal they came from. I've never been able to verify it. There is no doubt though that the US manufactured scabbards for the Lorenz bayonet and I have seen a supposed CS manufactured scabbard made of wood & tarred canvas (it looked too good to be true) so I seriously question the provenance.

FWIW the Lorenz was a robust enough weapon that breach loading conversions saw service at the beginning of WW1. And Wisconsin still showed Lorenz Rifle Muskets of the Iron Brigade in their arsenals in 1916.
 
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Originals can be had in shootable condition from $750-1200 on a fairly regular bassis. With the correct ammo (.55 IIRC) they were/are a first rate shooter. In .58 they had a good rep w/ US troops. Reliable and robust but like the majority of Enfields in North America they were not machine made and had some quality control issues. The biggest complaint I've read of was inconsistant accuracy but that was because of dropping a .54 minnie down a weapon designed for IIRC a .55.
Not saying it isn't true but an Austrian Lorenz coming up for sale is not something I have seen very often. Is there a particular dealer that seems to get a consistent supply of them?
 

Craig L Barry

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If it is the one from CR Research Compendium 2nd Edition, it is an extensively corrected and re-written piece. I know, I re-wrote it during the editing phase. There is quite a bit (more) on the Lorenz in "The Unfinished Fight", especially about the Lorenz/Wilkinson bullet.
 

Delhi Rangers

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Not saying it isn't true but an Austrian Lorenz coming up for sale is not something I have seen very often. Is there a particular dealer that seems to get a consistent supply of them?

You can check with Tim Prince of College Hill Arsenal. I have seen several for sale on his website in the past.
 

johan_steele

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Not saying it isn't true but an Austrian Lorenz coming up for sale is not something I have seen very often. Is there a particular dealer that seems to get a consistent supply of them?
I've probably seen a half dozen at various gunshows in the last year. Online: College Hill Arsenal was mentioned, Shiloh Relics had one on the high end last time I looked, IIRC Dennis Fulmer has a Jaeger, another source would be Gunbroker as a friend paid $650 for a Lorenz in pristine condition sans ramrod. They're out there and typically demand lower prices than a M1861 or P53.
 

Craig L Barry

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Not saying it isn't true but an Austrian Lorenz coming up for sale is not something I have seen very often. Is there a particular dealer that seems to get a consistent supply of them?
They do come up from time to time, but obviously not with the frequency of US 1861s and P53s. Part of the reason is that they were classified as 2nd class weapons and there were fewer of them imported to begin with. Hence, post-bellum more of the Austrian rifles ended up junked than sold back into the gun trade (again).

Lodgewood Mfg is also a good place to check. Whatever you do, avoid the crappy India made reproduction.
 

absolutfsu

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Ok, just a bit off the topic but it is a story of a Lorenz.

This Lorenz was carried by VMI cadet Charles H. Read Jr. At the Battle of New Market. It was mangled by an artillery shell & Read was wound but luckily survived. Read kept the ruined weapon as a Souvenir of his brush with death. It's currently on display at the Visitor center "Hall Of Valor" New Market Battlefield.
Note: looks like a cartridge pouch in the bottom of the exhibits case but that's not what I was photographing so I didn't really get a good image of it sorry.
Apparently the weapon remained loaded for 135 years (who knew?)before the round was extracted! :smile:View attachment 21441View attachment 21442
MDiesel- That picture and story is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing that...I was almost hoping to find something in my musket when I did a safety check on it, but the ramrod went "ping" instead of "pong", so to no avail..But it shoots great!! :smile:
 

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