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 Post subject: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:06 pm 
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I just bought a shotgun for 20 bucks..it is a 12 gauge single shot..all thats written on it is Spencer Gun Co. it has a Damascus barrel "i know not safe to shoot" but everything works fine and with a light enough shot a person should be fine to shoot it..but it is in i would say average condition..it has a 32 in barrel..i have a gun bible but it is 2 old and isnt in it..Any inFo would be amazing..


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 Post subject: re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:55 pm 
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Your Spencer Gun Co shotgun is what I call a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun. That is a shotgun made by a major maker usually for a wholesaler or retailer who chose the name to go on the gun. In this case the gun was made by the Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT (1892 to 1932) the largest maker ever of such guns. It was made for and sold at wholesale by the Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Co of St. Louis,MO a large dealer in sporting goods. Without a serial number, I can't tell you when it was made but it had to be sometime between 1910 and 1925.
You are correct about it not being safe to shoot. It was designed for black powder loaded ammunition and the chamber is shorter than modern shells. I would say that you paid a fair price fort the gun. Oh, there was no connection to the more famous Spencer rifle.


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 Post subject: re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Are u sure? several ppl who have looked at the gun are pretty sure it older than that?


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 Post subject: re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:56 pm 
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No, not absolutely sure, that was a WAG on my part. Give me a serial number and I can pin the date down.


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 Post subject: re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:14 pm 
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the number on the back of the trigger gaurd is 131724


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 Post subject: re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:40 pm 
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O.K. I was off a bit. According to the serial number reference in my book, it was made in 1903, one hundred and six years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:31 pm 
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I know this is an old thread, but can you possibly help me too? I have aquired an old Spencer Gun Co. hammer double 12g sxs that was my great grandfathers. It has damaascus barrels, but all mechanics seem to work. The serial number is matching and is 10016 and appears to have 3" chambers.

2 questions....

1) If I aquired black powder shot shells, would she still fire? (of course, if a gunsmith gave it a looksee)
2) Can you tell me when it was made?

THANK YOU!!


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Jason
Welcome to the forum and it's never too late to ask a question. Your gun is what is called a "Trade Brand Name: shotgun. That is a shotgun made by a major maker for and sold by a wholesaler or retailer who chose the name to go on the gun. The term "Trade Brand Name" is used on gun made between 1888 and 1940 while guns made after 1940 are referred to as "Store Brand Name" shotguns. In this case, SPENCER GUN CO ( and there was no connection to the more famous Spencer Rifle) the gun was made by the Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT (1892 to 1931) for and was sold by the Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Company of St. Louis,MO a large wholesale sporting goods dealer. Incidentally the gun was made in 1896. A word of caution here! These guns were designed for the ammunition in use at the time they were made which was either black powder or maybe, just maybe very early low pressure smokeless powder and using the metalurgy of the times. Many have damascus barrels with 2 3/4 inch chambers. They were not designed for more modern high pressure smokeless powder, 3 inch magnum shells or steel shot. While I recommend that they not be fired, they still can be if in good condition and using appropriate ammunition. If you insist on shooting the gun, please have it checked out by a good competent gunsmith first and follow his recommendations. Value? Everyone wants to know. The value of these old guns depends on its condition, the amount of original finish remaining on the metal and wood as well as the mechanical condition. Values can range from about $175 for one that appears to have come out of the factory yesterday afternoon to less that $10 for a rusty rotten incomplete piece of junk fit for a tomato stake. Most sell in the $50 to $100 range.


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Ned Fall,

Thank you!! Just in case you are interested, here are some pics of the gun. :)

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:39 am 
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Ned,

A friend has a very nice Spencer 12ga pump. It is marked, "Spencer Arms Co". This gun was by Spencer Arms in Windsor, CT from 1882 to 1889 (?). Later Bannerman bought the rights to this gun and made them under their name, Francis Bannerman Sons - New York, from (?) until about 1907. Some of these guns, Spencers, were sold to the US Army, too.

My questions are what should the chamber legnth be? I am guessing that it is 2 3/4". Also, I am guessing that these Spencers were BP guns. Correct? Any information that you might have about these Spencers would be appreciated.

AZShooter,

One source that I have, Norm Flaydermann, says that Hopkins and Allen also made "Spencer" guns for Hibbard,Bartlett & Spencer.

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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:53 am 
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As A5 said, that's an H&A boxlock hammergun. If the chambers are indeed 3", they have been lengthened and I would strongly advise not to shoot the gun with any load.
BTW: the twist barrels are filled with "greys" - tiny rust inclusions. See http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dfg2hmx7_220dpc9nsck

Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. was in Chicago

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:04 am 
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revdocdrew wrote:
As A5 said, that's an H&A boxlock hammergun. If the chambers are indeed 3", they have been lengthened and I would strongly advise not to shoot the gun with any load.
BTW: the twist barrels are filled with "greys" - tiny rust inclusions. See http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dfg2hmx7_220dpc9nsck

Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. was in Chicago

Image



Interesting article!! Thank you. Yeah, she's a wall-hanger from here on out. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:29 pm 
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My reference says that the Spencer Arms Co pump shotgun had 2 1/2 inch chambers. It also gives the serial number-year made tables for the original Spencer Arms Company made shotguns for 1884 to 1902. Crescent made Spencer Gun Co and Spencer & Co (note the name differences) were double barrel guns, not pump actions.


