MODEL 1860 SPENCER RIFLE – LOW SERIAL NUMBER WITH GETTYSBURG HISTORY

$4,950.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-6717

This famous longarm is a Civil War Model 1860 Spencer Repeating rifle in good condition. Initial army contracts with the Spencer Company of Boston, Massachusetts called for 10,000 repeating firearms at a cost of $40.00 each. This specimen, serial #2497, was one of the approximately 11,000 produced between 1863 and 1864. Rifle is a .52 caliber rimfire longarm that used the “No. 56” Spencer rimfire cartridge.

Rifle measures 47” overall with a 30” round barrel that features six-groove rifling. Bore is clean with good rifling. The original rear flip-up sight was replaced with a fixed, notch sight. The front blade site/bayonet lug is original. All gun metal exhibits light use and wear with scattered light pitting and a dark patina. On the top of the receiver is the three-line maker’s stamping “SPENCER REPEATING - / RIFLE CO. BOSTON, MASS / PAT’D MARCH 6, 1860”. Early serial number “2497” is visible at rear of receiver. Mechanically good and strong.  Butt plate, tube magazine, front sling swivel, nose cap, barrel bands, and band springs all here and show similar wear with uniform dark color. Rear swivel was replaced with a circular ring made from a nail.

Barrel is mated to a black walnut two-piece stock. The fore stock is in very good condition. No government cartouche. Wood has original finish with dark patina and nice depth of color. Shoulder stock is equally as nice with a small deer carved on the right side.

The most important piece of information on this rifle is the serial number 2497. This number puts this rifle in the range of guns purchased to be issued to the 5th or 6th Michigan Cavalry as follows:

Only two units of the Army of the Potomac were armed with Spencer Repeating Rifles at Gettysburg.  While organizing the 5th Michigan Cavalry, Lt. Col. Joseph T Copeland privately purchased 1200 Spencer rifles. The first 500 were delivered about January 5, 1863 followed by another 500 in mid to late January 1863. The remaining 200 arrived in February 1863. The first thousand that were delivered had serial numbers ranging from between 1000-2050 while the last two hundred were numbered between 2051-3250.  The first 900 rifles went to the 5th Michigan Cavalry and the other 300 went to the 6th Michigan Cavalry. With this rifle having a number that falls well within the range of those delivered first it no doubt went to the 5th Michigan. Also, the fact that the weapon does not have a cartouche mark shows that it was purchased privately and was no doubt one of the weapons purchased by Lt. Col. Copeland. Ordnance records of the 5th and 6th Regiments Michigan Cavalry, submitted a month after the Battle of Gettysburg, indicate these two regiments carried a total of 572 Spencer Repeating Rifles and 10,000 rounds of ammunition to the field.  The men of these regiments made good use of their Spencers in the July 3 cavalry battle east of Gettysburg, but this was the only place on the Gettysburg battlefield that the Spencer saw action except for those rare cases of soldiers who had privately purchased the weapon.

A nice, very low numbered Model 1860 Spencer Army rifle with likely Gettysburg association. [jet] [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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