This is a very solid example of the weapon that you “loaded on Sunday and shot all week” as issued in the Fall of 1863. The low serial number places it in ranges known issued to both the 9th Michigan and 8th Indiana Regiments. Mechanically, it is in fine overall condition and has no replaced or missing parts. The action is crisp and the bore far above average. At some point in time, a thin coating of lacquer was placed on the wood (easily removed) which was done quite a bit in the 1940s and 1950s. The wood stocks have numerous dings and dents from field use but overall is very good.
This famous longarm is a standard Civil War Model 1860 Spencer Repeating rifle in very good original condition. Initial army contracts with the Spencer Company of Boston, Massachusetts called for 10,000 repeating firearms at a cost of $40.00 each. This specimen, serial #3852, was one of the approximately 11,000 produced between 1863 and 1864 and delivered to the army. The rifle is a .52 caliber rimfire longarm that used the “No. 56” Spencer rimfire cartridge.
Rifle measures 47” overall with a 30” round barrel that features six-groove rifling. Bore is clean with scattered pitting. Rifling is strong. Features complete rear flip-up sight. The front blade site emanating from a socket bayonet lug is intact. All gun metal is smooth and generally dark and exhibits wear and light surface pitting from use. On the top of the receiver is the three-line maker’s stamping “SPENCER REPEATING / RIFLE CO. BOSTON, MASS / PAT’D MARCH 6, 1860”. Serial number “3852” is visible at rear of receiver. Mechanically perfect. Butt plate, tube magazine, sling swivels, nose cap, barrel bands, and band springs all here and show similar wear and color.
Barrel is mated to a black walnut two-piece stock. The wood surfaces show considerable use. The forearm has numerous dings, dents, and heavy wear but no cracks. The butt stock shows similar use and/or abuse. No trace of a government cartouche is visible, not uncommon with early examples. Wood has original finish and patina, overcoated with thin lacquer.