Casimir Lefaucheux

Casimir Lefaucheux (French: [kazimiʁ ləfoʃø]; 26 January 1802 – 9 August 1852) was a French gunsmith. He was born in Bonnétable and died in Paris.

Casimir Lefaucheux
Casimir Lefaucheux
Born26 January 1802
Bonnétable, France
Died9 August 1852 (aged 50)
Paris, France

Casimir Lefaucheux obtained his first patent in 1827. In 1832, he completed a drop-barrel sporting gun with paper-cased cartridges.[1]

Lefaucheux is credited with the invention of one of the first efficient self-contained cartridge systems in 1836, featuring a pinfire mechanism. This followed the pioneering work of Jean Samuel Pauly in 1808-1812. The Lefaucheux cartridge had a conical bullet, a cardboard powder tube, and a copper base that incorporated a primer pellet.[2] Lefaucheux thus proposed one of the first practical breech-loading weapons.[3]

In 1846, the Lefaucheux system was improved upon by Benjamin Houllier, who introduced an entirely metallic cartridge of copper brass.[2]

In 1858, the Lefaucheux pistolet-revolver became the first metallic-cartridge revolver to be adopted by a national government, becoming the standard sidearm of the French Navy.[2]

It is thought likely that the gun with which the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh fatally shot himself in a field in 1890 was a 7mm Lefaucheux pinfire revolver. The pistol was found, extremely corroded, in 1965 and is on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.[4][5]

A 7mm Lefaucheux revolver used by Paul Verlaine to shoot and wound Arthur Rimbaud in 1873 sold with a price of €435,000 at a 2016 Paris auction.[6][7]



  1. ^ Walter, John (25 March 2006). Rifles of the World . Krause Publications. ISBN 9780896892415 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c Kinard, Jeff (1 January 2004). Pistols: An Illustrated History of Their Impact . ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781851094707 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Machine Guns: An Illustrated History of Their Impact - Page 15 by James H. Willbanks [1]
  4. ^ "The whole truth about Van Gogh's ear, and why his 'mad genius' is a myth" . The Guardian. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Van Goghs ziekte, oor en zelfmoord voor het eerst uitvoerig belicht" [Van Gogh's illness, ear and suicide extensively discussed for the first time]. Van Gogh Museum (in Dutch). 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ France-Presse, Agence (30 November 2016). "Gun that almost killed Arthur Rimbaud sells for €435,000 at Paris auction" – via The Guardian.
  7. ^ "L'arme avec laquelle Verlaine a tiré sur Rimbaud vendue aux enchères 435 000 euros" . 30 November 2016 – via Le Monde.


  • Henrotin, Gerard Lefaucheux 7mm pinfire revolver explained,, 2013
  • Henrotin, Gerard European percussion & pinfire shotguns explained,, 2011


Information as of: 09.08.2021 02:36:06 CEST

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