Civil War Spencer Cavalry Carbine

This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me.  Well, hopefully not.


I was on Facebook one night recently.  I’m a member on lots of those forums for stuff for sale.  I’m always looking out for a deal on things and every once in a while, I find one.

I saw that on a local garage sale forum, somebody posted an old rifle.  The called it a Spencer and said it was from World War 2.  Nearly as soon as it was posted, the moderator got on the horn and said that sales of firearms were prohibited on the site.  They deleted the ad almost as soon as it was posted.

I have moments of wisdom, though not very many.  I had clicked through to the person’s profile and sent her a message asking for more pictures.  She replied back and sent a few.

The Spencer Cavalry Carbine was made in the 1860s, not World War 2.  I recognized it from watching Aquachigger’s videos on Youtube.  He’s found a few in the brooks and rivers where the Civil War was fought.  I’m not going to write all of the history on the Spencer Carbine here, but you can find links here for more information.

The Spencer Carbine was one of the first repeating rifles.  It loads from the back of the butt stock and is lever action, though the action is not that of which most of you are used to on say a Winchester Model 1894.  Look at the pictures and you’ll understand what I mean.

I called the lady the next day and went to her house.  Upon seeing the rifle, I knew I had to buy it.  She knew what it was worth, but was moving and needed a quick sale.  She sold it to me for a sum I don’t even want to type here.  I was amazed.

The cool thing about guns made before 1898 is that there are no federal laws regulating them.  If you find one online and purchase it, you can have it sent directly to your house instead of the usual routine, which is to have it sent to a Federal Firearms Dealer (FFL), where you have to get a background check.  Here in Colorado, it goes one step further.  Person to person transfers of firearms have to go through an FFL as well.  So if I want to buy a gun from Jim, we both have to go to the FFL, submit our personal information and that of the gun, then get it approved by the ATF.  That isn’t so with this rifle because it is from the 1860s.  No background checks are needed and I can send this directly to someone’s house.  Pretty neat.  I might add that ammunition for these rifles is nearly non-existent, so it isn’t like someone is going to go out and rob a bank with it.  And if they do, they’re sure to get caught because they are an idiot.

Here are some more pictures for those of you that are interested.  You don’t see these every day.  I found it a new home this week.  And line my pocket a little. 😉

Mike, Oscar, Hotel….out.



5 thoughts on “Civil War Spencer Cavalry Carbine

    1. It is a cool piece. If I hadn’t been watching aquachigger’s videos, I would have never known what it was. I’ve since found rounds online for about the same ppr as 300 Winchester Magnum. Not cheap, but not bad, considering. Already sold, though. I am in touch with the fella I sold it to and I’m looking forward to seeing some facebook posts of him firing it.


  1. Pingback: Civil War Spencer Cavalry Carbine | Rifleman III Journal

  2. I know you have a family to feed and that is your objective in trading and dealing, but I’d have been very tempted to keep it at least for a short spell and do the centerfire conversion I sent you details on previously. Perhaps the buyer will keep in touch and let you pop of a couple rounds when he gets it converted.


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