Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3  Send TopicPrint
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Spencer Buffalo Rifle (Read 2230 times)
Lyle
Junior Forum Member
**
Offline



Posts: 34
Location: Washington
Joined: Apr 12th, 2015
Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Jul 16th, 2021 at 8:47pm
Print Post  
Hello.  I have a Spencer (repeater) that has an octagon barrel and is a single shot.  I read that after the civil war a number of companies acquired Spencer rifles and converted them to meet the demand of buffalo hunters.  Since this is a new acquisition, I haven't determined the caliber and can find no company information on the barrel.  Can anyone help me?  Thanks.
  

Limit politicians to two terms:  office followed by prison.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
John Rigby
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 143
Location: Midwest
Joined: Nov 8th, 2005
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #1 - Jul 16th, 2021 at 9:07pm
Print Post  
Can you take a chamber cast?  Cerrosafe is a good medium to accomplish this.  Take the measurements and publish them and I'm sure someone will help out.
  

John Rigby
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
ndnchf
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 603
Joined: Mar 6th, 2014
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #2 - Jul 17th, 2021 at 5:00am
Print Post  
Over the years I've seen quite a few Spencers converted by gunsmiths to sporting rifle confuguration. Perhaps one of most well known was Gemmer. I'm not aware of any company who did this on a large scale. The action design greatly limits cartridge length, so there are few options. The most common is .56-50. There was a post-war .56-46 spencer cartridge developed for sporting use. I've not heard of a single shot only version. Does yours not have a magazine? Please post clear, close up photos.

Steve
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
George Babits
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 963
Joined: Sep 27th, 2012
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #3 - Jul 26th, 2021 at 2:24pm
Print Post  
Maybe 25 or 30 years ago there was someone making replica Spencers in larger calibers like the 45-70.  BUT, they were strictly single shot.   I'm thinking that might have been Romano, but not sure.   If that worked now, there could easilly have been someone   converting them in the 1870s as well.   

George
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kootne
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 354
Location: Libby, Mt.
Joined: Mar 6th, 2012
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #4 - Jul 26th, 2021 at 2:27pm
Print Post  
Years ago I ran across one of those sporterized Spencers with a heavy octagon barrel, forend with a pewter tip etc. The bore near the chamber was mangled, like somebody tried to run a big tap in the bore. I mentioned it to Dave Thorn and he went and bought it.
Before he got flustered and re-sold it we kicked around the idea of making it a single shot. As near as we could tell, it would be no big problem to run a 50/70 reamer in and that is all you would have do. I don't think the magazine and feed mechanism would interfere with single shot operation at all.
  

You can't make good decisions without good information.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
MrTipUp
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 687
Joined: Feb 19th, 2020
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #5 - Jul 26th, 2021 at 2:47pm
Print Post  
Romano's version of Spencer's single-shot was a considerably different rifle from the repeater; in fact, if I remember correctly, it even had its own patent.  And I say "was" because as of a few months ago, both rifles had been "out of stock" on Romano's site for nearly a year.  Is Romano's company not really their maker?

Bill Lawrence
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
ndnchf
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 603
Joined: Mar 6th, 2014
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #6 - Jul 26th, 2021 at 2:51pm
Print Post  
The original poster has not come back to update us on his chamber cast or anything else. Maybe he lost interest Sad   

Certainly the Spencer action greatly limits the cartridge length. But oddly enough, my M1871 Springfield Spencer 2 band rifle takes a longer than normal .56-50 cartridge. The cartridge length it takes is the same as the .50-45 carbine cartridge.  I'm guessing Springfield Armory just used the .50-45 reamer when making these. But the rifle will not cycle with the standard .56-50 length cartridge either. Rather odd.

While not really considered a Buffalo cartridge, the .50-45 loaded with 45gr of Goex 2F and a 350gr bullet out of my Spencer gives a little over 1100fps.  That's no slouch.  Here are the two side by side.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
George Babits
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 963
Joined: Sep 27th, 2012
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #7 - Jul 26th, 2021 at 3:41pm
Print Post  
I have one of the Belgiun center fire "Spencers" that was made in 1873.   It also will take a slightly longer cartridge.   I've never been able to find the official length of the 50 carbine case, but I don't think it is quite that long.   This Spencer handles the shorter regular 56-50 just fine.   I get about 1020 FPS 12 feet in front of the muzzle with the Lyman 515139  bullet (350 grains) and 40 grains of FFFg GOEX.  Not sure what sort of energy that would be but easy enough to figure out.

