1860 CHRISTOPHER SPENCER CAVALRY CARBINE Civil War Frontier Lincoln Antique
Early Lever Action Repeating Rifle Famous for ACW
Here we present an antique U.S. Model 1860 Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. Army Model Cavalry Carbine, made in Boston, Massachusetts. The Spencer is a lever-action repeating rifle designed by Christopher Spencer in 1860, leading some to refer to this example as the “Model 1860”. These lever-operated, breech-loading rifles were marvels of the time and had a lasting impact on how war was to be fought in the future. Though their service life in the U.S. military was relatively short, the Spencer story includes Christopher Spencer, the inventor of the rifle, demonstrating and shooting with President Abraham Lincoln, who gave his full endorsement of the piece. Supposedly, during the battle at Gettysburg, a captured Rebel that day said one could “load in the morning and fire all day!” This was due to the Spencer’s most endearing quality: a 7-round magazine tube in the butt of the gun. This gave the shooter phenomenal firepower in a day when most soldiers were muzzle-loading single shots or even singly loading their breech-loading carbines. This is one of the iconic carbines of the Civil War and Western Frontier.
The Spencer was the world’s first military metallic cartridge repeating rifle, and over 200,000 examples were manufactured in the United States by the Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. and Burnside Rifle Co. between 1860 and 1869. The Spencer repeating rifle was adopted by the Union Army, especially by the cavalry, during the American Civil War but did not replace the standard issue muzzle-loading rifled muskets in use at the time. Among the early users was George Armstrong Custer. This Spencer carbine was a shorter and lighter version designed for the cavalry.
This is the type of Spencer that was used by Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood in the movie “Unforgiven”. Many a buffalo were taken off the plains during westward expansion by the Spencer rifle.
The overall condition is good. Original patina. There are some period frontier modifications that include replaced front and rear sight, deletion of the sling ring bar, and some filing around the nose of the comb of the stock. The action is excellent. The bore is shiny bright with sharp rifling. The walnut stock shows use and weathering; on the left side of the butt stock there is a thin spot that shows a small amount of the magazine tube within with a split along the grain on either side. This split and a couple smaller ones run along the grain, are stable, and pose no further risk to the structure of the gun.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 22 inches.
Caliber: .52 Spencer
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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