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Old May 4, 2012, 07:22 PM   #1
indy1919
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Spencer Repeating Carbine by Armi Sport question

I have been wanting to get a Spencer clone for some time.. And Saw someone list one locally for 950 unfired.. Ok it looks great.. It is in 56-50 caliber..

So I go to price ammo for the thing.. and finding the ammo in the $50 per 20 bullet range to $150 for 50 bullet range...

Am I missing something... Looks like I could order a Cimmerron spencer for like 1500 new in 44-40 and shoot a lot cheaper????

I realize that 56-50 is more historical correct but my goodness the price.. Or am I just shopping for ammo in all the wrong places???
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Old May 6, 2012, 03:14 PM   #2
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indy - I don't know if this will be of any help or not, but Google NSSA (North South Skirmish Association) and take a look at their site. I think (if I remember correctly) that they have a Q & A section or a forum and you might be able to get some answers there as I'm sure that some of them probably use the Spencer in the carbine matches. Worth a try anyway. If you can't find a Q & A forum - maybe you can find an e-mail to contact someone who can put you in touch with somebody that shoots Spencers. Good luck!
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:24 PM   #3
Andy Griffith
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I called Cimmaron a while back when I wanted one and talked at length with one of their gunsmiths down there. He stated that the .56-50 will feed and shoot better than any of the other calibers offered. I was so set on getting a 3-band rifle that I ordered cases, a shellplate for my Hornady LNL-AP and dies. However, the bug left me after shooting a friend's.

Give the guys in Texas at Cimmaron a call- they're quite informative.
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Old May 8, 2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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i too became interested in the spencer rifle.

i had contacted a fella in a cowboy group who offered one for sale.
we met at the range and well, the horror story began. to cut to the chase don't purchase this rifle in any other caliber than what it was designed for.
the one i looked at was in the short russian .44 cal which is used by some in cowboy shooting i guess with the S&W handgun.
this shorter cartridge will not feed properly. the rifle basically will be a single shot.
the owner tried to pull a fast one on me, telling me the rifle needed to be broken in. LOL! finally he came true and told me his horror story about the defects after I watched him struggle to get the rifle to feed correctly.
sad thing is the importer wouldn't stand behind their product and it wasn't the international -harvester manure spreader either.

the Itals do make some great repos but they do cut corners and occasionally produce a pig in the poke. I have heard the .56/50 does feed correctly but would not endorse the statement without first hand experience.
buyer beware.and good luck

S.M.
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:27 PM   #5
indy1919
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Mucho thanks to all

Many thanks to all.. and thanks sewerman for the hands on report.. It does make you wonder how well they worked in the day.... I guess did they have some of the same feed issues but because it was still faster then single shot weapons. So no one complained because they did not know any better....

Today we expect flawless smooth loading,, maybe the things where fussy then,, There has to be some reason after the Civil war They were sold as surplus... Heck even the mounted army chose to go to a single shot trapdoor over the spencer..
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Old May 12, 2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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My .56-.50 works very well, is extremely accurate, and I shoot it often in CAS matches. Yes, factory ammo is quite expensive, and well worth getting into reloading for if you're going to shoot it regularly. Brass is available from Starline, or easily made from .348 Winchester brass, as well as a couple others.
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Old May 21, 2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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"we expect flawless smooth loading,, maybe the things where fussy then,, There has to be some reason after the Civil war They were sold as surplus... Heck even the mounted army chose to go to a single shot trapdoor over the spencer."

the reason for the trapdoor was based on budget! they used the surplus 1861-64 muskets retooled for the trapdoors breech loader update and later produced new rifles. the trapdoor had ejection problems with the soft copper rimmed cartridges. brass cartridges solved the problem. soldiers in the early days used their pocket knives to pry out the copper cases.
the orignial spencer with the 56/50 was a slick repeater...but the short .44 just doesn't feed correctly.
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Old May 21, 2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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The Spencer was used by troopers in the post-war indian fighting. Custers
troopers had them in the Wa****a fight. Sporting rifles were also produced, including a .46-56 bottleneck. The main reason the Spencers were recalled was the superior range of the new .50-70 Springfield.
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Old May 22, 2012, 07:17 PM   #9
indy1919
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I stand corrected, eating crow.. I never should have ever added 2 + 2 and getting 34.. you are right the Spencer was used many years after the war As well as the reason it was replaced... My mind left me..

I still wonder how well the Spencer Functioned side by side with the Henry & then the New Winchester...
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Old May 23, 2012, 07:49 PM   #10
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The original Spencers didn't have much trouble with feeding, but extraction was sometimes a problem if the lever was not worked smartly.

