Confederate Lorenz Rifles

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Don Dixon

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Lanyard Puller,

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.
The "OHIO" marked weapons were unserviceable Federal Army arms stored at the Ohio Arsenal, and transferred to the State of Ohio in 1863 at the request of the governor for repair and use by the Ohio organized militia [the "Ohio National Guard" -- not the "National Guard" in the modern sense]. So, the Georgia "G" mark would probably pre-date that.

Could you please give me more regarding your attribution of the two Muster 1854, Type I, rifles to the Darst brothers of the 4th Virginia Infantry, and to Thomas Payne of the 5th Virginia Infantry? I knew that the 5th had some Austrian rifles, but the 4th is a new unit to me. That one of the rifles is missing the cheek piece indicates that it was commercial production intended for export, rather than manufactured for the k.k. Army.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

Don Dixon

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Mark,

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.
There are a small number of bayonets with three sided blades, rather than quadrangular blades, with System Lorenz mounting collars. What leads you to believe that your particular bayonet was ground down to three sides rather than it being manufactured with a three sided blade attached to a Lorenz collar (i.e., rough grinding marks on one side, etc.)? Does it have any marks on the collar or blade (i.e., such as a small stamp on the blade that looks somewhat like a tree)?

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

Lanyard Puller

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[QUOTE="Don Dixon, Could you please give me more regarding your attribution of the two Muster 1854, Type I, rifles to the Darst brothers of the 4th Virginia Infantry, and to Thomas Payne of the 5th Virginia Infantry [/QUOTE]

I'll send you a P.M. regarding the provenance.. and additional "G" photos
 
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MarkTK36thIL

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There doesn't appear to be any unusual markings other than those of Austrian origin. I can't recall where I was picked up, other than it was mated to a Lorenz rifle (No G or D stamps in the wood; just a solid Lorenz rifle). I've talked to Dave Noe and Tim Prince about this piece, and both had seen them before but had no knowledge of their origin.


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MarkTK36thIL

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None whatsoever. In all regards, it appears to be otherwise unaltered to the naked eye. It fits a triangular scabbard perfectly.
 
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Don Dixon

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Mark,

Thank you for your response. Yours is clearly of k.k. Army origin, although it would be interesting to know who ground the one edge of it off and why. One might think that it was done to make it fit an American scabbard, but unless they also shortened it by several inches, it would still be too long to fully fit in the scabbard. So, they also shortened it.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 
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MarkTK36thIL

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I'll have to recheck the scabbard I thought I had it in originally. I re-measured the length and the tri blade matches up with the quad blade, and therefore was not shortened.
 
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Mark,

Thank you for your response. Yours is clearly of k.k. Army origin, although it would be interesting to know who ground the one edge of it off and why. One might think that it was done to make it fit an American scabbard, but unless they also shortened it by several inches, it would still be too long to fully fit in the scabbard. So, they also shortened it.

Regards,
Don Dixon
emphasis mine

is that typical in the us? the austrians abbreviated is k.u.k. (kaiserlich und königlich = imperial and royal = austrian and hungarian)
 
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Don Dixon

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is that typical in the us? the austrians abbreviated it k.u.k. (kaiserlich und königlich = imperial and royal = austrian and hungarian)
Prior to the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867 which established the Dual Monarchy, the Austrian Imperial Army was titled as the Kaiserlich Königliche Army (k.k. Army). After the establishment of the Dual Monarchy it became the Kaiserlich und Königliche Army (k.u.k. Army) consisting of the joint army (Gemeinsame Armee recruited from all parts of the empire), the Imperial Austrian Landwehr, and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd. Since we are writing here about the Army as it existed at the time of our Civil War, the proper abbreviation is k.k. Army.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 
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Prior to the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867 which established the Dual Monarchy, the Austrian Imperial Army was titled as the Kaiserlich Königliche Army (k.k. Army). After the establishment of the Dual Monarchy it became the Kaiserlich und Königliche Army (k.u.k. Army) consisting of the joint army (Gemeinsame Armee recruited from all parts of the empire), the Imperial Austrian Landwehr, and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd. Since we are writing here about the Army as it existed at the time of our Civil War, the proper abbreviation is k.k. Army.

