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Rogers & Spencer Revolver

This is a pretty respectable example of a Rogers and Spencer Revolver built by Rogers, Spencer & Co. near Utica, New York. This one has a standard 7-1/2" octagon barrel in .44 caliber with six shot cylinder, and walnut saw-handle style grips. Flayderman's Guide, 9th Edition, page 368 has a good cursory outline of the specifics regarding this model. For starters, prior to this model, The R&S Co. produced the Pettengill Revolver under both gov't contract and commercial sales. While the Pettengill and Rogers and Spencer are completely different designs, they share some of the same DNA in the form of their loading levers which are identical. Essentially an improved version of the Freeman Revolver, the company produced 5,800 Rogers and Spencer Revolvers in 1865. A US government contract was awarded to R&S in November 1864 for 5,000 units at $12.00 each (as noted in the 1927 Bannerman's catalog). Deliveries were made in two lots in April, 1865 and September, 1865. The remaining balance of 800 were sold commercially. Most, if not all, of these gov't purchased Rogers and Spencers either were never issued or arrived too late to see a battlefield during the Civil War. Instead, they stayed in storage for the better part of four decades until they were sold off as surplus to Bannerman's Sporting Goods in 1901. This is often why they are found in noticeably nicer condition than most other Civil War era guns.

This one is from the US government contract in the 2,400 serial range. There are various sub-inspector initials on just about every component on this revolver. Grips have a nice inspector cartouche in an oval which reads "R.P.B", indicating inspection by Captain Robert P. Barry, who inspected Remington, Starr, and Rogers and Spencer Revolvers for the US Army Ordnance Department from 1860-65. BTW, I would like to credit the fine folks at Dixie Gun Works who have selflessly published the names of hundreds of 19th century government inspectors at the back of their catalog. This is just a small part of reference material assembled by the late Turner and Hunter Kirkland over many years and is more than worth the price. Their 5.00 catalog sits on the same shelf with the best reference books in my library.

Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine with 50% original blue overall with the balance turned to either a gray or light brown patina. There are a few spots of pinprick corrosion on and around the cylinder area from black powder residue. The serial numbers are all matching which include the frame, gripstrap/trigger guard, both wooden grip panels, barrel, cylinder, loading lever, and cylinder pin. The number on the cylinder really looks good, but a little too good in my opinion. I think it has been re-stamped. See photos and let me know what you think. The grips are in Excellent Condition with nearly all the original oil finish intact. Due to their sharp oval-shaped base, R&S grips are notorious for damage around these lower edges. This one has great looking grips and very nice edges but after careful study, we found a very nice chip repair to the lower rear corner of the right grip in the form of a roughly 1/2" triangular shaped piece of walnut. Whoever did it got it almost perfect as the grain flow is in the right direction and they were even able to match some of the grain lines up. The action is Excellent and the bore is mirror bright and nearly MINT! While it has had a couple of issues which were remedied with minor restorations (and very well done by professionals in my opinion), it's a nice solid example with lots of original finish at a fair decent price.

Item# 1833




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