1860 Austrian Lorenz Rifle Musket
With hostilities beginning in 1861, the Federal and Confederate governments began an arms race to equip their troops with modern arms. While many would have preferred the p1853 Enfield or m1861 Springfield, not all were that fortunate. The Austrian government sold approximately 100,000 to the Confederacy and 250,000 to the United States of various configurations.
Originally designed by Lt. Joseph Lorenz and approved for production in 1854, the state arsenal in Vienna would oversee the production of locks for government and contractor arms made for the civilian market. Arms approved for service in the Kaiser’s army would receive the distinct double eagle stamp on the lockplate.
This particular Lorenz was made by the arsenal in Vienna in 1860 for use in the Austro-Hungarian army. The metal has minimal pitting and minor dings from use since it was made. The metal has minor discoloration and patina on the barrel and hardware, but has an attractive appearance of a firearm of the mid-19th Century. The lock appears to have been cleaned at some point but it does not differ substantially from the other metal. The rifle has its original flip site and brass-tipped ramrod, which has strong threading at the end for appendages. The stock has minor handling marks, but no major cracks or dents. The cheekrest is present, which came with on the arms intended for use in the Austrian army.
Mechanically, the rifle is in perfect operating condition. The .54 bore is somewhat bright, with strong rifling and very minor pitting. It would certainly clean up brighter and be serviceable to live-fire.
The bayonet is a classic quadrangular design and has light pitting and discoloration on the blades and socket. It fits the rifle perfectly, which can be difficult due to the hand-finishing done by the Austrian arsenals. Overall, it displays nicely with the rifle and eliminates finding a socket bayonet online or at gun shows.
This combination would be a fantastic addition to anyone wanting to reenact using an original weapon or put lead downrange. Many soldiers in the Western Theatre saw this weapon in their ranks, including the Army of the Tennessee. Lorenz rifles are getting difficult to find in serviceable condition in the past few years due to more people appreciating their value and use during the war as the second-most imported firearm during the war. Pedersoli recently released their reproduction of the rifle in 2018 with a starting price at between $1,550 and $1,700 before tax or acquiring a fitting bayonet.
This one is priced competitively at $1,850 WITH a fitting bayonet.