Spencer marketed as the first successful repeating pump action shotugn
Senior Curator Philip Schreier readies for an NRAnews shooting with a Spencer Arms pump action shotgun in hand.
Fairfax, Virginia - "The shotgun is the mother of all guns."
At least that's what Philip Schreier thinks. Given that he's the Senior Curator for the NRA National Firearms Museum, you should probably take what he thinks into account.
"It dates back to the hand cannons of the 1300s. Shrink it down from the hand cannon and basically you have a scatter gun. That's all it has been and ever will be."
What inspired such ruminations from our Senior Curator? The Spencer Arms slide action repeating shotgun.
"Civil War buffs know the name Christopher Spencer because of the self contained metalic cartridge carbine rifle. It's what Colonel Custer's troops were armed with during the Battle of Gettysburg.
"But few people know that Spencer also made what was billed as the first successful repeating pump action shotgun."
The Spencer Repeating Shotgun, invented back in 1882 by Christopher Spencer, is a standard pump action shotgun. The look and operation is basically the same as any other pump action. The difference comes in the pump.
Rack it back and action does two things: flips up the spend shell out the top and cycles a new one into the chamber. Such a feat can be challenging.
"It's a very interesting operation," said Schreier.
"The internal Rube Goldberg-esque design did not last long."
But it lasted long enough. Long enough gain the attention of Francis Bannerman Sons of New York. Bannerman, a famed military arms surplus house, purchased the patent and manufacturing rights from Spender and sold similar models until 1907.
For a look at the Spencer Arms Repeating Shotgun, tune in today at 5:40 eastern standard time to the Sportsman Channel. That's when today's episode of Curator's Corner on NRANews hits the air. It is there that you'll see the 'interesting' action in action.
Judge the practicality for yourself.