STARR PERCUSSION CARBINE

$1,595.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: G3670

Issued to the Federal cavalry during the Civil War, this weapon is a good example of a Starr carbine. This percussion, breech loader was produced by the Starr Arms Company of Yonkers, New York. The carbine resembled the more famous Sharps carbine of the time but the Union cavalrymen did not think as highly of the Starr as they did the Sharps. The first shipment of 1000 Starr percussion carbines was delivered to the Ordnance Dept in September 1863, and in total over 20,000 such weapons were purchased by the US government.

Manufactured between 1862 and 1865, the Starr percussion carbines were all .54 caliber breechloaders fitted with 21” long, round tapered barrel. The carbine employed a split breech, drop block mechanism that allowed the trooper to insert a linen cased cartridge into the chamber of the breech. Upward motion of the operating lever / triggerguard closed the breech, and ignition was activated with the striking of a percussion cap by the external hammer. The weapon measured 37½” long and weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. The iron lockplate and frame were casehardened and the barrel blued.

This original carbine bears serial #7489 and features a two-piece black walnut stock with an 8” long fore-end secured by a single brass barrel band. Has a 14½” long buttstock with a brass buttplate.

No case colors remain on the lock and the barrel retains no blue. All gun metal is gray with scattered light pitting throughout. Maker stampings on the lockplate are clear and read, “STARR ARMS CO. / YONKERS, N.Y.” in two lines. Barrel surface has a thin, one-line marked “STARR ARMS CO. YONKERS, N.Y.” in front of the rear sight. Receiver tang back of hammer is stamped with “STARR’S PATENT / SEPT. 14th 1858”. A single iron sling ring is mounted on the left side of the receiver.

Mechanics crisp. There is light pitting around nipple. Bore is mostly clean and has good rifling.

Wood has the normal dings and surface nicks and is in good condition. No inspector cartouches visible. Carbine frame screws are slightly buggered. Right wrist between breech tang and lockplate has a brass plate screwed to it. Plate meas. approx. 1.25 x 0.50 an inch. No cracks are visible in this area or anywhere else on the stock. Butt has some light streaks where some of the finish has come off. This probably happened during a cleaning of the bore and cleaning fluid dripped onto the butt.

This is a good representative example of a percussion carbine carried by Union cavalry and is also one of only three or four types of Civil War rimfire carbines to emerge by war’s end.  [ad]

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