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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: *** Photos Added *** Putting a 1860 back in service... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Mcpherson
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« on: September 23, 2017, 08:58:23 am »


I have a 1860 Spencer carbine that was originally brought back from Haiti by a Marine in the very early 1900's. He gave it to my grandfather when he was a kid. It's a standard 22"barrel, 6 groove rifling with a Stabler cut off installed. The barrel and receiver serial numbers match. The serial number is 42752. I will send pics directly after.
The old girl had a VERY tough life. The gun had such a thick coat of rust and pitting that I decided to spend a summer to remove it all. I couldn't stand the neglect and knew it would never leave my ownership. The stamping on top of the receiver is so faint, only a loop can reveal a partial writing. I recently retired from the sheriffs office and I'm ready to turn her into a shooter. I spoke with a gunsmith in 1982 and he thought there would be no problem firing the carbine. I just need a replacement stock and unfortunately a new outer magazine sleeve. (It is sheared off at the receiver. I think I can weld it though. Also needing to drill out and re-thread the cartridge guid screw. It's fused to the receiver. 😩 Any info would be greatly appreciated!










                                              (Photos added by Two Flints)

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treebeard
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 04:37:44 pm »

You could repair that buttstock the old time 1800's way by wrapping it in wet rawhide and tightly stitched.  If the bore is very rough it could be relined to new condition by Bobby Hoyt leaving the exterior in original condition. Just a couple suggestions on keeping replacement parts to a minimum. Great project to take on.
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 11:55:59 am »

Thanks for the info. I'm lucky. The bore only has a few small patches. The majority of the rifling fared better than the exterior.
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 01:35:44 pm »

Excuse my stupidity...but is there a manufacturer that still makes a modern rimfire round that the Spencer can fire? Or am I forced to buy a center fire block to shoot a modern round? I really don't want to modify the original but if I must, I'll transform the carbine to shoot her again.
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 07:50:41 pm »

So Two Flints has advised that my carbine was issued to Company G of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry. Tooooo cool !
I thank Two Flints for his diligence where the history of this rifle is concerned. He is preserving history for us all. I greatly appreciate this.
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Two Flints
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2017, 07:56:56 pm »

McPherson,

Any updates to offer on the condition of your Spencer?  Any changes, or is it still original?

Two Flints
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 12:51:04 pm »

Iíve got it all back together and the new stocks are on the way. Itís still a all original 1860. Everything is correct except the ladder sight was replaced with a 1865 sight.  Itís how it came to my family but Iím going to spend the extra fifty bucks to put the correct ladder sight on it. Why stop now! So all I have left to do is install the center fire breach block.
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 09:26:57 pm »

I failed to mention...if you look at the hammer side of the original butt stock, you can see two notches carved in the stock. They are both really dark and typicall of a mark placed within period. There is also a deliberate notch cut on top of the butt stock. As a kid, we were told of notches on the grip of a gun. These must be real! They are dark aged, so I believe they are vintage.
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JSpencerman
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2017, 03:57:41 pm »

hey pard. before you get too crazy with things, try getting pieces and parts from S & S firearms out of NY. I have gotten some original items from them and they are helpful and on the up and up. Shooter??? My 2 spencers both rifle and carbine use .56-.56 cartridges and nobody I know does the old rim fire that size.  Good luck and let us know on the progress.
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Trailrider
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 11:41:34 pm »

As far as converting to centerfire is concerned, the S&S breechblock will generally fit without modification to the receiver. I did have to remove a little material from the rear of the new block to get it to fit in mine. Took a few careful swipes with a mill bastard file. Once fitted, it takes about fifteen seconds to remove and replace the centerfire block with the original.  Just takes removal of two screws!  About replacing the sight...I tend to leave these things alone, as they reflect the history of the piece, unless it is so glaring an error as to look ridiculous.  Fifty-six-fifty-six (.56-56) ammo can be made from .50-70 brass, by shortening it.  You may have to use a heel bullet, or go with an undersized hollow-base bullet that fits the grease grooves entirely inside the case.  Best of luck and Merry Christmas!
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Rim fire
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2017, 06:39:15 am »

You may want to check the bore for caliber.  The rounded edges on the receiver top indicate that is was either made as a model 1865 or was converted at some point to a model 1865.  Does the bore have 3 groove rifling, or 6 groove?  Does the hammer have a bevel edge on the nose?  The 1865 sight would be correct on that gun.  I think you will find it's in 56-50.
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Herbert
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2017, 02:03:49 pm »

You may want to check the bore for caliber.  The rounded edges on the receiver top indicate that is was either made as a model 1865 or was converted at some point to a model 1865.  Does the bore have 3 groove rifling, or 6 groove?  Does the hammer have a bevel edge on the nose?  The 1865 sight would be correct on that gun.  I think you will find it's in 56-50.
I agree Springfield conversion
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 10:40:02 am »

The hammer does have a beveled edge on the striking surface of the nose. I thought it might have been the result of dry firing too much. The rifling is six groove.
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Good Troy
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 12:26:31 pm »

McPherson...I have an odd question.
Was this gun ever in Houston, TX?  I swear that I"ve seen it before...if not, one just exactly like it at the Arms Room.
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 08:30:24 pm »

Does the serial number on the bottom of the barrel match the receiver?  The hammer is a model '65, the receiver has been converted to a model '65, the rear sight is a model '65.  The barrel should have 3 grooves.  The end cap is smooth if I remember which should have grooves for a model '65.  Maybe a put together?  Who knows after 150 years.
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 02:43:40 pm »

To my knowledge, this gun has been in my family since the early 1900ís. Must have been a similar model. And to answer, the barrel and receiver have matching serial numbers. The barrel is most definitely a 6 groove and a original 56-56 round will chamber. Iím not too familiar with the head spacing of the other rounds that this model has been chambered for in forward years, so I canít be sure if the 56-56 being able to chamber would give me answers without proper measuring.
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 02:48:50 pm »

Iíll try to get a photo of the nose of the hammer. It does possess a bevel but it always looked like the result of striking the firing pin.
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Rim fire
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 06:53:01 pm »

A 56-56 will chamber in a 56-50 chamber.  The muzzle will be .50 cal rather than .52.  The 6 groove rifling with that serial # on that Springfield upgraded receiver is a head scratcher.  Should have a relined 3 groove.  The beveled nose is not caused by dry firing.
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Herbert
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 02:09:25 pm »

I have seen 2 Springfield conversions fitted with 1865 barrels .Doo not know id this is factory fitted or not as was unable to remove for stock to check for matching serial numbers
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Mcpherson
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2018, 12:32:45 pm »

I looked up a photo of a 1865 Spencer hammer. I misunderstood the description, when asked. The hammer on my gun is flat in the right side. No bevel. Just a worn area on the striking surface that I misunderstood from your comment, Rim fire.
Serial numbers match.
Six groove rifling / 22Ē barrel.
The rounded appearance to the top of the receiver is likely due to wearing out many wire wheels to remove the rust, years ago. An unintentional outcome.
This carbine looks to be all 1860 original, EXCEPT the Ď65 ladder site.
Got a few original parts and screws from S&S (Thanks JSpencerman)
So all working and sharp now. The new stocks are some labor. Itíll be awhile before theyíre fitted and finished.
Thanks for all the info gents!






                                                                (Photos posted by Two Flints)
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Rim fire
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2018, 09:38:22 pm »

It looks like 3 groove rifling to me, but that could be just me.  Did you slug the bore to see what caliber it is?  I don't believe the receiver is worn by a wire wheel.  Good luck with you restoration in any event.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: *** Photos Added *** Putting a 1860 back in service... « previous next »
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