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Starr Carbine

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Cap'n Redneck:
From "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms", 9th. Edition, page 634-5;
(my comments in brackets)

Starr Cartridge Carbine.  Made by Starr Arms Co., Yonkers, New York.  Total quantity: 5.002.
The first 1000 were delivered by March 9th. 1865 and were issued to the Winchester, VA. Ordnance Depot at the end of the month.  By April 10th., 2.000 more carbines were received; the balance of the order completed by May 25th. 1865.  (The cartridge carbine evidently did not see action during the WBTS.)
.52 caliber rimfire. (same cartridge as .52-56 Spencer)
21" round barrel. 
Iron barrel band. (as opposed to the percussion Starr carbine, which had a brass barrel band.)
Buttplate and barrel blued, with casehardened lock and frame.
Walnut stock.
Sling ring mounted on left side of the breech.
Identical in most respects to its percussion predecessor, this model has a smaller, straight hammer.
Major markings are the same as on the percussion model, and serial numbers were continued from those arms.  The Starr company went out of business in 1867.

Values in 2007:    Good: $ 1.100,-        Fine:  $ 2.750,-


Peter Schiffers: "Civil War Carbines: Myth vs. Reality", pages 115 - 123 gives a good description of the percussion Starr carbine, its ammunition and practical use. 
Schiffers concludes that the bad reputation of the percussion Starr carbine during the WBTS was mainly due to two causes: 
- The original Starr linen cartridges lacked lubrication, thus causing excessive fouling and poor accuracy.
- The often substituted Sharps linen cartridges, while lubricated, could be pushed too far into the chamber of the Starr, causing misfires.

Win 1876:
Thanks for the information Cap’n Redneck,

So it is unlikely to be used in the Civil War due to it being manufactured  as a metallic cartridge carbine. Does anyone have any knowledge of how this carbine would have gotten into civilian hands? We’re they used in the Indian wars or surplussed after the WBTS? Is it possible to reload this round using the old mill out a rim and place a 22 rimfire blank instead of rim priming? Only doing this of course after safety testing? Finally does anyone know a current range of values for these carbines? I know it comes down to condition and I neglected to take pictures but a wide range of values will suffice if anyone knows.

-Win 1876

I have read accounts of Starr carbines used in Indian Wars during the early post-civil war years.  No mention of whether they were percussion or rimfire, but I suspect some may have been rimfire.


Major 2:
In the military trials in 1865, the Starr was not successful the US Army place no further orders.

There was a paper cartridge one, before, supposedly.  It has never been proved or disproved but the story is The 1st Nebraska Cavalry was at least partly armed with those possibly private purchase when the left the state to draw more equipment at Ft Leavenworth.  They were to be sent back to the territory to guard the boarders and the overland trails.  There they were hijacked by some SOB named Fremont and sent into Missouri and Arkansas then Tennessee a very interesting story.  Used as dismounted cavalry they used the Springfield and no one knows what happened to the Stars if they existed.


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