MODEL 1860 SPENCER ARMY RIFLE

$2,750.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1244-03

This Spencer M1860 Army Rifle serial #9269 is all original, and mechanically perfect, with bore that is decent, though in the black. The serial number dates it to the third or fourth quarter of 1863. The Army took delivery of 7,502 rifles from late December 1862 through late June 1863, followed by 2,000 more in early October, by which time the company had also begun to deliver carbines. Serial numbers in the first Army rifle deliveries would be boosted by 750-1,000 US Navy and private purchases made earlier, and in the October 1863 delivery likely by some of the carbines. We see a number of Spencer rifles in the 9,000 serial number range in the hands of the 5th Independent Company of Ohio Sharpshooters and some in the high 8,000 range show up late in the war in the hands of the 8th Indiana Cavalry, likely reissued from other units. In any case, this one was manufactured early enough to see lots of action.

Spencers fire a .52 caliber rimfire cartridge loaded from a seven-shot magazine in the buttstock by the lever action of the triggerguard. They were robust, rapid-fire arms and the waterproof cartridge stood up to jostling in cartridge boxes on campaign. This rifle follows the standard configuration and is complete with both front and rear sights, all bands, springs, swivels, and magazine tube in place. The barrel is smooth metal with no pitting and a blue-turned-brown finish, with nose cap and barrel bands matching. The forestock has good surface, color, edges, and fit. The top of the receiver at the breech shows some fine, salt-and-pepper pitting but the markings are sharp: “SPENCER REPEATING / RIFLE CO. BOSTON MASS / PAT’D MARCH 6, 1860” in three lines. The rest of the receiver is smooth metal showing a mix of gray and darker bluish-gray color typical of faded case colors, shading toward brown at the rear. The serial number is crisp on the wrist, showing thin brown with some hints of faint blue. On the underside the lever shows some brown and the tang some blue with a couple of tiny dusty brown spots. The buttstock matches the forestock and fits well, though with some slight chipping along the top edge of the lockplate, and some old wood filler showing on the top of the left wrist. Otherwise just typical small scratches and nicks typical from field use on the butt flats near the buttplate, and some dings along the underside with a divot halfway between the lower swivel and buttplate. The edges and top of the butt plate show some shallow pitting, likely from the rifle standing upright a cold or damp floor,

This is a good example of one of the war’s most advanced long arms. Spencers were very well liked and eagerly sought after by soldiers as they are by collectors. Confederates tried to get them when they could, but without the ability to turn out the necessary rimfire cartridges, they saw very limited use in Confederate hands. See Marcot’s excellent book on Spencers and works on the Michigan Cavalry Brigade and Wilder’s 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][ph:L]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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