RARE Spencer NEW MODEL 1868 Saddle Ring Carbine
1 of Only 2,500; Trialed by President Lincoln
Here we present an antique Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. Saddle Ring Carbine, made circa 1868 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.
This specimen represents a rare variant known as the New Model or the Model 1868, of which only 2,500 were produced. This was the last variant of Christopher Spencer’s famed rifle before the company went into bankruptcy and was sold at auction to Oliver Winchester. Two key features differentiate this model from others: 1) the “N.M.” New Model marking at the top of the breech, and 2) the presence of the Spencer Patent cut off device. In 1865, many Spencer rifles and carbines received the Stabler Patent cut off device, which was a small switch behind the trigger which prevented access to the magazine tube when enabled and forcing the shooter to single load to conserve ammunition. This was to prevent rapid fire in a military context until the order was given to open up. The Spencer cutoff achieved the same end by simply pushing the top leaf of the device over slightly, not allowing the breech-block to pick a cartridge up from the magazine.
Since the U.S. government opted for the powerful single-shot trapdoor rifles and carbines after the American Civil War, this Spencer was not government inspected, instead being sold on the commercial market. Many Spencers were sold to France during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and became so popular that licensed copies were also made in Belgium.
This specimen is in very good condition. The markings on the metal surfaces remain crisp and clear. The patina on the metal surfaces are an even dark gray. The walnut stock is solid. The action is excellent. The bore is very good, shiny with good rifling.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 20 inches in length.
Caliber: 56-50 (rimfire)
Bore is in very good condition, mostly shiny with good rifling. The firing mechanism is excellent.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
Here is a great example of a Civil War carbine taken into the West after the war!
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