The Spencer Carbine was issued to Union troops in the Civil War in 1863.
The Spencer Rifle
was a repeating rifle capable of firing seven rounds with each lowering of the trigger guard. Although outnumbered by the Plains Indians, the Spencer provided the Cavalrymen with accurate and withering firepower. It had a slower rate of fire than the Henry repeating rifle but was very accurate and easy to clean.
The Spencer rifle was replaced by Army in the 1870's beacause it was believed a repeating rifle encouraged a waste of ammunition. The Department of the Army believed repeating rifles encouraged the troops to waste ammunition. The troopers carried the “trapdoor” Springfield or the Sharps carbines, both in .45-70 caliber. The troops who carried the Henry during the Civil War liked it very much (they had to buy it out of their pay, or pick it up on the battlefield). They said; “you can load it on Sunday and fire it all week.” It held 15 rounds.
The Sharps was manufactured by the Sharps Rifle Company, was very accurate and had an effective range of 500 yards. It weighed 8 pounds and an experienced shooter could get off 8-10 round per minute.
The Springfield 45s were single shot weapons that had to be reloaded after each fired round. As previously indicated,
The Army had recognized that a soldier armed with a repeating rifle would expend a large amount of ammunition during battle whether he had a clear target in sight or not. The belief was that with a single shot rifle, the soldier would become more efficient with his ammunition and take only clear shots at his target.
The best effective range for the Springfield .45 carbine was less than 400 yards, but significant hits could be made up to 600 yards.
Colt Walker Pistol
The Colt Walker Pistol was very accurate to 100 yards and delivered devastating stopping power.
The Colt Walker was as effective as a common rifle at 100 yards and more effective than a musket at 200 yards.
Colt .45 Single Action
The Colt .45 single action revolver and the Schofield .45 revolver were used by the U.S. cavalry in the 1870's.
The Colt Single Action Revolver was also known as the Colt Peacemaker. The Colt Single Action Revolver is a single action revolver holding 6 rounds of ammunition, that was designed for the U.S. cavalry by Colt's Manufacturing Company and adopted in 1873, and it was perhaps the most prolific pistol in the wild west.
M1869 Schofield .45
Although this pistol was used by the U.S. Cavalry, Wells Fargo agents and Frank James, due to it's lesser power compared to the Colt .45 it was never adopted as the official sidearm of the Army.