http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=49233&stc=1&d=1165971248The usual information on the Rogers and Spencer is that 5,000 were produced under contract to the US military between 1863-65 as kind of a belated consolation prize for the people who were trying unsuccessfully to field the Pettingel double action revolver. The story goes that the revolvers were never issued, went into storage and were sold to Bannerman's in pristine condition in 1901, They have been very interesting to target shooters but not so much so to the historically minded.
Now there is information that an additional non-contract 800 revolvers were made and sold in the 1860s. This constitutes a horse of a different color and one guy even found one that had seen use and was accompanied by letters and notes inside the grips connecting it to a specific and verifiable soldier from Mass. If 800 revolvers got loose during the 19th century, they are of at least as much historic interest as some of the low number confederate revolvers we see replicated.
Pedersoli has target grade R&S revolvers made by a german firm and Euro Arms is making them on the old Armi San Paulo machinery. They are distributed in the US by Dixie gun Works and associates of EuroArms USA:
The Regimental Quartermaster
49 Steinwehr Ave.
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Euro Arms USA distributor.
74-11 Myrtle Ave, Glendale NY 11385
Euro Arms USA distributor
this one came in to day- the result of a dixie gunworks backorder placed in october. good revolver, fine revolver. It functions perfectly and everything lines up as it should. Chamber mouths are .448 and groove to groove in the barrel are .44" as close as I can read a caliper. This is right in line with Pietta measurements and it workds fine with .451" as well as the larger balls.
The chamber capacity is about the same as the Pietta Lemat and considerably less than Remington and Colt belt revolvers in that 30 grains of goex seems a near maximum load and the same volume of Swiss fffg plus ball is a definate full capacity load. This revolver makes good use of 30 grains of BP and substitute:
30 grains goex FFFG .451 ball ..........833.....................................40
same volume Pyrodex P....................982.....................................75
same volume Swiss FFFg...................994.....................................30
30gr/vol swiss FFG .457 Ball..............982.....................................80
Dixie traditional 190 Grain bullet
from scissor Mould 21 gr/vol Swiss 853......................................36
These velocities are very close -virtually indentical to those recorded from our Uberti Remington NMA with similar charges.
The dixie bullet required a great deal of pressure to seat in the .448" chambers really putting too much of a strain on the loading lever. this was not the case with the .457" balls which required firm pressure. buffalo bullets 190 grain conical was too wide to go under the seating ram as were the cast Lee 200 grain bullets. Revolver hit close to point of aim at 25 and 50 yards and, in spite of a heavy trigger pull, was gratifyingly accurate. The trigger weight exceeded my 9lb guage.
I got one six inch group at 50 yards while shooting over the chronograph and using my knees for a rest. the second group did this. It appears to be about 4+ inches.
This revolver has no safety notch or pin between the chambers and is a definate five shooter unless the owner decides to ease the hammer down right next to a capped nipple. This is probably safe but a bit close for comfort.
I shot over sixty rounds with all loads using lubricated felt wads from Eastern Maine Shooters supply through thunder ridge. throughout, it handled caps without any hang ups and never did bog down from fouling.
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December 13, 2006, 11:21 AM
Mec, is the pistol at full cock on that picture of your (green with envy) 50 yard group? I read in another thread somewhere that the Rogers and Spencer had an unusual full cock profile. How does yours compare with an 1858 Remington in the way it's grip feels and the barrel to grip angle? I gather yours is of Euroarms heritage. I have no experience with their pistols but I have a rifle of theirs and I don't know how any rifle could be of higher quality. Have you any other Euroarms pistols of recent make? Are you qoing to take it all apart and see about that heavy trigger pull? Maybe disassembled pictures?:) Questions, questions,questions........
December 13, 2006, 11:40 AM
funny you should mention it. It does have a notably short throw action. In the picture, the hammer is at half cock but full cock is not much farther back. The trigger pull will eventually be adjusted by a shem of some sort under the full cock notch. Full take down should be without problems with the grip frame/trigger guard resembling the Starr revolvers. ( all resemblence ends there.)
I generally need a light trigger pull to do any sort of good work with single action revolvers. The amazing thing here is that I was able to shoot this one reasonably well even with the heavy pull. I believe all the talk about the bell-bottomed grips and wide trigger face are right on target.
I've dealt with a couple of Euroarms long guns while working up a series on civil war tech for Guns Magazine. I was really impressed with them. I've also noted that a lot of revolver enthusiasts on the board really like their euroarms Remingtons- particularly the 36 navy version. This is the first I've been able to handle but would put its quality as equal to my best Ubertis. I don't know if I would give the design any preference over the Remington replicas or not but it does function and cycle spent caps just as well as my Uberti Remington. The grip size and shape are more comfortable than the Remingtons and the sights, at least on the repro are large and easy to see. (even better if you blacken the brass front sight. I have decided that all that stuff about the small diameter base pin is inaccurate. When the revolvers gum up prematurely something besides that is operating.
