UNIT IDENTIFIED STARR CARBINE COMPANY 1st ARKANSAS CAVALRY (US)

$1,750.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 776-04

Ebenezer Starr was the son of famed arms maker Nathan Starr, Jr., and is known for his double and single-action Civil War revolvers, produced at his factory in Binghamton, NY. He also patented this percussion breechloading carbine. The US government purchased about 600 of them on the open market and then awarded him a contract in 1863 for 20,000 that were delivered from September 1863 through August 1864. The carbine operates in manner similar to a Sharps, though with a breechblock that is divided, which is opened by lowering by the triggerguard, allowing insertion of a combustible .54 caliber cartridge.

The markings are good. The lockplate is marked at rear, “STARR ARMS CO. / YONKERS, N.Y.” in two lines; the barrel has a one-line stamp between the rear sight and barrel band: “STARR ARMS CO. YONKERS, N.Y.” The receiver tang is marked, “STARR’S PATENT / SEPT. 14th 1858” in two lines, just behind the loading channel. Serial number on the barrel is 14250.The wood is good, with warm brown tones. There are some handling dings, which is to be expected from a carbine actually issued and carried in the field, but a good fit to the metal with just slight shrinkage gaps at the rear of the lockplate and some small chips along the triggerguard tang. The edges are still pretty good. The brass buttplate and barrel band have a nice mellow patina. The barrel shows remnants of thin blue turned plum with some pewter tones underneath, but no pitting. Both sights are in place. The hammer and frame show some of the mottled gray and faint blue of faded case color. The mechanics are good. Breechblock is an old replacement; the rear section of the breechblock shows a mix of brown and gray on the sides when lowered. The lever and triggerguard tang show stronger color. The forward section of the breechblock shows numerous dings on the top. Those experienced with old guns will recognize the signs of frustrated user coping with a frozen breechblock. There is no telling when this happened. If it was in the service, it might have been very necessary, but there would have been some choice words from the company first sergeant.

The top breech of the barrel, just forward of the breechblock is stamped in three lines, “1 / A R K /G.” We have seen other Starrs from this regiment and it seems to have been a regimental directive to have their weapons marked. They are also recorded by Flayderman. Arkansas is best known for its Confederate regiments, but it supplied troops to the Union as well, including several regiments of cavalry. The First Arkansas Cavalry was organized at Cassville and Springfield, Missouri from June to August 1862 and attached to the Department of Missouri and Department of Arkansas. They fought in some larger actions like Prairie Grove, but were very active and saw combat for the most part in scores of smaller actions against Confederate guerrillas and mounted troops in skirmishes, patrols and wagon escorts right through the war, seeing their last fight at Van Buren on April 2, 1865, and losing some 110 officers and men in killed and wounded alone during their service, which is a high rate for a cavalry outfit.  [sr]

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