Jim
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Old May 28, 2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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Spencer 50-56

Just before Custer's calvary left for the little big horn, they were reissued Springfield 45-70 Allin conversion single shoots. Those model 66's had more power, but at the distance they were shooting, the Spencer could,ve made a hecku'va difference. They also had a problem with the 45-70 rounds, as many extractors just tore the rim off the copper-cased bullets. They soon after went to brass cased shells, but too late to save Custer. If they would've had the 7 shot Spencer, or even the 14 shot henry [Which the Indians had to some degree] the out-come would have been different. Quess who to blame?
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Old May 28, 2012, 04:09 PM   #12
Jbar4Ranch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckhorn
If they would've had the 7 shoot Spencer, or even the 14 shoot henry [Which the Indians had to some degree] the out-come would have been different.
I don't know if it would made much of a difference, really. Custer had ~256 men with him and he attacked what has generally been acknowledged to be the largest known gathering of the northern plains Indians ever. Some estimates put the number as low as ~4000 and as high as ~12,000, but 6000 to 8000 is more widely accepted, with at least 2000 experienced warriors taking part in the battle, and women & children finishing off the wounded. Custer was outnumbered by at least 8 to 1 by much more experienced fighting men, men for whom fighting and dieing was a way of life, and adding the women & older children who also participated, perhaps as much as 20 to 1 or more. There is a well documented incident during the battle of a boy of about 12 killing a trooper with an arrow then running another one down and beating him to death with his bow.

I suppose it's possible Custer could have driven off the counter attack if he had Spencers and/or Henrys, but my opinion is the outcome wouldn't have been much different; Custer and his contingent would still have all died that day, but a few more Indians would have also.
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Old May 28, 2012, 04:23 PM   #13
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custer and Spencers

jba4Ranch- When you're right you're right. But the fact still remains the logistics of that time depended more on politics than common sense, just as is the case today. The fact is, just like the civil war it was Americans killing Americans, which thank God, except for criminal activity, doesn't occur anymore P.S. Custer wasn't very bright in the first place, just extremely brave and reckless. I'm sure, as well read as you appear to be, you've already made that deduction
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Old September 19, 2012, 07:12 PM   #14
Mindful
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Spencer Armi Sport .45 Long Colt Carbine

Hi there everyone,
I only came on since I kept looking for information about the Armi Sport Spencer Carbine in 45 long colt and no one had any real information!

I bought one. It's beautiful and the problem is the cycling after the shell is shot! I found out that Black Hills ammo has a very small rim on it and the Spencer will not really eject it well!

The Magtech and the Winchester both have larger rims on the shells and will eject easily. It's not the ejector.... it's the different shells.

Great gun! Accurate as can be because of the huge broad sights, but still if you can hold it in one spot it will hit that spot.

Really nice gun. Accurate, comfortable, and real quality too. Just thought I'd add this to it. I also don't know if it has the double lane ejector either?

It honeslty looks like one single ejector which sits in front of the shell casing when the action is closed and simply pulls on the rim of the cartridge. It's simply if the shell has a very small rim then it doesn't want to eject!

Neat gun, very impressive!

Thanks, and here's some information for people like me that didn't find any before!

Richard Williams;
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Old September 19, 2012, 08:12 PM   #15
indy1919
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Hey Mindful,

Many thanks.. May I ask did you get this new or used???? 45 Lc would be a cheap way of getting around the ammo issue...
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Old September 19, 2012, 11:30 PM   #16
Mindful
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Hi there,
I just got it today new! It was sent by Legendary Arms in Arizona and I got it off gunsamerica. It shoots great, and since it wasn't ejecting I was ready to get mad, but instead I asked the guy at the range if he had any other brand of ammo. I was using Black Hills which I love for everything else, and he had some Magtech so i bought those and they worked fine!

I also when I got home I had some Winchester ammo too, so I tried that just to see if the ejector would cycle them and it did!

It's a new gun, but I noticed that it only has one ejector track so I suspect it is not the new lane ejector. I can watch it slide back so it's behind the shell when you close the cycle but I honestly think it will work fine, it's just the rim on the shells makes a big difference. I'm going to take it to my gunsmith and I'm sure he could probably sharpen the crook too. That way it may even work with the Black Hills.

The 44/40 obviously would work better, but i didn't think of that when I chose the 45 Long colt. It shoots great, and it's definitely quality work. Also... I never had to tighten the screws after shooting it either, and I was all ready to lock tite them after reading a few things before.

I honestly think they're really great guns, and I was getting kinda worried reading all the terrible things about them before, ha ha....

I'm happy, and I even wrote to cimarron email to mention what happened. Maybe they will want to put the other ejector in, but I may not really need it anyway. I honestly think that the Black Hills are simply such small rims that they wouldn't work in a winchester either.

Richard

Oh, about 1300.00
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Old September 19, 2012, 11:51 PM   #17
Mindful
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Any picture of the lane ejector?

Hi again,
Richard here. Say, does anyone have a picture of the lane ejector? I have no idea whether the one in my Spencer is one or not. It's new and I just got it today, but I have no idea when they started putting the lane ejector in.

