Austrian M-1854 Lorenz - FINE -Boker Imported.
- Product Code: FLA-1290-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
This is a very interesting Austrian M-1854 Lorenz rifle musket in very fine condition. The unique features just about guarantee that is one of the guns that was classified during the course of the war as Boker’s Sample #2. The firm of Herman Boker & Company delivered approximate 188,000 continental arms to the US government between the beginning of the war and the middle of 1862. These guns were of varying quality and type and were classified into sample lots based upon model and condition. Boker’s Sample #2 was a grouping of roughly 24,000Austrian M-1854 rifle muskets with block sites. The quality of the grouping in general was not greatest, although the official US government report noted that some were indeed very good arms. In the US government document prepared on March 4, 1862 Report of Appraised Value of Arms Delivered Under the Boker Contract Major Peter Hagner made a number of derogatory comments about the condition of many of the guns in the sample group. A similar report, prepared by Captain Silas Crispin on June 5, 1862, entitled Statement of Arms Delivered by H Boker & Co, raised similar concerns about the Sample #2 arms. Their major complaints were that the hammers on many of the guns were “too light” and easily broken. They actually referenced at least 42 known instances of hammers breaking when the guns were initially issued. They also noted that many of the guns had locks that appeared to have been altered to percussion from an earlier form of ignition. Comment was also made that while many of the stocks were in good condition, many more appeared to have been made for smaller barrels and had been altered to accept the new Lorenz pattern barrels. The one positive comment made by both men about the guns of Boker’s Sample #2 was that the barrels were very good and well rifled.
This particular Lorenz has many of the features that Hagner & Crispin mentioned in their report. Instead of the typical Lorenz lock plate, an earlier style plate from an Austrian M-1842 or M-1849 pattern gun was used, with the top edge ground down to mate with the bolster of the Lorenz barrel. The lock still has a fairly legible manufacture date of 84” forward of the hammer (it looks like it may be a 6), a full nine years prior to the adoption of the Lorenz pattern arms. The typical Austrian Eagle stamp is very clear to the rear of the hammer. The top flat of the barrel is marked with the initials of the maker (or the Liege firm that refurbished it), LSCH. Matching assembly marks (a script F ) are located on most of the major components of the rifle. The gun has the block site that Hagner referred to, and the gun also has the light hammer which Hagner & Crispin were so critical of. Most serious authorities on the use of Austrian arms during the war have accepted these lighter pattern hammers to be of Belgian origin. Since many of the guns provide by Boker were repaired, re-bored and refurbished in Liege on their way to the United State, this replacement part makes perfect sense.
The gun retains both original sling swivels, as well as the original block rear site. The original Austrian rammer is present and in excellent condition. It is full length and still has the original threads at the end. This is the earliest style of Lorenz rammer, that has the same contours as the later pattern rammers but has a tip made entirely of iron, with no bras band around it. The rammer has the typical Austrian rack number markings stamped near the tip. The lock functions perfectly and is very crisp. Even the original US pattern musket cone (nipple) remains in place in the bolster. The guns bore measures .55 caliber, which is typical of Boker’s guns that arrived in a number of calibers between .54 and .59. The bore is dark and dirty and is deeply rifled with four grooves. The bore should clean to at least good with a little effort. The lock plate and breech of the gun show only the lightest peppering and no real pitting to speak of. The balance of the gun is very smooth metal and has a lovely dove-gray patina over all of the iron parts. There is also a light splotchy brown patina starting to develop over the grey iron. The gun could be left as is, and develop a lovely medium brown patina in the coming years, or retuned to an “as issued” bright look with minimal work. The initials D K are marked on the side plate of the musket, in a series of punch dots. The stock is in near excellent condition, with minimal bumps, dings and rubs. The stock is so well preserved that even the typical drying cracks that are so common in the beech wood stocks of Austrian arms are not present. The edges remain sharp where they should be and there is no indication that the stock has ever been sanded or in any way messed with. Even the ramrod channel is crisp with practically no visible wear.
While many Lorenz’s were imported for use by both sides during the American Civil War (approximately 250,000 by the US and 100,000 by the CS), if the guns is not specifically marked for state ownership or have excellent provenance, it is almost impossible to know if it actually came here or not. This unique gun clearly has the very specific, non-standard features that identify it as one of the guns in a very specific lot imported by Herman Boker. Considering the hard use that most of the Continental arms that the US imported early in the war saw, it is rare to find one in this fine condition. This is great looking gun that unique features that deserves a special place in a collection of Civil War used import arms.SOLD