Original U.S. Civil War Austrian Percussion Converted M1849 Kammerbuchse Jäger Rifle with Bayonet - dated 1848
Original item: Only One Available. The rifle is a Muster 1849 Austro-Hungarian Army (k.k. Army) Kammerbuchse (chamber rifle), original produced using the somewhat bizarre System Augustin "Tube Lock". This utilized a semi-enclosed flash pan and "tube" for a more reliable ignition system. It was however short lived, and in 1854 the Lorenz rifle was developed using the much less complex percussion lock system. After this large quantities of the Kammerbuchse rifles were converted to caplock in Liège, Belgium, prior to shipment to America (probably for Federal use) during the Civil War.
Prior to the manufacture of the Muster 1854 System Lorenz family of arms beginning in 1855, Kammerbuchsen were used to arm the first two ranks in Jäger battalions, the third rank in Grenz regiments, and some specialist troops such as engineers, pioneers, etc. Although Fredrick Fruwith made numbers of these rifles as a contractor for the k.k. Army, he was not the only contractor who did so. Although widely referred to in America as Garibaldi rifles - beginning in late 1861 - we have been unable to find any reliable written sourcing which documents their issue to Garibaldi's troops during the second Italian War of Independence in 1859 or the March of the Thousand in 1860.
The rifle measures of 48" in overall length, the .75 caliber rifled barrel measuring 33". The wood stock is quality walnut and the mounts of brass, except for the nose barrel ring, which is steel. The lock plate is unmarked, except for an Austrian-style 848 date, and it also has the Austrian Eagle proof on the lock plate tail. There is also the serial or assembly number 59 stamped into all of the brass hardware as well as on the barrel sight dovetail, while all of the other markings on the rifle are unclear. There are still markings on the lock indicating that it did have a frizzen, which was adapted as part of the "tube lock" system most likely originally used on this rifle. It still retains the original cleaning rod, though both the lower and upper sling swivels are missing.
The stock is in very good condition, with a lovely cheek piece on the left butt stock, and a gently worn finish. The metalwork shows a bit more wear, especially the barrel near the cap bolster. There is a lot of powder burn in the area, indicating that the rifle saw significant use after the percussion conversion. It at one time had a rear sight, however that is now missing, leaving just the dovetail. The original cleaning rod is present and in good shape, and the lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full.
The bayonet is a nice bladed socket type, and locks correctly onto the front of the rifle. It is somewhat interesting however, in that the socket fits over both the front sight and a securing lug on the bottom of the barrel. The locking ring is on the very end of the socket, and rotates a full 180 so that the front sight is not blocked. With the long bayonet on a somewhat short rifle, it would still be able to have a good reach for bayonet combat. It does have some staining and wear, but matches the rifle well.
A very nice example of an interesting percussion short rifle, possibly imported during the civil war, complete with its original bayonet. Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1848 - converted later
Caliber: about .75 inches
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 33 Inches
Overall Length: 48 Inches
Action type: Side action Percussion lock
Feed System: Single Shot
Blade Length: 23"
Blade Style: Single Edged Sword with Fuller
Overall length: 28"
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