Post-Civil War Antique SPENCER 1865 CAVALRY Carbine
Circa 1866 Saddle Ring Carbine Used on the Frontier
Here we present an antique Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. Model 1865 Saddle Ring Cavalry Carbine, made circa 1866 in Boston, Massachusetts. These lever-operated, breech-loading rifles were marvels of the time and had an impact on how war was to be fought in the future. Though their service life in the U.S. military was relatively short, the Spencer story includes Christopher Spencer, the inventor of the rifle, demonstrating and shooting with President Abraham Lincoln, who gave his full endorsement of the piece. Supposedly, during the Battle at Gettysburg, a captured Rebel said one could “load in the morning and fire all day!” This was due to the Spencer’s most endearing quality: a 7-round magazine tube in the butt of the gun. This gave the shooter phenomenal firepower in a day when most soldiers were muzzle-loading single shots or even singly loading their breech-loading carbines.
The top of the frame is marked “SPENCER REPEATING/RIFLE CO. BOSTON MASS./PAT’D MARCH 6 1860”. The breech end of the barrel reads “M 1865”. Two clear government inspector cartouches are visible on the left side of the carbine. One is for E.A. Williams. The other cartouche bears the initials “DAT”, which are currently unknown. There are various single letter government inspector marks throughout.
This specimen is in very good condition. The metal parts have a dark, untouched patina. The markings are legible. The walnut stock is in good condition, with a little chipping around the butt plate. There is an old repair, possibly a frontier expedient one, to the sling bar. The bore is clearly rifled and in very good condition. The action is strong.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 20 inches in length.
Caliber: .56-50 (rimfire)
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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