Original French Engraved Brass 5mm Pinfire Pocket Revolver circa 1860 in Leather Bound Book dated 1771

Item Description

Original item. One of a Kind. This is just fabulous! Here we have a very nice French Pinfire Pocket revolver, made almost entirely of brass, which is fully engraved and most attractive. It is chambered for in the relatively small 5mm pinfire cartridge, and features a fold away trigger to keep the profile small. This made it very easy to conceal in just about anything.

In this case we have just the thing: A leather bound French book published in Paris, apparently concerning the modern histories of the Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Persian, Turkish, Russian, and other peoples. It is dated M. DCC. LXXI., the Roman numerals for the year 1771. The title pages and first 12 pages of text are still present, over a lined compartment made inside the rest of the book. This way the owner can look to be reading a book, but have the revolver at hand.

The pistol was likely made in France or the Belgian Gunmaking city of Liège, where many operations were making guns under contract to French makers. There is the serial number marking 1173 on the right side of the barrel, and CROWN / V proof marks on various parts of the gun.

The Pinfire system was the earliest form of "Cartridge" developed with a pin projecting out at 90 degrees to the cartridge case. When depressed by the falling hammer the cartridge discharged. At the time up against muzzle loading Revolvers these were revolutionary. Like most things by the end of the Civil War technology had moved on and in the late 1860's regular type cartridges as we know them today had been introduced.

This example follows the standard French style, with a 2 1/2 inch long barrel, and overall length of 5 1/4 inches. The revolver is complete made of brass, except for the hammer and inner workings. The condition is very good, and the revolver has a functional ejection rod and loading gate. It cycles well in single and double action, with no issues we could see. The ebony grips are in great shape, with a lovely color.

A fantastic concealed revolver set, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1860
Caliber: 5mm
Ammunition Type: Pinfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 5 1/4 inches
Barrel Length: 2 1/2 inches

Action: Double / Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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