1860 SPENCER CAVALRY CARBINE .52 CARTOUCHE CIVIL WAR FRONTIER Antique
With Clear Cartouches & Intriguing Adornments
Here we present an antique U.S. Model 1860 Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. Army Model Saddle Ring Carbine, made circa 18
63-1865 in Boston, Massachusetts, during the Civil War. 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 one shows some period graffiti on the stock: the initials “WT” stand out the most, though there are some other initials just under those that are “AXW” (the A looks like a Masonic square). There is also a circa 1860s token with the name “J.E. CONDICT” and the address “57 WHITE ST NEW YORK”. This building still stands—saved because of its rare architecture with its cast iron façade—and was built by and named for John Eliot Condict. He was in the business of making leather military goods and saddlery, especially for US military contracts. He also had a business dealing in railroad stocks. The building’s construction began in 1860 and was finished in 1861, the year the American Civil War began, and the war naturally made business good for those like the Condicts who were making military goods.
The overall condition is very good. Original finish. The action is excellent. The bore is in very good condition; bright with sharp rifling. The walnut stock shows use and remains solid and shows two good cartouches. The rear sight’s tensioner spring is absent. A very nice and intriguing Spencer carbine!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 22 inches.
Caliber: .56 Spencer
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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