My Peabody carbine, convertered to center fire by Providence Tool only chambers the shorter 56-50 cartridge.

George
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
chipmaker
Full Member
***
Online



Posts: 245
Location: san diego
Joined: Sep 24th, 2007
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #8 - Jul 26th, 2021 at 6:46pm
Print Post  
Spencer was a very talented inventor and patented several single shot rifles, in addition to his repeater. 
The single shot rifle, shown in his patent of 1873, easily handles a 45-90 length cartridge but I don't think that any of these rifles survived the Army trials.
Otto
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
mqabbi
Junior Member
**
Offline



Posts: 85
Joined: Nov 6th, 2015
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #9 - Oct 14th, 2021 at 2:05pm
Print Post  
If any one of you gentlemen, have one of Mr Romano's rifles, I would appreciate an image of the breach open showing the extractor. I built a half size one in 22 Hornet from the patent and whilst I am very happy with the result and accuracy. I am not happy with the extraction, which I had to jury rig as it it not shown on the patent
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Schuetzendave
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


Retired Ex-Shooter

Posts: 3437
Location: St. Albert, Alberta
Joined: Jan 28th, 2005
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #10 - Oct 14th, 2021 at 7:31pm
Print Post  
The Spencer could be used as a repeater or as a single shot with the Stabler Cut-Off Device. Edward M. Stabler of Maryland invented the Stabler Cut-Off Device. It prevented the cartridge from feeding the magazine to the receiver by limiting the lowering of the breech block. The carbine could then be used as a single shot weapon. A few of the carbines manufactured by the Spencer factory, plus 19,000 of the 30,496 of the Burnside Spencers were equipped with the Stabler Cut-Off Device.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
chipmaker
Full Member
***
Online



Posts: 245
Location: san diego
Joined: Sep 24th, 2007
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #11 - Oct 14th, 2021 at 9:03pm
Print Post  
mqabbi
Your build of the Spencer single shot rifle inspired me to build a full sized action. Thank you.
You are correct that the patent didn't show an extractor and I'd love to know what extractor, Spencer used on the rifles that he submitted to the Army trials.
I decided to use a modified version of the one seen on Remington Rolling Black actions. Instead of a fixed stud in the breechblock, I spring loaded mine, so that it would slip under the rim of a cartridge, inserted in front of the extractor.
Attached are two pictures that show the  extractor in 22 LR and 45 Long Colt actions.
Otto
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
mqabbi
Junior Member
**
Offline



Posts: 85
Joined: Nov 6th, 2015
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #12 - Oct 15th, 2021 at 2:03pm
Print Post  
Chipmaker: Thanks a lot. It would not have occured to me. I did use a central ( 6 o'clock extractor ) but with hot Hornet rounds I am finding extraction difficult. 

I am thinking of building a full size one now in 45-70 gov or 45-90. I have modeled it and it might be that the latter case is rather long for it, keeping to the proportions of the patent. 

Now that I have nearly recovered from my meltdown, I am spending time ( maybe too much ) in my workshop, but my priority is to finish the pending projects I have before I embark on new one
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
mqabbi
Junior Member
**
Offline



Posts: 85
Joined: Nov 6th, 2015
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #13 - Oct 15th, 2021 at 2:05pm
Print Post  
As you can see from the above image, I still have not finished it completely. I want to engrave it before I harden it. But got too many projects and too little time. I shall be semi retiring soon, so hopefully that will help
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
rodneys
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 531
Location: Central Oklahoma
Joined: Mar 2nd, 2015
Re: Spencer Buffalo Rifle
Reply #14 - Oct 15th, 2021 at 6:57pm
Print Post  
This Spencer action was in the 1872 trials results published in 1873 with the adoption of the trapdoor Springfield. Here is some pictures that they published. Note that the hammer is much shorter than in the Patent.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 
Send TopicPrint