Special Interests - Groups & Societies > Spencer Shooting Society

New Member, new'ish Spencer 56-50

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My name is Spencer, and after owning a gun store for almost 20 years I finally bought an estate lot with an 1865 Spencer Carbine in it. This is the first black powder firearm I've ever owned. I did enough black powder with my dad back when I was a child to stay away from the stuff for almost 50 years. Anyway the 1865 Spencer I got was 80% steel in the white and 20% rust. I boiled off the rust with many, many passes in the pot and at the carding wheel. I did a couple of passes of American Rust Blue to give the old smoke pole some protection but let it keep the old gun look to match the original wood.

This gun is numbers matching with many small parts and the wood stamped with the number "17". The bore looks to be shootable, with decent rifling present and a few minor pits. There is a minor ~.016 bulge near the end of the barrel just past the front sight. All of the original parts were in serviceable condition.

I intend on loading Starline cases with 350gr bullets and Trail Boss starting at 5gr and working up to around 7gr unless someone has some better advise. I'd like to avoid black powder if at all possible. If I have to use black powder I will. This gun is going to get shot.

I'm looking for a center fire breech block as S&S and Buffalo Arms are both out of stock. If anyone has a spare, please let me know.
Pictures or it didn't happen . . .

I use 8.5gr’s of Unique in my Spencer carbines and have shot thousands of rounds with no problems.

Sedalia Dave:
Trailboss is not an acceptable substitute for Black Powder. The pressure curves are significantly different.

Back in the day were you and your dad shooting real BP or Pyrodex? Pyrodex is very corrosive and require immediate and very through cleaning of firearms loaded with it.

 Real BP or a BP substitute like Americam Pioneer Powder is not nearly as corrosive. They are also a lot easier to clean.

Back in the old days we used real black powder. I have  little enough time left on this planet to mess about cleaning guns shot with smokeless powder let alone black powder. I'll do it if I have to, but I prefer not to. I'd always rather be shooting or even loading ammo than cleaning.

Arizona Trooper:
The Spencer is a lot easier to clean than a front stuffer. Flip it over and tilt it 45 degrees or so. The fouling and nasty water will run out the top as you push patches down the bore. Even with a rough bore it will clean up pretty quick. Just be careful not to get any water down the magazine tube, and oil the inside of the mag when you oil everything else. Otherwise the magazine will rust into one very difficult to disassemble mess. Have fun with your Spencer! Looks like a good one.



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