Antique SPENCER REPEATING RIFLE CO. Saddle Ring CARBINE
Early Repeater Famous During Civil War & Wild West
Here we present an antique Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. Army Model Saddle Ring Carbine, made circa 1863-1865 in Boston, Massachusetts, during the Civil War. 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 piece has been modified during the period of use. The breechblock mechanism has been converted in a primitive way to centerfire. The bore has been bored out to .52 caliber. The muzzle shows that it was turned down a bit and you can see the original sleeve from the first conversion (from the original .52 caliber to .50 caliber). The Stabler cutoff (also from the time of the initial conversion) has been eliminated. The cartridge guide has been removed as well. The barrel band is from a musket and fits a bit loosely.
The overall condition is good. Strong action. The barrel has been smooth bored. The walnut stock is solid. An interesting Spencer from the 1860s!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 22 inches.
Caliber: .52 Centerfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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