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Confederate Lorenz Rifles

Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by major bill, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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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?
     
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  3. johan_steele

    johan_steele Colonel Retired Moderator

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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.
     
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  4. Delhi Rangers

    Delhi Rangers First Sergeant

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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
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
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  5. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    Delhi Rangers, thank you for the links.
     
  6. Delhi Rangers

    Delhi Rangers First Sergeant

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    You are welcome sir.
     
  7. Bob Owen

    Bob Owen Captain Trivia Game Winner

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    I used to have an original one with a bayonet that was in excellent condition, but traded it for a rifled 1842 Springfield with a bayonet. I should have kept the Lorenz and bought the '42. I did like that gun very much.:thumbsup:
     
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  8. Bob Owen

    Bob Owen Captain Trivia Game Winner

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  9. Bob Owen

    Bob Owen Captain Trivia Game Winner

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    Every Lorenz bayonet that I've seen with a scabbard has been with a US regulation scabbard.
     
  10. Delhi Rangers

    Delhi Rangers First Sergeant

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  11. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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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
     
  12. rob63

    rob63 Sergeant

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    Also on display at the visitor center at the New Market battlefield is this beauty. It is about as nice of an example of the Lorenz as you could hope to see, although the one Bob shows above is rather nice as well.

    Lorenz.jpg
     
  13. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    To All,

    Thanks for the information and pictures.

    Very much enjoyed both.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  14. johan_steele

    johan_steele Colonel Retired Moderator

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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.
     
  15. Cumpston1862

    Cumpston1862 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Thanks for that clarification about the socket and saber bayonet for the Lorenz.
     
  16. Cumpston1862

    Cumpston1862 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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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?
     
  17. Craig L Barry

    Craig L Barry Sergeant Major

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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.
     
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  18. Delhi Rangers

    Delhi Rangers First Sergeant

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

    johan_steele Colonel Retired Moderator

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    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.
     
  20. Craig L Barry

    Craig L Barry Sergeant Major

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    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.
     
  21. absolutfsu

    absolutfsu Private

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    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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  22. Bob Owen

    Bob Owen Captain Trivia Game Winner

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    I have pulled original .58 minies from 1861 & 1863 rifle muskets and a couple of original buck & ball loads from 1816's.
     

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