Austrian M1849 "Kammerbushe" Rifle
Offered here is a very nice example of the Austrian Muster 1849 Kammerbushe Rifle, also known as the "Garibaldi Rifle". This is a massive .71 caliber rifle with an impressive 12 groove rifling. The barrel measures about 32.5 inches, and the gun's total length is 48 inches. These rifles feature a 32.5 inch octagon to round barrel that is secured via two iron "keys". There is a front barrel band that also functions as the nose cap and ramrod guide. Two additional brass ramrod guides are inlet into the 3/4 enclosed ramrod channel. The remainder of the rifle is brass mounted, including the buttplate, sideplate, and pistol grip trigger guard.
This rifle is a product of Ferdinand Fruwirth of Vienna, Austria as is evident by his mark atop the barrel's breech behind the rear sight. The lock shows the Austro-Hungarian style abbreviated year date of 853 for 1853 forward of the hammer. The buttplate lacks unit markings which are often encountered on these rifles. This may be due to the fact that this rifle was not in service long before it was made obsolete by the adoption of the Muster 1854 rifle-musket, better known as the "Lorenz". Originally this rifle would have been produced as an Augustin-Console “tube” or “pill” lock ignition system. This example, like all imported to the United States during the war, has been altered to percussion. Our rifle shows a typical high cone seat Belgian style alteration, quite possibly performed after it was sold out of Austrian service. A total of 26,201 "Garibaldi Rifles", composed of primarily the Muster 1849, but also including some smaller quantities of Muster 1844 Rifles, were imported by Federal agents during the war. The majority of which would go on to see service in the Western theater of the war.
The Muster 1849 Kammerbushe offered here is in very nice overall condition. It is missing the forward sling swivel, which seems to be a problem with many of these rifles. There is a small abrasion to the barrel and stock mid way down the right side of the forearm as shown in the pictures. There is also some minor wood loss just behind the front band. The only other detractor is the ramrod is about one-half of an inch short and is missing the threads. The metal components show an overall very pleasant pewter tone with some areas of wear presenting a more bright finish. The lock is marked at its tail with the Austro-Hungarian imperial eagle, and forward of the hammer with the Austrian abridged date 853 for 1853. The lock functions perfectly and holds well and both half and full cock. The 12 groove bore is somewhat dark and would likely improve greatly from a brushing. The stock, aside from the mentioned issues, is in very good condition with only minimal handling marks and scattered bruising. The initials APP are scratched lightly into the right side of the buttstock.
Overall this is a very nice example of a relatively uncommon European imported rifle. The gun shows honest usage, but has been well cared. It displays wonderfully, and could be greatly increased by the addition of a proper socket-saber bayonet.