Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sporting rifle conversion of a Spencer Civil War carbine in the Sam Hawken style.


When the Civil War came to a close in May of 1865, the U.S. military had hundreds of thousands of firearms of various makes and designs in the arsenals. Many were now outdated and sold as surplus, and even some of the more advanced arms like the Spencer repeaters were not all retained. 



J. P. Gemmer, who took over the Hawken brothers' shop in St. Louis in the early 1860s, and other firearms dealers converted surplus carbines and rifles into sporting rifles for settlers headed to the West. Many by Gemmer and Meacham retained the style of the classic plains rifle.
This rifle appears, or was made to appear, to have been one which was altered by Gemmer as, "ST. LOUIS" is stamped ahead of the rear sight dovetail, "S. HAWKEN" behind the dovetail under the rear sight. 
Regardless of who did what and when they did it, I like it. I have always liked the Hawken styling and I’m intrigued by the design of the Spencer.
It is a Spencer with an octagon barrel, custom elongated trigger guard/lever with spur, and double set triggers, a poured pewter forend cap and a wooden ramrod. The best of two worlds.


.56-.56 Sprncer
   

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