CIVIL WAR Antique SPENCER Repeating Carbine with SPRINGFIELD ALTERATION .50
Repeater with c1871 POST-WAR ALTERATION
Here we present an antique Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. Army Model 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.
This Saddle Ring Carbine was bored out and the old .52 caliber barrel received an inserted, reinforced rifle sleeve in the new .50 caliber (.56-50). These reinforced Spencer short arms and long arms produced higher velocity and greater accuracy for the troops. Ordnance Department records indicate that roughly 11,000 Spencers were altered at the Springfield facility between 1866 and 1874 and bore the characteristics found in this Spencer Carbine along with the Stabler Cut-Off. In the latter part of the war Edward M. Stabler of Maryland invented the Stabler Cut-Off Device. It prevented the cartridge from feeding the magazine to the receiver by limiting the lowering of the breech block. The carbine could then be used as a single shot weapon. A few of these equipped carbines, as is this one, were manufactured by the Spencer factory, plus 19,000 of the 30,496 of the Burnside Spencers were equipped with the Stabler Cut-Off Device.
The overall condition is very good. Original finish and patina. The action is excellent. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. The walnut stock is in great shape. The initials “R.C.M.P.” have been scratched in ahead of the butt plate. While the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were known to have purchased and used these, the graffiti found on this carbine would not have been their official marking, though it may have been added later by someone who knew from where it came. Nevertheless, this is a very nicely preserved Spencer with the Springfield alteration.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 22 inches.
Caliber: .50 Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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