Regards,
Don Dixon
wow - didn't know that, glad i asked politely :D
 
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FiremarshalBill

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I understand that the Union purchased 226,000 Austrian Lorenz and the Confederacy 100,000.
This morning I took my Austrian Lorenz rifle-musket down to my local gunsmith (Greg Roberts - the fellow who now owns the Hawken Rifle Company) and he verified that it is .58 caliber. I understand the Lorenz were imported in both .54 and .58 caliber. Can anyone hazard to guess what percentage of the 300,000 + imported ACW vintage Lorenz rifles were .58 vs .54 caliber? Thanks.
 
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Don Dixon

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This morning I took my Austrian Lorenz rifle-musket down to my local gunsmith (Greg Roberts - the fellow who now owns the Hawken Rifle Company) and he verified that it is .58 caliber. I understand the Lorenz were imported in both .54 and .58 caliber. Can anyone hazard to guess what percentage of the 300,000 + imported ACW vintage Lorenz rifles were .58 vs .54 caliber? Thanks.
The ordnance standard bore diameter for the Muster 1854 System Lorenz rifle musket, both Types I and II, was .547 (13.9 mm), although I have one that was clearly manufactured for an American contract in that it has a bore diameter is .540. It could not have been loaded with k.k. Army standard ammunition. Some were manufactured under contract in Austria in .58 caliber, while others were bored out there and in Liege, Belgium, and rerifled to .58. Of the ".58s," bore diameters range from .577 to .600.

Compounding the problem, the Federals began boring and rerifling ".54" caliber Type II rifles to .58 caliber in mid-1863. One then finds .58 caliber Muster 1854s, .577 caliber Pattern 1853 Enfields, and .58 caliber Springfield rifle muskets in the same units at the same time. Maintenance and training would still have been a problem, but it resolved the logistical problem of ammunition resupply because all the weapons fired the same ammunition.

Looking at a .58 caliber Muster 1854, it is impossible to tell if it was manufactured that way or bored out and rerifled somewhere, because they were not marked at the time they were reworked. The Austrians had no national standard for proof markings at the time, the Belgian government did not require proof for weapons merely refurbished in Belgium, and they were not proof marked in the U.S.

I am in the process of arriving at a list of what the Federal Ordnance Office thought it imported, but the numbers are very mushy. Executive Document 99, which is regarded by Civil War historians as the "bible" on the quantities of ordnance purchased by the Federal Army during the war, says for example that Dingee and Company sold the Federal Army 21,985 Muster 1854 rifles, but ledgers in the Archives indicate that they delivered as many as 23,759. I can demonstrate that with regard to Austrian weapons the numbers listed in EXDOC 99 for other contractors are incomplete, or not listed in EXDOC 99 at all. The final numbers will be a well educated estimate.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 
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I don't know what an original Lorenz costs, but Pedersoli is now marketing its new reproduction Lorenz for about $1,700. Two friends have bought them and they are beautiful weapons. One note though, Pedersoli does not make a bayonet for their Lorenz, creating an issue for reenactors. Especially since the Lorenz bayonet is 4-sided instead of 3-sided like the Springfields and Enfields.
 
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Jobe Holiday

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Although the Pedersoli replica of the Austrian Lorenz is probably the finest mass produced reproduction you can buy, I believe it was made more for the competitive shooting market than the re-enacting world. I also believe a bayonet was not considered because the two front sights that come with it are dovetailed in place. That pretty much precludes the use of a bayonet that uses the front sight base to mount the bayonet.
J.
 

Package4

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I don't know what an original Lorenz costs, but Pedersoli is now marketing its new reproduction Lorenz for about $1,700. Two friends have bought them and they are beautiful weapons. One note though, Pedersoli does not make a bayonet for their Lorenz, creating an issue for reenactors. Especially since the Lorenz bayonet is 4-sided instead of 3-sided like the Springfields and Enfields.
You can purchase a nice original for under that price...…..
 
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You can purchase a nice original for under that price...…..
Sweet! Yes, so I have heard from others, recently. Just gotta get my hands on one to be able to buy one. Don't see many up here in Canada. In fact, in the last 3 years (after being bitten by the ACW bug), I haven't seen an 1854 Lorenz at all. My buddy has a Garibaldi, but that's the closest I've gotten to a Lorenz up here.
 
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