Original U.S. Civil War Starr Arms M1858 Double Action Army Cartridge Converted Revolver - Serial 10875

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Item Description

Original Item. One Only. This is a fine Civil War Star Arms Model 1858 Double Action Army revolver, which sometime after the war was converted to take centerfire brass cartridges. It is marked with serial number of 10875 under the hammer and on the barrel frame, indicating production in mid 1862. This revolver was part of 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.

Other Markings include-

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

The conversion to center fire was definitely done either at arsenal, or by a skilled gunsmith. This was definitely not some basement job. The cylinder was either turned down from a percussion cylinder and bored out, or possibly could be entirely new manufacture. A circular metal plate has been attached directly to the recoil shield, and has a spring loaded firing pin installed, which is actuated by the hammer. While the frame is original, the barrel may also be new manufacture, or was possibly bored out and had new rifling added. It does look to be in a slightly larger caliber now, probably about .45 or more.

The condition is as shown, with a lovely gray patina on all of the metal work, and a good condition grip. The bore, bored out slightly, is in great condition, with a bright finish and clear lands and grooves. Mechanically the revolver cycles well, and properly breaks open for cleaning and loading. As with any revolver of this age and use, it can be a bit quirky, and it functions in double action only. If it gets knocked off cycle, it may require manually advancing the cylinder to get it to dry fire completely.

A very interesting Civil War revolver, converted from percussion to cartridge. Ready to research and display!

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.


Year of Manufacture: 1862
Caliber: about .45 cal
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Overall Length: 12 inches
Action: Double Action Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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