According to Flayderman, only 1,000 Model 1865 rifles were made.
Hmmmmm ..... something must be amiss with the numbers here, because Edgecombe is quite clear that his research revealed that it was the British War Department which purchased 2,000
Spencer rifles .... albeit, all of them were provided for use by Canadian Militia and were ultimately transferred outright to Canada in 1870.) As I understand it from Edgecombe, Canada itself purchased no
Spencer rifles; rather, it acquired 1,300 carbines and the War Department purchased another 1,000 carbines for Canadian use.
I have scanned through the complete contents listing of the CJAC (of which I was the very grateful recipient of a compete set, a year or so ago). Other than an article about three Spencer rifles dug up on a lakeside Toronto construction site (apparently a crate of rifles had been dropped - or pushed - into the water from a wharf) the only article I can find which seems to coincide with the one you refer to is "American Breech-Loading Firearms in the Canadian Service, 1866-1872"
by Rene Chartrand, in Volume 24, No. 4 (November 1986). As the title implies, this article also deals with the Peabody rifles and Starr carbines, but I assume it is what you have in mind, since it does make a brief reference to serial number ranges, for example.
On initial reading, Chartrand appeared
to me to be giving different numbers for the Spencers acquired. However, on further consideration, he seems to have come up with the same total (4,300 Spencer rifles and carbines in all) but has not necessarily reached the same conclusion as to the specific number of each type as was arrived at by Edgecombe .... nor to the same conclusion regarding which type was purchased by the Canadian Government and which by the War Department.
1. Chartrand notes an initial purchase by Canada of 300 "Spencer rifles" in early 1866.
2. Later on the same page, he reports purchase by Canada of an additional
1,000 "Spencer rifles", and concludes that same paragraph with: "More were bought, since by the spring of 1867 over 4,000 are reported to be available."
3. The very next paragraph begins: "Details of these transactions have not been found but about 3,000 additional
Spencer rifles, including up to 2,000 cavalry carbines
Italic emphasis in the above summary was added by me.
If one adds up the figures after each use of the word "additional" by Chartrand, a total of 4,300 is obtained .... the same cumulative number as reported by Edgecombe ..... but it will be noted that he appears to state that the first 300 + 1,000 Spencers purchased by Canada were rifles
. His comments about having come across mention of an additional 3,000 Spencers presumably relate to the arms purchased by Britain, and those circumstances could explain why he found no records pertaining to their acquisition. Among the references relied upon by Edgecombe is a telegram sent by the Governor General to the British Colonial Office on 26 September 1866, in which he summarizes the breechoaders on hand, pending arrival of Snider-Enfields, as follows:
The Property of the Provincial Government:
- Spencer Carbines - 1,300
- Peabody Rifle Muskets - 5,000
The Property of the Imperial Govt:
- Wesley Richards Muskets and Carbines - 10,000
- Starr Carbines (Capt Warlow) - 2,000
- Spencer Rifle Muskets - 2,000
(Note the rather particular use of "Carbines" and "Rifle Muskets" in this summary, which does not include the further 1,000 Spencer carbines subsequently acquired by the Imperial Government.)
This discrepancy over the exact numbers of Spencer rifles and carbines is likely explained by the very confusing use of the words "rifle" and "carbine", interchangeably, in many of the original records and correspondence .... a problem which Edgecombe specifically notes. I gather that he managed to locate more records than relied upon by Chartrand (including the telegram mentioned above) and I would accordingly be inclined to accept his conclusions, which are also more recent.
Perhaps we could ask both Rene and David to review this thread and provide their comments .....