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Thread: Serial numbers on Spencer Rifles?

  1. #1
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    Serial numbers on Spencer Rifles?

    Hi folks,
    I've got a great model 1860 Spencer infantry rifle that I'm getting ready to sell, and I'm wondering how I might find details about this particular gun's serial number. The number is 9481, so I think it's an early one, but how can I determine which regiment it was issued to?
    Thanks,
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Southron Sr. is offline
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    Contact: Springfield Research Service

    Contact Springfield Research Service. You can "Google" their website. The founder of the company spent years in the National Archives collecting serial numbers of arms issued by the U.S. Military from the Civil War up on thru World War II. Depending on how lucky you are, you might find out the unit your rifle was originally issued to or you might not as there are gaps in the serial number records.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    The current owner/operator of SRS will only look up a serial number if you are a subscriber to his publication....with no guarantees on a hit.

    JDH

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    Hi Gradoon,

    Photos of your Spencer would be great to see. Please comments on its condition. Has it been converted to shoot centerfire?

    Thanks,

    Two Flints, Moderator
    Spencer Shooting Society

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    Thanks for all the tips. I used to be involved with the N-SSA (about 20 years ago), and just purchased this Spencer and three other CW rifles and muskets from a more recent member. All these guns are shooters, and the previous owner said that the barrels had been relined. I'm not sure if the Spencer has been converted for centerfire. How can I tell? I did remove the stock to check the S/N on the barrel and it matched the one on the receiver. It's in great shape with a nice patina. Looks like the rear sight might be a replacement. There's a slight amount of wiggle in the lever. Not sure if this is normal, but I suspect so. Pictures can be seen at: http://s803.photobucket.com/albums/yy319/jmcardle34/

  6. #6
    Blair is offline
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    gradoon,

    Is there a Government acceptance stamp on the left side of the stock, between the Receive/Frame and the rear lock screw?
    This is known as a "cartouche" and shows the arm was inspected and accepted into US service. (Army Ord. Dept.)
    Without this Government acceptance cartouche, the arm may well be one of many such arms that were purchased privately. You may not be able to get an accurate date of manufacture based on the serial number as a result of this. This would also include finding the Unit that may have used it.
    Best case scenario maybe based off of the serial number range with known Government purchases for dating, but that wont tell you who bought it, or used it.
    Still, it is a nice piece!
    Perhaps if you do a pic from the right side, with the breech block opened... we might be able to tell you if it has been converted to center fire?
    Blair
    Last edited by Blair; 01-16-2012 at 01:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, Blair. Couldn't find a cartouche. I've uploaded a pic from the right side with the block open, in case anyone can tell me if this has been converted for centerfire. The pic is at: http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/y...4/IMG_3026.jpg
    Best,
    Jeff

  8. #8
    Blair is offline
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    gradoon,

    This firearm has been converted to center fire, using the system set up and distributed by S&S Firearms. It is a good system!
    It would be even better if you had the old original rim fire breech block to go with it, just to keep it all original.

    Blair

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    Thanks for the ID, Blair.

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