SOLD FOR: $1077
Make: Starr Arms Co.
Model: 1858 D.A. Army Revolver
Serial Number: 16507
Year of Manufacture: 1861-1864
Caliber: .44 Caliber Ball
Action Type: 6-Shot, Double / Single Action, Dual Trigger, Top Opened Percussion Revolver
Markings: The left of the frame is marked “STARR. ARMS. Co. NEW.YORK.”, the right is marked “STARR’S PATENT JAN. 15, 1856”. The rear left of the frame is inspector marked “B”, found again on the left of the topstrap assembly behind the cylinder, on the cylinder, the front of the trigger guard, the top of the backstrap and the left of the barrel toward the rear. The left of the frontstrap, underside of the backstrap, front of the topstrap assembly (under the loading lever), side of the cylinder cylinder, bottom of the barrel (above the loading lever hinge), top face of the grip, underside of the hammer and right of the trigger are marked with matching serial number “16507”. There is another mark on the front of the topstrap assembly (under the loading lever) which looks like an interlaced “J” and “G”. The left of the grip has an “EF” in box cartouche (E. Ferrar) at the bottom, the right with “CSL” (Charles S. Lowell Maj., USA) in box at the bottom. The top of the frame, in the hammer slot, is marked “P 2 / 165”.
Barrel Length: 6”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is rounded blade, integral to a base that is dovetailed onto the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch in the hammer.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one piece walnut stock. The grip has scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches, three notches on the bottom-right edge which appear intentionally applied and more notable marring on the bottom face. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grip is in about Very Good condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued & Case Color
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright, the rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and infrequent minor pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 4% of its metal finish. There is case color on the left flat of the loading lever and some blue finish remaining in protected areas, strongest on the bottom of the barrel above the loading lever hinge. Most other surfaces have worn to white, showing scattered minor surface oxidation and infrequent erosion. There are several scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear, including a turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly, though it is not like a standard double action revolver. To fire in double action, the trigger can simply be pulled straight through from the front to rear. The sear is exposed at the rear of the trigger guard. The trigger directly interacts with the stop notches, and there are safety notches between each chamber. This means, in order to fire in single action, you must pull the trigger back enough to disengage the cylinder stop until the cylinder has advanced past the safety notch, then release the trigger to catch the cylinder as the hammer is pulled the rest of the way back. The safety is a sliding tab on the rear of the trigger with a bump. When up, the trigger can be pulled far enough to the rear to engage the sear. When slid down, the bump will stop the trigger on the frame before it engages the sear. Due to the exposed sear, this allows for single action fire, as the trigger can be pulled to the rear until the safety stops it, cocking the hammer, then the sear can be used directly as a trigger, giving a lighter, crisper trigger pull. Note: the sear can be engaged manually at any time, and care should be taken to not accidentally engage the sear when not expected. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Starr D.A. 1858 was an early double-action percussion revolver created just before the Civil War, produced in both Navy (.36 caliber) and Army (.44 caliber) variants, as well as later being produced as a single action revolver. With the outbreak of the Civil War, they were purchased in large numbers, eventually making up about 13% of revolvers used by the Union Army. The cost and complexity of the double action version of the revolver led to a lack of popularity, leading Starr to introduce a more simple, traditional single action only version in 1863. After the war, demand dried up significantly, and the extra price of the Starr was simply not competitive with offerings from Colt and Remington. This example has martial markings and all matching serialized parts, a very nice example of a Civil War issued Starr. The mechanics are still strong and the bore is even quite good for a 150+ year old black powder revolver which went through a war. It will make a fine addition to an American military small arms or Civil War focused collection. Please see our photos and Good luck!