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Model 1863 Starr Arms Company Army Revolver

Gun Room: What is it and what's it worth?

Gun Room: Model 1863 Starr Arms Company Army Revolver

Starr Arms Model 1863, .44, <30%: $400

Question: A neighbor friend passed on your information. We had been talking and I mentioned this Starr pistol that my father passed down to me. I do not know any further information. It had been in his drawer for 50 years, and then mine for the last 25-­plus. Is there value? I believe it should move on to someone in the hobby, or someone who has a special interest in these. I am not much of a gun person.

Is the serial number, 550XX, a late one? Maybe near the end of manufacturing? Also is it possible this was a civilian purchase, and not an Army issue? That could explain the star and heart inset onto the grips. Could that have been factory, or may it have been added after?

-B.C. of The Villages, Florida

Answer: You have a Model 1863 Starr Arms Company Army Revolver. These percussion six-­shots were manufactured from 1863 until 1865, with some 32,000 having been built. Caliber was .44, and the barrel length 8 inches. The single-­action Starr was a follow-­on to the Model 1858 double-­action model, which was fussy and rather complicated to use. As your example is rather worn, I cannot tell whether or not it had any military inspector marks. Some 7,000 or so civilian models were sold, but they differ little in value or appearance from the U.S. Army versions. The barrel on your gun has been shortened, and the grip embellishments are definitely aftermarket. Assuming it functions, I’d value the piece in the $375 to $500 range.

-Garry James

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