DOUBLE-ACTION STARR .44 REVOLVER, LIKELY DELIVERED IN APRIL 1863

$5,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-2988

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This double-action Starr revolver is complete, all original, and rates about Excellent for condition, with better than 80 percent original finish, sharp lettering numbering, and very pretty, unmarred wood with crisp inspector cartouches on either side of the grip at bottom. The cylinder shows some light scratches and an area of finish loss with shallow freckling, less than 10 percent of the cylinder surface, likely from moisture trapped when it was adjacent to the frame, and the left barrel some thin finger prints from a collector who should have known better than to touch it with bare hands and forget to wipe it down, but fortunately they are not all that noticeable given that overall exceptional color. The blue is vibrant, even on the screw heads and both the loading assembly and hammer show very visible case color, with only the rammer showing bright from rubbing through the frame aperture when the lever was lowered and the trigger showing some rubbing from handling. The action and bore are great, matching the wonderful condition of the pistol.

The markings in the metal are correct and crisp: serial number 8172 on the cylinder; “STARR ARMS, Co. NEW. YORK.” on the lower left frame; and “STARR’S PATENT JAN. 15, 1856” on the lower right frame. The nipples, needless to say, are not battered and screw slots show no turning. The wood grips are excellent, with tight fit, sharp edges, great color and surface showing just the lightest rub at left bottom, a tiny W or M sub-inspection mark on the bottom of the grip and crisp inspector cartouches on either side, both reading “BH” for Benjamin Hannis, who was detailed to inspection at the Starr company from June to December 1862 and whose cartouches are noted by Daum and Pate as appearing on both side of the grip on Starr revolvers in 6,000 to 10,000 range at least, along with some showing cartouches of both Hannis and R.H.K. Whitely.

The Starr Arms Company in Binghamton, NY, was the third largest supplier of revolvers to the U.S government in the Civil War, delivering 16,100 of these .44 caliber double-action revolvers on contract from January 1862 to mid-1863, and another 4,950 in May 1864 on a separate purchase agreement, for a total of 21,050. Non-governmental sales are estimated at 2,000, for a total production run of about 23,000. Colt’s pricing practices had left a bad taste in the mouths of ordnance officers and Starr and Remington revolvers gained preference by 1864.

As serial number 8172, this one falls under a June 12, 1862, contract and was likely delivered in August 1862 by McAulay’s tables of army purchases, which is confirmed by the use of pistol #9002 in a Navy test of the .44 Caliber Starr on March 18, 1863. That makes this a great mid-war cavalry pistol, in the field in time for the Gettysburg campaign and other major cavalry actions of the war. Records do not always distinguish between these early double-action .44 caliber Starr revolvers and their later single-action pistols, but cavalry units known to have carried Starr revolvers include the following: 1st NH; 7th Michigan; 12th NY; 2nd Ohio; 1st VT; 1st MO; 8th PA, 14th PA; 13th TN; 1st WI; 8th KY 1st CO; 16th IL; 2nd IN; and many others.

This is a classic Civil War Union cavalryman’s sidearm in great condition that would stand out in a collection of revolvers or in a display of cavalry weapons and gear. [sr] [ph:m]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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