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Picture 4


of firearms whatsoever) had occasion to instruct his fellow officers on the use of the pistol during the Second World War. His lecture consisted of just one sentence: “Gentlemen, if you have to use this, it is too damn late!” Bearing in mind the issue revolver was the Enfield or Webley MkIV both firing the anaemic 38/200 cartridge, he was probably right, (unlike the .455 Manstoppers of the Great War).


Another oddity of this revolver is the calibre - apparantly it fires .460, when Colts used .451 and Remingtons 454. Quartemasters must have just loved Mr. Starr! In practice, they probably used whatever was to hand and would fit in the chamber, and never mind the possibility of a chainfire.


Interestingly, Pedersoli now make a replica of this revolver, which should provide a good source of parts, especially the usual culprits, - the smaller springs. It is tempting to lay in a stock of these consumables for future fettling as required.


As well as the three revolvers Starr also made a four barrelled .32 derringer as well as 22000 falling block rifles very similar to the Sharps. From illustrations, they appear to be almost identical,


but I have never seen one “in the metal”; it would be interesting to compare the two. However, Starr was so dependant on military contracts that with the cessation of hostilities, the business was not sustainable, and it failed in 1867. Eben Starr died in 1899. The double action revolver has a 6inch round barrel, and an almost modern double action type grip. Like the Manhattan, described in a previous article, the cylinder has 12 locking slots. However, unlike the Manhattan where the hammer can be lowered between chambers, on the Starr the hammer has to be brought to half-cock and the cylinder then locks, with the hammer between chambers. This half-cock is really more of a safety notch, there being only two notches. To rotate the cylinder for loading in the conventional manner, it is necessary to pull the trigger beyond the safety notch. This notch also has to be used when opening the gun. The pointed nose of the cylinder arbor fits neatly into a recess in the frame.


Barrel cleaning is, of course, as easy as a Colt, and vastly preferable to a Remington. The serial number is on the cylinder and on the frame under the hammer, and on the barrel assembly. The barrel is surprisingly good, and there are traces of original blueing, which must have been


Target Shooter 21


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