In 1863 the US Ordnance Department persuaded the Starr Arms Company to manufacture a single-action revolver to replace the Colt revolver. The Starr revolver was designed by Ebanezer “Eban” Townsend Starr, son of Nathan Starr and the grandson of Nathan Starr both of whom produced edged weapons for the US Government and who designed firearms in the early 19th Century in Middletown, CT. Starr created the model 1863 Single Action “SA” revolvers from 1863-1865 and a total of 23,000 revolvers produced. Next to Colts and Remingtons, the Starr SA was the 3rd most issued of Civil War revolvers. Over 6,300 Starr revolvers, both Army and Navy models, were purchased on the civilian market in 1861. Starr constructed a new factory in Yonkers, NY for production of firearms.
This military contract purchase revolver has serial number 28,034 (numbers overlap with the double action series) on the inside of the trigger guard and on the cylinder. The martially inspected one-piece walnut grip shows honest use and wear and has a previous owner’s initials carved in the bottom of the butt. The right side of the frame, below the cylinder recess has the patent information. “Starr’s Patent Jan 15th 1856.” On the left side of the frame is the “Starr. Arms. Co. New York” stamp, all which remain sharp. The handgun is mechanically near perfect and all parts are original. The trigger return spring is a bit weak and fails to latch securely every pull–but, as it is the original, we have left it as it is. The cylinder rotates properly when the revolver is cocked but at times you need to gently toggle the trigger to make it fully latch. Reproduction parts are available online, should you feel the need to have it repaired. It appears that at some point in time (looks 1960-ish) the weapon had a touch up of blue color–but it had to be near fine at the time, as all markings are very crisp and very little pitting is evident. It was manufactured circa mid-1863 as part of the initial and only government contract.