12mm pinfire, French made, 1859-1860

Maker: Lefaucheux

Caliber: 12mm pinfire / 12mm Lefaucheux

Date: Probably 1859-1860

Status: Original condition, in collection

This large revolver was the first model from Eugene Lefaucheux. The very first production models were a little different but this is how they were as of serial number 2000.
The production started in 1854 and in 1858 the demand became to large and production was entrusted to Manufacture de St Etienne. Based on the serial number this one is most probably from 1859 or 1860. With a total length of 29 cm and about 1020 grams it was and is a large gun.
The 12mm lefaucheux round was not as powerful as the .44 Colt revolvers but reloading was of course much faster. Because of that the desired army and navy contracts were soon in.
Next to several European military contracts this model found it's way to the American Civil War too. It is believed that 11.833 revolvers are officially delivered to the US Government and in total 1.815680 12mm bullets. Serial range falling between 20000 and 42000. (Based on information from a good source) Thus mine with serial number 11270 is most probably not been in the US.
More pinfire revolvers, also of other makers and other models, reached the war through other channels.

This revolver is largely in original condition. It has a lot of rust damage but was not rusting that much when I bought it. I de-rusted it but that was probably not the fist time that was done.
The markings on top of the barrel and the makers name on the left of the frame are almost worn away. Other than the rust damage and overall were it is still in working condition.
The displayed 12mm bullets are in about the same condition. A complete package ready to fire but I doubt if anything would happen and when so I doubt it will be safe to do so.

In parts

Rust damage

Rust damage