View Full Version : Rogers & Spencer prototype, with pics

September 22, 2010, 02:01 AM
I now have the most unusual original Rogers & Spencer in my hands. It has several improvements compared to the standard R&S. The frame has been flattened to fit a better rear sight. Front sight is better too. The cylinder is fluted, the hammer configuration is totally different. The grip is narrowed down towards a Remington 1858 kind of grip. The real strange thing is that it does not have the standard leaf hammer spring. It has a spiral spring. And the only markings left on it is the B`s Bannermann put on them, and 3 mysterious digits on the right side of the frame. 45, 35 and 210. The screw that retains the loading lever is also an improvement on this one.

The cylinder chambers has been made sligthly bigger. A 457 ball is way to small. I 460 ball is a minimum. The barrel however is a standard R&S. To make things work properly the forcing cone is wider than normal.

The suggestion of some people is, among them the late C.W Slage, that this is a prototype. However, I would like to find some more data on this old iron. Anyone ever heard of "civilian" R&S? Any documentation, pictures of variations or rebuilds would be great. Reference to books...whatever...

Here is a couple of pics it.... serial number is 43xx


September 22, 2010, 08:01 AM
From the looks of it I would say some enterprising person modified a Rogers and Spencer for target work. That would account for the improved sights, and the larger ball for a greater bearing area. The flutes to index the cylinder better when loading, and the screw simply to improved the lever assembly. I like it.

September 22, 2010, 09:03 AM
That is my impression too. But for me, as a BP competition shooter I need to know when the rebuild was done, +- 30 years. Almost impossible to find out off course. But I have to try....

September 22, 2010, 10:07 AM
Best guess on dating the modifications would probably be somewhere between 1930 and 1950. This corresponds to the beginings of the resurgence in interest in shooting black powder guns and pre-dates the replica market.
During this time frame there wasn't the collector interest and value associated with these arms and shooting and modifying originals was commonplace and actually the only way to go. The R&S was one of the better candidates for this since there were a lot of them out there in new or nearly new shape and could be purchased for a very few dollars and made into fine target shooters.
Some of the mods to your gun appear professional and some not so professional. I'm guessing that it was all or mostly done by the owner/shooter as a large segment of the population, in this era, had skills in the machine trades either by vocation or avocation and none of the mods are complicated. The gun appears as if it has been nickle plated is that correct?
I wonder if the 45 35 210 could mean 45 Caliber 35gr Powder 210gr bullet?

September 22, 2010, 03:32 PM
The digits fell in place earlier today. Like you say, caliber, load and weight. Pretty obvious when you think about it.

Yes it has been nickel plated. Probably at the same time as the metalwork has been done. The machinework itself is very well done on the cylinder and force cone. And I think the sights are zeroed for something like 25 meters. Halfcock notch is not deep enough. Trigger assembly is original, but it has been adjusted to an extremely nice target pull. However, the halfcock suffers from that. I have to make it deeper.

I dont understand why the guy made the grip slimmer. I like the original Spencer grip a lot more.

Thing is guys, I would like to use it in the Colt class. But Im not sure if that is possible. It is a very nice revolver anyway, but it would be kind of goofy to use it in the Mariette class together with Feinwerkbau R&S replicas and all that stuff. I think it would perform just as good as those, but still.