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Thread: 56 56 spencer

  1. #1

    56 56 spencer

    Is anyone making 56 56 spencer rimfire shell casings already primed. Im looking to fire an Model 1860 Spencer and do not want to use the modern Dixie gun work or S and S firearms block. I was told to try Black Hills Ammo and Goex Ammo but no luck. If not what is the reason why no one is shooting model 1860 Spencers with the original block, in rimfire and using the historicaly incorrect centerfire in a model 1860 Spencer. Thanks Joe

  2. #2
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    Joe -

    Original type Spencer rim fire ammunition has never been reproduced.

    I could give you my thoughts on it, but they would be pure speculation, such as high tooling costs for a small niche market. But you're not looking for personal opinions or speculation.

    Your questions as to why Spencer rim fire ammunition isn't being manufactured should be directed to the people who can actually give you the answers, which is the ammunition companies themselves. Have you contacted them?

    JDH

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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    If a particular ammunition is not being manufactured, the answer why is simple: There is not enough demand to warrant doing so.

    I'm not familiar with this particular firearm, but given that reloading is going to be something that people shooting these firearms would almost certainly be interested in doing, it is not surprising to me that people would prefer center-fire cartridges, which can be reloaded, to rimfire cartridges, that cannot.

    Steve

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    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    If your heart is really, really set on firing 56-56 Spencer RIMFIRE ammo thru your Spencer, then your best bet is to check with some the dealers that sell antique cartridges to cartridge collectors. If I recall correctly, 56-56 Rimfire Spencer ammo remained in production until sometimes in the late 1920's or early 1930's. You might find a box of cartridges for sale by a dealer, but it probably won't be cheap. If you do try to shoot that ammo, you will probably find that 1/3 of the cartridges are "Duds," 1/3 are "Hang-Fires" and the rest will go "Ker-BOOM" when you pull the trigger! (Don't ask me how I know!)

    None of the ammo companies are going to start producing 56-56 Spencer Rimfire ammo again as all the replica Spencers are chambered for centerfire cartridges. As for an ammo company producing a "primed" 56-56 rimfire cartridge case for sale to reloaders-that will never happen because it would be a liability lawyer's dream come true.

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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    Dixie Gun Works sells a Spencer rimfire case that can be used in the original nonmodified Spencer. It uses .22 rimfire with bullet and powder removed, or a .22 blank, for a primer. A special priming pocked is built into the rim. In the Spencer the cartridge must be hand inserted with the .22 at the 3 0'clock position for firing. They are pricey but can be used over and over ad infinity. Use "brass rimfire case" in your search.

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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    The thin walled, drawn copper, rim fire cases, do not lend themselves well to being reloaded. One might get four reloads from one cartridge case. This, of course depends on the size of the case and the firing pin arrangement of the arm.
    The extractor may also cause damage to the thin walled rim portion of the casing, preventing it from being a candidate for reloaded. In any event, this is not very practical option while in the field, even with the proper tools and compounds.
    In a Magazine fed firearm, there would be no guarantee a freshly primed area of the rim would align correctly with the firing pin. This could be alleviated to some extent by single loading the cartridges into the firearm, but this kind of defeats the propose of having a Repeater.
    Just some thoughts on my part,
    Blair

  7. #7

    Re: 56 56 spencer

    Thank everyone of you for the replies. I have fired 4 Civil War Original Spencer rounds I was able to purchase 20 along with 7 Burnside rounds. 3 of the Spencers worked the 4th didnt even after holding it 2 minutes for a hang fire. I paid over 300.00 for the 27 rounds so I wont be using original anymore. Eggman Im looking into that case you mentioned I never knew they made that. I already purchased the special made spencer bullets from Pat Kabosky I think he used a Rapine mold. I guess I was using the Dixie gun work search engine incorrectly. I was just putting Spencer in the search block. Eggman do I need a special tool to crimp the cartridge onto the bullet and is the casing marked at the 3'o'clock position so I know where to place the primer. Once again thanks you were all very helpful. Joe

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    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    I remember reading that back in the days of the Old West, that the Plains Indians actually reloaded fired rimfire cartridge cases. They would cut off the white heads of Kitchen matches and glue them inside the rim of the empty, fired rimfire cases. After that all they had to do was dump some powder in the case and insert a lubed bullet.

    Maybe the story was true or maybe it was dreamed up by Ned Butline after having a few too many at the Long Branch Saloon. I wouldn't try anything like that and I wouldn't recommend anyone try anything like that!

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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    Irish -- the .22 chamber is drilled against the outter edge and base material cleared around it to give clear access to the .22. You will have no trouble placing it in the 3 o'clock position.

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    rachbobo is offline Banned
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    Re: 56 56 spencer

    I toyed with the idea of machining the .22 blank cases myself rather than pay around $5 a case from DGW.
    But considering the time machining, the number of steps involved and the cost of 5/8th solid brass rod to make them out of I said Naaa and bit the bullet and bought 10 of them.
    I have yet to fire them.
    I may play around with machining some out of 50-70 Government but it's not that pressing a matter to me.

    Bill Cheek

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