Author Topic: Dane Piper Spencers  (Read 4825 times)

klw

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Dane Piper Spencers
« on: May 01, 2005, 11:28:59 AM »
Starting maybe 10 years ago Dane Piper was trying to make Spencers.  Ken Howell designed
 the gun but never bothered to finish it.  Dane has been trying ever since.  One of his carbines
 use to be advertised on Dixie's web page.  Anyone know the status of these guns?

Offline Steel-eye Steve

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2005, 06:39:38 PM »
I think you are referring to the Fletcher-Bidwell Spencers from Viroqua WI. I understand a few were produced to satisfy pre-orders. I heard a rumor that they went bankrupt but have not been able to confirm that.
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klw

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2005, 09:08:10 PM »
Fletcher-Bidwell was the second name they used.  Don't remember the first.  The name changed after Ken Howell lost interest.  Piper is a vetenarian and I think the money behind this effort.  Originally Ken Howell was the gunsmith.  Developed a prototype.  Never got the magazine to work properly I think.  Why Ken dropped out I don't know but I do know that it left Dane holding the bag.  A lot of money invested and nothing to show for it.

Offline Grizzle Bear

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 10:31:02 AM »
After they had my $500 deposit for about 6 years, I finally got a Fletcher-Bidwell "Spencer."

I wrote a review of it for the NCOWS magazine, "The Shootist", but George wouldn't publish it, as he was afraid we would get sued.

The F-B "Spencer" was an unbelieveable piece of junk.  The one I got had just about everything wrong with it that a gun could have.  The worst part of it was I thought the forearm was loose, and took it off to tighten it.  Found out the barrel was loose, it was only held in place with a small set screw!

Never fired it, I was afraid to.  Sent it back, and they did give me my money back.  Only good thing I can say about the entire affair.

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klw

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 05:56:57 PM »
Now that is really useful information.  Thanks!

Counting your gun I know of three.  One was advertised at Dixie's web site forever.  They must have finally sold it.  The third is owned by a NSSA shooter who didn't dislike it. 

I always felt sorry for Dane.  He clearly could not finish this once Ken Howell dropped out but he didn't, unfortunately, give up.  I'll bet he lost a fortune and got a LOT of grief.

I'd love to know who Ken Howell didn't finish this.

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:58:56 PM »

Offline Hell-Er High Water

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2005, 08:56:26 PM »
I was checking out the web for articles on the Spencer today and came across this web site:  www.pmulcahy.com/lever-action_rifles/us_lever-action_rifles.htm.  Under the catagory
 of Taylor's & Company Spencer Rifles appears the following statement; "The Taylor's &
Company reproduction is built by Armi Sport in Italy, but Kenny Howell of Taylors &
Company owns the rights to the Spencer Rifle Company name, so they actually sell the
 rifle."  I don't know who Kenny Howell is other than what I have read under this subject
 posting, but apparently he is affiliated with Taylor's in some manner, at least with the
Spencer name.  If any of you need to contact him regarding past unfinished projects, this
may be a place to start.  I shoot a Taylor's in 56-50 and really do enjoy it.

klw

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2005, 11:16:31 PM »
Ken Howell is most famous as a gunsmith for his drop in cylinders that convert cap & ball revolvers to cartridge firearms.

He also makes the guns that Tom Selleck uses in his westerns.  Ken builds thos for Tom.

From what I've heard of Howell he is a gifted gunsmith.  Didn't know, however, that he was associated with the Taylor Spencer. 

Offline Steel-eye Steve

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Re: Dane Piper Spencers
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2005, 03:09:09 PM »
Yes,Ken Howell, of R&D Gunsmithing, is a very gifted gunsmith who was originally most famous for his conversion revolvers. The drop-in .45LC conversion cylinder for repro Remington C&B revolvers, now marketed by Taylor, is his design. He was very much involved with Taylor Spencer project. One must remember that extraction was always the weak part of the Spencer design and adapting the action to pistol cartridges with short rims had its own set of problems. I believe going over to the Lane extractor was also his idea. From a conversation I had with him in the late 90's, it sounded like a personality clash ended his involvement with Fletcher-Bidwell.
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