And I tried easing the hammer down next to the percussion cap and find that it is not an adequate safety measure. It won't stay and just rotates over onto the nipple with any pressure at all.
December 16, 2006, 03:44 PM
Have an original Rogers & Spencer, no. 1543, on which half cock is probably slightly shorter (fraction more towards the nipple). Full cock however is much further backwards than Mec's pictured R&S. It is not cocked on this photo.
As far as I know the contract for the US government for 5000 revolvers was signed November 29th 1864 in where Rogers & Spencer Co. stated they would start production in Jan 1865 and produce the guns at a rate of 500 a month. Production started Jan. 1864 and in Sept. 1865 all of these 5000 revolvers were finished. I therefore estimate my gun, no. 1543, was produced around beginning April 1865.
A previous unknown owner in the USA has slightly polished this gun, re-blued it, fitted a Marble Sheard front sight and installed a couple of new grips. Now this gun is non desirable for a collector. The action is as crisp and tight as if it were a brandnew revolver.
I have not yet shot her but will give it a try as soon as I have fitting caps.
CCI #11 are way too small. Don't know if the nippels are originals.
See my site for more photo's, also disassembled and some close-ups.
I have shot a 1976 R&S replica of Armi San Paulo a couple of times.
Think the trigger pull is quite heavy, but percussion caps are easy to place, found an Uberti Remington, smoother to shoot because of the nicer trigger action.
December 16, 2006, 05:03 PM
the one in my picture is half cocked
December 16, 2006, 05:39 PM
The original on full cock. Made the photo just now, sorry for the quality.
December 16, 2006, 06:09 PM
the one I had has fulfilled its role as a christmas present so, its not at hand but I do believe it looks just like that and f ull cock.
December 19, 2006, 05:29 PM
The plow-handle grip takes some getting used to, but its comfortable. The BIG bead front sight is handy, and it points well. The cylinder on this Euro Arms made R&S has some machining marks I don't care for but it's a really neat piece of curiousa. I'd recommend one in a heartbeat, that are wicked fun, just not as 'elegant' as a Colt.
Pictured are a .36 Colt Signature Series Navy w/original Colt Flask , a Euroarms 44 cal Rogers & Spencer w/ repro flask, and a Calbelas 1860 Army "outlaw" by Pietta w/ repro 44 cal Colt Flask.
Dad bought the R&S the same Day I bought the "outlaw"... think he paid $60-70 more than I did, and I spent $125.
I got one from Dixie one Christmas some years ago. It came with target sights and and extra set of nipples and a nipple wrench. Don't know why they expected me to wear the one set that came in the pistol out. Whatever. It shoots really good and was also made by Euroarms. I like it better than any of my other reproduction revolvers.
December 21, 2006, 08:19 AM
same here with the nipples and wrench. They even show the wrench with the revolver on the dixiegun web page.
December 26, 2006, 06:15 PM
Bates sees details that fly right by me. Here, he reconfigured the euroarms hammer to look more like an original:
December 27, 2006, 09:33 AM
The grip frame comes off different than other percussion revolvers but other disassembly resembles the remington or colt types:
For movie buffs, you might take note that this looks like what Clint used in the Unforgiven.
December 27, 2006, 10:48 PM
In Unforgiven Clint was carrying a Starr double action revolver. Love to have one but they are pricey and didn't get the greatest reviews from purchasers.
December 28, 2006, 12:50 AM
oh.. ok. I didn't exactly pause the DVD and stare at it. I am sure most people think its a remington... hehehe
I think mec is the only one around here that's had any luck with those Starrs, but only after some work. I'm sure he can tell you about it.
I like hearing that the Rogers and Spencer from Euroarms is a fairly good piece. I will probably try to get one in the future. I was looking at a Patterson the other day, but it was a 1997 Pietta and I remembered that mec gave it a review that made me pause about it.
I don't want some thing straight out of a box that needs fixing or smithing from the get go. Besides, EVERY "auction" gun I have bought "Unfired and unturned" always smells like powder and has that residue in the works. I strip em and clean em as soon as I get them. So I give up asking if the guns work decently. I think they will always lie or give one of those... the guy said it did thing.
But eventually I would like to own one sample each of all the colt models as well as an R&S, LeMatt, Starr and etc..
For you guys that want a Rogers, they show up at gunbroker from time to time. Fairly frequently. Not that I want any competition for one, but it'll be awhile before I give it a shot, so to speak. I don't think I've ever seen one at Auction Arms.
January 1, 2007, 11:44 AM
Bates found a significant "hook" on the full cock sear making the hammer travel backwards a hair before release. When he reconfigured the hammer, he found that the hardeness of the metal goes quite deep, so he stoned the hook off the full cock notch and reduced the trigger pull to about 4.5 pounds.
