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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I’m here because I would like any information anyone may have about a shotgun my husband left behind when he passed away recently. I know it was his Grandfather’s. I’ve learned on line in gun enthusiast groups it is a shotgun, not a rifle as I thought. It’s a Spencer 1882 I think. Any history about who would have had this gun and what it was used for would be appreciated. How old is it and who would appreciate having a gun like this? It hasn’t been cleaned or used in many years. I’m reluctant to handle it, I don’t know if it’s loaded either. How can I safely find out? It looks like it was used allot. I’m learning that collectors may find some value in owning this gun. I would like to know it’s value as well, and especially what type of venue could appraise it and sell it. I hope you find it as
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as interesting as I do, simply because of its age and potential history. Thank you in advance for your contribution.
 

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In your introduction thread @rawright54 posted this link to a article on your shotgun, here it is again.
Tumblr (historicalfirearms.info)
It appears your gun is awful dry and has rusted in places, it needs gun oil lightly rubbed on it, sooner the better.
To be sure it is unloaded before handling you might find a person knowable with firearms to check that for you, do not put your finger on or around the trigger until you have made that determination.
If you feel comfortable with attempting to check if its loaded or not
1, locate a button in front or rear of the trigger guard.
2, depress this button while pulling the forend (Wood) towards the rear, that will open the action and eject any shell that might be chambered.
This is a Black powder firearm and modern ammunition should not be used.
Did I mention to keep your finger away from the trigger when doing this procedure.

Always point it in a safe direction.
Never put your finger inside the trigger guard until ready to fire.
Treat it as if it were loaded at all times.
 

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You have a very cool gun there.

A closer picture of the trigger (both sides) would be helpful to determine how the action opens. maybe someone here already knows.

That hand grip (with DNA) as you called it, will move rearward with some kind of release button found on or around the trigger guard.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You have a very cool gun there.

A closer picture of the trigger (both sides) would be helpful to determine how the action opens. maybe someone here already knows.

That hand grip (with DNA) as you called it, will move rearward with some kind of release button found on or around the trigger guard.
oh! I think I know what you mean by that. I’ll take better pictures tomorrow. We’re getting a bad snowstorm.
thanks for the information.
 

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oh! I think I know what you mean by that. I’ll take better pictures tomorrow. We’re getting a bad snowstorm.
thanks for the information.
According to the 2021 Standard Catalog of Firearms, Spencer Arms Co. manufactured slide-action (what we call a pump-action today) from 1882 to 1889, making yours a very early model in the company history. They were made in both 10 and 12 gauge and, as mentioned earlier, were designed to be safely charged with black powder, not modern smokeless powders. The value isn't great, I'm afraid, ranging from $1000 for Very Good to $120 for Poor condition. It's impossible to judge from just pictures, but I'm thinking on the lower side of $500 from what I can see. A good cleaning and oiling can work wonders, though. And before you dispose of it in any way, I'd have a local qualified gunsmith/appraiser give you a realistic value.

By the way, in 1890, the machinery and patents for Spencer Arms guns were purchased by Francis Bannerman and Sons of New York. They carried on production of these Spencer Bannerman guns until 1907, and their guns are worth about half of what the true Spencer models are worth.

Where's the snowstorm? We have seen but one rainstorm in over a year, and that was 0.12"!
 

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raw, the Northeast is supposed to be getting hammered. I hope all our members and friends up there stay safe.

Carmela, the "artistic design", as you so cleverly put it, is called "checkering" and it comes in a plethora of styles and designs. During the early days of its use, as a means to enhance the grip, one could tell the country of origin by the type and style of checkering. There is also other types of carving used to enhance the grip of a firearm.
 

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The Spencer-Roper has a complex action, by cycling the pump the gun’s breech block dropped below the receiver allowing the next shell to enter the action while almost simultaneously the spent shell was ejected out the top of the gun. What appears to be another trigger facing backwards inside the trigger guard is a slide unlock latch. Ergonomically the early shotguns had very small pump handles and deeply swept stocks this changed in later models, with larger pump handles being introduced.



Push the front "trigger" forward. This will unlock the action, allowing you to pull the pump handle (front grip) rearward, which will open the action and allow you to see if the gun is loaded.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited by Moderator)
According to the 2021 Standard Catalog of Firearms, Spencer Arms Co. manufactured slide-action (what we call a pump-action today) from 1882 to 1889, making yours a very early model in the company history. They were made in both 10 and 12 gauge and, as mentioned earlier, were designed to be safely charged with black powder, not modern smokeless powders. The value isn't great, I'm afraid, ranging from $1000 for Very Good to $120 for Poor condition. It's impossible to judge from just pictures, but I'm thinking on the lower side of $500 from what I can see. A good cleaning and oiling can work wonders, though. And before you dispose of it in any way, I'd have a local qualified gunsmith/appraiser give you a realistic value.

By the way, in 1890, the machinery and patents for Spencer Arms guns were purchased by Francis Bannerman and Sons of New York. They carried on production of these Spencer Bannerman guns until 1907, and their guns are worth about half of what the true Spencer models are worth.

Where's the snowstorm? We have seen but one rainstorm in over a year, and that was 0.12"!
We are getting hit by snow here on Long Island, NY. Thank you for the information! As far as the value, it’s more important to me for it to go to someone who will really appreciate it. Keep it and respect it’s history.


The Spencer-Roper has a complex action, by cycling the pump the gun’s breech block dropped below the receiver allowing the next shell to enter the action while almost simultaneously the spent shell was ejected out the top of the gun. What appears to be another trigger facing backwards inside the trigger guard is a slide unlock latch. Ergonomically the early shotguns had very small pump handles and deeply swept stocks this changed in later models, with larger pump handles being introduced.