Mine is simply the usual one piece of hooked metal that runs in behind the shell so it will be able to hook it and pull it out with opening the action.

Thanks,
Richard
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Old September 20, 2012, 04:24 PM   #18
Mindful
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Be very careful of Armi sport Spencer

O.K. I took it to the range again today and I got it yesterday! Neither the magtech or the Winchester ammo works any better! I already emailed Chiappa and they simply said that the guns are sensative to ammo. Now that doesn't help my 1300.00 either. I also mentioned to David and Legendary Guns on gunsamerica when I bought it that I wanted to be sure that no one had simply used it and found the same and now they were selling it "NIB'. Well, that should answer the question, eh?

i sent an email to Chiappa again and asked where to send it since none of the rounds work with the ejector and it's really pushing it for me! It's obvious that someone found the same so Legendary simply sold it anyway, and now the Chiappa unless they tell me where to send it will be doing the same.

If things change I'll let you know, but be very careful about the Armi Sport Spencer until you hear from me.

Today is the 20th of September and I'll let you know what I get email. I wrote to david at Legendary guns too, but I havent heard anything back yet......

I guess we see what the economy can do to people eh?

Richard
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Old September 20, 2012, 04:45 PM   #19
Jim Watson
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It is no consolation after you have already been gypped, but now you know why they did not make .45 Colt rifles in the 19th century. Not enough rim.
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Old September 20, 2012, 06:44 PM   #20
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And the rims today are bigger than the rims back then.
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Old September 20, 2012, 06:54 PM   #21
Mindful
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Hi Y'all,

O.K. David did email me back from Legendary. He's going to make it right he said. Tomorrow he will talk to the guy who turned it in 'new' and then call the company and see if it needs to be sent back. He was definitely helpful on the phone just a minute ago.

I'll keep you posted, it's such a beautiful and accurate carbine, that it's definitely worth getting made right! If all the shells will cycle and eject when they're new, without being shot.... then if the empty shells wont cycle there's got to be something that can be done!

Richard
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Old September 20, 2012, 06:56 PM   #22
Mindful
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Jim,

I know that now! Jerry Meacham mentioned that to me last night! Let's face it that's why they used 44/40 since it had a larger rim and they couldn't make the winchester do the 45 long colt especially in those days. Still... with the modern technology we shall see?

Richard
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Old September 20, 2012, 07:25 PM   #23
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I wonder what dimensions they took when making the gun.When you look at the 45Colt and the 45S&W [45 Colt Gov't ] it gets confusing . The shorter 45 S&W and 45 Colt Gov't are interchangeable . The first is the Schofield but the 45 Colt Gov't has a smaller rim AFAIK.
Sometimes repros pick some strange [to us ] dimensions .38-55 is one of them and some did not have the same bullet diameter that we us today.
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:10 PM   #24
Mindful
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Attention:

O.K. even Joe called me who's the owner of Legendary guns... nice guy too! He said he will definitely make if right so i have no worries any more. It makes sense that since it cycles with full rounds it probably doesn't cycle with the empty rounds simply because the 'hook' is not sharp or maybe the spring is not strong enough. Oh... he also mentioned that Chiappa told him that the newer lane ejection is not any better than the first, so probably it is something simple.

I tend to get a little bent out of shape and say too much at times... so I have confidence that Legendary guns will definitely have chiappa make it right. They've got such beautiful guns at that store it makes sense that they definitely take care of their customers.

Well, good night for now, and I'll keep you posted. I just want to shoot the darn thing and it would seem that the 45 long colt should be great since all the reproduction Henry's, Winchester's etc. have been using the 45 for years! It's probably just some wimpy spring under the ejector and I'm going to at least have my really good gunsmith at least take a look see before I send it back. That way we'll all be happy and I can make it to the range.

It shoot accurately too! Just a tad heavy on the trigger, but I'm sure things could be done for that too. Don't be disappointed yet.....

The Spencer should be fine and I'll let you know. beautiful with all the color cased and the really nice wood too. the really beautiful almost black blue on the barrel etc. Nice carbine!

Richard

P.S. give me all of your impressions with yours!
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Old September 21, 2012, 08:53 PM   #25
Mindful
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Hi Y'all... now here's a really important question:

It does not say in the book included with the gun that the hammer should be half cocked before cycling another round! It simply says to cycle the round and then cock the hammer before shooting!

I am so used to using the original Spencer that I think this is very important and I'd really like to know the correct answer!

If there is really no safety except for the half cock hammer, then cycling with the hammer down would seem rather dangerous? No?

I'm wondering just because if the cycling doesn't work well, maybe it's because I'm using the original idea from the Spencer and this reproduction should not be half cocked before cycling!

Anyone know the answer besides whats in the booklet included?

thanks alot!

Richard
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