Confederate Lorenz Rifles

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JerryB8

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Aug 17, 2013
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181
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Washington, PA on the WV border
A unit I have most interest in the 63d Pennsylvania carried the Lorenz in .54 caliber up until the Spring of 64 Where they were exchanged for Spencer rifles. They spoke in General in good terms of the Lorenz in the original content I have read. Thank you all for the additional information. Great thread. I would love to have an original.
 

JerryB8

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Aug 17, 2013
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181
Location
Washington, PA on the WV border
Bob does have a fairly nice assortment of original 1816 muskets, and modern handguns, too.
He has some great war stories from his years in law enforcement, if you pump a few drinks
into him...which is not hard to do.
Thank you that's good to know. Whats he drink? Oh that's one of my favorites. Also like Bullet Bourbon. Great stuff and the bottle sorta resembles circa 1860 bottles. It's Embossed.
 

Craig L Barry

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Murfreesboro, TN
Have you ever seen Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome where Mel Gibson keeps pulling out hidden weapons in absurd numbers before going to see Aunty Entity? Well, that was Bob in the hotel room. I thought, Lord that man is well armed. We have nothing to to fear in Atlanta tonight.
 
Joined
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Have you ever seen Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome where Mel Gibson keeps pulling out hidden weapons in absurd numbers before going to see Aunty Entity? Well, that was Bob in the hotel room. I thought, Lord that man is well armed. We have nothing to to fear in Atlanta tonight.
In my life long career in law enforcement, firearms are like socks and underwear. If you leave home without them, you feel naked!:frantic: The only time that you can have too many guns is when swimming in deep water!:nah disagree:
 

Craig L Barry

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I actually felt quite safe there. I think the opposite of most people on gun control. If everybody was as well armed as Bob Owen, and knew how to use that kind of hardware, well we'd all be safer.

By the way, there was an error filled article in the latest Military Collector & Historian (Journal of the Company of Military Historians) Vol 65 # 3 on imported European Civil War arms, particularly the Enfield and Lorenz. I penned off a 3,200 word "correction" and probably only addressed half the fallacies. The article was based on gun show wisdom and largely de-bunked scholarship from the Civil War Centennial-era. My sources were cited, mostly from original period documents. It was really amazing what used to pass for scholarly insight a generation ago. Almost every paragraph was misleading or had an outright error in it.

If you subscribe to MC&H do yourself a favor and don't take the latest issue out of cellophane wrapper.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
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Every Lorenz bayonet that I've seen with a scabbard has been with a US regulation scabbard.
Hi Bob,
Would you happen to have any photos of the scabbard's?
I am curious as to which construction method they used for making them. I'm also curious since blade width and length is longer than a Springfield or Enfield bayonet.
 

Lanyard Puller

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Nov 29, 2017
Messages
562
Location
South Carolina
Jason Kaplan recently sold one off his web site.
Here's a link to the photos. and just FYI, the quadrafoil blade of the Lorenz will not fit a US triangular socket bayonet scabbard {unless you soak the scabbard in alcohol for a few days and force the "square beg into a round hole" and let the leather dry back to the new shape}.... That's gun show wisdom:unsure: by the way .

http://www.jjmilitaryantiques.com/Home.aspx/Catdet/31418-1?nm=austrian-lorenz-socket-bayonet-scabbard&category=Group&bread_last=/Home.aspx/Catpage/Group?GroupType=bayonets&psize=10&sortseq=Name&type=Group&category_desc=Bayonets

He also has a US made Lorenz bayonet on his site under "bayonets", which would have the correct socket but a modified blade from the Lorenz guadrafoil.

I can put up a few CS Lorenz rifles if you're interested, but Tim Prince had [not has !} one of them { a Georgia rifle} and his photos are professional quality.
http://www.collegehillarsenal.com/shop/product.php?productid=739
 
Last edited:

FiremarshalBill

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Feb 4, 2016
Messages
163
Bit of an interesting Lorenz story... My Austrian Lorenz rifle (stamped 860 on the lock plate) was dug up in the Arizona desert 57 years ago. The man who found it was a family friend named Spencer Galloway. Spence was an amateur archeologist living in the Tuscon, AZ area and he spent much of his free time wandering the old Butterfield Stage route across Arizona. On one weekend trip in the winter of 1961 he (almost literally) stumbled across just the top two inches of the barrel sticking out of the sand a little east of the abandoned Dragoon Springs Butterfield stage station. At first he thought it was just an iron pipe stuck in the ground, but when he looked closely, he realized it was the business end of a rifle. It took a couple hours to dig it out and as he continued to dig he realized it was buried almost vertically, as if it had been left leaning against the sand bank. After gently removing the Lorenz from the dirt and sand, he concluded that the bank just above it probably collapsed over the rifle many years ago. But because of the very dry Arizona climate, there was virtually no rust or corrosion anywhere on the rifle except for some minor pitting on, and inside, the top 2-3 inches of the barrel. It was also cocked and loaded, with the copper percussion cap still in place over the nipple. There were no bones, bits of clothing, or any other artifacts found around the site. When he got home he completely disassembled it, gave it a light cleaning, and removed the powder and bullet from the barrel. After putting it all back together he was delighted to find that the hammer, hammer spring, and trigger still worked perfectly. The rifle ended up standing in the corner of his closet for the next 12 years until I convinced him to trade it straight across for my Ruger Super Blackhawk revolver. Eventually I purchased an original leather sling strap and original Lorenz bayonet, and it now hangs proudly on my living room wall. I've had the opportunity to sell it a couple of times, but later research showed that this was the exact model, type, and caliber of rifle that was originally issued to my Great-Great-Grandfather when he enlisted in the 3rd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1861, and it has become the centerpiece of my very small ACW collection.
 

major bill

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Aug 25, 2012
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Wow! Well one only lives once and if the Lorenz brings you joy, perhaps you should keep it not matter what it is worth. I always asked myself, "When you are 90 years old what things will matter to you?" Your answer will say much about what kind of person you are.
 

Don Dixon

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Oct 24, 2008
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Fairfax, VA, USA
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?
1. Did most of the Lorenz come with a scabbard for their bayonets?

The ones purchased from the Austro-Hungarian Army (k.k. Army): Yes. The ones purchased from other European sources: Very likely not. K.k. Army bayonet scabbards were made with a wood liner covered with black pig skin. I think they were more fragile than Federal Army scabbards, and were replaced with regular scabbards or purpose made scabbards when they wore out. The Federal Army also ordered additional k.k. Army scabbards from Austria.

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

No. The k.k. Army bayonet, cap pouch and cartridge box were worn on shoulder belts. The cap pouch and cartridge box didn't fit American leathers, and the bayonet scabbard required a purpose manufactured frog to fit American leathers. K.k. Army leathers were not imported by either side. I have drawings, but they are immaterial to the discussion.

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

The Confederates captured a fair number of them from the Federals, just as they did Springfields and Enfields. And, the Federals captured thousands of Confederate Muster 1854 rifle muskets both in the field and on blockade runners. Some Federal regiments were entirely armed with Muster 1854s taken on blockade runners. I don't know how one would estimate the total numbers involved in these "exchanges," and I've done considerable research on these weapons.

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

Seriously under represented. I can document more than 550 Federal regiments that were armed with some number of Muster 1854 rifle muskets -- sometimes only very small numbers -- at some point during their service. Confederate records are so bad the calculations for them are much more difficult. The concept that units were uniformly armed at any given time is a fallacy.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

MarkTK36thIL

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Apr 27, 2009
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Location
IL
The construction of scabbard for Lorenz bayonets by the Federal government look nearly identical except for when you view the scabbard from above, which will reveal an oval-like shape to accommodate the Lorenz bayonet.

My question about Lorenz bayonets are the three sided ones. I have one that was originally quadrangular, but then had one side ground down (professionally) to triangular. No US stamp on it either.
 

Lanyard Puller

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Nov 29, 2017
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South Carolina
Back to Major Bill's first post and to include Don Dixon's very informative post.....
It's Confederate Lorenz photo time, while waiting for another hurricane....:cry:

This first one has a correct "OHIO" stamp and a "G" Georgia stamp... Which state had it first ? A hint... it has the original block sight and a filed down cheek piece.
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The "G" by the way is the small "G" as found on Georgia edged weapons.
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Here's two from Virginia, both ID'ed into The Stonewall Brigade. Both "860. One with a cheek piece the other without. Both with block sights.
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Enjoy.
 
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