Military Surplus Of The Mid 19th Century: The Spencer Carbine And Schofield Revolver
As some of you may know, I have a ‘thing’ for guns of the Old West and the two firearms mentioned in the article and the video are two of my favorites. I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing these two guns in action as much as I did!
In the video below, they discuss two bits of 1870’s military surplus – the Spencer Carbine and the Schofield Revolver. Both of them were excellent weapons in their day but for their own unique reasons became military surplus, meaning they saw extensive use on the frontier as a result.
If you couldn’t come up with the cash to buy a Henry repeating rifle, or a Winchester in the 1870’s, you could buy a Spencer Rifle at a really cheap price and the same went for the Schofield revolver.
About the Spencer Rifle:
The Spencer repeating rifles and carbines were 19th-century American lever-action firearms invented by Christopher Spencer. The Spencer was the world’s first military metallic-cartridge repeating rifle, and over 200,000 examples were manufactured in the United States by the Spencer Repeating Rifle Co.
The Spencer carbine was one of the most popular firearms of the Civil War though it was not issued until the latter part of 1863. Its distinguishing feature is that it had a magazine that could hold seven metallic rimfire cartridges, which were fed to the breech by a compressed spring in the magazine.
By all accounts, Spencer was a gifted engineer in his own right. In 1859, he developed his own rifle that allowed a man to fire as many as 14 shots — 2 full magazines — per minute. It was a repeating rifle, and the first one to use a metallic cartridge.
About the Schofield Revolver:
The .45 Schofield, also referred to as .45 Smith & Wesson is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson for their S&W Model 3 Schofield top-break revolver.The Smith & Wesson Schofield revolver,.45 caliber, was manufactured from 1875 to 1878.
The vast majority of the 9,000 guns went to the U.S. Army. Many saw service in the Indian Wars, though they were reported in use as late as the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection. The First Model Schofield has a latch configuration that is rather pointed at the top and has a circle around the screwhead at the bottom.
Serial-number range will give you an indication of whether it is First or Second Model; the numbers change from the First Model to the Second Model at a little over 3,000.
H/T – Wikipedia – americanhistory.si.edu – britannica.com
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