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Military Rifles in the Age of Transition
(Non-U.S.) Black Powder, Metallic Cartidge, Military Rifles
1865 to 1890
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M1855/67 & M1860/67 Lund
Kammerlader Langt Lunds gevær M1855/67 & M1860/67
M1855/67 & M1860/67 Lund (Kammerlader Langt Lunds gevær M1855/67)
M1855/67 & M1860/67 Lund (Kammerlader Langt Lunds gevær M1855/67)
During the time period covered by this book, 1865-1888, Norway was ruled by Sweden and it’s impossible to discuss the arms of one country without recognizing the particularly close ties between the two. From the late 12th century until the early 19th century, Norway and Denmark were united under Danish rule, with Norway being little more than a Danish province. During the Napoleonic wars (1807-1814), Denmark fought against Great Britain, notwithstanding that Norwegian trade depended almost entirely upon Great Britain. Sweden was allied with Britain, and after Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, Great Britain forced the Danes to transfer control of Norway to Sweden at the treaty of Kiel (which Norway never recognized, and in fact, the Norwegians at that time proclaimed themselves independent). Despite limited warfare between Norway and Sweden, the two countries quickly compromised and formed a loose Swedish-Norwegian union. During this time, despite some differences, there were many joint efforts regarding arms development and procurement; most notably concerning the adoption and local manufacture of the Remington Rolling Block rifles. The Swedish-Norwegian union lasted until 1905, when a Norwegian national election elected Prince Carl of Denmark to become Norway’s King Haakon the 7th. To avoid almost certain civil war, Sweden recognized Norway’s independence, and the countries’ paths again diverge.
Due to the foregoing political circumstances during the second half of the 1800's (an undesired union with Sweden), Norway built up one of the worlds most advanced armed forces of that time. Consider that Norway was fully equipped with breech loaders and repeating arms while the English still were converting Enfield percussion rifles to Sniders. The average rifle model was produced in quantities sufficient to arm the whole army (consisting of much of the male population) and was replaced at intervals of only 10-20 years. But the sheer variety of models produced during the middle of the 19th century makes for particularly interesting, if sometimes frustrating, collecting.
Although Ferguson and Hall had developed breech-loading flintlock arms decades earlier, Norway appears to have been the first country to adopt breech loading rifles on a broad scale for regular military service. As early as 1842, Norway began employing a highly unusual and creative breech loading action designed by ----- Sheel and ----- Gregerson which became commonly known as the kammerladers gevær (chamber-loading rifles). These unique rifles were designed to employ a paper cartridge loaded into a lever operated chamber at the breech end of the rifle. Norway utilized kammerladers for both it’s army and navy. Between 1842 and the end of the 1860’s Norway had produced and adopted 40,000 kammerladers in total. Of these, perhaps some __,000 were subsequently converted to metallic cartridge via either the Lund system (the conversion system adopted by the Norwegian army) or the Landmark system (the Norwegian navy’s conversion system).
During their 25-27 years of production, kammerladers gevær were produced in a nearly bewildering number of variations. Norwegian specialist collectors are able to differentiate some 85 distinct variations! The major varieties are, luckily, more easily grouped into fewer models. Because most all of these were subject to conversion to breech-loaders, it is perhaps easiest to distinguish the various percussion rifles first and then discuss their conversion to metallic cartridge use.
The M1842 was produced in very small numbers at Liege (100) and at Kongsberg (300) (Trond says 400). It is distinguished by a very narrow handle and by a ridge on the hammer located at the _________. Judging by surviving numbers, it seems that only some 300 were ever produced as Army M1842’s. 200 of them may also have been completed in a shorted version for Norway’s navy (as evidenced by an early navy kammerlader (serial number 170) with the M184_ hammer.
The M1846 chamber loader, with minor alterations to the action and a wider hammer lever was produced in much larger numbers; 3,000 at Kongsberg, 1,500 in Liege by A. Francotte and an additional 1,500 at/by Crause (Krause) in Hertzberg. Confusingly, all three manufacturers serial numbered their rifles, identical models, consecutively starting with 1! The M1842 and M1846 are both identified by the two screws holding the square plate behind the breech chamber in place.
The M1849 again added slight modifications to the mechanism. An even wider hammer for a better grip was fitted and a new rear sight placed behind (ahead???) the breech block. Unusually, the brass buttplate was extended down and around the bottom heel edge of the buttstock to better protect the wood in that area. Kongsberg produced 6,500 M1849s, A. Francotte in Liege and Crause in Hertzberg each producing 2,000. Again, all three makers started serial numbers from 1!
