12mm French model 1854 Lefaucheux pinfire revolver with American Civil War serial number


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In 1862 and 1863 the United States Army imported a recorded 13,263 Lefaucheux model 1854 pinfire revolvers. 10,000 of these were a direct order from Eugène Lefaucheux’s company by the Army’s purchasing agent, Col. G.L Schuyler. Lefaucheux was also supplying Italy a large order at the same time as well as other customers. The other 3,263 were gathered from various gun dealers and suppliers in the United States and Europe. There is also an unknown amount of pinfire revolvers that the Confederate Army imported.

There are only 167 of these 13,263 revolvers that specifically have their serial number recorded in the national archives in any documentation that has been found so far. Much of this research has been done over the past few decades by Frank Mallory and the Springfield Research Service.

I have the listing of all of them, but we will list a few specific ones issued in 1862 to CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV

Serial # Issued Usage
32,004 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,346 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,424 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,513 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,515 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,527 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,732 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,733 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,749 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)
32,794 03/27/1862 CO D 2ND KANS VOL CAV (ISSUED)

The specimen for sale here is serial number 32,717 which fits right within this range that was issued to the 2nd Kansas Cavalry Regiment.

This gun has Eugene Lefaucheux’s French makers mark on it to the left of the serial number and the top of the barrel is inscribed: “INVon E. LEFAUCHEUX BREVETE PARIS”

The gun has clearly been heavily used and has some condition issues. It is missing the extractor rod as many of these are but does have the loading gate with the working spring to hold it closed. The single-action mechanism works fine and the hammer holds the partial and full cock. The cylinder indexes fine. The trigger releases the hammer as it should though the trigger sometimes sticks a bit and needs nudged back forward. At some point, someone tried, unsuccessfully, to drill out the the screw that hold the grips on so it does have the holes in the metal screw piece on the grips though it really does not detract too much from the look of the gun.

Overall this is a neat example of a French, Lefaucheux model 1854 revolver with the American Civil War connection and with an interesting grayish patina that is a little different than most.

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