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Spencer 1860

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Spencer Model 1860 Carbine - .56-56 Spencer rimfire

The Spencer Repeating Rifle/Carbine or Spencer 1860 is an American lever-action rifle, an early example of the lever-action design. Designed in 1860 by inventor Christopher Spencer, the Spencer 1860 is chambered for the proprietary .56-56 Spencer rimfire cartridge and holds seven rounds in an integral tube magazine. Like other lever-action firearms, it operates by working a lever near the trigger to extract a spent casing and feed a new cartridge from the tube magazine in the buttstock. However, unlike later lever-actions, the user would have to manually pull back the hammer after cocking the lever. Cartridges are fed into the action via a spring in the magazine, which would have to be removed first before loading new rounds. Cartridges could be loaded one at a time, or the user could use a Blakeslee tube, a type of speedloader that consists of a tube pre-loaded with seven rounds each.

Although Christopher Spencer presented his rifle to the American military right before the outbreak of the American Civil War, the military denied adopting it for standard use. Military officials stated that soldiers would waste ammo through inaccurate rapid fire (a sentiment that would be echoed by multiple armed forces in the later half of the 19th century when repeating and bolt-action rifles began to appear and supplant the use of single-shot muskets). Moreover, the US military felt that it would be impossible to expand logistics and supply trains enough to keep thousands of soldiers supplied with enough ammunition to effectively use their Spencers, as Army supply chains were already strained by the task of supplying tens of thousands of soldiers across the vast North American continent. The fact that the rifle cost several times more than a standard Springfield 1861 muzzleloader did not help, either.

Despite this, the Spencer became a popular and well-liked weapon during the American Civil War, sometimes issued in an official capacity or more commonly privately purchased. The Spencer, along with other breech-loading carbines of the time, were very popular among cavalry forces. The Spencer had a rate of fire of around 20 rounds a minute, giving it a significant tactical advantage over muzzleloading rifles. Its strategic value, however, was limited as tactics had not yet evolved to accommodate weapons with high rates of fire, like the Spencer.

Christopher Spencer's company went bankrupt in 1869, with production of the Spencer 1860 ceasing after over 200,000 rifles were manufactured. The Spencer would later see use in the wars against Native American tribes in the late 19th century, the Boshin War, Paraguayan War, and the Franco-Prussian War. .56-56 Spencer ammunition would be commercially manufactured in the United States well into the 1920s. Today, modern replicas of the Spencer Carbine and Rifle are available from Chiappa Firearms and Taylor's & Company.

The Spencer 1860 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


(1860 – 1869)

  • Type: Rifle
  • Caliber: .56-56 Spencer rimfire
  • Weight: 10 lb (rifle), 8.25 lb (carbine)
  • Length: 47 in (1,200 mm) with 30" barrel, 39.25 in (997 mm) with 22" barrel
  • Barrel length(s): 30 in (760 mm), 22 in (560 mm), 20 in (510 mm)
  • Capacity: 7-round internal tube magazine (may be reload with speedloader)
  • Fire Modes: Lever Action


Title Actor Character Note Date
Dzhulbars Ivan Bobrov Abdullah 1935
The Sons of Great Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin) Hannjo Hasse Pitt 1966
Helmut Schreiber Ben
Walter E. Fuß Theo
Jozef Adamovic Tschapa
US soldiers, mercenaries, Lacota warriors
Apaches (Apachen) Fred Delmare Doctor Klein 1973
Gojko Mitic Ulzana
Milan Bosiljcic Johnson
High Noon Part II: The Return of Will Kane Lee Majors Will Kane 1980
David Carradine Ben Irons
Unforgiven Morgan Freeman Ned Logan 1992
Clint Eastwood Will Munny
Mulholland Falls mounted in rifle rack 1996
The Quest Dobbs' men 1996
Last Stand At Saber River Keith Carradine Vern Kidston 1997
Suzi Amis Martha Cable
Cold Mountain Natalie Portman Sara 2003
Ray Winstone Teague
3:10 to Yuma Christian Bale Dan Evans 2007
Appaloosa Corby Griesenbeck Charlie Tewksbury 2008
6 Guns Seen in Stevens' house 2010
Cowboys & Aliens Clancy Brown Meacham 2011
Sam Rockwell Doc
Gang members, Apache warriors
John Carter Union Cavalry Soldiers, Apache Indians 2012
Killing Lincoln Jesse Johnson John Wilkes Booth 2013
Seamus Mulcahy David Herold
Paul Stober John Lloyd
The Salvation Susan Danford Mrs. Whisler 2014
Hostiles Jesse Plemons Lt. Rudy Kidder 2017
Ryan Bingham Sgt. Paul Malloy
Stafford Douglas Corp. Molinor
US Cavalry
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Seen in the gun storage 2018
True History of the Kelly Gang Earl Cave Dan Kelly 2019
Gang members
Badland Kevin Makely Matthias Breecher 2019
News of the World Gabriel Ebert Benjamin Farley 2020


Title Actor Character Note Date
Mail Call R. Lee Ermey Himself 2002-2009
Lock 'n Load With R. Lee Ermey R. Lee Ermey Himself 2009
Return To Lonesome Dove Timothy Scott Pea Eye Parker 1993
NCIS - Season 3 Civil War re-enactor "Silver War" (S3E04); found in coffin 2005
Hatfields & McCoys Kevin Costner William Hatfield 2012
Godless Seen among the guns in La Belle 2017
Fear the Walking Dead - Season 6 Omid Abtahi Howard "The Beginning" (S6E16) 2021

Video Games

Title As Mods Date
Red Dead Revolver "The Owl Rifle" 2004
History Channel: Civil War - Secret Missions 2008
Red Dead Redemption "Repeater Carbine" 2010
Fistful of Frags "Spencer Carbine" Added in 2017 update 2014
Red Dead Redemption II "Carbine Repeater" 2018


Title Character Note Date
The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots on the stand with guns 1969
Undead Girl Murder Farce Shizuku Hasei 2023

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