1861 Springfield Rifle Musket

Preservation & Care of Arms in Service
INSTRUCTION-The officers, non-commission officers, and soldiers, should be instructed and practiced in the nomenclature of the arms, and the manner of dismounting and mounting them, and the precautions and care required for their preservation.
Each soldier should have a screw-driver and a wiper, and each non-commissioned officer a wire tumbler-punch and a spring service. No other implements should be used in taking arms apart, or in setting them up.
In the inspection of arms, officers should attend to the qualities essential to service, rather than to a bright polish on the exterior. Arms should be inspected to the quarters at least once a month, with the barrel and lock separated from the stock.
Dismounting by a Soldier,-The rifle-musket should be dismounted in the following order, viz:
1st. Unfix the bayonet;
2d. Insert the tompion;
3d. Draw the ramrod;
4th. Turn out the tagscrew;
5th. Take off the lock-to do this put the hammer at half cock and partially unscrew the side screws, then, with a slight tap on the head of each screw with a wooden instrument, loosen the lock from its bed in the stock; turn out the side screws, and remove the lock with the left hand;
6th. Remove the side screws without disturbing the washers;
7th. Take off the bands in order, commencing with the uppermost;
8th. Take out the barrel.
In doing this, turn the musket horizontally, with the barrel downward, holding it loosely, with the left hand below the rear sight, the right hand grasping the stock by the handle; tap the muzzle on the ground, it necessary to loosen the breach.
If an attempt were made to pull the barrel out by the muzzle, it would in case it were wood hound, be liable to split at the head of the stock. The foregoing parts of the rifle-musket are all that should be taken off, or dismounted by the solder.

The breech-screw should be taken out only by an armorer, and never in ordinary-cleaning.
The mountings, cone and coneseat screw should not be taken off, nor should the lock be taken apart, except by permission of an officer.

To Clean the Barrel.-
1st. Stop the bent with a peg of soft wood, or piece of rag or soft leather pressed down be the hammer; pour a gill of warm water into the muzzle; let it stand a short time, to soften the deposit of powder; put a plug of soft wood into the muzzle, and shake the water up and down the barrel; pour it out, and repeat the operation until the water comes out clear; remove the peg from the cone, and stand the barrel, muzzle downwards, to drain for a few moments.
2d. Screw the wiper on the end of the ramrod, and put a piece of dry cloth or tow around it sufficient to prevent it from chafing the grooves of the barrel; wipe the barrel dry, changing the cloth two or three times.
3d. Put no oil into the vent, as it will clog the passage, and cause the first primer to misfire; but, with a slightly oiled rag, rub the bore of the barrel and immediately insert the tompion in the muzzle.
4th. After firing, the barrel should always be washed as soon as practicable; when the water comes off clear wipe the barrel dry and pass into it an oiled rag. Fine flour or emery cloth in the best article to clean the exterior of the barrel.

To Clean the Lock.- Wipe every part with a moist rag, and then a dry one; if any part of the interior shows rust, put a drop of oil on the point or end of a piece of soft wood dipped into the flour of emery; rub out the rust and wipe the surface dry; then rub every part with a slightly oiled rag.

To Clean the Mountings.- For iron and steel parts, use fine emery moistened with oil, or emery cloth. For brass parts, use
rotten stone moistened with vinegar or water, applied with a rag, brush, or stick; oil or grease should be avoided. The dirt may be removed from screw-holes by screwing a piece of soft wood into them. Wipe all parts with a linen rag, and leave the parts slightly oiled.

Dismounting by an Armorer.-The parts which are specially assigned to be dismounted by an experienced armorer will stated in their regular order, following
No. 8, viz:
9th. Unscrew cone;
10th, take out cone seat screw;
11th, remove band-springs using wire punch;
12th, take out the guard screws. Be careful that the screw-driver does not slip, and mar the stock.
13th, remove the guard without injuring the wood at either end of the plate;
14th, remove the side-screw washers with a drift-punch;
15th, remove the butt-plate;
16th, remove the rear sight;
17th, turn out the breech screw. No other wrench should ever be used for this purpose, and the barrel should be held in clamps, neatly fitting the breech Lock.

