Author Topic: Stepping back to 1872...with a Spencer  (Read 2739 times)

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2761
  • Grass Valley, CA in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 42
Stepping back to 1872...with a Spencer
« on: May 17, 2005, 04:11:47 PM »
As I was preparing to do a living history* that I do annually at a Chirstian School, I was thinking.

If a cowpoke or Civil War vetran was wandering the west in 1872, he would be particularly well "heeled" if he had an 1872 Colt Open Top or 1860 Cartridge Conversion, and a .44 Henry rifle or surplus Spencer carbine. 

The early cartridge Colt's were high tech compared to the percussion Remington and Colt models that were the most numerous revolvers in use until about 1880.

Though I love my Henry, I would prefer to have a 56-56 or 56-50 Spencer if I had only one rifle then.  It may not have 16 shots fast like the Henry, but it does have seven shots of superior "thump."  In a pinch, it could take a Buff at close range (not like Kostner in Dances with Wolves dropping a Buffalo at 100 yards with a Henry!). 

Even out at 100 yards, a Spencer's 350 to 400 grain bullet at 1250 FPS had more take down than the 200-215 grain Henry at 1120 FPS!  Ballistically, the .56-50 was even superior even to the 1873's 44 WCF with a 200 grain bullet at 1300 FPS.  As for accuracy, Judge Hemp and I have repeated banged the 275 yard buffalo gong at Ione, CA  with the 56-56 Spencer!  There was no doubt when the 375 grain 56-56 slug hit the gong, either.

My living History costume are:  Old West persona is (of course) "Tuolumne Lawman" in cowboy garb with a Henry military model, and either an 1872 Open Top or 1873 Hartford . 

My Civil War persona is "Corporal Punishment" in a Union Cavalry outfit with forage cap, a pair of 1858 Remington's, and my newly acquired Taylor's 56-50 Spencer (which replaces my now-sold beloved .56-56 original Spencer!)

I guess I will be content that for a 1872 cowboy or 1863 or 1873 Cavalry Trooper, I am weel heeled!
CO. F, 12th Illinois Cavalry  SASS # 6127 Life * Spencer Shooting Society #43 * Motherlode Shootist Society #1 * River City Regulators

Offline Two Flints

  • Spencer Shooting Society Founder & Moderator
  • Deputy Marshal
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2774
  • Moderating SSS IS a "Labor of Love"!
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Stepping back to 1872...with a Spencer
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2005, 07:14:02 PM »

You shoulda bumped up the year to 1875.  I'd be working my ranch with my Spencer and newly issued S&W Schofield, as my weapons of choice.  Both unique in their history, and loading, and speed, at least back then.

Two Flints

Una mano lava l'altra
Moderating SSS is a "labor of love"
Viet Vet  '68-69
3/12 - 4th Inf Div
Spencer Shooting Society Moderator
Spencer Shooting Society (SSS) #4;
BOSS #62
Fur Trade Era - Mountain Man
Traditional Archery


SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk

© 1995 - 2023