Original U.S. Civil War Era Belgian 9mm Pinfire Double Action Engraved Revolver marked MARIETTE BREVETE - c. 1860

Item Description

Original item. Only One Available. This is a very interesting Belgian Pinfire revolver, made very much in the French style. It looks to be in 9mm Lefaucheux pinfire chambering, double action with a 6 round cylinder. The left side of the frame is marked MARIETTE / BREVETE, indicating it was produced under a patent held by Meyers. The top of the barrel is marked T. WOLTER, which could be the name of the retailer, or possibly the owner.

It also is marked with a CROWN / V proof in several areas, usually seen on revolvers from the Belgian Gunmaking city of Liège. During the U.S. Civil War, the area full of contractors producing guns for the export market, particularly to the C.S.A.. Many were already making guns under contract to French makers, so they already had all the designs and tooling on hand.

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 5 3/4 inch long barrel, and overall length of 10 1/2 inches. The revolver was most likely originally produced with a bright steel finish, and still retains a good deal of this, though it is stained in areas, with some light peppering. The frame and cylinder have some very nice floral engravings covering them, which are well retained. It has very nice original checkered walnut grips, which have a great color and light wear from service.

This particular revolver has a very interesting reloading system, which is a type we have not seen before. There is a knurled knob on the bottom front of the frame, which is the end of a bolt that screws through the cylinder arbor pin. Unscrewing it allows the barrel assembly to slide forward, allowing the cylinder to be reloaded. There is an ejector rod to assist removing the spent cartridges.

Functionally, the revolver cycles well and is in double action only. It has good indexing and a crisp dry fire. The bore shows clear rifling, though there is also some oxidation and fouling, as to be expected. The trigger sometimes needs a little help to return forward due to a week return spring.

A very upmarket revolver no doubt purchased by a well to do Officer as a Back up Revolver in the Civil War. In lovely polished condition. Most unusual and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1860
Caliber: 9mm
Ammunition Type: Pinfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 10 1/2 inches
Barrel Length: 5 3/4 inches

Action: Double Action Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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