Special Interests - Groups & Societies > Spencer Shooting Society

Installing the S&S block and a trip to the origional Spencer Factory

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Rosoce Coles:
My origional is a Model 1867 and I got it years a go from a friend in a trade for a reproduction Patterson revolver. That may seem like a steal but the gun was in terrible shape. It had very bad wood (cracked and repaired with epoxy) and the barrel was extremely pitted on the left side and in the bore. The rust was so bad that it was absolutely unshootable. I wanted a shooter so I totally rebuilt the gun. This included a new barrel that my father and I turned out of Shilen blank along with new wood and a center-fire conversion block from S&S. The cost of the block at the time was about $150 plus the cost of a center-fire magazine setup. The origional followers are quite pointed and will set of center-fire primers if they are not replaced. In my case the new block took quite a bit of fitting, first to get it to fit properly into the window of the frame then to get rid of some eccentricity in the pin which goes into the block carrier that caused a good bit of drag when the action was operated. This was done with diamond hones as the block was far too hard to cut with a file. As I understand it, the S&S blocks come large so they may be fitted to any gun. They are very well made and color case hardened. The center-fire firing ping set up is quite similar to the one used in early Sharps conversions. It isn't the strongest design but it works well. With all this done the gun is in excellent shape and is very handsome, the one problem I have is that I have not sorted out the extractor. As a result, it does not reliably extract. However, I am working on this and in time it should be a good one.

On another tack, at one point while I was working on the Spencer I had to make a research trip to Boston. After reading Roy Marcott's excellent book on the Spencer I knew that the Spencers were built in one wing of the Chickering Pianofortte Manufacturing Company in Boston. When I had some spare time, with the lock of my gun in my coat pocket, I took the MTA out and found the building. It turns out that it has been converted to condos but externally it's virtually unchanged from the days of the War. As an academic I was able to talk my way into the building (no one there new of its history) and got a short tour. It was quite an interesting trip and I can say that at least a part of my gun has made a pilgrimage home.

Very neat story...thanx for sharing Roscoe! 8)

very interesting indeed.
What kind of extractor does your 1867 model have ?
Lane extractor ? Or the latest type ? The latter is the one that is fitted on my New Model Carbine, and I think it is better than the classic one found on Model 1865 guns.
It works great to extract sticky shells, far better than the classic extractor.
But it seems more complicated to reproduce, in case the original one is rusted or broken.



From my understanding   about extracting with the  spencer  the lever has to worked quickly and deliberately to work well .Try it.Hope that may help.

Two Flints:

thanks for posting.  I discovered very quickly that a "quick" motion with the loading lever down and up does the job as far as extracting empty shells.  If I hesitate going down with the lever or coming up, I can expect a jam usually.  I'm just glad my glasses can handle the glancing blows from the ejected shells!

Two Flints 


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