Original U.S. Burnside Rifle Company Model 1865 Spencer Repeating Carbine - Serial Number 29691
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice condition genuine Burnside Rifle Company Model 1865 Spencer Repeating Carbine. Functions great with good bore: clear lands and grooves but some some small areas of pitting. Metalwork has been polished over the years on the receiver and lock, making for a very attractive item. The carbine is marked with the serial number 29691 on the receiver. The wood stocks are in fair condition, though the rear stock suffered damage at some point, and had replacement wood spliced in. The woodwork has a lovely deep brown patina.
The March 1865 incorporation of the Stabler cut-off attachment, which was invented by Edward Stabler of Sandy Springs, Md. It allowed the carbine to be fired as a single-shot with the seven cartridges in the magazine being held in reserve. Stabler was paid a royalty of 25 cents for each carbine fabricated with his magazine cut-off device.
On June 27, 1864, the Burnside Rifle Co. entered into a contract with the Ordnance Dept. to manufacture 30,500 .52-cal. M1860 Spencer carbines with deliveries completed by Aug. 31, 1865. With the changes directed to be made to the carbines, deliveries did not start until April 15, 1865, and they continued until the end of October, with a 30,496 M1865 Spencer carbines being delivered. Six additional carbines were delivered as samples, prototypes and models. Of this number, 14,494 were equipped with the Stabler cut-off and 16,008 without.
The company paid Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. a royalty of 50 cents for each carbine delivered to the Ordnance Dept., and $1 was paid for the 4,000 Spencer carbines sold to military individuals and civilians.
The Spencer factory manufactured nearly 23,000 M1865 Spencer carbines, of which 12,502 were equipped with the Stabler cut-off. In the post-war period, Springfield Armory retrofitted about 12,000 M1860s to incorporate M1865 features.
The .56-50-cal. M1865 Spencer carbines manufactured by the Burnside Rifle Co. and the Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces with 20-inch barrels, and they had an overall length of 37 inches. The Burnside receivers were stamped:
SPENCER REPEATING RIFLE
PAT'D MARCH 6, 1860
MANUFACTURED AT PROV. R. I.
BY BURNSIDE RIFLE CO.
The Spencer factory carbines had the both the M1860 stamping and the M1865. A saddle bar and ring was located on the buttstock's left, and sling swivels were located on the barrel band and underside of the buttstock.
In 1871, Springfield Armory converted 1,109 M1865 Spencer carbines manufactured by Burnside into rifles, replacing the carbine barrels with 32-inch-long standard M1868 Springfield rifle barrels and fore-ends secured by two barrel bands. The converted rifles retained the carbine's saddle bars and rings on the left side of their buttstocks. It does not appear that those converted rifles were ever issued.
Both Spencer and Burnside carbines were manufactured by the Burnside Rifle Company. Spencer-manufactured models featured six-groove rifling, while those made under contract by Burnside in 1865, as well as post-war armory conversions, used three-groove rifling. Spencer carbines came into use in mid-1863 and by war's end, they had become established as the dominant cavalry arm of the Union Army. Spencers continued to see action on the frontier during the Indian Wars. After the Civil War, Spencers were armory-modified from their original .52 caliber to accept .50 caliber ammunition.
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