M1855s are closely similar to the M1849s, but with the rear sight moved forward and attached to the barrel via a barrel ring. Kongsberg built some 4,000 of this model, mercifully continuing serial numbering from the end of its M1849 production. Most all of the M1849s (as well as some numbers of surviving M1842 and M1846 kammerladers were subsequently updated to this new rear sight and all are denoted M1849/55.
The M1859 is a new, shorter version, distinguished by having it’s barrel and stock mounted with only two brass bands. It is the last of the “large bore” (18 loodig – 16.8 mm) Norwegian kammerladers. It was produced for the Sharpshooters Company in Stockholm (today’s King’s Guard), for jaegers and as a sergeant’s rifle. Fewer than 1,300 M1859s were produced by Kongsberg ini 1859 and 1860, with serial numbers following the M1855 series (although there is evidence of some M1859s being produced as late as 1868).
Most of the M1855’s, including the earlier kammerladers converted to the M1855 standard, were later shortened by about 160 mm (___ ins.) to the M1859 configuration and are referred to generically as M1855/59. The M1855/59 is distinguished from newly built M1859s by having the top barrel band retaining spring reversed and a new sliver of wood glued into the spring’s original position.
All of the preceding kammerladers were designed for use with the Norwegian __ “” 18 løødig (18 bore) bullets of 16.8 mm. These are the “large bore” kammerladers.
The M1860 Long chamber-loader (kammerlader lang) marks a significant departure from earlier models. Although a derivative of the M1855, it’s barrel is longer and lighter utilizing hexagonal Whitworth‑type rifling, and the rifle is chambered for a 4’” (4 line, or 11.77 mm) bullet paper cartridge. Nearly 12,000 M1860 kammerladers lang gevær were produced at Kongsberg between 1860 and 186_?
Most all of the long and the short M1860 kammerlader rifles (referenced below) were converted to the Lund metallic cartridge system, as well as most of the carbines.
The metallic cartridge conversions of the kammerlader
After the Norwegian army adopted the M1867 Remington Rolling Block rifle (q.v.), many kammerlader rifles were altered via the Lund system to fire the same M1867 Remington rimfire cartridge. The Lund system was mainly used to convert the 4’” kammerladers, the M1860s. The Lund is the Norwegian army’s conversion of the Kammerladnings gevær; the navy utilized the somewhat similar, but distinct conversion system, employing a different design to achieve a similar result, known as the “Landmark,” (q.v.) discussed on the following pages.
M1860/67 Lund infantry rifle‑musket (kammerladnings langt Lund gevær, - long Lund rifle): This is the 11.77 mm Lund pattern cartridge conversion. The first rifles to be converted were re-barreled (re-rifled only?) specifically for the 12.17 mm bullets of the new metallic cartridges. The rifling of these barrels is conventional land and groove. Later conversions were left unchanged with their original 11.77 mm barrels with hexagonal rifling, not a significant problem when firing soft lead bullets. The back sight is a simple two‑leaf rocking pattern, replaced by a tangent‑leaf on guns issued to marksmen. The standard 1846‑type socket bayonet was retained. An additional 1,600 M1860/67 pattern rifle‑muskets were newly made specifically for the 12.17mm rimfire Remington cartridge in 1868‑70, while thousands of older percussion rifles were simply converted. After 1879, all of these rifles were all denoted as "12mm Lund's Rifle‑musket M/1867", regardless of their original pattern.
M1855/67 Lund infantry rifle (kammerladnings gevær M1855/67): Very few 18‑bore (16.8 mm) rifle‑muskets were converted from the M1855 pattern cap lock. These Lund conversions were applied to surviving rifles in the late 1860s, sights being altered to rocking patterns graduated to 800 alen. Virtually all M1855‑67 rifles had been withdrawn from service by the mid 1870s.
Basically, all kammerladers actions are locked by rotating the breech-chamber into line with the barrel. The comparatively complicated breech block is pivoted at the rear by a side lever mounted on an eccentric cam which opens the action and provided a reasonably effective gas seal when the action was rotated closed. The breech block contains the chamber and is loaded with a paper cartridge, muzzleloader style, when the breech block is exposed. The rifle is fired by an under hammer (similar to the American ___), striking a percussion cap igniting directly into the back of the chamber for the unaltered kammerladers.
