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MODEL 1863 STARR ARMS SINGLE ACTION .44 CALIBER ARMY REVOLVER – US ARMY ISSUE WITH CARTOUCHES – VERY NICE SPECIMEN:  This is a very nice example of the Model 1863 Starr Arms Company Single Action Army Revolver, featuring US Ordnance Department legible cartouches on both sides of the grip.  An improvement, with simpler mechanics and a less costly design, of the Model 1858 Starr Arms Double Action Army Revolver, the Model 1863 Starr Single Action was, following Colts and Remingtons, the major model of revolver purchased by the US Government during the Civil War.   

Showing little evidence of use, this Starr Single Action revolver presents very well and mechanics of this pistol are excellent - the cylinder indexes properly, the timing is excellent, and the hammer-trigger function is very crisp - very crisp, “as tight as a clock”.  

The matching serial number – 28252 – is present and legible on the frame, the cylinder, and the barrel, as well as the inspectors’ initials “B” and “D” on the barrel, cylinder, frame and trigger guard.  The Starr Company address and patent information is present and legible on each side of the frame below the cylinder cradle.  

The one piece grip retains the cartouches on both sides – partially legible on the left side and faint, but discernable on the right side - which confirms that this was indeed a US Army issued pistol.  The grip has some handling marks, but is overall smooth with a nice finish and naturally aged color. 

The metal surfaces are very smooth with no damage or significant wear apparent.  The bore is excellent, with bright, shiny surfaces in lands and grooves, clear strong rifling throughout, and only very minor patches of frosting.  The cylinder is likewise overall smooth with clean chambers, the face of the cylinder is smooth with no pitting from being fired, and all of the percussion cones are full form with no peening from being dry fired.  The pistol presents without the original blue finish.  There is minor pitting along the top of the barrel, but nothing that stands out.  The balance of the pistol retains an overall smooth finish with some evidence of having been cleaned without altering the profiles or dulling the sharp edges.  The photos accurately reflect the condition with no hidden blemishes or problems. 

Of some interest is that this particular serial number falls within a wide range of known Starr Revolvers that were listed in an inventory report of the arms carried by Company K of the 7TH Michigan Volunteer Cavalry in 1864.  The 7TH Michigan is the well known cavalry regiment commanded by George Armstrong Custer during the Civil War.  While this is no indication that this particular revolver was issued to that regiment, it is interesting that it falls within that range of Starr Revolvers. 

This is a very respectable and attractive Starr Single Action Army Revolver with all of the proper inspector stamps, and one that would be a good representative example of one of the key revolvers of the Civil War and early Indian War Cavalry.  (0777)  $1975

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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