Breechldrs Spencer Carbine Serial # 44,017

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Chunger

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I need help in identifying letters that are stamped onto my M 1860 Spencer Carbine. It has letters stamped on the barrel, trigger guard and receiver and I am trying to determine their significance, if any. The letters "R" and "S" are stamped on the left side (saddle ring side) of the barrel very close to the receiver. The letter "M" is stamped on the trigger guard and also on the receiver very close to where the receiver is screwed into the stock near the saddle ring. I don't know if they are some type of inspectors' marks, there are two visible inspector cartouches on the stock - MMJ for Martin M. Johnson and DAP for Dwight A. Perkins. I am hoping that someone with greater familiarity with the Spencers can shed some light on this. Thank you.

Spencer Stamping 1.PNG


Spencer Stamp 3.jpg


Spencer Stamp 2.PNG
 

ucvrelics

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These what as know as sub-inspectors marks. We would love to see the whole Spencer. Below are the serial # above and below yours. Keep in mind even thought yours is only one number off in the SRS, if it ain't listed, it ain't listed but being one number off???? it does make you scratch your head.
43405 60C 65CO F 2ND WISC VOL CAV
44016 60C CO G 3RD IOWA VOL CAV
44029 60C CO G 3RD IOWA VOL CAV
44100 60C CO G 3RD IOWA VOL CAV
 

Chunger

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Thank you! So, the S and R stamping on the barrel and the two M stampings are sub-inspector marks? Do you know what the R, S and M stampings mean or, perhaps, the identities of the particular persons who would have stamped an R and S on the barrel and M's on the the receiver and trigger guard? Was this stamping done by inspectors who were onsite at the Spencer manufacturing plant in Boston?

The attached pics show the carbine just before I purchased it as well as symbols carved in the stock that could be Indian symbols and many rectangular holes along the stock that look like old brass tack holes.

Full Pic Carbine.JPG


Symbols_Tack Holes 2.JPG


Symbols_Tack Holes_1.JPG


Symbols_Tack Holes_3.JPG
 
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ucvrelics

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The piece were marked at the plant and being sub-inspectors they may not have been military inspectors as when you see 2 or 3 initials or a cartouche. I have alist of all the military inspectors but it does not list sub-inspectors. Most military inspectors marks were 2 or 3 digits. It does indeed appear to be an Indian adorned Spencer. They should have left it as was, to me its a lot more valuable piece with the tacks in place.
 

Chunger

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This is interesting to me and I appreciate your feedback. I didn't realize there were other inspectors besides military inspectors. Do you know if the sub-inspectors would have been employed by the Spencer Repeating Arms Company, perhaps a type of quality control inspection prior to the arms being shipped to the military. This could serve as a way to reduce future rejections by the military inspectors who would apply the official cartouches?
 
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ucvrelics

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The US Army had inspectors at the plant which were the 2 to 3 digit and cartouches the sub-inspectors were the Spencer QC. I just checked my site and everything is working fine.
 
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The single letters would be the quality factory inspectors, who usually are nameless. A cartouce, two or more letters in an oval or other shape would be the government acceptance inspector. Most of those, but not all, names are available
 

Chunger

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Thanks again for your help, much appreciated. I visited your website again and everything is working fine. I don’t know what might have caused yesterday’s glitch but it looks very good.
 
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Chunger

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The single letters would be the quality factory inspectors, who usually are nameless. A cartouce, two or more letters in an oval or other shape would be the government acceptance inspector. Most of those, but not all, names are available
The single letters would be the quality factory inspectors, who usually are nameless. A cartouce, two or more letters in an oval or other shape would be the government acceptance inspector. Most of those, but not all, names are available
The first picture in the ones above show an R and an S that are stamped in the lower left side of the barrel near the receiver. In your opinion, are these markings of two individuals or a single sub-inspector? Also, are the markings the inspector’s initial or do they have some other designation?
 

ucvrelics

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The first picture in the ones above show an R and an S that are stamped in the lower left side of the barrel near the receiver. In your opinion, are these markings of two individuals or a single sub-inspector? Also, are the markings the inspector’s initial or do they have some other designation?
The single letter stamps would be Spencer QC inspectors, the R & S are 2 different folks. Most us Army inspector marks were 2 or 3 letters as well as the cartouche marks. Below is a link to all the US Inspectors initials and what they inspected and stamped. As you can see there are only a few with just 1 letter.

 
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Chunger

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I would think two different people. Most likely initial. Usually a numeral is used on individual parts of an assembly that was hand fitted. This way working on multiple firearms parts won't get mixed
I don’t have a large reference base but I have seen some carbines that don’t have stamped markings. Do you know if such markings are not common or perhaps just specific to a particular time frame in the manufacturing of Spencers? Or, are the markings pretty common and carbines without markings more unusual?
 

Chunger

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The single letter stamps would be Spencer QC inspectors, the R & S are 2 different folks. Most us Army inspector marks were 2 or 3 letters as well as the cartouche marks. Below is a link to all the US Inspectors initials and what they inspected and stamped. As you can see there are only a few with just 1 letter.

Very good, thank you.
 
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