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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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My new column in the International Ammunition Association Journal
June 22, 2013

The upcoming issue of the International Ammunition Association‘s Journal contains the first issue of my new The Pinfire Page. I will use this recurring column to showcase things related to the pinfire system. The following image is taken from this issue and is just a small example of the many things found in this publication. I also attached the index of this issue to show some of the other things that can be found. If you are not familiar with the International Ammunition Association you may wish to check out their website (which I happened to redevelop and maintain) at You can even download an example whole issue on the website at this link.

IAJ492 eJournal.pdf
Click The Pinfire Page for a full size PDF download


Now back to my column.

Here are some links to more information on the specimens featured in this issue.

The 15mm pinfire cartridge by Benjamin Albert

The Patronenfabrik J. Stahel cartridges

The arsenal made ones by Københavns Tøjhus

And a previous blog post on the first Chaudun revolver cartridge

Let me know what you think in the comments section of this post. Always feel free to ask any questions too.

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Soldiers from the American Civil War
March 11, 2013

On my quest for all things related to the pinfire system I have been especially interested in the role Lefaucheux pinfire cartridges and guns played in the American Civil War. You can read about some of those articles here: Articles. Over the past few years I have acquired a few images of soldiers from the American Civil War wielding a Lefaucheux model 1854 pinfire revolver.

First up is a CdV (Carte de visite) image of a soldier identified as being an Officer from New York. You may notice the metal stand behind him near his shoes. For those unfamiliar with early photography, it was not just point-n-click like it is today. It could take several minutes to expose the negative images so the subject had to remain very still the whole time. This stand probably went up to his neck to hold his head in the same place.


Here is a version of that image that I colored to give a better understanding of what he most likely looked like in color!


Next up is a tintype of Charles Allen from Gouverneur, St Lawrence, New York. He was kind enough to write his name and city inside the back of the tintype for me. He was a private in the 1st New York Light Artillery – Battery D.




And lastly, here is an early 1/9 plate melainotype of a soldier from the American Civil War. Based on his uniform he appears to be a Union Cavalry Sergeant. He has a Lefaucheux 1854 Pinfire Revolver on the table next to him. I personally think that he is missing his left leg as it appears that the bottom of his left pant leg is tucked under him toward the table. Some who have examined the image think he has both legs intact. Either way it is still one of my favorite images as it shows such an excellent view of the gun, and a soldier with such a stoic demeanor which I am sure was a necessity for those who had to fight their own countrymen during the American Civil War.



On close examination of the revolver one will notice it is loaded as one can see the bullets of the cartridges inside the cylinder. Also, when comparing my copy of a Lefaucheux model 1854 revolver with cartridges in it I have determined that he has loaded cartridges by one of the three American makers listed in this article as they were quite a bit longer than the imported, and typical 12mm pinfire cartridges.


That concludes the images I have gathered so far of American Civil war soldiers with pinfire guns. As a bonus I also have here an image of some young men from Michigan. The one on the left has one of the little 2mm pinfire guns used as a pocket watch fob. I have blown up that portion of the image to better see it as well!


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The First Pinfire Revolver Cartridge!
February 23, 2013

This is the very first pinfire revolver cartridge. It was manufactured by the gun maker, Jules Joseph Chaudun, in 1845 after he patented a new improvement to both Casimir Lefaucheux’s shot shell design and Jules Gévelot’s patent that simplified Casimir’s design. It is labeled as a .50 caliber cartridge which makes it effectively the first 12mm pinfire cartridge. The boxes contained 10 cartridges and are known to have contained cartridges with varying case lengths, and slightly different shaped bullets. It gives the impression that these were all made by hand. Some boxes would also have cartridges with round balls rather than the “candle flame” shaped bullet mixed in. The cartridges were initially made with the intent to work in Casimir Lefaucheux’s new pepperbox pistol. The July 5, 1851 issue of The Illustrated London News illustrates both this cartridge and that pistol together.

Chaudun Pinfire Box and Cartridge


Chaudun pinfire box and pinfire cartridge


 The July 5, 1851 issue of The Illustrated London News


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Pinfire Guns & New Comment System!
January 14, 2013

Big update today! I added the capability to comment on every blog post, every pinfire cartridge or pinfire box, and every cartridge manufacturer! I will add the capability to the other cartridges soon. Look around and comment on your favorite cartridge, box or manufacturer!

Here are a couple pictures from my most recent cartridge & gun photoshoot! This is a preview of some of the type of pictures that will go in the redesigned pinfire guns section sometime in the future.

Belgian 12mm Pinfire RevolverThis is a Belgian 12mm pinfire revolver. It has the rifled barrel proof mark on the barrel and cylinder, so it is post 1894, and then ★ over T for the inspector’s mark.


French Model 1858 12mm Pinfire RevolverThis is a Lefaucheux model 1854 Pinfire Revolver. Its serial number was used in the American Civil War.


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15mm Pinfire Boxes
January 7, 2013

I added pictures of the five 15mm pinfire cartridge boxes I have. You can see the on the Pinfire Cartridge Boxes page. All of these and a lot of the other boxes have multiple views of the box if you click through to each box’s page. Check back soon for many more boxes I will be adding.

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Handful of New, Rare Cartridges Added!
December 26, 2012

I added a few new uncommon cartridges and manufacturers. There is one that is believed to have been made for the guards at or someone involved with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan, one by Constant Costard, one by Felix Warnier, another by Heinrich Utendoerffer, a very rare set by HËRD’S which is thought to be Turkish or Syrian. And finally one by J.L.A., ones by Julien et Gauthey Frères, and lastly one by P. Segura y Hermano.

Then last, but definitely not least, one of the rarest ones in my collection, a 7mm pinfire case excavated in Ukraine. It was manufactured in Moscow, Russia by Русская Патронная Фабрика.

Russian pinfire cartridge by Pусская Патронная Фабрика

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Kynoch & Co
December 10, 2012

I added many Kynoch & Co. pinfire variations on their manufacturer‘s page.

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Pinfire Boxes Galore!
October 25, 2012

I know this is a long time coming, but I have finally made a new boxes section. The boxes will now be tied in with each individual manufacturer just as the cartridges are. The Pinfire Boxes section has also been updated to give a better view of all the boxes. Just like adding all of the cartridges, this will be a long process as I have many boxes to add. I will make sure to keep you updated right here; on The Cartridge Freedom Act blog!

Here is a picture of some 5mm pinfire boxes. These have all been added and can be seen under their respective manufacturers as well as the pinfire boxes section.

5mm Pinfire Boxes

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Pinfire Shotshells loaded by American Companies
October 18, 2012

If you have ever looked around my site or read any my articles you have most likely noticed that I have a strong focus on the role pinfire cartridges played in the United States of America. Today I added some pinfire shotshells that were manufactured or loaded by US companies. First of all is C. D. Leet of Springfield, Massachusetts. They are the only company known to have manufactured pinfire shotshells in the United States. They made them in both 10 and 12 gauge, I have placed 2 variations of the 10 gauge version online. Next is Von Lengerke & Detmold of New York City, New York. They had Kynoch custom make a headstamp and cartridge for them and then and loaded the shells here. I have placed a loaded and new-primed empty 16 gauge variation online. Lastly I added a rare specimen by Alex L. Semple & Co. of Louisville, Kentucky. He was only in business for 10 years. In the next couple weeks I plan to add one loaded by UMC.

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