Throughout history, some guns have made a name for themselves. Even fewer hold up as well as the Spencer Repeating Rifle. Since its production during the Civil War, the Spencer Repeating Rifle has become quite the collector’s item.


And with good reason. If you love historic american firearms, this one’s for you.


Spencer Repeating Rifle

Christopher Miner Spencer was a 19th century inventor, famous for being a sort of jack-of-all trades in terms of inventing. He could invent whatever it was he wanted from cars to rifles. Spencer has many patents under his name, most of which were gun related.


On March 6, 1860, Spencer knocked out another patent, this time on a lever-action repeater.

The rifle

It was revolutionary. In a time of muzzleloaders, the Spencer Repeating Rifle surely stood out as ingenious design. Simple to use and reliable, it would soon out-shine everything else on the market. Working the gun was quick to learn and didn’t take much: insert cartridge nose first, put hammer on half cock, lower the lever, chamber the round, cock, aim, and fire.


Its most brilliant and revolutionary feature is the rotating block, something no other gun at the time had and what makes the repeater so special. The device allowed the gun to be fired quickly and more frequently than the standard rifle. It was also popular for its sleek design.

Usage in the war

During the Civil War, muzzleloaders were ordered by the hundreds, so switching rifles wouldn’t be cost effective. However, after demonstrating the rifle to officials, Spencer got an order from the Navy for 700 rifles, plus another 300 after he convinced them. Some soldiers, preferring Spencers rifle, purchased them on the side and Lincoln himself was so impressed, he ordered a total of around 230,000 by the time the war ended. By mid-1860’s, it had become the second most widely used carbine.


A rifle’s influence

The Spencer Repeating Rifle has its place in the hearts of historic american firearm collectors, but as far as repeaters go, they became obsolete. Repeaters were a costly and resource draining production, so by the time another war came around, America had moved on to more efficient ways of combat. Still though, nothing at its time was anything like the Spencer Repeater and for that alone is enough for it to go down as one of America’s great historic firearms.


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colt single action army revolver

When people talk about the days of the Old West, they think of cowboys, adventure, and the days of the new frontier. No gun represents the wild, unpredictable nature of the days of the Wild West than the Colt Single Action Army. The Colt single action army revolver, known today as “The Gun that Won the West,” is the epitome of an Old West six shooter.

The Gun That Won the West

Even with the single action army’s reputation as being an icon of Wild West cowboys, it wasn’t even the most popular pistol of its era. Still, even faced with deep competition from the now lesser-known pistol by Harrington & Richardson, the single action army possessed a powerful advantage that would carry the pistol onwards to icon status. Traveling shows, plays, and short novels all featured heroic tales of cowboys defeating bank robbers and getting into fights at the saloon and all the while, they did so carrying the Colt Single Action Army.


The United States adopted the Colt single action for military service in 1873, and it would continue seeing use as a service pistol until 1892. Over the course of the next couple of decades, the popularity of the single action army would fade along with the rise of double action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.


At the close of the Second World War, a renewed interest in Western films lead to the rediscovery and revitalization in popularity of the Colt single action army, more commonly referred to at this point as the Colt Peacekeeper. Once carried by outlaws and lawmen of the Old West, the Colt single action army is now mostly found with gun collectors and Old West re-enactors.
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