A look at a modern repro of the 1860 Spencer Carbine (VIDEO)

Hickok45 lays hands on Chiappa’s replication of the Civil War-era Spencer Carbine, which was a favorite of the Union Army and President Lincoln alike.

Chris Spencer’s Repeating Arms Company backed a lever-action repeating rifle that used a proprietary .56-56 rimfire cartridge and fed via a seven-shot tubular magazine in the buttstock. When the War Department turned their nose up at the gun over fears that the troops in the field would burn through ammo at an unsupportable rate, Spencer managed to show the gun to Honest Abe who fired it on the “White Lot” (now home to the Washington Monument) and liked it enough to order the the Army to adopt it, with some 200,000 produced in a very short time.

Remember, Abe was a Republican.

The borrowed Spencer used by Lincoln, SN#9753, is in the Smithsonian, but Chiappa’s repro as tested by Hickok uses the more readily available .45 Long Colt and is in current production.