Author Topic: Help! Spencer markings and proof (?) stamps  (Read 1758 times)

Offline Sciacchitano

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Help! Spencer markings and proof (?) stamps
« on: October 07, 2019, 11:23:44 pm »
To owners of original Spencers and other knowledgeable folk:

I have a Model 1860 Spencer carbine with matching serial numbers that also has what appear to be proof marks on the barrel and action.  I wonder if any others have found such marks on their rifles or carbines and if so whether they have deciphered the meanings or purpose. 

The most noticeable marks on mine are an "M" stamped on the left side of the barrel just forward of the receiver and just above the stock, and the same "M" stamped on the block just below the firing pin.  Just under the "M" on the barrel, separated by a line in the steel, is the letter "P" covered by the stock.  The same "P" is stamped on the barrel under the barrel band, along with a smaller mark I cannot quite make out.  There also appears to be a very faint row of numbers stamped along the barrel, possibly beginning with "775 , ," or "7775 . ."

Two Flints was kind enough to look up the serial number of my carbine, which showed my carbine may possibly have been issued to either a Michigan or NJ Cavalry unit in 1865.  It has occurred to me that the ""M" might stand for "Michigan."  However it might just as well be an inspector's mark, or a designation for "Maine" or "Maryland."

According to Two Flints, inspector's marks on the steel parts of Spencer's are uncommon (there are no visible inspector's cartouches on the wood).  More recently I have wondered if Spencer might have obtained a lot of barrels from the Sharp's company to meet production goals and the Mark's are Sharps markings, or that the "M" could mean my particular carbine was substandard and designated for a militia unit.  All of the above is uninformed speculation on my part,  however, and thus my call for help.

I apologize for not posting photos.  I have tried to do so several times without success.  Any an all help will be greatly appreciated. 

Bumpus "Mad Bumpy" Jones formerly of Ohio and now of the Great Wild West (alias Sciacchitano - formerly of Chicago and now of Florida)

Offline Sciacchitano

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Re: Help! Spencer markings and proof (?) stamps
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 12:11:39 am »
I think I have figured out my error in posting photos.

Also In looking at these blowups, I see what apperaed to be a "P" under the "M" os really a kind of an "R" with a hook.  The mark above the "P" under the barrel band is this same hooked "R".

I will try to post additional photos.

Offline Sciacchitano

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Re: Help! Spencer markings and proof (?) stamps
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 12:20:11 am »
More photos

Offline Chunger

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Re: Help! Spencer markings and proof (?) stamps
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 02:21:26 pm »
I am very interested in receiving input from others on the subject of stamping on Spencer carbines.

I have the same questions as raised by Sciacchitano regarding markings stamped into the barrel, receiver and action of my carbine (#44,017). An "S" and an "R" are stamped on the lower left side of the barrel near the receiver. The letter "M" is stamped on the trigger guard/lever and another is also visible on the action when the lever is pulled down. Another "M" is on the left rear of the receiver near the screw that goes into the stock (forward of the saddle ring).

If these are markings made by sub-inspectors, I would think that they would be pretty common on all Spencers.

Chunger

Online Jim W

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Re: Help! Spencer markings and proof (?) stamps
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 03:42:08 pm »
Other that the serial number on receiver and barrel, address on the receiver and cartouche in the stock; the only marking on mine is on the fore end, the initials "R.H." were stamped into the wood where it meets the receiver (not visible when assembled).

Offline Rim fire

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Re: Help! Spencer markings and proof (?) stamps
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 04:22:50 pm »
The markings shown in the photos are typical for most Spencer rifles and carbines.  The proof marks shown on the barrel in the photo is more typical on carbines.