To take the lock apart:
1st. Cock the piece, and apply the spring-piece to the mainspring; give the thumb-screw a urn sufficient to liberate the spring from the swivel and mainspring notch; remove the spring;
2d. The sear-spring screw;
3d. The sear-screw and sear.
4th. The bridlescrew and bridle.
5th. The tumbler-screw;
6th. The tumbler-this is driven out with a punch, inserted in the screwhole, which at the same time liberates the havver.
7th. Detach the main ring swivel from the tumbler with a drift-punch;
8th. Take out the feed finger and spring;
9th The catch-spring and screw.

As a general rule, all parts of the musket are assembled in the inverse order in which them are dismounted. Before replacing screws, oil them slightly with a good sperm oil, (inferior oil is converted into a gum which clogs the operation of the parts)
Screws should not be turned in so hard as to make the parts bind. When a lock has from any cause become gummed with oil and dirt, it may be cleaned by boiling in soap-suds or in pearl ash or soda water; heat should never be applied in any other way.

Precautions in Using.- On ordering arms on parade, let the butt be brought gently to the ground, especially if the ground be hard. This will save the mechanism of the lock from shocks, which are very injurious to it and which tend to loosen and mar the screws and spoilt the wood work.
The ramrod should not be "sprung" with unnecessary force, for fear of injuring the corners of the grooves; and, in stacking arms, care should be taken not injure the bayonets by forcibly training the edges against each other.
No cutting, marking, or scraping the wood or iron should be allowed; and no part of the gun should be touched with a file.
Take every possible care to prevent wear from getting between the lock or barrel, and stock. If any should get there, dismount the gun as soon as possible, clean and oil the parts as directed, and see that they are perfectly dry assembling them.

The Appleton Motor, Thursday, June 27, 1861
Thanks to Mark Karweick

Socket Bayonet.

Seventeenth Century French military engineer, La Prestre de Vauban, designed and built military strongholds throughout Europe and then developed a means of destroying them - trench warfare. Basically, this began as a trench filled with men providing firepower that allows enough protection for you to dig another trench closer to the objective in sort of a hop-skip progression. On reaching the objective, you undermine it, put in explosives and blow it up. He also invented the socket bayonet.

Scientific American/ 1843

58Cal. Minie Ball


This essay is intended to make more familiar to the membership the firing techniques used during the Civil War, and how we can incorporate them into our living history and battle portrayals.

To begin with, the commands for firing are the same in Hardee’s and Casey’s Tactics.

The types of firing are as follows: Fire by company (direct, left and right oblique), Fire by rank, Fire by file, and Fire by the rear rank. During the war the soldiers were drilled in the firing movements, but seldom was live ammunition issued to let the men experience the shock and recoil of a fired musket. Blank cartridges were used to some degree in training to simulate combat conditions. But the majority of regiments entered the seat of war never having loaded or fired their muskets.

"Load in nine times" in the School of the Soldier, No. 156, was used to drill the recruit in the movements needed to load a musket until it became second nature. The cadence of each motion in the manual of arms is fixed at the nineth part of a minute. But the manual goes on to state, "As the motions relative to the cartridge, to the rammer, and the fixing and unfixing of the bayonet, cannot be executed at the rate prescribed, nor even with a uniform swiftness, they will not be subjected to that cadence. The instructor will, however, labor to cause these motions to be executed with promptness, and, above all, with regularity." SS No. 130

Once these basic movements were mastered, the recruit was passed onto "Load in four times", SS No. 250. The manual states, "The object of this lesson is to prepare the recruits to load at will, and to cause them to distinguish the times which require the greatest regularity and attention, such as charge cartridge, ram cartridge, and prime." SS No. 250 The object of this drill was to bring the soldier to a level of proficiency, by degrees, where he could load and fire at will.

It would appear that the troops continued to be drilled in the movement "Load in four times", because in the School of the Company the manual states "Loading in four times will be commanded and executed as prescribed in the School of the Soldier, No. 251, and following. The instructor will cause this exercise to be often repeated, in succession, before passing to loading at will.", SC No. 44.

