Indian wars era, Spencer-Burnside Contract Model 1865 repeating saddle ring carbine s/n 22505 with highly desirable Colorado Territory marking. Manufactured by the Burnside Rifle Company in obsolete .50 Spencer calibre, with 20 inch round barrel, blue and case-coloured finish with walnut stock.
The “U.S. / COL. TER” branded into the left of the buttstock indicates this carbine is one of just 500 Spencer Carbines transferred by the U.S. Ordnance Department to the Colorado Territory on October 16th, 1868. See page 129 of “Spencer Repeating Firearms” by Roy Marcot, for a similar example. Most of the Model 1865 Spencer carbines were manufactured in 1865 and 1866 after the end of the Civil War.
Many were used during Reconstruction and in the Indian Wars before the Springfield Trapdoors were widely issued, with many seeing continued use by Native American groups and Western settlers into the late 19th century. Features blade front and folding ladder rear sights and the Stabler cut-off. Matching serial number “22503” marked underneath the barrel and on top of the frame. Small single letter inspection initials marked on various components, two boxed script inspection cartouches stamped on the left of the stock, “C.S.L.” inspection initials stamped on bottom of the forend and ahead of the butt-plate, and additional “C.W.B” initials stamped on the left of the action and both sides of the stock.
Condition: Very good, full of charming Western character, retains 30% original blue finish on the barrel with smooth brown patina and scattered freckling on the balance, and an attractive mix of smooth cloudy grey, silver and brown patina on the casehardened frame with a few patches of light pitting. Wood is also very good with numerous scattered scratches and dents, and a defined Colorado Territory branding. Mechanically excellent.