View Full Version : Help Id this French Antique Pistol

October 1, 2005, 01:00 AM
I think this is a civil war era french officers pistol.




T. O'Heir
October 1, 2005, 01:22 AM
"...a civil war era..." Which Civil War? It's a pin fire of some flavour, I think, if that helps. The hammer whacking the top of the cylinder indicates pinfire. 1870's I think.

October 1, 2005, 08:46 AM
I believe what you have is a Lefaucheux pinfire. IIIRC, E Lefaucheux was the originator of a pinfire system. The lower line on the photo should be the model name. I can't quite make it out as it is slightly blurred.
See http://www.horstheld.com/0-pinfire.htm for another LeFaucheux pinfire.

October 1, 2005, 11:05 AM
Thanks fal308 I think you nailed it.
Except mine has a trigger guard and is of course not in the same condition.
The model name you can't make out is enur Brevete. Same as mine.
The scrolling etching on my gun is different, more detailed.
I also have that exact same powder flask as included in their case.

Good find.


James K
October 2, 2005, 10:15 PM
The marking should read "E. Lefaucheux/In-er Brevete", or "E. Lefaucheux, Inventor, Patented". The gun may have been owned or carried by a French officer, but as far as I can determine, it was not a French issue pistol. The French navy used pinfires, but they were made in French arsenals and none were of that exact type.

As far as I can determine, the gun is a civilian gun. Those revolvers came into common use in Europe in the early 1850's, when Eugene Lefaucheux improved his father, Casimir's, invention and applied it to a practical revolver. They remained in use until the 1880's when central fire cartridges proved superior. Some pinfire revolvers were converted to center fire cartridges.

As for the American Civil War, Lefaucheux revolvers were certainly used. The U.S. bought over 10,000 of the 12mm model, and they are recognized as a secondary U.S. martial revolver. The C.S. bought a few, but disliked them because they did not have the machinery to make the cartridges. One was presented to a fellow named named Thomas J. Jackson, whom I believe had some connection with the war.


C Philip
October 2, 2005, 11:03 PM
Thats a very interesting looking revolver. Do you know how much they go for?

October 3, 2005, 08:00 AM
Thanks for the information Jim. I was hoping you would show up and give him the straight scoop.
I just did a five minute search using what I know of pinfires (not much).