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Original U.S. Civil War Starr Arms M1858 .44 Double Action Army Percussion Revolver - Matching Serial 13116

Item Description

Original Item. One Only. This is an very good condition Civil War Star Arms Model 1858 Double Action Army Percussion revolver, bearing the serial number of 13116, indicating production in late 1862. This revolver was made about 60% through a production run of around 21,500 revolvers, delivered to the U.S. Army 1862-1863. After this, starting at serial number 23,000, they moved to the requested Single Action Model of 1863, which cost HALF of what the earlier model did. This model also replaced the 6 inch barrel with a longer 8 inch barrel.

All of the variations of the Starr Revolver carried six cartridges in the chambers. Our example has the serial number 13116 on the trigger guard under the grip, the rear grip support, the barrel frame, the barrel under the rammer, the cylinder, the end of the grip, and even on the underside of the hammer. There is also a partial marking on the frame UNDER the hammer, which is almost always worn away. We would definitely consider this an "ALL MATCHING" revolver, with no parts swapped out over the years, and it's a great one!

Other Markings include-

- STARR ARMS, Co. NEW. YORK. found on left side of frame.
- STARR'S PATENT JAN 16. 1856. found on right side of frame.

The finish on this Starr shows areas with the original heavily blued finish present, while other parts have faded to a nice plum patina. We almost always see these with all of the original bluing worn away, so this is definitely a real treat! It shows no signs of having been refurbished at any time, so it is ALL ORIGINAL patina.

The grip is in very good condition, with a very nice color, with some chips on the front toe, as is common. It still has a legible cartouche on the both sides of the grip, a real rarity! It is marked with boxed GKC cartouches on both sides, for Springfield Arsenal sub-inspector George K. Charter, noted for inspecting Starr revolvers. The same cartouche on both sides of the grip is not common, as usually one is the mark of the sub-inspector, and the other from the accepting Ordnance Department officer or official. Additionally, usually this inspector is seen on later serial numbered Navy examples, but this is definitely a matching grip. Some great research potential here!

The barrel still has the correct "blade" front sight in the dovetail, which is still intact with light wear. The bore is in very good to excellent condition, with clear lands and grooves and a mostly bright finish. Probably rates a 9 out of 10, which is almost unprecedented on a Starr. There are just a few some small areas of light oxidation and fouling in the grooves. The cylinder still has all 6 original nipples, all of which are still clear.

The action cycles well, though the trigger return spring is unfortunately missing or faulty, so the trigger must be pushed forward before the gun can be cycled again. This may explain why the revolver saw so little use over the years. Also, the trigger has a "safety" on the rear that prevents it moving far enough to actuate the hammer release button. This must be in the "up" position to cause the hammer to fire, however it can fall down inadvertently. The revolver properly breaks down for cleaning, and the loading rammer works great.

In truly great condition, we almost never see Starr Revolvers in such great cosmetic condition. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: late 1862
Caliber: .44cal
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Overall Length: 12 inches
Action: Double Action Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

More on the Starr Percussion Revolver:

Generally there are three models of Starr revolvers:

1863 Single Action .44 Caliber Percussion Army Revolver (produced 1863-1864) [23000 produced]

1858 Double Action .36 Caliber Percussion Navy Revolver (produced 1859-1860) [3000 produced]

1858 Double Action .44 Caliber Percussion Army Revolver (produced 1862-1863) [~21454 produced]

History of the STARR ARMS COMPANY Revolver-

About 23,000 double-action Starr revolvers were manufactured in the late 1850s and early 1860s. Of these, most were purchased by the U.S. Army. Starr revolvers, in both single-and double-action models, represented over 12 percent of the side arms issued to Union cavalry troops. Only Colt and Remington revolvers were more frequently encountered in the hands of Northern soldiers.

Starr revolvers were invented by Eben Townsend Starr of New York City, grandson of Nathan Starr and son of Nathan Starr, Jr., famous U. S. swordmakers and riflemakers of Middletown, Connecticut. This model is marked on the right side of its frame "STARR'S PATENT JAN. 15, 1856.", and on the left side, "STARR. ARMS. Co. NEW YORK." The patent date refers to E. T. Starr's U. S. Patent 14,118 for a self-cocking percussion pepperbox. His U.S. Patent 30,843, December 4, 1860, was for his double-action revolver.

Starr firearms were made at Yonkers, Binghamton, and Morrisania, New York, from 1858 to 1867. The New York City address referred to the Starr Arms Company store and office at 267 Broadway. Starr double-action .44 caliber revolvers, with serial numbers from 1 to about 23,000, were manufactured first, and Starr single-action .44 caliber revolvers, with serial numbers from about 23,000 to about 54,000, last.

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