EXTREMELY RARE FORENSICALLY PROVEN INDIAN USED CUSTER BATTLEFIELD SPENCER CARBINE. SN 30670. Cal. 56-56. Standard Civil War carbine with 22″ bbl, square base front sight with German silver blade and 900 yard Spencer ladder rear sight. Left side of frame & wrist have a sling bar & ring. Mounted with uncheckered walnut that has extensive Indian brass tack decorations on both sides and top of the wrist. Forearm shows heavy saddle bow wear and the stock is heavily damaged with losses on the left side around the thin areas over the magazine tube. This carbine was part of the very famous Dr. Kenneth D. Leonard Collection of Indian Arms which was on loan to the Cody Firearms Museum, Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY for many years. Dr. Leonard related to Mr. Glenn Swanson that he had obtained this carbine while working as a medical doctor in the Dakotas during the 1950s & 60s. In 1984 & 1985 during archeological excavations at the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, after a prairie fire had exposed substantial amounts of the battlefield, numerous cartridge cases were excavated throughout the battlefield. One such specimen was number “1277” which was found on the southeastern side of Greasy Grass Ridge in a cluster of other cartridge cases which is believed to have been occupied by Indians during the battle and were used against soldiers of Lt. Calhoun’s command during the battle of the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876. This cluster of cartridge cases disclosed that there were more than fifteen different firearms used from that particular location. A copy of the map of that location with the numbered specimens noted as to their exact place of discovery on Greasy Grass Ridge. After the excavation was closed to further exploration the Custer Battlefield Identification Project was launched to attempt to forensically match any Custer fight firearms to cartridge cases excavated from the battlefield. At that time Dr. Leonard’s collection of Indian-used firearms was on display in the Cody Firearms Museum. Internationally acclaimed forensic expert Doug Scott and members of the identification project made firing pin impressions of any and all available firearms and later, using comparison microscopes, positively identified the impressions from this carbine as being identical to those of field specimen #1277. A notarized letter to that effect accompanies this carbine. This carbine has received substantial publicity in several publications including Custer, Cavalier in Buckskin, Utley; Gunfighter, Rosa; The Plains Indian, Taylor; G.A. Custer His Life and Times, Swanson and several others. Of the fifteen firearms forensically matched to Custer Battlefield excavated cartridge cases, very few are still in private hands, with most being in museums. This is one of the few remaining chances to own a positively documented Custer Battlefield firearm and is one of the finest, authentic Indian tack decorated firearms to come to market.A casting of the original cartridge casing head will be available to the buyer of this historic item. PROVENANCE: Dr. Kenneth D. Leonard Collection; Cody Firearms Museum; Glenn Swanson Collection. CONDITION: Fair. No orig finish remains being an overall very dark brown weathered patina with areas of surface rust & light pitting. The wood shows very heavy wear with a few missing tacks and damage to the stock with a few missing slivers. However mechanics are fine, strong sharp dark bore. 4-41839 JR212 (85,000-125,000)
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