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:35 pm 
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I also have a Spencer gun co shotty single shot serial #111427 ,just wondering if you could inform me a bit with your knowledge . Thank you for any info . Also I apologize for asking this in the shotty forum , but maybe you could tell me what a ruger m77 .270 serial# 771-39851 .. once again Thanks to any one who may help


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:14 pm 
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First, please don't call the gun a shotty, it's a shotgun! As you may well know, the gun is a "Trade Brand Name" shotgun which as you may well know is a shotgun made by a major maker (and before 1940) for and was sold by a wholesale sporting goods dealer, a retail chain store or and independent retailer who chose the name to go on the gun. There were two names SPENCER GUN CO and SPENCER & CO. No problem because both were made by the same maker Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich,CT (1892 to 1931) for and were sold by the same seller the Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Company of Chicago, IL. There is no connection with the famous Spencer rifle. A Crescent made single barrel with the serial number of 111427 was made in 1902. A word of caution about shooting a old shotgun. These guns were made using the technology and metallurgy of the times when they were made. The gun was designed for 2 1/2 shells loaded with black powder and maybe, just maybe very early low pressure smokeless powder and lead shot. It may have a damascus barrel. It was not designed for any 3 inch or magnum shell loaded with modern high pressure smokeless powder or steel shot. My recommendation is don't attempt to shoot this gun with any modern ammunition. But if you insist, have the gun checked first by a good competent gunsmith and then use only appropriate ammunition. Value, everyone wants to know. Value of one of these old guns depends on its condition, the amount of original finish remaining on the metal and wood as well as the mechanical condition. Value of a prime condition example that appears to come out of the factory at 4:00 PM yesterday afternoon might go as high a $125 while a rusty rotten incomplete piece of junk fit only for parts salvage or as a boat anchor might bring $10. Most I have seen sold on the various gun auction sites have sold for between $50 and $95.
As to the River gun, I looked in two references, The Blue Book of Gun Values and The Standard Catalog of Firearms and could not find anything under the name River.


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:43 am 
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I owe you an apology. My tired 78 year old eyes read the name as River. Upon re reading the message, I see that it is RUGER. Now that brings up two new problems. The Blue Book lists six pages of STRUM-RUGER & CO (the full and proper name of the company) in small print Model 77 in many various calibers and configurations. Will need s good description of the gun including the full model designation. Also there is no listed serial number-year table for Strum Ruger guns. The book has this to say on Strum Ruger serial numbers. "Additional information regarding Strum-Ruger & Co Inc. firearms including serialization can be found in Ruger & His Guns & History of The Man, the Company And Their Firearms written by R.L. Wilson." You might try writing Strum-Ruger and asking them. The address is:
Strum,Ruger & Co Inc
411 Sunapee Street
Newport, NH 03773
Tel: 603 865 2442
This address furnishes Ruger date of manufacture.


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:18 am 
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revdocdrew wrote:
As A5 said, that's an H&A boxlock hammergun. If the chambers are indeed 3", they have been lengthened and I would strongly advise not to shoot the gun with any load.


Exactly what I first thought when I saw the pictures, as I had a H & A that was a dead ringer!

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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:25 am 
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A5guy wrote:
Ned,

A friend has a very nice Spencer 12ga pump. It is marked, "Spencer Arms Co". This gun was by Spencer Arms in Windsor, CT from 1882 to 1889 (?). Later Bannerman bought the rights to this gun and made them under their name, Francis Bannerman Sons - New York, from (?) until about 1907. Some of these guns, Spencers, were sold to the US Army, too.

My questions are what should the chamber legnth be? I am guessing that it is 2 3/4". Also, I am guessing that these Spencers were BP guns. Correct? Any information that you might have about these Spencers would be appreciated.


I had occasion to handle one of these a couple of years ago. Great shape, twist steel barrel, and I was intrigued by the unique cartridge lifter.

I think Bannerman likely, pretty much just assembled what was basically left over parts. And I too think it was only a 2 1/2 inch chamber.

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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Thank you for the shotgun info. And my apologizes for calling it a sho***. Lol I would never attempt to shoot it , Although my dad swears he shot 12 gauge shells thru it .I believe he is mistaking that shotgun for one of his many in his collection . I couldnt find this post to show him it was not made for shells . He is hard headed but now I found the post and I'm on my way to educate him ( for once) lol about the shotgun . Once again thank you for taking the time to answer my questions . I think I will have it serviced and try to purchase some 2 1/2 + black powder and spend a few hours shooting . Is that even conceivable ?


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 Post subject: Re: Spencer gun Co?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:13 am 
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Ned,

My father recently inherited a Spencer Gun Co. single barrel shotgun. Other than "Spencer Gun Co." on the left side of the receiver, the only other marking is "145" behind the trigger guard. Are you able to date it? Any information you can impart would be helpful.

Jamie


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