CG20. This is a rock solid example of a very popular Civil War revolving handgun that likely was imported by the US in 1861-1862. Overall, the weapon grades near FINE and retains over 85% of the original nickle-tin plating. The grips are in fine condition and the action is tight and crisp. The bore is exceptional and all markings are clear and legible. This Lefaucheux pinfire revolver was made in Liège, Belgium, circa 1860 – 1862. The original cost for one revolver and 50 rounds of ammunition was $17 in 1861. It is a single action (most civilian examples are double action) six shot revolver with a fixed front post and rear notch sight system.
The Lefaucheux M1858 is a French military revolver developed for the Navy and chambered for the “long” 12 mm pinfire cartridge (but will also fire the “short” pattern), based on a design by Casimir Lefaucheux and his son, Eugene. The 1854 model was the first metallic-cartridge revolver ever adopted by a national government and the M1858 was the first variant fielded. First issued in 1858 by the French Navy (as either the Lefaucheux de Marine mle 1858 or simply M1858), and though never issued by the French Army, it was used in limited numbers by the French Cavalry during their 1862 deployment to Mexico.
The revolver is loaded via a hinged gate on the right side of the frame, through which empty cartridges are so ejected via an ejector rod running along the barrel.
The LeFaucheux M1858 was one of the few foreign-manufactured weapons to have been imported by the U.S. government during the American Civil War. Over 11,000 were ordered by Federal authorities for cavalry use with most of these serving in the Western Theater. This number surpasses that of many American-manufactured arms and makes the LeFaucheux M1854 a significant U.S. martial arm of the period. Although not directly imported by the Confederacy, some Southern officers in both the Navy and Army are known to have carried LeFaucheux M1858 Revolvers.
I will include one original cartridge with this weapon!