This is a fresh Michigan estate found Civil War .52 Spencer Repeating Carbine serial number 14376. All markings are very strong and the overall condition is untouched attic plum brown patina. The action is crisp and solid and the original magazine tube is likewise fine. There are clear abrasions on the left side of the buttstock made by the use of an over the shoulder cavalry sling. If you want a fresh and untouched wartime example of this famous weapon, here it is!
Christopher Miner Spencer
By the summer of 1863, Christopher Miner Spencer despaired that the Bureau of Ordnance would never see the merit of his repeating rifle. Determined to provide Union soldiers with a quicker, more accurate weapon, Spencer took his gun to the White House. On 18 August 1863, President Lincoln agreed to test the rifle with Spencer on a weedy plain extending from the White House to the unfinished Washington Monument. At a distance of forty yards, Lincoln fired seven consecutive rounds into a wooden board, directly hitting a crude bulls-eye with his second shot. Lincoln presented Spencer with a fragment of the board on their return to the White House. Lincoln was pleased with the rifle’s accuracy and efficiency. In a matter of weeks, Spencer’s small Boston factory was receiving more orders than it could fill.
Circa late 1863 to early 1864 Civil War Spencer breech-loading carbine, .52 caliber, forged steel barrel, oiled walnut wood stock and forearm. Iron mounted. Strong rifling in bore. Crisp action overall.
The Spencer carbine was one of the most popular firearms of the Civil War. Issued late in 1863, the Spencer carbine had a demoralizing effect on the Confederate soldiers. General James Wilson wrote, “There is no doubt that the Spencer carbine is the best firearm put into the hands of the soldier, both for economy of ammunition and maximum affect both physical and moral.” The smaller, lighter gun could fire a magazine of seven copper rimfire cartridges in 30 seconds. The cartridges were fed into the breech by a compressed spring in the magazine. Lowering the operating lever dropped the breech block, extracting the spent cartridge. The same motion had the magazine automatically feed another round into the chamber. Basically, all a soldier had to do was cock, aim and pull the trigger. The production of the Blakeslee Cartridge Box gave a solider 10 to 13 magazine tubes ready to fire. This lever-action repeater was a formidable opponent against the slow firing muzzle loaders of the Confederacy. Even when the Confederate army captured Spencer carbines, they were useless because they required rimfire cartridges not manufactured in the South. Over 94,000 Spencer carbines were purchased by the Federal government and another 120,000 were purchased privately.