The Spencer repeating rifles and carbines were among the most popular Civil War arms and received praise from common soldiers along with Gen. Custer and even President Lincoln who shot a nice grouping with a Spencer rifle when inventor Christopher Spencer came to the White House for a demonstration. This Spencer sporting rifle was produced early in the post-war production. Only approximately 1,700 of these sporting rifles were produced prior to the company's demise in mid 1868. The company was forced to close due to the dramatic fall in demand from the government, the availability of surplus arms, and its inability to adapt the rifles for new high powered cartridges favored by sportsmen. It features a blade front sight designed for a rarely seen hood (absent), a folding ladder rear sight, and a correct spring loaded peep sight mounted to the receiver. The barrel has no visible markings on the exposed areas but is marked under the forearm with the serial number "222" and the assembly number "57" along with sub-assembly marks. Matching assembly marks are found on many of the components including the stock under the buttplate and the back of the forearm. The matching serial number is marked just below the peep sight on the left side as is correct for the post-war sporting rifles. "SPENCER REPEATING/RIFLE CO. BOSTON MASS./PAT'D MARCH 6, 1860." is marked on the top flat. It is mounted with a straight wrist varnished stock and forearm with a pewter forearm tip and a smooth buttplate with magazine tube.
Extremely fine. The rifle retains 98% of the original commercial blue finish on the barrel with some minor spotting. 80% plus of the original deep case colors remain on the other components with some brown patina and light oxidation in some areas. The case colors on many of the components of the action are particularly rich. There some small scratches and minor marks scattered throughout. The wood is in very fine condition with most of the glossy varnish remaining, some slight dings and scratches, and some dark residue near the back of the forearm on either side. Mechanically excellent with legible markings. This is a very fine example of the scarce Spencer commercial sporting rifles from just after the end of the Civil War.
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