Ammo The Bavarian Bullet that isn't from Bavaria??

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
I found this bullet, identified as a rare .54 caliber Bavarian Sharps Carbine bullet.
I found this bullet in Redwood, MS a few miles north of Vicksburg.
The camp had the appearance of almost exclusively being Union cavalry. Only one 3-ring minie ball, the rest Sharps carbine bullets.

Here's the kicker - The more I've researched this bullet the more I'm discovering that this bullet didn't seem to have foreign origins, nor is it identified among the cousins of Sharps carbine bullets.

I guess I'm throwing this out to the forum and asking if anyone knows anything concrete about this bullet?
I've always heard it called a Bavarian Sharps. But now I don't seem to know what it is.

.54 Bavarian Sharps.JPG
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
There have been others found (NOT MANY) in Liverpool, Edwards and a CS camp north of Madison and even a few reported ones from North Tenn and West Virginia which don't really match the ones found in Miss. There has been some discussion over the years about these and even though the jury is still out I believe they are from a Confederate made mold to fit the Lorenz Extracorps Carbine of which the South imported 10,000. The musket was 13.9mm which is .556 and the CS 54cal round did not shoot well in these carbines so the theory is they made molds for these. There is a mold that was found in a camp in Miss that is in Crouch's book that made these bullets. I'm at my Dads right now so I can't look and post a photo of it.
 

Ara Oko

Private
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
I also think it's a miniball, possibly cast in a non-standard mold the field. The mold marks may still be evident.
Having said that, a lot of different weapons of all sorts of calibres were used, and all had to be supplied. Scavenging used/worthless lead would have helped produce much needed extra ammo.
If you have a University nearby, you might be able to get them to X-ray it.
Just thinking..
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
There have been others found (NOT MANY) in Liverpool, Edwards and a CS camp north of Madison and even a few reported ones from North Tenn and West Virginia which don't really match the ones found in Miss. There has been some discussion over the years about these and even though the jury is still out I believe they are from a Confederate made mold to fit the Lorenz Extracorps Carbine of which the South imported 10,000. The musket was 13.9mm which is .556 and the CS 54cal round did not shoot well in these carbines so the theory is they made molds for these. There is a mold that was found in a camp in Miss that is in Crouch's book that made these bullets. I'm at my Dads right now so I can't look and post a photo of it.
Great info!
 

Don Dixon

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
...I believe they are from a Confederate made mold to fit the Lorenz Extracorps Carbine of which the South imported 10,000. The musket was 13.9mm which is .556 and the CS 54cal round did not shoot well in these carbines so the theory is they made molds for these...

I would be most interested in a citation documenting Confederate importation of 10,000 System Lorenz Extra Corps carbines.

13.9mm converts to .547 inches, but you are correct that Southern .54 caliber ammunition was a poor fit for System Lorenz arms, since the acceptable bore diameter was .547 to .557 inches. But, so was Federal .54 caliber ammunition.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

Ara Oko

Private
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
This all demonstrates that if you had a non standard rifle, it makes perfect sense you might carry a mold to make bullets for your particular requirements.
Poorly matched ammunition is almost as lethal to the rifleman as the enemy.
I think the .72 prussian muskets were universally disliked, and I can see why. Slinging an ounce of lead downrange not only kicked like hell, but you had little chance of hitting anything more than 50 yards away.
It is no surprise that non-standard alternatives found their way onto the civil var battlefields.
 
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