POTD: A Sort of Success – Rogers & Spencer Army Revolver
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have yet another American Civil War-era revolver. This one is the Rogers & Spencer 44 caliber army revolver. The Rogers and Spencer actually have a cool-ish success story. The company had been licensing and manufacturing firearms for the Union army during the Civil War. In 1864 they decided they wanted to throw their hat into the gun-making game and came out with the 44-caliber revolver you see today. With a few months worth of persuasion, they secured a contract for 5000 total guns over the course of ten months or so. Unlike many companies that promised to send a specific amount of guns on a specific schedule and then failed to do so, Rogers & Spencer knocked it out of the park and actually delivered! The “sort of success” part pertains to the fact that the war ended and all of these rather well-made revolvers sat in storage until 1902 when they were auctioned off as surplus.
“Government contract Rogers & Spencer Army revolver from the 5000 pistols manufactured by the Willowvale, New York, firm between 1863-1865. The Rogers & Spencer revolver was an advanced design that was delivered too late for service in the Civil War. The .44 caliber, solid frame, single action pistol features a hinged loading lever assembly. The revolver has a six-shot, non-fluted cylinder and matching number two-piece walnut grips. The revolver has a high polish blue finish with casehardened hammer, trigger and loading lever. The top strap is marked: “ROGERS & SPENCER/UTICA N-Y” on either side of the sighting groove. The matching serial number is located on the left side of the frame, the cylinder, the butt of the frame. Replacement loading lever marked “5006” The script ordnance final inspection stamp, “RPB” in a rectangle, is stamped on the lower portion of the left grip. Some of the revolver components are stamped with small block “B” sub-inspector’s initials.”
Lot 205: Civil War Rogers & Spencer Single Action Army Model Revolver. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved October 30, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/82/205/civil-war-rogers-spencer-single-action-army-model-revolver.