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The Guns of 1864

In 1864, more and more repeating rifles-Spencers and “sixteen shooter” Henrys-made their way into Union units. The South was being overwhelmed by superior numbers and firepower. If 1863 was the year of the rifle-musket in America’s bloody Civil War, then 1864 was the year of the repeater.

Civil War Spencer Rifles & Carbines

During the Civil War, a total of 45,733 Model 1860 carbines and 11,471 Model 1860 rifles were produced under U.S. Army Ordnance Department contracts.

I Have This Old Gun: Model 1860 Spencer Carbine

Engineer Christopher Miner Spencer was one of those 19th century Yankee polymaths who was responsible for a huge number of different, fascinating contrivances. But it was his eponymous repeating rifle that really established his place in the hierarchy of American inventors.

Excels All Others: The Spencer Carbine

During the American Civil War, the best carbine used by cavalry troopers on either side was the seven-shot, repeating Spencer. The Model 1860 and 1865 Spencer carbines saw service into the Indian Wars and were replaced by an arguably inferior arm, the “Trapdoor” carbine.

Lincoln’s Rifles

President Abraham Lincoln loved all things mechanical, especially firearms. During the War Between the States, the president squabbled constantly with the U.S. Ordnance Dept., and he even tried new designs, such as the Spencer and Henry, on the White House lawn. My, how times have changed.

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