|Civil War Relicman
USA (changed hands 70 times in the Civil War!)
authentic Civil War relics, bought and sold.
|W1513...Breechloader, Spencer seven shot rimfire carbine, Model 1860, with 1865 modifications, Stabler cutoff using "56/52" cartridge, cavalry model fitted with saddle riding bar, .52cal., (#45246)
Carbine was manufactured by Spencer Repeating Rifle Co., Boston, Massachusetts, serial numbers run to about 67,000, all were manufactured before 1865 about 10,000 were modified in 1865. This weapon revolutionized carbines, it was a repeater, capable of handling seven all weather or metallic rim fire cartridges at a time, providing a major advantage over the single shot paper cartridge percussion weapons previously employed. The so called "56 / 56" cartridge was originally used, this meant that the side of the cartridge fitted over the bullet was straight, however the bullet and bore are smaller at approximately .52 caliber. Seven cartridges were loaded by a magazine tube fitted through the butt. The magazine had an internal spring, cartridge was readied by raising and lowering a lever also serving as a trigger guard. However, the 7 shot repeater proved to be unreliable, having a tendency to jam, so a number were reverted back to single shot by installation of the Stabler cutoff. This was lever installed on the bottom of the receiver, it could be switched on or off to enable or block the feed from the magazine. A square notch was cut into the bottom of the receiver, if the lever is removed, which is common, the square notch remains. In addition the sharp edges of the top of the receiver were milled rounded, this so that the cartridges could be more easily inserted into the chamber. The straight cartridge was also redesigned to a tapered cartridge "56 / 52" or "56 / 50", the bullet was smaller but still about .52 cal. The orginal six groove rifling was milled, and a sleeve was inserted with three groove rifling. The 22inch barrel was not shortened. The straight edge of hammer was milled to a bevel eliminating the edge protruding from the side of the receiver, however this 1865 beveled hammer was the same size as the 1860 straight hammer, so either can be found. The smooth magazine thumbstall was replaced with a ribbed surface. However, since the point of the conversion was to disable the magazine, either magazine can be found. No changes were made to the other features, iron buttplate with hole and catch to secure the magazine tube, single iron band, Spencer long range sight, saddle bar and ring installed on left side for hanging from a sling, strap hook on bottom of butt. Mark on top of frame: "SPENCER REPEATING - / RIFLE CO. BOSTON. MASS. / PAT'D MARCH 6. 1860. ". Serial number on rear of frame. The wood was often refinished, old cartouches were sanded out and sometimes a new one will appear on the butt. Barrel length, 22in.
Ref: Flayderman 9B-087.
Spencer serial number 45246. This reflects 1865 modifications, chamber is milled, three groove rifling, the receiver is notched for Stabler cutoff, however lever tab has been removed. Hammer is straight 1860 hammer and thumbstall is smooth and not ribbed. Metal is brown with light rust, rifling is definite, mechanically sound but could use a good oiling and cleaning.