Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3183: Civil War U.S. Contract Starr Arms Co. Carbine

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Fine Civil War U.S. Contract Starr Arms Co. Breech Loading Percussion Carbine

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,250 - $3,500

Fine Civil War U.S. Contract Starr Arms Co. Breech Loading Percussion Carbine

Manufacturer: Starr Arms Company
Model: Percussion-Carbine
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 21 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 392
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 111
Class: Antique

Starr Arms Co. of Yonkers, New York, manufactured 20,601 of these carbines during the Civil War. Designed by Ebenezer T. Starr and initially favored over the Sharps carbines in government tests, Starr carbines often received poor reviews from the troops due to misinformation concerning ammunition. An Ordnance Department officer spread the false notion that the Starr fired the same cartridge as the Sharps, and thus units were sent Sharps ammunition instead of the slightly longer Starr cartridges which led to misfires. When used with proper cartridges, the Starr is arguably one of the best breech loading percussion designs of the era. This example has the standard sights and factory markings, inspector initials "H.G.S." on the left side of the breech and ahead of the buttplate tang, matching numbered "17404" underneath the barrel and on the right side of the breech block, and two boxed script cartouches on the left wrist. The left rear of the stock is carved with initials "WW" (partial second W). Includes wood tampion. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine, retaining 60% plus original blue finish on the barrel with some light handling dings and scratches, frame retains traces of original casehardening with mostly scattered freckling, and 50% original case colors on the lock with some light freckling. Wood is also fine with scattered dents, scratches, and chips. Mechanically excellent.

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