NICE 1860 SPENCER ARMY RIFLE

$2,750.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2020-378

This Model 1860 Spencer Army Rifle has the matching serial number 5312 on the wrist and under the barrel, giving it a May 1863 date of manufacture by the tables in Marcot. It was not until October of 1863 that the company began turning out carbines and early Spencer-armed mounted units, like Custer’s Michigan cavalry brigade or Wilder’s Lightning Brigade were in fact carrying these army rifles.

This one rates very good to excellent. The barrel is smooth metal with no pitting and has a nice, even blue-turned-plum brown overall. The barrel bands show mix of thin blue and some brown. Front and read sight with elevator are in place, as are the sling swivels. The company markings on the top of the breechblock are sharp. The receiver is smooth metal and shows the mottled gray and brown of old case color with brighter gray on the top and edges from handling. The hammer shows a bit stronger, as does the triggerguard/lever and the triggerguard tang. The lockplate shows some thin blue remnants of case as does sling swivel base and edges of the buttplate. The mechanics are good. The breechblock shows a mix of gray and brown. The bore is very fine, just dark. The magazine is in place.

The wood is generally very good as well. The forestock has good color, only minor handling marks and good fit to metal, but does show the commonly encountered slivers off the upper rear barrel channel on either side where the stock rests against the receiver. The buttstock matches in color and shows just slight shrinkage gaps to the receiver and some very shallow chips at bottom and top of the lockplate about halfway back from the hammer. There are some small handling dings and light scratches. The wrist shows an old tight crack with a period repair using a small wood screw. This is in keeping with the recognized tendency of Spencer butt stocks to be weak along the line of the internal magazine tube.

This is a very good example of one of the war’s most advanced, and perhaps the most advanced, long arm. As robust repeating rifles, Spencers were very well liked and eagerly sought after. Southerners also tried to get them when they could, but without an ability to turn out the necessary rimfire cartridges, they saw only very limited use in Confederate hands. See Marcot’s excellent book on Spencers and works on the Lightning Brigade and other units for additional details on their battlefield use. This would be a great addition to a Civil War collection and necessary in any collection of U.S. issue shoulder arms.    [sr]

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