August 11, 2007, 12:49 PM
I recently purchased a Euroarms target model R&S from Dixie, and then,while doing som research on line, came across this thread. I've learned a lot from the various postings, but still have a question on removing the cylinder for cleaning (as necessary). After reading the posting about removing the grip frame and reviewin the exploded drawing on the Euroarms website, I tried turning the cylinder pin lock screw to line up notches (the way my Whitney Navy works). Not a budge. I then tried to remove the lock screws, again without success. What am I doing wrong? After reading the various comments about the R&S, I am looking forward to shooting it, but before I start, I want to be able to take care of it afterward.
Thanks for your help.
August 11, 2007, 06:45 PM
I have two (2) of the Euroarms Rogers & Spencer revolvers. One of them, believe it or not, is a kit, purchased in 1979 but not yet put together. It is fully blued but rough machined, meaning I'll have to complete the metalwork and then strip the blueing before reblueing it. I'm expecting to also have to finish the action parts, as that seems de rigour on any Italian clone from that era (or the current one).
Here's the other one, date stamped BD for 1994.
It was purchased at an auction for $100 - yeah, I know, you don't believe me. Either did I. I stumbled into an auction during a February snowstorm where a guy was selling an estate with 90 handguns, 17 of which were black powder, and nobody in the audience was bidding on the bp guns. I stole 4 for $100 each before the auctioneer wised up and suspended the auction. The other three: a Uberti 1862 Colt Pocket Police in .36 cal with rebated cylinder, a Pietta Starr SA in .44 cal and a Uberti 1873 Colt Single Action Army with 3 c&b cylinders in .44 cal. Sometimes even a blind squirrel....
Anyway, I've shot the auction gun and it's just plain superb, one of my favorite guns. It needs some action polishing, but there are no glaring or obvious problems such as the notch on your (mec's) full cock sear. I find it to be as accurate as I am (which is NOT to be construed as a strong recommendation), great sights and grip, no problems with caps jamming, fouling is not a problem with 777. All in all a fine weapon.
August 11, 2007, 08:05 PM
This post came at a really good time. I just received a Rogers and Spencer. Iam pleased with its feel. I havent shot it yet. Its dated 1977 and has a ser nr of 1xxx Or 01xxx if there is a difference. Its Euroarms of America and thats all I know about it. Im glad to get the information on load and ball size. Looking for a cooler day to shoot.
August 12, 2007, 11:10 AM
Years ago I had a choice between a Rogers and Spencer and a ROA.
I went with the ROA, but I still would like to get a R&S to add to my small collection some day.
I have never fired one, but I have always considered it the best looking percussion revolver ever made.
August 12, 2007, 11:28 AM
I have one of similar vintage. VERY nice gun, very well made. My dad dropped it off at my house a year or two ago.:)
24 grains for lightest load, 40 grains for heavy load, both with round balls.
We have always used Pyrodex.
August 12, 2007, 11:55 AM
Thanks Armed Bear. I'm really into this R&S because of its feel. I also want to thank the folk who contribute to this forum. There is so much information on this forum that helps both old and new black powder shooters that it is a pleasure to read
August 28, 2007, 05:58 PM
How soft is the steel in the Euroarms R&S? Similar to Uberti's? Softer? Harder?
September 6, 2007, 08:41 PM
The hammer steel is very tough as discovered when J. Bates reconfigured the hammer to look more like the original. There is no indication that the parts are inordinately soft or deficient in temper. This is based on limited shooting and good reports from a number of owners who have gotten good service from their revolvers.
We are not set up to rockwell test the revolvers.
September 12, 2007, 09:00 PM
I have a Rogers and Spencer Army Revolver #21. This has been in the family for years. What is the most reliable valuation source ? thanks,
September 13, 2007, 12:30 AM
Check Antiqueguns.com, Gunbroker and Auction Arms, GunsAmerica.com and others olnline. Antiqueguns .com has some really nice Rogers & Spencers from time to time.
Yours is an early one, possibly/probably before the Army Contract of 5000, delivered Jan 1865 thru Sept. 1865. All were too late for issue in the Civil War. the were warehoused. Most of the 5000 were bought from Army by Bannerman in 1901, but a few were sold commercially as well. bannerman's invoice do not account for all 5000 either, 4,982 or so, but not 5000.
I have an original R & S that is S/N 5365 and has been converted to 44 Henry Rim Fire. This is a very professional conversion and unique in the fact that it uses a floating firing pin to fire the Rim Fire Cartridges. In 30 plus years of collecting guns, and handling numerous conversions, this is the very first conversion that I have ever seen that uses the floating firing pin to fire rim fire cartridges. Most just used the flat of the hammer that fired the caps, modified to fire the Rim fire cartridges. It also in not in the good shape that the Bannerman guns are usually found in. Most Bannerman guns are in excellent shape. Mine has a lot of pitting. It was found in Del Rio TX and is believed to have went through the Mexican revolution.
