What is this? Is this a 1844 Kammerbuchse??

Jubylives

Cadet
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Hi. New guy here. Looking for some info. Picked this poor thing up at a gun show for cheap. Liked the brass and the patch box was interesting. Has seen better days for sure and been abused terribly and made into a shotgun.

Is this a Kammerbuchse M1844? I've googled it and it mostly appears to be. Patch box has me confused. Not many markings on it. Has 208 on all the main parts. Found a 52
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on it too.

I'd appreciate any info you fellers can give. Thanks
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tbuckley

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
By the shape of the trigger guard and patch box I think it is an Austrian Kammerbuchse M1842.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
Texas
@Don Dixon is the resident Austrian expert, but yes it is a Muster 1844 Kammerbuchse. The references that refer to this model as the M1842 are in error. IIRC they were first reported this way in Todd's "American Military Equipage 1851-1872", and the error was repeated in "Firearms from Europe". The correct 1844 designation is used in "European Arms in the Civil War", though an example is not pictured. The authors do note that "Some of the earlier M1844s had a patchbox with a wooden slide.".

We've had a couple of other threads with some information on them you might like to check out.
 

Don Dixon

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
Your firearm was a Muster 1844 Kammerbüchse. The "patch box" was actually a tool box for the soldier's small gun tools which was installed on the rifles from 1844 to approximately 1847. The Austrian Army stopped putting them on the rifles at that point. It may have been an economy measure, it may have been because the tools rattled in the box [not a good thing for Jägers when they were on the fire [skirmish] line], or it may have been because the box lids came off and were lost. The boxes are rarely seen on Muster 1844 Kammerbüchse in the United States. I don't know if it was because only small numbers of the variant were imported or if the survival rate of the variant was very small during and after the war. The numbers that you show in your photos are manufacturer's or assembly markings, and not even the Austrian Army Museum has a crib sheet for them. Most of the rifles were produced by contractors, particularly Ferdinand Früwirth, and the manufacturer's name should be on the top of the breech, although it may have been obliterated when the rifle was transformed to percussion. Any Austrian unit markings would be on the left breech of the barrel forward of the chamber [Kammer] section, on the top of the buttplate, or just below the head of the ramrod. The 'lump-of-metal" transformation to percussion is of Piedmontese Army design and was made after the rifle left Austrian service in the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia [possibly] or in Liege, Belgium. The Belgians did not proof the weapons after transformation so there are no Belgian proof marks.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

Jubylives

Cadet
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Thank you for your time sharing that info. Too bad it met the fate it did. I bought it mainly to practice refinishing techniques on but now I'm second guessing that. I'm a little too sentimental at times.
 
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