Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 98: US Navy Civil War Contract Spencer Repeating Rifle with Bayonet

Auction Date: June 5, 2020

Very Scarce Documented U.S. Navy Civil War Contract Model 1860 Spencer Repeating Rifle with Collins 1861 Dated Sword Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $14,000

Very Scarce Documented U.S. Navy Civil War Contract Model 1860 Spencer Repeating Rifle with Collins 1861 Dated Sword Bayonet

Manufacturer: Spencer
Model: Repeating
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 56-56
Barrel: 30 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1674
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 77
Class: Antique
Description:

This desirable Navy rifle has the early serial number "381" on the upper tang which falls within the correct estimated range for this variation (1-750), and it was previously in the Roy Marcot collection and is pictured along with the included bayonet as the example of this model in his book "Spencer Repeating Firearms" in "Chapter 2: Model 1860 Spencer Navy Rifles." The Navy contract Spencer rifles were the first Spencer repeaters purchased by the U.S. government and are the rarest of the standard Civil War issued Spencers. Only around 803 of these Navy rifles are believed to have been manufactured out of 107,372 Spencer rifles and carbines purchased by the Union. These rifles are based on Christopher Spencer's patent and were among the most advanced firearms used in the war. They fire the .52 caliber 56-56 Spencer cartridges. The barrel has the bayonet lug on the bottom ahead of the long "musket" style forearm which is secured by three barrel bands and has a steel cap, a pinned German silver blade front sight, notch and folding ladder rear sight, and no markings. The top of the frame is marked "SPENCER REPEATING/RIFLE CO. BOSTON, MASS./PAT'D MARCH 6, 1860." The action has the early blade extractor. There are no inspection markings which is not uncommon on Navy issued firearms. The rare Navy model sword bayonet is marked "COLLINS & CO/HARTFORD/CONN" on the left side of the blade, "1861" on the right, and "193" on the pommel and has a just over 20 inch long blade, brass hilt, and a leather scabbard with "U.S.N.Y./BOSTON" (U.S. Naval Yard Boston) marked frog.

Rating Definition:

Very good plus with 40% original blue finish, traces of original case colors, gray and brown patina on the balance, mild pitting, and generally moderate wear. The wood is also fine and has general scrapes and dents, some flaking, mild edge wear, a crack in the butt, and chipping at the toe. Mechanically fine. The bayonet is very fine and has a bright blade with slight discoloration and edge wear, mild aged patina on the hilt and scabbard fittings, distinct markings, and light storage wear on the leather of the scabbard and frog. These Navy Spencer rifles are scarce and historically significant. A documented example complete with a correct Collins & Co. saber bayonet would be an exceptional addition to any Civil War or U.S. martial arms collection.



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