Casimir Lefaucheux
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Casimir Lefaucheux
Casimir Lefaucheux
Casimir Lefaucheux.jpg
Casimir Lefaucheux
Born(1802-01-26)26 January 1802
Bonnétable, France
Died9 August 1852(1852-08-09) (aged 50)
Paris, France

Casimir Lefaucheux (26 January 1802 - 9 August 1852) was a French gunsmith. He was born in Bonnétable and died in Paris.

Casimir Lefaucheux obtained his first patent in 1827. In 1832, he completed a drop-barrel sporting gun with paper-cased cartridges.[1]

Lefaucheux is credited with the invention of one of the first efficient self-contained cartridge systems in 1836, featuring a pin-fire mechanism. This followed the pioneering work of Jean Samuel Pauly in 1808-1812. The Lefaucheux cartridge had a conical bullet, a cardboard powder tube, and a copper base that incorporated a primer pellet.[2] Lefaucheux thus proposed one of the first practical breech-loading weapons.[3]

In 1846, the Lefaucheux system was improved upon by Benjamin Houllier, who introduced an entirely metallic cartridge of copper brass.[2]

In 1858, the Lefaucheux pistolet-revolver became the first metallic-cartridge revolver to be adopted by a national government, becoming the standard sidearm of the French Navy.[2]

It is thought likely that the revolver with which Vincent van Gogh fatally shot himself in a field in 1890 was a 7mm Lefaucheux à broche; the pistol was found, extremely corroded, in about 1960 and is on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.[4][5]

A 7mm Lefaucheux revolver used by Paul Verlaine to shoot and wound Arthur Rimbaud in 1873 sold with a price of EUR435,000 at a 2016 Paris auction.[6][7]



  1. ^ Walter, John (25 March 2006). "Rifles of the World". Krause Publications – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c Kinard, Jeff (1 January 2004). "Pistols: An Illustrated History of Their Impact". ABC-CLIO – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Machine Guns: An Illustrated History of Their Impact - Page 15 by James H. Willbanks [1]
  4. ^ "The whole truth about Van Gogh's ear, and why his 'mad genius' is a myth". The Guardian. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Van Goghs ziekte, oor en zelfmoord voor het eerst uitvoerig belicht" [Van Gogh's illness, ear and suicide extensively discussed for the first time]. Van Gogh Museum (in Dutch). 12 July 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ France-Presse, Agence (30 November 2016). "Gun that almost killed Arthur Rimbaud sells for EUR435,000 at Paris auction" – via The Guardian.
  7. ^ "L'arme avec laquelle Verlaine a tiré sur Rimbaud vendue aux enchères 435 000 euros". 30 November 2016 – via Le Monde.


  • Henrotin, Gerard Lefaucheux 7mm pinfire revolver explained,, 2013
  • Henrotin, Gerard European percussion & pinfire shotguns explained,, 2011

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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