Lefaucheux-style revolver made in Liège, Belgium, circa 1860-1865. On display at Morges castle museum.
|Place of origin||France|
|Used by||France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, USA|
|Wars||American Civil War|
|Action||Double Action revolver|
|Muzzle velocity||168 m/s|
|Feed system||6-round cylinder|
|Sights||fixed front post and rear notch|
The Lefaucheux M1858 was a French military revolver, chambered for the 12mm pinfire cartridge, based on a design by Casimir Lefaucheux. It was the first metallic-cartridge revolver adopted by a national government. It was first fielded in 1858 by the French Navy, and though never issued by the French Army, it was used in limited numbers by the French Cavalry during their 1862 deployment to Mexico. Models were also purchased by Spain, Sweden, Italy, Russia, and Norway. Along with those countries, both the U.S. Confederate and Federal forces also used them in the American Civil War.
The revolver was a six-shot open-framed design, which was loaded via a hinged gate on the right side of the frame, through which empty cartridges were also ejected via an ejector rod running along the barrel.
The American Civil War
During the American Civil War both sides fielded a wide variety of revolvers, including the M1858. The Federal forces purchased over 12,000 M1858 revolvers, primarily supplying them to cavalry forces in 1862. However, these pinfire revolvers were replaced in service later in the war as more Colt and Remington revolvers became available. Among American troops, the pistol was often referred to as the "French Tranter".
- The Danish military fielded the Lefaucheux-Francotte M1865/97 in 11.45mm centrefire.
A western style pistol along with bullets and other related items were recovered in the Japanese artificial island of Dejima, a Dutch United East Indies Company settlement in Japan. They were found outside the wall of the Kapitan’s quarters. The Kapitan/Captain is the Director of Dejima Factory.
"The pistol is 31 cm in overall length with a caliber of 1.3 cm, a revolver of the type invented in the mid 19th century by the Frenchman Lefaucheux."
- Pistols: an illustrated history of their impact. Jeff Kinard. ABC-CLIO, 2004. ISBN 1-85109-470-9, ISBN 978-1-85109-470-7. Pg 110
- Kinard, 110
- The Guns that Won the West: Firearms on the American Frontier, 1848-1898. John Walter. MBI Publishing Company, 2006. ISBN 1-85367-692-6, ISBN 978-1-85367-692-5. Pg 98.
- Kinard, 110
- "Dejima Oranda Shōkan: Western style pistol and bullets, and related items"
- The Pinfire Pepperbox Explained by Gerard Henrotin (H&L Publishing / HLebooks.com - 2009)
- E. Lefaucheux 7mm pinfire revolver explained by Gerard Henrotin (H&L Publishing / HLebooks.com - 2013)
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