Author Topic: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?  (Read 312 times)

Offline militariacoll

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Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« on: January 11, 2020, 03:13:15 pm »
22" barrel-.52 Cal. 6groove barrel Serial number is 5039. Civil war period? early m1865 ?

 There are so many variations and this is the first Spencer I have come across. Any and all feedback and info on this carbine would be greatly appreciated!

































Offline DJ

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 04:24:47 pm »
Nice-looking rather early M1860 carbine--almost all were rifles up until about serial number 5000--and definitely produced during the Civil War.  Don't know the significance of the "103" on the trigger plate.

Thanks for sharing.

-DJ

Offline Two Flints

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 05:02:35 pm »
Your Spencer Carbine serial # 5039 - nothing really close to your serial #  only what I listed below.

Spencer Carbine serial #5047 issued to Company B, 1st Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry on January 22, 1865

Spencer Carbine serial # 4863 issued September, 1864  (New York Volunteer Cavalry)

Spencer Carbine serial # 5243 issued on January 22, 1865 (same Kentucky unit)

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Offline Jim W

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 05:11:59 pm »
I thought The 1860 Model Spencer Carbines that were manufactured between 1863-1865, had serial numbers falling between 11,001 and 62,000?

How does a carbine have a lower serial number?

Offline DJ

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2020, 06:53:53 pm »
Rifles up to 11,XXX is a generalization.  In my references I see carbines and rifles up to 1,7XX, then mostly rifles up to 11,000, but with mixed rifles and carbines in the 4,800-7,XXX range.  In the low 12,XXXs a mix of carbines and rifles, then most or all carbines until the 21,XXXs, then mostly rifles in 22,XXXs and into 23,XXXs before back to almost exclusively carbines to the end of the 1860 Model production.  The carbines below 1,7XX don't seem to fit the accepted narrative of Spencer production--perhaps those numbers were initially reserved and then used later.

--DJ

Offline Arizona Trooper

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 05:27:19 pm »
Interesting carbine. A couple things don't look like Spencer armory work. The front sight is a US musket sight, not a Spencer sight. This carbine will probably shoot really high with that sight. The barrel looks longer than 22" on the tape measure. Have you dropped a dowel down it and  measured the length to the breechblock face? Also, it's hard to see the sling bar in the photos. Is the front of the bar plate inletted into the receiver or is it just screwed down on top of it? What is the barrel diameter at the muzzle? It should be 0.815". I kind of suspect you have a rifle that was cut down to make a carbine. Carbines were a lot easier to sell than rifles after the war.

Offline Snakeeater

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 11:43:22 am »
In observing that the front sight has been changed to a rifle sight, the number stamped into the trigger plate "103" may be an identification number when the carbine was sent back to depot for repairs, in accordance with Army Ordnance Manual procedures. While serial numbers as low as "5039" are not seen very often, the lowest Carbine serial numbers that I've seen were 395 and 440, so there are some with very low serial numbers. The lowest M1865 Carbine serial number I have seen was 10, while the lowest M1860 rifle serial number was 8, and was an Army rifle, not a Navy rifle. I've never seen any instructions given by the Ordnance Department requiring serial numbers, which you don't see many contract rifle muskets with serial numbers either. Serialization may have simply been a method of internal auditing by Spencer Repeating Rifle Company as a means of accounting for production model quantities. With perhaps the exception of the M1860 rifles (for the Army and Navy models) and maybe the New Model rifles and carbines, the Spencer Repeating Rifle Company seems to have restarted the serialization with serial number "1" for each of their major production models.
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Offline militariacoll

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 01:35:24 pm »
Arizona Trooper,

 You may be correct. I put a thin blade tape measure down the barrel and it measures 22-3/8" The sling bar is not inset into the receiver plate but screwed on top. The diameter of the barrel does measure .818 using a digital caliper

Offline Snakeeater

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Re: Early Spencer Carbine Civil War?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 02:35:07 pm »
You said that the sling bar was not inlet into the steel receiver but is surface-mounted? I wonder if this was perhaps another rifle that was cut-down to make a carbine?
First Cousin (Six times removed) to BGen Isaac (Stand Firm) Uwatie,  Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, 1862-1866

 

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