Post some Pictures of your family gun, we'd love to see it.
September 14, 2007, 07:21 PM
Thanks. I'm not expecting Rockwell numbers, just general observations.
That's good that the hammer is hard. I know that Uberti and Pietta use relatively soft steels in their C&B guns, and so I was wondering about Euroarms. On Ubertis and Piettas, the cylinders tend to get chewed up in short order if the timing isn't perfect. And even if the timing is right, over the long haul the notches take a beating. And the screws are often, well ... less than stout.
September 14, 2007, 08:03 PM
Not sure, but things may have gotten better. It's been a long time since I've had a Uberti screw crumble away while being tightened. The trigger/bolt springs are lasting longer too.
September 14, 2007, 08:58 PM
I shot my Rogers and Spencer. I have never enjoyed the shooting experience as much. I purchased a used one, so I cant speak for one that hasnt been used. No cap problems, the tightest groups that Ive ever shot at 50 yds, no hang fires, just a joyous day with alot of smoke. Thanks MEC for putting me on to the R&S.
September 16, 2007, 08:54 PM
Hey Mec!!! Where did you obtain the information regarding the extra 800 R&S Pistols being made. This really intriges me, if it is true then that means some of these fine pistols may have seen some old western action; seems true since Old Dragoon has one serial # over 5000. Does anyone know where the military stored the 5000 R&S's too. Email me more info at JBMojave@hotmail.com Thanks
September 17, 2007, 12:16 AM
I did it by google search and what I found seemed feasible. A guy detailed an R&S that had papers inside the grip indicating that it belonged to a union soldier in some northeastern state army unit. He brough up the additional non contract guns.
Here it is:
September 17, 2007, 02:06 AM
Wow!!! Mec thank you that helped me out. Obviously some were used during the Civil War and after. So it would seem at least 800 of these guns were sold to soldiers or the general Civilian Public. Very neat. I was holding off buying one because of there being no real historical significance, but now I want one and will be ordering one within the month. Thanks for info Mec.:)
September 17, 2007, 02:16 AM
That soldier could not have had that gun from the dates of his service as the first R & S's weren't made until 1864 and the Government contract was started in 1865 and all delivered to the Army by Sept 1865. The army would not sign another contract with them and so they did build some for civilian sale. Thpought to have been made of from exting, or over run, parts.
The Conversion I have is thought to have been carried in the Mexican revolution and it's coming from Del Rio TX makes that quite likely. A lot of 44 Henry Rim Fire Arms made it to Mexico before and during that revolution.
The idea that some of them got out during the "percussion era" rather than as curiosities in 1901 still makes them more interesting.
September 17, 2007, 08:07 PM
I agree!! to know some got out into the fighting of the old west does really change the way you look at the gun.
September 18, 2007, 09:52 PM
mec, you might be right about the quality going up. I handled a Uberti forged frame Remington a while back. It blew my mind. The fit and finish was noteworthy and the timing was perfect. I couldn't test the steel or the screws, but the frame seemed stout. Best Remington I've ever handled. Needless to say, I'm ordering one.
September 18, 2007, 10:51 PM
Somewhere in my recall, it seem that the R&S was used in the Moro insurection. It seemed the revolver used was going through the Moros. One was reportedly hit 7 times and still cut off the leg of an American officer. The R&S was brought into the barrle because of its lower muzzle velosity and increased stopping power. At the time the Army was working on the .45 with its 850 fps and stopping power. I could be wrong about this but its stuck in my memory from my Marine Corps days.
September 20, 2007, 06:14 PM
Very Cool Pics.:cool:Thanks for sharing them.
September 22, 2007, 05:59 AM
Hi guys, we can still have muzzle loaded pistols in the UK and a lot of us have revolvers. I enjoy my R&S. firing it every week.
I have been experimenting with conicals but so far have not matched the accuracy of round ball. I always use 777 as its far easier to clean up. All my shooting is 25m and I am managing 4" groups now with ball but only 8" with conicals.
Getting a lot of instances of the cap not going on first strike so I am thinling the hammer spring may have gotten weak.
September 22, 2007, 06:11 AM
There is a trend over here to convert m/l revolvers to use nitro.
Is obviously cleaner and not smokey.
Some are converting to cartridge but our restrictions insist on barrels ove 12" and over 24" total. We get over the 24" by fitting a "wrist brace" made out of steel rod.
We cant convert a regular pistol as they are banned but m/l revolvers are not banned so we can mess around with them. The Buckmark carbine can also be cut down as well or we can build from scratch as long as it fits the rules.
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