digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















.56-56 Spencer
Type Rifle
Place of origin USA
Production history
Designer Christopher Spencer
Bullet diameter .550 in (14.0 mm)
Neck diameter .560 in (14.2 mm)
Shoulder diameter .560 in (14.2 mm)
Base diameter .560 in (14.2 mm)
Rim diameter .645 in (16.4 mm)
Case length .875 in (22.2 mm)
Overall length 1.545 in (39.2 mm)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
350 gr (23 g) 1,200 ft/s (370 m/s) 1,125 ft·lbf (1,525 J)
Source(s): Barnes & Amber[1]

The .56-56 Spencer was an American black powder rifle cartridge.

Designed for the Spencer rifle and carbine, patented 6 March 1860, it was employed by cavalry during the American Civil War, first appearing at Sharpsburg in rifle form. No Spencer carbines were on issue at the Battle of Gettysburg, though two units under Custer had the rifles. The .56-56 was loaded with a slug of 350–360 gr (22.7–23.3 g) over 42–45 gr (2.7–2.9 g) of black powder. It was loaded by a variety of companies, and was also used in the Ballard and Joslyn carbines. It is a short-ranged cartridge, ineffective on anything larger than deer. Commercially loaded ammunition continued to be available into the 1920s.


The nomenclature of Spencer cartridges were unique. Unlike later cartridges such as the .44-40 Winchester and .45-70, where the first number indicated caliber and the second the charge weight, the .56-56 refers solely to the case. The first 56 is the diameter of the case at the base .56 inches (14.2 mm), measured just past the rim, and the second 56 is the diameter at the case mouth, also 0.56 inches (14 mm). Later versions of the cartridge included the .56-52, .56-50, and .56-46, which had varying degrees of taper in the cases, to accommodate smaller diameter bullets. All of these cartridges are rimfire primed. The actual bullet diameter of the .56-56 varied between .54 and .555 inches (13.7–14.1 mm), depending on ammunition manufacturer. The .56-52, made by Spencer, and the .56-50, made by Springfield, differed only in the degree of crimp, with the .56-50 having a greater crimp; both fired 350 grain .512-inch (13.0 mm) bullets. The .56-46 fired a 320 to 330 grain .465-inch (11.8 mm) bullet.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Barnes, Frank C., ed. by John T. Amber. Cartridges of the World (Northfield, IL: DBI Books, 1972), p. 281, ".56-56 Spencer". ISBN 0-695-80326-3.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.56-56_Spencer — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
2310 videos foundNext > 

Shooting 56-56 Spencer Rifle

Cowboy Action Shoot in Titusville, PA, one stage (I'm pretty slow, sorry) Shooting an original 1860 Spencer Rifle in 56-56 Spencer (CF Conversion) Uberti S&W...

The Spencer Project

Shooting an antique Spencer carbine.

Shooting the 1865 Spencer Rifle.mov

Part 2 of the early lever action rifle series. We shoot the 1865 Spencer Rifle. This replica is made by Armi Sport and is imported from Italy by Tailors & Co.

.56-50 Spencer Rifle Blanks at 25 cents a round!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shooting a Taylor Arms Spencer Rifle with blanks made from the 32 gauge shotgun shells. They are cheap to make and work great.

Spencer centre-fire conversion part 2

Covers the production of 56-50 centre-fire ammunition for a converted Spencer carbine.

Spencer repeating rifle (Carbine)

The Spencer repeating rifle was a manually operated lever-action, repeating rifle fed from a tube magazine with cartridges. It was adopted by the Union Army,...

Shooting the Model 1865 Spencer Carbine

Shooting the Model 1865 Spencer Carbine at Revere Gun Range in Pompano Beach, Fl Original not a repro! Using Starline 56/50 brass loaded with 9 grains of Tra...

Spencer centre-fire conversion Part 1

Fitting a centre-fire conversion breech block to an original Spencer carbine.

Robert Spencer knows more about Islam than East London Imam on BBC radio interview

Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch or Jihad watch is interviewed on BBC radio about his visit to Woolwich with Pamela Geller to join EDL group and Tommy Robinson. ...

Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer Discuss Islam Vs The Jews

http://lukeford.net/blog/?p=44510 Luke Ford talks to Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer after Jewish Federation Los Angeles President Jay Sanderson Cancels Pamela...

2310 videos foundNext > 

We're sorry, but there's no news about ".56-56 Spencer" right now.


Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About .56-56 Spencer

You can talk about .56-56 Spencer with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!