Civil War Pinfire "Chimney Adapter"

Discussion in 'Antique Firearms' started by AaronN322, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. AaronN322

    AaronN322 G&G Regular

    Thought you all may find this interesting. I picked it up not too long ago.

    During the US Civil War many different types of cartridges were used. A lot of weapons systems are documented for the Northern army, but less is known about the Confederate.

    One thing that is known is that they had a lot less access to proprietary cartridges for specific guns due to blockades and some American companies not making cartridges for their army.

    The Union army has documents showing receipt of over 12,500 Lefaucheux (pinfire) revolvers (This is about 4% of their purchased guns.) There are no such documents for the C.S.A, though there are documents and pictures showing that they too used the pinfire system.

    Since the Confederate had a lack of proprietary cartridges, but had plenty of caps and balls an adapter was made to use the pinfire revolvers with a cap and ball, without modifying the revolver. This was unique because the adapter was re-useable as many times as needed and could be switched out with regular pinfire cartridges once they were again available.

    The adapter would fit in the cylinder of a 12mm Lefaucheux (pinfire) revolver (I even tried it in mine, it fits!) just like a normal pinfire cartridge. The "pin" of the adapter is tapered at the bottom so that it will fit in the slot opening, and gradually becomes larger at top on the part that sticks out of the top of the cylinder so that a percussion cap could be placed on it.

    The "pin" is hollow so that when the hammer comes down and strikes it it sends the spark down into the case where the powder and ball has been loaded into the case. The powder and ball would be loaded down the barrel or on other side of cylinder opening just like a normal percussion revolver.

    My sample has a cap on it, and some odd projectile shoved in it. It is almost rubbery. Maybe someone was shooting little rubber balls out of it in their basement in times past, who knows?

    I would like information on a maker, and also how it was made. Notice the odd tool marks from the metal being stretched. Any other information could be nice too.

  2. grizcty

    grizcty God, Guns, Glory Forum Contributor

    Great piece of firearm history!

  3. Never get enough of old firearms on here. Thanks Aaron for shareing that with us. I know there are or at least were a few pinfire collectors on this forum. I hope they can answer your questions.

    Seems now more people just want to refinish or reblue or cut up or cut down or restock or drill for a scope or just plain bubba a fine old piece of history instead of understanding what it is they have. Thanks again for the great pics too.
  4. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    learn something new every day!
  5. AaronN322

    AaronN322 G&G Regular

  6. grizcty

    grizcty God, Guns, Glory Forum Contributor


    Thanks for the informative link.