For the converted rifles, the kammerlader Lund, the underhammer strikes a curved firing pin which slides within a slot against the underside of the breech block striking the edge of the rimfire cartridge. Although cheaper than a newly-built rifle, the Lund conversion is extensive. The brass floor plate is replaced with steel one, a track in milled into the inside of the receiver to accept a new extractor, the entire breech block is replaced and the right side of the receiver is also milled. The result is still a rifle with a particularly slow action and the lack of any primary camming of the extractor means that extraction is often problematic.
Civilian versions were fitted with iron bands, military versions with brass bands. The rifles were not originally blued, but rather the barrel an receiver parts were “browned” producing a deep milk chocolate color.
(KD Note: Mention cleaning rods!)
SPECIFICATIONS, STATISTICS & DATA
For the M1855/67
Chambering: 16.8 mm, rimfire
Overall Length: ___ mm (55.7 inches)
Weight, empty: approx. __ kg (__ lbs)
Barrel Length: 36.6 inches
Rifling: 6-groove; RH, polygonal
Sight: Ramp-and-leaf, graduated to ___ alen (___ m, ___ yards)
For the M1860/67:
Chambering: 11.77mm, rimfire
Overall Length: 1,420 mm (55.7 inches)
Weight, empty: approx. 11 lbs
Barrel Length: 910 mm (35.8 inches)
Rifling: Early conversions were rifled 6-groove, RH, concentric, later conversions retained the original RH Whitworth-type hexagonal
Sight: Ramp-and-leaf, graduated to 900 alen (------m, 615 yards)
SHORT RIFLES, CARBINES & SPECIAL VERSIONS
Model 1860/67 Short Rifle (Kort Lunds gevær M/1860/67)
Basically an M1860 rifle-musket with two spring-retained bands instead of three, this accepted a special sword bayonet with a muzzle-ring diameter of .736 (18.7mm) via a bayonet bar on the right side of the muzzle. Military production amounted to about 3,200 guns in 1862‑6. Lund conversions were undertaken in the late 1860s, the new rocking sight being graduated to 900 alen.
Model 1865/69 Cavalry Carbine (Lunds karabin for kavaleriet M1865/69)
Almost identical to the M/1862 artillery carbine, the M1865 chamber-loading cavalry carbine originally lacked swivels. Rather, a sling ring was fitted to the left side of the stock alongside the breech. When converted to the Lund system, the carbine was given new sights.
Model 1869 cavalry carbine
This is a newly-made M/1865/69, identical in almost every respect except markings. Only about 600 were made in 1870, as the chamber-loader was superseded in front-line service by the Remington.
Model 1869/77 cavalry carbine
. At this time the sling ring was replaced by a swivel on the trigger guard and a new double-band nose cap and swivel was adopted.
Model 1862/66/69 Artillery Carbine (Lunds karabin for artilleriet M/1862/66/69).
The original chamber-loading artillery carbine of 1862 was simply a __ band, short-barreled M/1860 rifle. Like the rifle-musket, it had a birch stock and brass furniture. Swivels are mounted on the nose cap and under the butt and the barrel accepts a special short-hilted bayonet. Virtually all of these carbines were fitted with new two-leaf sights ranged to 400 and 600 alen (275 and 410yds) in 1866, they were soon converted to the Lund system. Upon conversion, the carbines were re-sighted with 800-pace (550yd) sights and re-denominated ‘M/1862/66/69’. Newly made Artillery Carbines dated 1869 or later are designated M1869, but are about identical to the conversions, and production amounted to only about 500.
M1846 socket bayonet
The M1855/67 Lund utilized the M1867 ___ mm Lund cartridge, aka __x__R
The M1860/67 Lund rifle-musket was chambered for the same M1867 12.17 Remington Rimfire cartridge as the concurrently adopted M1867 Remington Rolling Block rifle (q.v.) adopted by both Norway and Sweden. This cartridge is discussed at page ___.
Perhaps 40,000 total kammerladers were built, many but certainly not all were converted. The Kammerlader Lunds gevær rifles were converted at both Liege and Kongsberg. Some 4,500 Lund conversions were undertaken by Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk in 1868 and 1869.
UTILIZATION BY OTHER COUNTRIES
The Norwegians were the only ones to use the Lund or Landmark conversions of the Kammerladningsgevær series of breech loaders in military service. While the Swedes employed percussion kammerladers, with the adoption of the Remington system rifles, Sweden converted most all of their kammerladers to Remington actions for metallic cartridge use, while the Norwegians converted theirs to Lunds and Landmarks.
Page Built: 10/16/22