1860 Spencer Carbine - Reloading 101

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May 15, 2016
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Been digging around trying to find the answers (which I am sure are all out there) but thought I would put it out there as a question. If a thread already exists to answer all my questions, please direct me. If this should be in another sub-forum, please move the post.

I recently acquired an original 1860 spencer carbine in original configuration with rimfire breachblock. Serial #59893. The Bore/chamber is a slightly pitted but rifling is very strong. I'd give it a 7/10. Full disassembly and inspection leave me with no hesitation breathing fire back into her. But...I need to gather a lot of things to do so. So my question is what do I need to gather, what is the best quality and where can I buy it online?

What I know I need:
Center fire breachblock
Center fire magazine follower
Brass
Dies
Lead mould
Powder, primers etc.

What I have:
Standard press which fits LEE dies (large and small) with primer applicator. I reload sniders and martini henry's so I have all the bits and bobs needed for those.

So, keeping in mind its an original 1860, what are the best components for the job and where would I find them? Price is secondary to quality as far as I am concerned. I do have cerrosafe and can slug the bore/chamber if anyone thinks that's necessary and report back dimensions. I have no reason to think its been re-chambered or otherwise altered but I suppose I could be wrong.

Cheers all.
 

mrdix

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Nov 10, 2014
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I would suggest the Cowboy action forum (CAS City ) and the Spencer area ; there are many excellent resources there . This is a great History Forum - not the folks to ask about reloading data etc ...
 

ibgreen

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Mar 12, 2014
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54
I would suggest checking out the Spencer Shooting Society message board on the C.A.S. (Cowboy action shooting) site. It is much easier to load for a 56-50 clambering vs. the 1st generation 56-56 due to the heeled bullet of the latter. You will find lots of information by searching the forum.
 
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Thanks guys. Figured someone here might be able to point me in the right direction if not answer directly.
Cheers.
 

cwbuff

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Dec 21, 2010
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The cascity referral is a good one. I have an original Spencer rifle with a centerfire conversion block that I have shot. You can shoot cut-down US 50-70 cases. The bullets need to be of the "heeled" type (i.e., the bottom is rebated to fit in the case). Make sure you use a flat nose bullet if you load them in the magazine. Pointed bullets resting on the primer of the cartridge ahead of it and some recoil can fire all the cartridges in the magazine. Makes for a very bad day.
 
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