Starr Model 1963 Single Action Army
.44 Caliber Percussion
Date: March, 1864 SN: 29,676

Starr was the third largest producer of revolvers for the Union behind Colt and Remington. While Starr double action revolver production started in 1858 they did not start production of the single action until 1863. Total Model 1863 S.A. production was approximately 25,000 revolvers making them rare finds today.

On September 22, 1863 Starr entered into an agreement with Colonel Ramsey, acting Chief of Ordnance for its largest revolver contract for 25,000 of the improved Army Pistol at a cost of $12.00 each. The first 1000 of these revolvers was delivered on December 19, 1863 with this revolver (S/N 29,676) being delivered in March of 1864. The last shipment of revolvers was delivered on December 22, 1864.

In May of 1863 an officer from the Kentucky Cavalry shared the following opinion regarding the Starr double action revolvers: "The man who sold these pistols to the government and the contractor who bought them ought be hanged as traitors". The Single Action army was less complicated and was in a much more favored status. Over 831 Starr revolvers were sent home with enlisted troops at the end of the war.

Serial Numbers are found on the front bottom of frame, hammer rest, grip, front strap, back strap, cylinder and on the bottom of the barrel. Unlike the Starr Navy and Double action revolvers there is no serial number marking on the inside of the hammer shank, this one does have a "C" marketing present.  There are many inspectors and sub-assemblers marks, see images below for details. It appears a soldier has inscribed his initials into a monogram on the left side of the grip, this was not uncommon during the war. Also a Lanyard Ring is located on the bottom of the grip which is consistent with cavalry use and is of very old manufacture. Interesting note is the grip serial number is about 100 off of the frame (and other matching) serial number, could this have happened in field maintenance or when the lanyard loops were added?

Revolvers in this serial number range were reported as being in the inventory of the 7th Regiment, Michigan Cavalry and participated in the the following major campaigns (this represents some of the action seen by the 7th Cavalry):  The Battle of Gettysburg , Pa., June 30, 1963. Forces Engaged: 158,300 total (US 83,289; CS 75,054) Estimated Casualties: 51,000 total (US 23,000; CS 28,000);The Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7, 1864. Forces Engaged: 162,920 total (US 101,895; CS 61,025) Estimated Casualties: 29,800 total (US 18,400; CS 11,400); Appomattox Campaign (March-April 1865) led by Maj. Gen. George A. Custer who was a officer in the 7th Regiment, Michigan Cavalry.; Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865. Surrender of Lee and his army. Estimated Casualties: 700 total (27,805 Confederate soldiers paroled). Regiment mustered out December 15, 1865. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 1st Michigan Cavalry. Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 81 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 256 Enlisted men by disease. Total 343.

I am doing research on the Civil War revolvers so expect this page to be updated soon. Found on this page are images of all markings found on this Colt Model 1860 Army revolver. Are you a Civil War firearms collector? Would like to hear from you so we can share research and compare specimens. Regards, Ty Moore

Image 1- Left profile

Image 2- Right profile

Image 3- Legend

Image 4- "C" Inspectors
mark on barrel

Image 5- "C" and "L" inspectors
marks on cylinder. "L" on barrel as well

Image 6- Cylinder S/N

Image 7- Inspectors Cartouche
 on left and right side

Image 8- One piece Grip
S/N and "K" inspectors mark

Image 9- Grip
THC Monogram

Image 10- Serial numbers
Hammer rest

Image 11- Lanyard loop

Image 12- Frame S/N
"O" inspectors mark

Image 13- Cylinder view

Image 14- Trigger guard
assemblers marks "M".
Forward of trigger guard

Image 15- Hammer and
"C" inspectors mark

Image 16- Loading lever
and screws

Image 17- Frame patent mark
Notice matching "L" mark on
barrel and cylinder

Image 18- Front sight

Image 19- front and back strap
serial numbers

Image 20- Barrel Serial Number
From the collection
of T. Moore

Technical Information

Length (Overall/Barrel) 14 3/4 overall, 7-5/16 inch barrel with 6 groves
Weight 3 lbs
Caliber 44 (.451")

The Civil War started on February 9th, 1861 - The Confederate States of America is formed with Jefferson Davis as president.
The Civil War Ended in
May, 1865 - Remaining Confederate forces surrender. The Nation is reunited as the Civil War ends. Over 620,000 Americans died in the war, with disease killing twice as many as those lost in battle. 50,000 survivors return home as amputees.
John D. Macaulay's "Civil War Pistols of the Union"
Flaydermans guide to antique firearms and their values
The late David Radcliffe's 3 part series on the Starr revolvers

Click on images for larger image
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