Here's a great example of a rare civilian model 1858 Starr Double Action Revolver. The Starr Arms Co. began production of the .44 caliber double action Army revolver in the Spring of 1861 with an emphasis on optimizing production to attract a potential arms contract with the US government. This goal would ultimately become a reality in the Summer of 1861 when the Army contracted with the firm for their newly produced revolver and would ultimately end up purchasing roughly 22,000 double action pistols between 1861 and 1863. However, prior to their contract with the Army, Starr produced roughly 6,000 guns between the Spring and Summer of 1861. These guns were sold on the civilian market and are noted by a lack of government inspection marks and a "*" prefix above their serial number, designated them as a civilian piece and not a stolen government model.
This particular Starr is an excellent example of the rare civilian model gun. It remains in very good, shootable condition. More importantly, however, this is one of the few original Double Action Starrs that still works! That's right, this Starr functions perfectly on both single action and double action.
Internally, the bore and chambers are good with some minor pitting throughout but good rifling. The lock up is nice and tight with minimal cylinder wobble.
Externally, this revolver displays a good honest patina. Uncleaned and unmolested, all manufacturer's stamps are crisp and legible. The grips are solid and in good shape with no cracks or chips missing.
All parts are correct and original; however the cylinder serial number does not match the rest of the gun. Interestingly, the cylinder serial number is actually earlier than the serial number on the frame, and is also a civilian piece as it lacks any subinspector markings; making it a period replacement; and not a parts gun. I have no doubt that this cylinder has been in this gun since the 1860's.