Original U.S. Civil War Austrian Percussion Conversion Muster 1849 Kammerbuchse Jäger Short Rifle
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 1/2" 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 the Austrian Eagle proof on the lock plate tail. There is also the serial or assembly number 53 stamped into all of the brass hardware, as well as on the nose cap muzzle fitting. There are also some markings on the right side of the barrel, partly covered by the stock.
There are still markings on the lock indicating that it did have a frizzen, which was adapted as part of the "tube lock" system originally used on this rifle. There are also still remnants of the "pan" part of the system, now ground flush to the rest of the lock plate. It still retains a cleaning rod, however it looks to be a replacement without the proper end fitting, and 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 lovely gray patina overall, with just a bit of powder burn around the cap nipple. It does not look to have seen extensive use since it was converted to percussion. We checked the bore, and the 12 groove rifling is still clear, with a partly bright finish, showing some past oxidation. The rear sight is still present and has both the fixed and flip up portions intact and fully functional. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full, however the hammer screw has had the head break off, as shown in the photos.
A very nice example of an interesting percussion short rifle, possibly imported during the U.S. Civil War. Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1848 - converted later
Caliber: about .75 inches
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 33 Inches
Overall Length: 48 1/2 Inches
Action type: Side action Percussion lock
Feed System: Single Shot
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