Model 1860 Civil War Spencer Carbine
Model 1860 Civil War Spencer Carbine – Invented by Christopher Spencer of Connecticut, this .52 cal., seven-shot, breechloading, repeating rifle, fired a brass, rimfire cartridge, that was fed into the chamber, by a spring-loaded, tubular magazine. The latter was loaded, with seven cartridges, by removing the magazine tube from the butt stock; rounds were chambered by pulling down on the loading lever, which doubled as a trigger guard. Initially contracted by the Federal government, in July of 1863, the first group of Spencer carbines were delivered to the Ordnance Department in the Fall of 1863. Of the 95,000 Spencer carbines purchased by the Federal government during the Civil War, approximately 65,000 were manufactured in Boston, by the Spencer Repeating Rifle Company; the remaining 30,000 were manufactured in Rhode Island, by the Burnside Rifle Company.
This example, with the relatively low serial number of 28,375, is stamped, on the top of the receiver:
RIFLE CO BOSTON MASS
PAT’D MARCH 6 1860”
The carbine remains in overall, very good condition; a pleasing plum brown finish remains on the barrel, with traces of casehardening remaining on the receiver. The gun’s firing mechanics are in excellent condition; the tubular magazine is in very good condition, although it does exhibit some mottling on its surface. The “toe” of the magazine is rather unique – it has two parallel furrows in the toe plate – we have not seen this type of magazine plate before; it is possibly some kind of field adaptation. The typical, heavy sling bar and ring are firmly in place, as is the single sling swivel in the toe of the buttstock. The rear sight is the original folding variety, and the front, brass-bladed sight remains in place. The walnut fore stock and butt stock are in very good condition. There are no visible government inspection cartouches visible. This carbine is an excellent example of an early issue, wartime Spencer.