Lefaucheux M1858
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Lefaucheux M1858
Lefaucheux M1858
Revolver Lefaucheux IMG 3108.jpg
Lefaucheux-style revolver made in Liège, Belgium, circa 1860-1865. On display at Morges castle museum.
TypePinfire revolver
Place of originFrance
Service history
In service1858-1873
Used byFrance
Confederate States
Union States
Meiji era Japan
WarsFrench intervention in Mexico
American Civil War
Paraguayan War
Franco-Prussian War
Boshin War
Second Schleswig War
Production history
DesignerCasimir and Eugene Lefaucheux
Unit cost$17 per one revolver and 50 rounds (1861)[1]
Mass980 grams
Length280 mm

Cartridge12 mm Lefaucheux
Calibre12 mm
ActionSingle action revolver
Muzzle velocity168 m/s
Feed system6-round cylinder
Sightsfixed front post and rear notch

The Lefaucheux M1858 was a French military revolver developed for the navy, chambered for the 12 mm pinfire cartridge, and based on a design by Casimir Lefaucheux and his son, Eugene (also a gun designer). The 1854 model was the first metallic-cartridge revolver adopted by a national government; the 1858 was the first variant fielded[2] It was 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.[3] The 1858 was later upgraded in the late 1860s as the Lefaucheux de Marine 1870. It was accepted by the French Navy, but only 150 copies were delivered by 1872.[4] Models of the 1858 were also purchased by Spain, Sweden, Italy, Russia, and Norway. Most were produced either at the state arsenal in St. Etienne (MAS), Liege, Belgium, or local producers under license.[5] The revolver was sold to the civilian market as well. Most military models were produced only with single-action, whereas civilian models were made primarily with double action.[6]


A Union soldier with a sabre and a Lefaucheux revolver.
View of the opened hinged gate, with a pinfire cartridge partially ejected.

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 LeFaucheux M1854 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 imported by the Confederacy, some Southern officers are known to have carried LeFaucheux M1858 Revolvers.[7]


  • The Danish military fielded the Lefaucheux-Francotte M1865/97 in 11.45mm center fire.


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 (Captain's) quarters. The Kapitan 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."[8]


  1. ^ Purchase of arms, House Documents, 1861, P. 154.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Kinard, 110
  4. ^ LA PRODUCTION DES MODELES D'EUGENE LEFAUCHEUX. Guillaume Van Mastrigt. Crépin-Leblond, 2016. ISBN 2703004109, ISBN 978-2703004103
  5. ^ Van Mastrigt, 2016
  6. ^ Van Mastrigt, 2016
  7. ^ "NRA Museums:". www.nramuseum.org. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Dejima Oranda Sh?kan: Western style pistol and bullets, and related items"

External links

  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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