Push the front "trigger" forward. This will unlock the action, allowing you to pull the pump handle (front grip) rearward, which will open the action and allow you to see if the gun is loaded.
Thank you. I will have to get up the courage to check if it’s loaded. I don’t think so. My husband kept two “shells, bullets?” handy.



In your introduction thread @rawright54 posted this link to a article on your shotgun, here it is again.
Tumblr (historicalfirearms.info)
It appears your gun is awful dry and has rusted in places, it needs gun oil lightly rubbed on it, sooner the better.
To be sure it is unloaded before handling you might find a person knowable with firearms to check that for you, do not put your finger on or around the trigger until you have made that determination.
If you feel comfortable with attempting to check if its loaded or not
1, locate a button in front or rear of the trigger guard.
2, depress this button while pulling the forend (Wood) towards the rear, that will open the action and eject any shell that might be chambered.
This is a Black powder firearm and modern ammunition should not be used.
Did I mention to keep your finger away from the trigger when doing this procedure.

Always point it in a safe direction.
Never put your finger inside the trigger guard until ready to fire.
Treat it as if it were loaded at all times.
I do treat it as if it were loaded. I may be able to follow the directions I’ve been given here to check if it’s loaded, but I won’t try to clean it or service it in any way. Whoever winds up with it can clean it, or if I can find a professional locally to do it.
 

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Sorry for your loss. I doubt the gun will bring a king’s ransom. If there is someone in your late husband’s family that wants it I would pursue that avenue. To someone great granddads, uncle.......cousins shotgun may be a treasure.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry for your loss. I doubt the gun will bring a king’s ransom. If there is someone in your late husband’s family that wants it I would pursue that avenue. To someone great granddads, uncle.......cousins shotgun may be a treasure.
Yes, you would think a family member would want it. He has a small family and no one wants anything. I don’t seek anything except fair value and a buyer who appreciates its uniqueness. The knowledge I sought I have gained here in this group, and I appreciate it.
 

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My husband kept two “shells, bullets?” handy
Shells. Rifles and pistols fire cartridges loaded with bullets. Shotguns fire shot shells.
 
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Glad the members were able to help you and welcome. I haven't been out on the Island since the 70s when I moved away.. As a kid I would sometimes ride my old Colombia two speed bicycle from Ridgewood in Brooklyn, down Jamaica Ave, then past Belmont Park out to Franklin Square, LI to visit my Aunt and cousins. The family in the car wouldn't beat my time by all that much. I miss some of the visits further out on the Island and all the times we shared a boiling pot of crabs or swam at Lake Ronkonkoma or just fished offshore in a boat. I hope the storm goes easy on you.

Before you move that gun out of the house, I'm sure you may know even better than me what the strict gun laws of NY are. You will probably need a good case with a good zipper that closes completely before you transport it anywhere. If unsure of the law, call a local gunshop and ask for the owner or someone who knows for sure. If you know your local police, I'd ask them also.

Cleaned up a bit, that would make a nice mantel piece for someone in the family. You don't see them much at all today.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Glad the members were able to help you and welcome. I haven't been out on the Island since the 70s when I moved away.. As a kid I would sometimes ride my old Colombia two speed bicycle from Ridgewood in Brooklyn, down Jamaica Ave, then past Belmont Park out to Franklin Square, LI to visit my Aunt and cousins. The family in the car wouldn't beat my time by all that much. I miss some of the visits further out on the Island and all the times we shared a boiling pot of crabs or swam at Lake Ronkonkoma or just fished offshore in a boat. I hope the storm goes easy on you.

Before you move that gun out of the house, I'm sure you may know even better than me what the strict gun laws of NY are. You will probably need a good case with a good zipper that closes completely before you transport it anywhere. If unsure of the law, call a local gunshop and ask for the owner or someone who knows for sure. If you know your local police, I'd ask them also.

Cleaned up a bit, that would make a nice mantel piece for someone in the family. You don't see them much at all today.
It’s nice that you have such fond memories about Long Island. I’m familiar with all the places you mentioned, of course. I’m two miles from the lake.
The very first thing I did was call my local precinct non emergency line. I was advised to do exactly what I’m doing . I thought I would have to drop it off there. He said to find out what I can about it,that it’s probably old, and there may be someone out there that would appreciate having it. I think your idea to get a good case for it is good advice, thank you. I still haven’t mustered up the courage to check if it’s loaded by following the instructions someone in this group was good enough to give me. I found out allot about the gun right here in this group. I very much enjoy the responses, advice, knowledge and direction I’ve received here and would like to continue to interact.
Now that I am alone, after I’m settled in my new residence I want to get a permit to carry. That’s a project for the future. Allot of learning will be involved with that I’m sure.
Thank you for sharing!
 

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It’s nice that you have such fond memories about Long Island. I’m familiar with all the places you mentioned, of course. I’m two miles from the lake.
The very first thing I did was call my local precinct non emergency line. I was advised to do exactly what I’m doing . I thought I would have to drop it off there. He said to find out what I can about it,that it’s probably old, and there may be someone out there that would appreciate having it. I think your idea to get a good case for it is good advice, thank you. I still haven’t mustered up the courage to check if it’s loaded by following the instructions someone in this group was good enough to give me. I found out allot about the gun right here in this group. I very much enjoy the responses, advice, knowledge and direction I’ve received here and would like to continue to interact.
Now that I am alone, after I’m settled in my new residence I want to get a permit to carry. That’s a project for the future. Allot of learning will be involved with that I’m sure.
Thank you for sharing!
We're all happy to help, Carmela, and hope that you'll stick around. I'm not sure what it takes to get a CCW permit there, but a lot of us do carry, and quite a few are instructors.
 
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