Author Topic: local gunshop find  (Read 580 times)

Offline Wintermute

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local gunshop find
« on: November 07, 2020, 11:34:45 PM »
I found a Bannerman 1890 Spencer shotgun at a local shop today, and need some advice. They're asking $895 on it, which seems reasonable from what I have been able to find for a decent condition working Spencer shotgun.
The rub is that it doesn't seem to be properly functioning. I can run the pump as normal, but on the forward stroke the hammer won't stay cocked. I've heard that holding the hammer lever to the front of the trigger guard while running the pump can be used to essentially decock the action to act as a safety of sorts, but the hammer is "decocking" no matter what. The action won't seem to actually cock, and the gun cannot be dry fired/fired. Is this a common issue/one that can be remedied? I tried searching but couldn't find anything specific.
I would really like to own a working example, but I'm worried I'll get burned on it and the gun won't be repairable.

Offline Two Flints

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Re: local gunshop find
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2020, 05:01:09 AM »
Wintermute,

Personally, I think, my opinion, that the asking price for a Bannerman Spencer Shotgun is too high, especially if it's not working correctly.  I own two Spencer shotguns - one is as is from the Spencer factory, and the second one has been modified by having the barrel shortened.  The woods in Northern Maine can get pretty thick, so the shortened barrel is ideal for moving through the brush.

Don't rush to purchase the Bannerman.  Shop around for an original Spencer shotgun and I wouldn't pay more than $650.00 -  $700.00 for an original.

Again, just my opinion.

Two Flints

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Offline Wintermute

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Re: local gunshop find
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2020, 09:48:46 AM »
Thank you for the advice! I wasn't completely sure on the price, as I have only ever seen a handful of sold prices on Spencer pattern shotguns, and most of them have been in that 800-1000 range. I think I'll hold off on this one, and look for a better deal. Thanks again :)

Offline Two Flints

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Re: local gunshop find
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2020, 12:25:54 PM »
Wintermute,

If you go to the SORI Thread on the first page of SSS and scroll down to the section on Spencer Shotguns, there are two links that may be of interest to you . . . also, do a search on SSS and type in Spencer Shotguns and check out the links you receive.

Let me know how your search is going . . .

Two Flints

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Offline Roscoe Coles

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Re: local gunshop find
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2020, 08:48:03 PM »
Pard, I would agree that that price is too much, especially for a gun that does not work.  I would only pay that if the rest of the gun was in exceptional condition (lots of finish, perfect bore, good wood, etc.) I have some experience working on Spencer pump guns (you can see some of my posts on this forum) and while I can’t say definitively, I have not seen this issue on other guns.

If the gun cycles properly, so the block goes up and down and a shell would cycle from the mag, to the chamber, then get ejected, But the hammer does not stay cocked, then I would suspect a problem with the sear not engaging.  This could be the result of a broken seat on the hammer or trigger, there could be replacement parts that are not allowing the hammer to go back far enough to engage the sear, or there may be a broken/missing trigger spring.  The latter is an easy fix, the former two issues are a bit tougher.  You can test this by pushing in the trigger while racking the gun to force it to engage.  You can actually see the sear inside the trigger guard if you hold the gun upside down, so seeing what is happening and what the condition of the sear is pretty easy.

If the sear engages but the hammer is not moving forward when you pull the trigger and just flops around, then you have a mainspring problem.  The mainspring in a Spencer is a brute if a “V” spring.  One leg is attached to the block and causes it to spring up to eject the shell.  The other end engages a stirrup on the hammer.  It’s kind of a pain to get in place so it’s possible that someone assembled it wrong, or the spring is broken.  making or finding a new spring could be tough.  Assembling it properly could be easy.  One way to tell if there is an issue is if the bolt does not slam up with authority.  The bolt will move up if the hammer leg of the spring is not properly engaged, but with less force than it should. 

Happy to help you diagnose things if you can talk them off the ledge on the price.  Personally, I have paid about $350 for both of my Bannermans.  I have not run across a real Spencer for sale. 

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Re: local gunshop find
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