"Loading at will," quickly and effectively was the ideal striven for, though not always achieved. After being taught to "Load in nine times," and "Load in four times," the recruits were drilled in the movements of "Load at will".

The manual states, "The instructor will next teach loading at will, which will be executed as loading in four times, but continued, and without resting on either of the times . The instructor will habituate the recruits, by degrees, to load with the greatest possible promptitude, each without regulating himself by his neighbor, and above all without waiting for him. The cadence prescribed, No. 129, is not applicable to loading in four times, or at will." SS No’s. 256-258.

"Loading at will, being that of battle, and consequently the one with which it is most important to render the men familiar, will claim preference in the exercises the moment the men be well established in the principles. To these they will be brought by degrees, so that every man may be able to load with cartridges, and to fire at least three rounds in a minute with ease and regularity." SC No. 47

In the heat of combat men forgot to tear their cartridges, spilled the powder, rammed bullets without first charging the musket with powder, forgot to cap the piece, or shot off their ramrods, all effectively rendering the musket useless. Some soldiers continued to load round after round into their muskets without knowing if it had fired or not. The manual took steps to prevent this from happening. "When firing is executed with cartridges, it is particularly recommended that the men observe, in uncocking, whether smoke escapes from the tube, which is a certain indication that the piece has been discharged: but if, on the contrary, no smoke escapes, the soldier, in such case, instead of reloading, will pick and prime again.

If, believing the load to be discharged, the soldier should put a second cartridge in his piece, he ought, at least, to perceive it in ramming by the height of the load: and he would be very culpable, should he put in a third. The instructor will always cause arms to be inspected after firing with cartridges, in order to observe if the fault has been committed, of putting three cartridges, without a discharge, in the same piece, in which case the ball screw will be applied. It sometimes happens, when a cap has missed fire, that the tube is found stopped up with a hard, white, and compact powder-in this case, picking will be dispensed with, and a new cap substituted for the old one." SC No. 82-83

In reenacting, nothing sounds better than a nice crisp volley, but in actually, the fire by file was that most often used in battle.

Col. Rufus R. Dawes, of the 6th WI, states that during the action at Brawner Farm, "The left wing fired a volley into the woods, and the right wing advanced and fired a volley into the woods. There were four volleys by wing given, at the word of command. In a long experience in musketry fighting, this was the single instance I saw of other than a fire by file in battle."

The manual states, "The fire by file being that which is most frequently used against an enemy, it is highly important that it be rendered perfectly familiar to the troops. The instructor will, therefore, give it almost exclusive preference..." SC No. 67. "The fire by file will be executed by the two ranks, the files of which will fire successively, and without regulating on each other, except for the first fire." SS No. 273. "The fire will commence by the right file of the company; the next file will take aim at the instant the first takes down their pieces to reload, and so on to the left; but this progression will only be observed in the first discharge, after which each man will reload and fire without regulating himself by others,." SC No. 57.

It is also important to point out that once the pieces are loaded they are to be brought to the position of ready . ..... they will load their pieces and return immediately to the position of ready." SS No. 262 "At the command, load, the men will load their pieces, and then take the position of ready..." SC No. 51. "If after firing, the instructor should not wish the recruits to reload, he will command: Shoulder - Arms."

SS No. 181.

I trust this brief work will meet with the approval of the membership, and if in any way, I have helped in advancing the knowledge of the hobby, it has met with all my expectations.

David J. Murphy

Lorenz Musket

Rumors have been rampant recently concerning the availability of a reproduction 9M-1854 Lorenz musket. Although I’ve been hearing about them coming on the market for a few years, I haven’t actually seen one yet, and that’s too bad because I’d like to own one. Here’s some excerpts on what’s been published on them so far.

