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
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
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.