Forgotten Weapons Finds a Forgotten O/U Shotgun

Ian over at Forgotten Weapons put up a new video covering a unique O/U shotgun. He isn’t sure what it is specifically beyond knowing that it was made in Paris by Lefaucheux. Lefaucheux was Casimir Lefaucheux, a French gunsmith who spent his relatively short life (by today’s standards, anyway) finding ways to improve on the era’s firearms. He got his first patent in 1827 but perhaps his greatest design came in 1836 with a self-contained cartridge that was an important early step towards breech-loading firearms.

Take a look and see what you think.


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  • Anonymoose

    Wow, I didn’t think 12 gauge shells were around back then.

  • Tassiebush

    This gun is definitely an interesting one. I must say a double that can be topped off a barrel at a time seems cool. It seems like it would have had to be a late project in LeFaucheux’s life given that it uses a centrefire cartridge.
    For those who don’t know about LeFaucheux he invented the pinfire cartridge. which was a very decent system for it’s time making a good match for a break action firearm. In fact it was the first successful self contained metallic cartridge. The other huge contribution we can attribute to him was the introduction of the break action. I’m unsure if he invented the system but he definitely introduced it to the world and we’re still using it.
    Interesting comments on forgotten weapons about this gun include one person who said he’d checked it out at a previous auction and it uses 2-1/2″ shells and another person speculated that it may have been his son’s prototype/experiment.

    • I suspect this was a later design inspired by the Martini rifle action.

      • Tassiebush

        Yeah I think you’re right about that inspiration. It’s pretty amazing to think of the huge amount of technological change in firearms during his lifetime and his direct role in that.

  • myndbender

    You’d be very hard pressed to find someone in today’s era come up with such a unique & interesting design, so it’s pretty mind blowing that was made in the early 1800’s. I also feel, however, that any product in it’s relative infancy is when one would see the most far out design concepts, as today’s small arms are pretty much at their peak until feasable caseless rifle/ammo combo or pulse rifle is at lgs or in an infantryman’s hands.

  • Fruitbat44

    Really interesting little piece. I guess it’s one of those moments where somebody said, “Let’s try something a little different and see if it catches on.” Well I guess it didn’t, but it’s still an interesting gun.