Author Topic: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine  (Read 540 times)

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« on: February 11, 2019, 01:40:24 pm »
In a copy of "Man At Arms" magazine (volume 27/2005) I found an interesting article on Spencers in the west.

Among other things, it lists the complete report of what arms were issued to what units for the second quarter of 1867. The arms accounted for include Sharps .52, Maynard .50, Spencer .52, Spencer .50, Colt .44, Rem. .44, Cav. sabres and light Cav. sabres.

"Due to hostilities with the natives, in 1866, Congress increased the number of Cavalry regiments to ten, including the ninth and tenth which were composed of negro enlisted men and white officers."

"In the full table, we have an accurate record of the stations of the possible 120 companies of the ten regular cavalry regiments of 1867 and the arms carried and used by them in a minimum of 77 recorded actions with Indians during that year. By far the most popular cavalry long arm was he Spencer with a total of 4,302 of the .50 cal. M1865 and 668 of the .52 cal. M1860 in use. 2,374 .52 cal. percussion Sharps and 179 .50 ca. Maynard carbines were also listed."

The Spencer carbines that swung on the slings of many frontier troopers in 1867 were usually the latest model 1865 developed during the Civil War but had not been delivered to government arsenals until, after the cessation of hostilities.

"Experiments were conducted the most satisfactory calibre and loading for a cartridge that would replace the outmoded muzzle-loaders and to feed the cavalry's carbines alike. Brig. Gen. Dyer wrote the Spencer Company: "Recent trials at the Springfield Armory show that 50/100th. of an inch may be established as the proper calibre for carbines. I have to request  that you will make your arrangements to change the calibre to a .50."

"All Spencer weapons purchased by the government in 1865 and after had 20" barrels and were chambered for the new round known as "Government Carbine .50", or commercially as "56-.50 Spencer". The new round worked, if not well, in the older 22" barrelled  M1860 carbine, but the older .52 round could not be used in the new carbine."

The Stabler magazine cut off was made standard at this time, and the Spencer Company delivered 12,052 carbines of the total order of 18,959 carbines with the Stabler cut-off. The Ordnance Department also contracted with the Burnside Rifle Company to produce Spencers modified to 20", sling swivels, calibre and cut-off by successive directives.

The first 16,008 Burnside Spencers of a total of 30,502 were not equipped with the device, the remaining 14,949 were. Model 1860 carbines were progressively modified to 1865 standards by barrel sleeving to .50 calibre and installation of the Stabler cut-off at Springfield Armory. Many of these refinished and modified arms were issued as M1865s on the frontier. 15,518 carbines were repaired and refurbished by the Armory between 1866 and 1874 and form a desirable sub-group for the collector.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 06:40:57 pm by PJ Hardtack »
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Offline Will Ketchum

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 02:36:16 pm »
Very interesting. Thank you.

Will Ketchum
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Offline El Supremo

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 04:02:19 pm »
Thanks, PJ:

Marcot, on page 120, mentions the "sleeving".
A bit earlier, he includes official correspondence that describes it as "reinforcing".
Was done via drilling and BRAZING a sleeve in place.

If anyone has seen such conversions, is the brazing visible and at both ends, please?

Thanks.
Kevin
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Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 06:34:02 pm »
I'm amazed that my "Man At Arms" posting went through! I was just about finished typing it when I hit a wrong key and it disappeared ....  ???

I'll amend my posting to complete it. I only copied a portion of the data from the article. It also covers the government inspector's marks and a lot on the issued revolvers. The Remingtons were a lot more common than I had thought.

I can copy some of that info if folks are interested.

I had my ERMA Gallagher carbine sleeved with a .50 calibre barrel liner that was locked in place with an industrial strength Lock Tite. You could not see the joints.

I think in the era soldering might have been more likely than brazing.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 06:38:03 pm by PJ Hardtack »
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
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Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 06:45:22 pm »
Which issue is that? I might try to track down a back issue to read the full article (unless you've scanned it).

Thanks.

CC Griff
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Offline El Supremo

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 07:45:29 pm »
Tx, PJ and Coal Creek:

Two rifle barrel 'smiths that line lots of barrels shared that there is a particular "number" LOCTITE they use because it sets up SLOWLY -- overnight! 

They have seen home gunsmiths use the fast setting stuff and get a liner part way installed and STUCK! 
One shared he's seen know-it-alls not ask about the correct stuff ('cause they are experts!) and come sheepishly back with their hard learned lesson to be drilled-out!  Heat won't loosen it!

A good 'smith can hide the parting lines, too.

Kevin
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Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 07:59:29 pm »
Which issue is that? I might try to track down a back issue to read the full article (unless you've scanned it).

Thanks.

CC Griff

It's Volume 27, No. 3, 2005.  Good luck in your search! I've got the issue. If you can't find it, I'll scan it to you. Send me your email in a PM.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline El Supremo

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 08:42:00 pm »
While we're digging:

If anyone has a copy of "A PRIMER FOR SPENCER OWNERS" from Sept,1966 GUN REPORT, please signal.

Thanks,

Kevin
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Offline Arizona Trooper

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 05:04:35 pm »
PJ, if you was to scan that, I sure would like a copy. Don't have that one in my stack.

Springfield did braze liners in. They bored out the barrel with a slight taper from breech to muzzle and put the same taper in the sleeve. To install the sleeve they drove it in from the breech, hammering until it stopped. Then the whole barrel went into the furnace until it was red hot. Once it had a nice glow it was pulled out and had flux and brass applied to the ends. Only a few inches at the ends are actually brazed. The process is described in the Ordnance Reports from 1866 or '67. You can usually see the seam but you have to look very closely.

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: Spencer article in "Man At Arms" magazine
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 05:22:47 pm »
Send me a PM with your email. I've had other requests for the article as well.

PJ
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne