Original U.S. Civil War Era Belgian Engraved 11mm Pinfire Double Action Revolver with Liège Proofs Serial 4201 - c. 1858
Original item. Only One Available. This is a very nice large Belgian Pinfire revolver, made very much in the French style. It looks to be in 11mm Lefaucheux pinfire chambering, double action with a 6 round cylinder. Like most we see, there is no maker mark, but there are a few single proofs under crowns, and the side of the cylinder has the the E / L G / * in an Oval marking of the Belgian Gunmaking city of Liège in use prior to 1893. It also is marked with serial number 4201 on the right side of the barrel, and the lower left side by the joint has what could be a maker mark. 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 6 inch long barrel, and overall length of 10 3/4 inches. It features a standard trigger guard and trigger, most likely intended for use in a holster, not a pocket. The metalwork shows a peppered patina overall, and definitely looks to have seen some past oxidation, now cleaned away, especially on the barrel. In spite of this the floral and foliate engraving on the frame and cylinder is still clear. The French-style "Bag" grip still has great checkering on both of the wooden grip scales, and the lanyard ring on the bottom is still intact.
Functionally, the revolver cycles well in both single and double action. We did not notice any finicky behavior, with solid indexing and a crisp dry fire. The cylinder arbor pin and frame connection is a bit loose, so the chamber doesn't quite line up correctly at present. The bore is in very good condition, showing strong lands and grooves with a partly bright finish. There is some dirt, fouling, and oxidation in the grooves, but that is to be expected on a black powder revolver.
The bore is unfortunately well oxidized, and has not been cleaned in some time. The ejector works great, and the loading gate is present and fully functional.
A very nice Belgian pinfire revolver, most likely purchased by an Officer as his back or possibly main Revolver in the Civil War. In lovely condition and ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1860
Caliber: 11mm Lefaucheux
Ammunition Type: Pinfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 10 3/4 inches
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Action: Double / Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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