View Full Version : starr 36cal.

October 25, 2000, 06:55 PM
I had the opportunity this morning to look over a starr 36cal revolver......the pistol functions, actually the action is surprisingly smooth. The revolver shows heavy rust which isnt too surprising considering the pistol was found in civil war battlefield in pennsylvania, apparently. the only part that Im aware of that dosent funtion is the screw on the side of the frame which allows the revolver to swivel down. the revolver is complete including cartoche on the inside grip strap. and the serial number is 4 digits and readable, the rust has obscured the patent pending line, but it is readable except the last two digits of that line. The grips are original and have a chip out of the very bottom of the grip towards the front of the frame and its not that large nor does it take away from the appearance of this pistol.
any idea what price range this would be in?........oh yeah, the lever on the trigger to allow for a "set" trigger or cocking works.....Loading lever is attached.....and works...
One other curiosity---this revolver appears to be very superior to the colt black powder pistols of their day, any idea why it just didnt outclass colt or out sell them at least...tks fubsy.

James K
October 25, 2000, 11:26 PM
Hi, Fubsy,

The .36 Starr Navy revolver is pretty uncommon, as they only made 3000 of them, of which 2250 were bought by the U.S. They were made c. 1858-60. While they bring upwards of $2200 in fine condition, that one sounds pretty much like a relic and probably would be around $400 if that. If I wanted to loosen it up, I would try to remove the grips and then soak it in a solvent. G96 Gun Treatment is a good penetrant and should help.

Starr also made a DA .44 and a SA .44. The Starr's were fairly popular, though the DA is pretty hard and not really conducive to accuracy. They were not liked until the user became familiar with them, then they were considered good, rugged guns.

As you know, the SA is really awkward, requiring first that the gun be cocked with the cocking lever (aka the "trigger"), then the index finger removed from the "trigger" and placed behind the "trigger" to pull the sear or true trigger and fire the pistol. The hammer cannot be cocked with the thumb for SA firing.

All that being said, they were very rugged and reliable pistols. Starr finally gave up on the DA model and went to a straight SA whose hammer could be cocked in the conventional manner. About 23,000 of the .44 DA pistols were made in the same period and about 32,000 of the SA from 1863-65. Most were bought by the U.S. Army, although there were some civilian sales of all models.

All models were marked the same:
STARR ARMS CO. NEW YORK and STARR'S PATENT JAN. 15, 1856. Most Navy revolvers were not inspector marked, but those that were had JT on them. The .44's which were used by the Army were martially marked with the usual grip cartouche.



[This message has been edited by Jim Keenan (edited October 26, 2000).]

October 26, 2000, 02:13 PM
Thankyou, Jim.

I'd pretty much decided that the value inspite of the rarity of the caliber, was not all that high. Glad to know the rest of it.....tks...fubsy.