In the 1998 Feb-March Is Civil War News, published the following information: The parts to create... rare and exotic arms... are available from "TheRifle Shoppe." (18420 East Hefner Road, Jones, OK 73049 405-396-8450, FAX 405-396-8450). Perhaps most interesting, for the Civil War arms fancier ... is the company’s new Lorenz rifle parts kit... The Rifle Shoppe’s parts kit will make it easier to restore an original Lorenz missing a barrel band or ramrod, or, with a stock from Wayne Dunlap, make up a brand new Lorenz. The Rifle Shoppe is working on a breech and breech plug which will be compatible with Bobby Hoyt’s barrel making operation. Greg Edington, who represents Rifle Shoppe products to the N-SSA, hopes to work with Hoyt to get an N-SSA approved barrel as soon as possible. (N-SSA is North-South Skirmish Association, a competitive marksmanship organization. Hoyt barrels are very accurate, high quality rifled barrels, popular among competitors) Most Rifle Shoppe parts are unfinished, and need some skilled amateur or professional gunsmithing work to polish, fit and, where necessary, harden them. The company provides a list of gunsmiths who are prepared to do lock and component assembly work on its parts. Even parts used for restoration on an original Lorenz have to be hand fitted, as the guns were, like Birmingham Enfields, "hand made" arms without interchangeable parts. Unlike a London Armory Enfield or a US Springfield, it was never possible to just pop a part in on a Lorenz". In February, after the above article was published, Greg Edington posted the following message to N-SSA Internet bulletin board : I have received several E-mails concerning my M-1854 Lorenz Rifle-Musket Kit project, and the kits availability. ...The kit will be of the 54 caliber (13.9 MM) M-1854 Lorenz Infantry Rifle with block site, the ladder type site will be available as an option. ...The rifle kit is modeled off of a Viennese Freuwirth with the date "860" (1860) and is correct for both USA & CSA units. The most of the screws will be US threads as the Austrians hand as sembled and fitted these rifles and lock parts do not tend to be interchangeable. The stock wood will be Beech which is correct for the Lorenz with Walnut as an option. The stock will be specifically inleted and fitted for the parts in the kit. Lorenz accouterments such as combination tools, worms, wipers, and possibly bayonets will also be available for purchase. This kit will not be ready until about late spring. Also, the barrel is not N-SSA approved yet...The basic kit Lorenz kit men tioned above is estimated to have afinal cost of around $700... If you want to contact me by e-mail please sendit to my home e-mail address: edington@cfanet.com. Subsequent posts explained that the soonest N-SSA approval could be obtained would be in August 1998.
Subsequent posts explained that the soonest N-SSA approval could be obtained would be in August 1998.
Gary Van Kauwenbergh
Second Wisconsin Skrimish Team

ED: This received from Greg Edington:


Lorenz M-1854

Type 1 Infantry Rifle Kit $799.95
Type II Rifle Kit with long range block sight $849.95

Premium styles of both with Hoyt cut orig. style rifling and select wood, add $100.
both plus S & H

The Lorenz rifle was one of the most used rifle muskets in history.....in the US Civil War by 2d Wisconsin, Hood’s 5th Texas Infty, and VMI Cadets at New Market.

The type I kit will have block site and comb on the stock. Type II can also be supplied with the adjustable 900 pace (apx. 800 yd.) The lock date is (1)860 and the configuration is correct for both US and CSA rifles.

The stock supplied will be fully inleted Beech or Light Maple (walnut an option) per originals with the exception of the band spring mortises which were hand fitted on the original. All major screw holes will be drilled and others spotted and started. Stock is premium grade and designed for hardware provided and will need minimum fitting and finishing. (Stocks being supplied by one of Dunlop Wood’s subcontractors.)

Hardware like butt plate, trigger guard are drilled for screws, lockplate and rear sight are assembled, springsand fully threaded (std. US threads) all other parts are de-gated.

Kit will come with a .543 (13.9MM) barrel with cut rifling, six grooves, with the original 1-62" twist, with front sight installed and the rear site dovetail ready for installation of the provided rear site. Four grooved barrels made to original specifications using blanks hand rifled by Robert Hoyt are also avail on premium grade lines.

Among the accessories that will be available are Lorenz Jeager Saber Bayonet at $129.95; Rifle Musket Bayonet avail. late ‘98 to be priced; Jag, wiper at $17.95; NCO Comb. tool $19.95. 50% down on order (rifle), 12-18 week delivery.

Phone: ((37) 525-0012. Mail to: 4244 Green Meadows Drive, Enon, OH 45323; e-mail as above.