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The Pinfire Page, Issue 5 – The Earliest Pinfire Shotshells
April 26, 2014



In this issue of my Pinfire Page[1] in the IAA Journal I took a look at some of the earliest pinfire shotshells ever made. Here is the info about them:


24 Gauge Pinfire Cartridge by Casimir Lefaucheux

24 Gauge Pinfire Cartridge by Gévelot


IAJ496eJournal-72   IAJ496eJournal-73   IAJ496eJournal-74


1.   Newcomer, Aaron. “The Pinfire Page.” International Ammunition Journal. 496 (2014): 72. Print.

2.   Leveau, A.. “Some of the Earliest Pinfire Shotshells.” International Ammunition Journal. 496 (2014): 73-74. Print.

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4 Gauge Pinfire Shotshell Box
February 1, 2014



This is one of the largest pinfire shotshells. There is also one, a 32mm shotshell, that is a little larger. These were used in large pinfire punt guns.


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Eley 20g Pinfire Shotshell Box
January 29, 2014



This is a box I picked up recently 20 gauge pinfire shotshells manufactured by Eley Bros Ld. They date to the early 1900’s.


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11mm and 8mm Pidault & Cordier (Raphael) Cartridges
January 24, 2014


What is commonly known as the Raphael cartridge was initially patented by a Frenchman named Charles Carroll Tevis in 1856. He was associated with a man named Pidault Martial and together they improved the patent and released the first Pidault centerfire revolver in 1858. Then on May 28, 1860 Pidault, in conjunction with Charles Cordier, patented this variation which has become known as the Pidault Cordier Revolver. A very similar revolver which does not have any markings on it by Pidault & Cordier was used in the American Civil War. It uses this same cartridge and is thought to be based on the same patent. On September 21, 1861 106 of these 11mm revolvers were purchased by the Union from George Raphael, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, for $26.33 each; making them one of the most expensive revolvers of the war. Some were stamped “Raphael / Paris” on the barrel. It is unknown if Pidault & Cordier or someone else manufactured these Raphael-marked revolvers.


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Gévelot’s First Pinfire Pistol Cartridge
January 20, 2014


Jules-Félix Gévelot was a close friend with Casimir Lefaucheux. He was given the original rights to make the earliest pinfire shotshells starting in the 1830’s. However in 1845, Jules Joseph Chaudun received a patent to make his pinfire pistol cartridges as shown on his manufacturer page. Because of this patent no one else could make pinfire pistol cartridges until the 1850’s. There were still some of Gévelot’s shotshells that were cut down to be used in pistols, but no specific pistol cartridges. After Chaudun’s patent expired, this cartridge shown is thought to be Gévelot’s first pinfire pistol cartridge.

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The Pinfire Page, Issue 4 – Russian Pinfires
January 19, 2014

The Pinfire Page, Issue 4

This issue of my Pinfire Page[1] in the IAA Journal was slightly different from normal. Its focus was on some pinfire headstamps rather than the whole cartridge. These cartridges were made by Russian companies and excavated from the ground in the Ukraine and in Russia. They are very uncommon in the United States or even in Russia. I was in contact with some people in these area that excavate various locations searching for military relics. A couple people even gave me some examples for free. They were just happy to spread their finds across the globe to someone who was truly interested.

The manufacturers mentioned in this article are: Е. Е. ТорбекаРусская Патронная ФабрикаSellier & Bellot and Я. Зимин.

Another neat headstamp that came from this region, but most likely did not originate from there is the following. It says System Lefauch. I assume they just ran out of room for the “eux” at the end!


1.   Newcomer, Aaron. “The Pinfire Page.” International Ammunition Journal. 495 (2014): 23. Print.

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The Pinfire Page, Issue 3
November 18, 2013

The Pinfire Page, Issue 3

Another great issue of the IAA Journal came out recently with my third installment of The Pinfire Page[1] in it. This month I covered the Belgian cartridge manufacturer, V. Francotte, May et Cie. Read all about them on their manufacturer’s page.

1.   Newcomer, Aaron. “The Pinfire Page.” International Ammunition Journal. 494 (2013): 41. Print.

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The Pinfire Page, Issue 2
September 9, 2013

The Pinfire Page, Issue 2

In this month’s column of The Pinfire Page[1] I talked about Chaudun, Chaudun & Derivière and Jullien et Gauthey Fréres. You can order the back issue on the IAA website.

The documentation for the information provided in the journal article is included on this website in the respective section for each manufacturer.

1.   Newcomer, Aaron. “The Pinfire Page.” International Ammunition Journal. 493 (2013): 33. Print.

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Updated the Pinfire Guns Section
August 23, 2013

Check out the newly updated Pinfire Guns section where I have added 29 new pictures and reorganized the page to give a better view of the guns.

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15mm Pinfire Auxiliary Percussion Adapter and Pistol
July 6, 2013

Here is a very unique gun that just arrived at my doorstep yesterday! At first glance it seems like any common 15mm double barrel pinfire boxlock pistol but it is quite different.

First it is quite a bit larger and twice as heavy. (I was shocked how heavy it was when I first picked it up!) It was made by the luxury gun manufacturer, P. Boissy somewhere around the late 1850s to 1860s. He manufactured his guns in Saint-Étienne, France and even won an award at the Exposition Universelle of 1855 in Paris for his “pistolets de luxe.”

This pistol has a few unique features. First it was made to work with the included 15mm percussion adapters which could be used with readily available powder, caps and balls if one ran out of pinfire cartridges. To use these adapters the rear sight/safety/pin-holder would be removed by unscrewing one screw which allowed the larger auxiliary adapters to fit in the holes.

When using it with pinfire cartridges, the piece that was removed to allow use of the adapters would be placed back on the gun and screwed back in. This partially fills the larger hole to allow a pin from a pinfire cartridge to be held steadily in place.

Many of the higher quality pinfire boxlock pistols have sliding safeties which would protect the cartridges from untimely detonation but this one has a unique way of protecting the pins. It has spring loaded, hinged safeties that automatically spring open when cocking the hammer, allowing for quicker firing.

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