SOLD FOR: $3581
Make: Spencer Arms Co.
Serial Number: 300
Year of Manufacture: ca. 1884 – 1886
Caliber: 12 Gauge, 2 1/2” Chamber. This shotgun was designed for black powder cartridges and modern shells are strongly discouraged.
Action Type: Pump Action, Tube Magazine Fed Shotgun
Barrel Length: 30”
Choke: Improved Modified, Fixed.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a metal bead at the muzzle of the barrel. There is no rear sight, but a groove is present for better sight picture.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a checkered two piece walnut with a small forend, pistol grip, straight comb and checkered hard rubber butt plate. The checkering is defined, with some smoothing. The wood shows scratches, dings and scrapes from handling and storage. The butt stock shows the majority of marks on both sides and the bottom. The forend has a scratch that interrupts the checkering on the left side. There are no cracks. The LOP measures 14.25” from the front of the trigger to the back of the butt plate. The stocks rate in about Good Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Damascus / Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright. There is light erosion in the bore with scattered oxidation. In this writer’s opinion and for the age, this bore rates a 7 out of 10.
Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors firearms.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 40% of its metal finish. The metal shows light dings and scratches. The barrel shows light dings at the muzzle. The barrel shows thinning in some areas and action wear on the magazine tube. The receiver has lost the majority of the case color except for a small area on the left, bottom and in more well protected areas. The screw heads are used. The markings and engravings are deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this firearm. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: Most famous for the Spencer Carbine, one of the few repeating rifles to serve in the US Civil War, Christopher Spencer was a prolific inventor and designer producing a sewing machine, horseless carriage and the first pump-action shotgun in 1884. Minor tweaks produced models 1886 and 1887, with both models being tested and approved by the Ordnance Department and a total of 354 shotguns purchased by them for guarding prisoners. However, this did not spur commercial sales and in 1890, the tools and machinery were purchased by Francis Bannerman who continued to produce and develop the design. This is the Model 1884, a very interesting shotgun with a top-ejection system with the firing pin mounted in the lifter rather than on a separate bolt as we are now used to seeing. This shotgun was marketed as a higher end grade from Spencer as it shows a 30” damascus barrel, walnut stock and engravings with a two rabbit motif on the left side of the receiver. To note, the Ultra Deluxe custom model was ordered by Mexican president Porfirio Diaz which was serial number 280. This shotgun is in about Very Good as an antique. This shotgun has a very interesting history, tied back to the very first pump-action shotgun produced. Please see our photos and good luck!