The Austrian Lorenz, or M1854 Infanteriegewehr (infantry rifle), was the third most used rifle of the American Civil War, with only US Springfield and British Enfield rifles issued in greater numbers. In the Austrian service, the Lorenz originally utilized the Wilkinson-type Kompressivkugel, or "compression bullet," that was known for great accuracy as well as simplicity of manufacture. Historically, the Lorenz had a .547-caliber barrel, and the .539-caliber bullet was paper patched up to a diameter of about .545-inch and lubricated with mutton tallow. It had a higher muzzle velocity and flatter trajectory than the .58-caliber Springfield and .577-caliber Enfield rifle-muskets.
My Lorenz cartridges are obsessively close reproductions of a rare surviving original, which was made with "recycled" paper that had been previously printed on. Like the originals, I use 100% rag paper for its superior paper patching qualities (not modern wood pulp paper, which soaks up lubricant instead of being coated, and chars when fired). The cartridges are shipped without powder so you will need to add powder before going to the range. They shoot best with mild loads of 50 to 55 grains of FFg powder.
The compression bullet is cast from dead pure soft lead, and is .539-inch in diameter. With the right load, this is an insanely accurate bullet! It can be fired naked (without a paper patch) from any .54-caliber rifles, like the US M1841 Mississippi Rifle. If you shoot it un-patched, do not fill both compression grooves with bullet lube; the lube will not compress, and the bullet will not expand properly when fired. I have found that the bullet compresses just as well if you only dip the bottom ring into lube.
The cartridges can also be used in the 1857 Württembergische "Mauser" (Vereinsgewehr), because it is the same .547-inch caliber as the Lorenz. This was no accident; several southern German states, closely aligned with the Austrian Empire, chose to adopt rifles in the same caliber as the Austrian Lorenz. In the event of war, they would all be able to use the same ammunition.
Authentic Paper Cartridges
Our Lorenz cartridges are meticulously precise reproductions of the originals, and they shoot beautifully! Notice how effectively the bullet compresses, as seen by the fired bullet on the right.
54-caliber M1854 Lorenz & M1857 Mauser Cartridges and Compression Bullets