Civil War Range Lefaucheux 12mm Revolver
- Product Code: FHG-1477-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
In many ways the large bore marital pinfire revolver, based upon the patents of Casimir and Eugene Lefaucheux was one of the most modern and advanced handguns to see use on the battlefield during the American Civil War. Thousands of these pinfire revolvers were imported for use by US troops, and at least a few hundred saw service with Confederate troops as well. Although US government purchases only record about 13,000 M-1854 Lefaucheux patent pin-fire revolvers as being officially purchased (along with over 2.2 million cartridges), surviving examples and regimental records indicate that far more than that were imported. The primary importer of M-1854 revolvers was George Schuyler who purchased 10,000 Lefaucheux revolvers for the US government. Most of Schuyler’s purchases appear to have been made directly from Lefaucheux in Paris. However, extant examples indicate that many Belgian licensed copies were also imported during the war. The Ordnance Department did not appear to differentiate between the French and Belgian made versions, much like they often lumped French and Belgian made muskets together without any distinction at all. Other importers who provided pin fire revolvers to the US government included Herman Boker, Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, George Raphael (who provided the Raphael revolvers to the US), Alexis Godillot of Paris (who provided the Perrin revolvers to the US) and even Tiffany & Company. US cavalry units that received significant numbers of pin fire revolvers included the 5th IL, 2nd & 5th KS, 6th KY, 8th MO, 1st WI and the 9th MO State Militia Cavalry. The Springfield Research Service serial number books list the serial numbers for 69 Lefaucheux revolvers that were in the possession of Company B of the 9th Missouri State Militia Cavalry during 1863. These 69 revolvers range from serial number 33,895 through 42,522. This 9,000+ range of serial numbers within a single company of US cavalry makes it relatively easy to extrapolate that Lefaucheux revolvers within the 25,XXX through at least the 45,XXX range are within the realistic realm of Civil War used revolvers, and clearly any pistols with a lower serial number could easily have seen use during the war as well. Confederate units under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest had at least a few hundred of these revolvers in their possession in late 1864. A May 25, 1864 Ordnance Report from Meridian, Mississippi by Forrest showed his 1st Division in possession of 190 French Pistols and his 3rd Division in possession of 160. It is almost certain that these French Pistols were Lefaucheux revolvers. Additionally, in 1864 the Selma Arsenal was offering Lefaucheux revolvers for sale to Confederate officers at a price of $25 each, including 12 cartridges. In August of 1864 Selma listed the following pistol ammunition in their inventory “For French Pistol (LeFaucheux) caliber .472k “ 52,800 rounds”. This is very clear indication that CS Ordnance Department was actively trying to keep ammunition available for a decent number of Lefaucheux revolvers in the field. Using the theory that the CS Ordnance Department was trying to maintain an inventory of between 20 and 50 rounds per pistol, this would indicate they were trying to keep between 1,056 and 2,640 pistols supplied from Selma alone.
The wonderful M-1854 Lefaucheux patent revolver offered here a classic example of a Lefaucheux produced revolver in about VERY FINE+ to NEAR EXCELLENT condition. The right side of the frame shows the standard LF prefixed serial number, in this case 32969. It is the typical 12mm, single action pistol with an octagon to round barrel that typified the martial pinfire of the Civil War. The top of the barrel is marked in a single line in the typical Lefaucheux fashion: INVON E. LEFAUCHEUX BRVT PARIS. The left side of the frame is marked with the usual two line oval Lefaucheux patent cartouche. The interior surface of the loading gate is marked with the assembly mark 51 U. These same characters appear between chambers on the rear face of the cylinder. The loading cut out is marked L / “. The face of the cylinder is marked with what appears to be an 8 on the front face. The gun retains about 60%+ original blue on the cylinder which has mixed with a lovely plum brown patina, a couple of small patches of minor oxidation and a small amount of touch up blue. The barrel retains about 75% of its original blue (more on the right side than the left), mixed with a smooth plum brown patina. There are some very light scattered patches oxidized freckling present on the barrel, with the balance smooth metal. The frame & hammer retain about 10%-20% very light and faded mottled case colors, mixed with a faded silvery-gray color and with patches of brownish age discoloration and minor oxidation. The gun is 100% correct and original with no replacement parts or repairs. It retains the original front site (the rear site is in the hammer nose), the lanyard ring in the butt, the original ejector rod and the original loading gate catch - all parts that are often missing and/or broken when these pistols are encountered. The original 2-piece grips are in about FINE condition and retain about 70% of their original varnish. The right grips are solid and free of any breaks, cracks or repairs. The grips show only the normal light bumps, dings and handling marks from actual use. The pistol has an excellent action that works crisply and correctly, with fine timing and lock up. The loading gate opens and closes freely and locks closed, as it should. The ejector rod functions smoothly as well. The bore is in about FINE condition as well. It remains mostly bright with excellent rifling and shows only some light scattered patches of very minor pitting present, mostly in the grooves.
Simply put this is a really nice example of the classic military pin fire pistol pattern that saw substantial use during the American Civil War. The gun is in really outstanding condition when compared to the condition these pistols are normally encountered in. This is a pistol with nothing at all to apologize for and is absolutely 100% original and correct. This pistol is well within the serial number range of known Civil War used marital pin fire revolvers and is just as likely to have seen US as CS use during the war. What else could you ask for in such an attractive Civil War era marital pin fire revolver”SOLD