Starr DA & SA Revolvers at RIA (Video)

Starr revolvers are one of the less recognized designs used in the US Civil War, although tens of thousands of them were made and issued. Indeed, in many ways they were superior to the much more common Colt and Remington revolvers of the period. One of the interesting facts about the Starr is that the double action design came first, and was only replaced with the more typical single action design several years into the war (due to problems with price and complexity). Today we’re taking a look at a pair of Starrs, one single action and one double action. Ultimately the company shut down after the end of the war, and Colt would go on to dominate the revolver market in the United States. These two are coming up for sale at RIA on Friday the 20th, if you are interested in bidding on them.


  1. Starr was obviously inspired by Tranter’s (there is an idea for a next article 🙂 )1954 DA system where initially it had two triggers, one acting as cocking lever, other being actual trigger.
    Later Tranter’s models had only one trigger, but it was still a cocking lever, and a stud on the rear of it pressed on real trigger, which was hidden in frame.

    Interesting thing is that there were cartridge conversions of Starr revolvers, some got all the way to Europe. Oddest one I have seen was in 11x36mm Gasser:

    In the local museum (Belgrade, Serbia) I saw a pic from late 1860s of the group of Serbian officers, one of then was holding (percussion) Starr, rest had mix of Colt Navy (or Belgian or Austro-Hungarian copies) and pinfire revolvers..

  2. The British Beaumont-Adams was contemporary to Starr revolver, the first looks for me more “user-friendly” because it works as modern DA revolver.–Adams_revolver states that: “In the US, the Massachusetts Arms Company was licensed to manufacture about 19,000 specimens of the gun in .36 calibre, of which about 1,750 were purchased by the Union Army at the beginning of the American Civil War. They also made a pocket version in .32 calibre.”
    How evaluated were this revolvers? How many dollars it costs with comparison to single-action revolvers?

  3. As an owner of a Colt Navy replica, I can say that having a design that doesn’t have cap jams would be very nice

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