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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.
Type Pinfire revolver
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 1858–1865
Used by France, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Brazil
Wars French intervention in Mexico, Paraguayan War, Franco-Prussian War
Production history
Designer Casimir and Eugene Lefaucheux
Designed 1854
Manufacturer Various
Unit cost $17 per one revolver and 50 rounds (1861)[1]
Produced 1858–1865
Variants numerous
Weight 980 grams
Length 280 mm

Cartridge 12 mm Lefaucheux
Calibre 12 mm
Action Single action revolver
Muzzle velocity 168 m/s
Feed system 6-round cylinder
Sights fixed 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]


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 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 quarters. The Kapitan/Captain 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."[7]


  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. ^ "Dejima Oranda Shōkan: Western style pistol and bullets, and related items"

External links