Lepage Frères

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by murdoc rose, Apr 9, 2015.

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  1. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    I believe it's a Lepage Frères by Nicolas Joseph Dessard revolver with bring back papers from 1945. Is it normal to have capture papers with non military guns?

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  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes.
    There had to be capture papers to bring any firearm back, unless you smuggled it aboard the ship you came home on.

    rc
     
  3. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    They are called capture papers but they had nothing to do with how the firearm was acquired. The papers are simply authorization the bring a firearm home. The gun may have been won in a poker game or looted from a private residence ( most likely scenario ) .
     
  4. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    Anyone ever seen one of these guns before?
     
  5. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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  6. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

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    That really seems to be in very good to excellent condition.
     
  7. SDC

    SDC Member

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    It looks to be of the type called a "Montenegrin revolver", called that because the king of Montenegro ordered all of his subjects to own one (purely by coincidence, the king also owned part of one of the factories that made most of these). These were made from the First World War through the 1930s.
     
  8. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    This gun predates the montenegrin gasser but looks similar.
     
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Ugly gun...Beautiful art work.
     
  10. SDC

    SDC Member

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    Have you got a close-up of the proof marks, or of any address on the revolver? This basic style of break-open was patented in 1871, but stayed in production for a long time after that.
     
  11. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    No proofs since its french. As far as marks it says lepage freres on one side and paris on the other.
     
  12. SDC

    SDC Member

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  13. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    I have spoken to alan about it. That gun is very similar and I believe to be from the same craftsman. Mines a two digit serial number where his is a four. Little things like the top strap markings and the grip insert are different.

    Alan is very helpful where he can be and has always been quick to respond to me. If you ever send him anything make sure to send super high resolution pics if possible.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That goes without saying.

    Even here on THR.

    It's hard for anyone to tell anything about anything while looking at a blurry cell-phone photo!!

    rc
     
  15. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    Sadly there is very little info on the web about guns like this.
     
  16. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Damn, the spacing between the cylinders is super-thin. That thing would terrify me to shoot. Even a .22 usually has better than that.

    Don't forget that the French Resistance used whatever guns they could get their hands on, including ones like these. Most likely it was used in Resistance hands and somehow got traded or sold to a US soldier after the liberation of France. It was unlikely to have been looted from a home; more likely it was traded or won over a bottle of wine and a game of cards.
     
  17. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I would bet 'liberated' or won in a card game over used by the resistance. There were plenty of good quality modern arms from France, Belgium German and Britain in the area.

    It looks nothing like the revolvers made at St. Etienne (Le Page
    claimed Liege and St. Etienne as their manufacturing bases.) Whats strange is the lack of Belgian marks as they proofed even the lowliest of arms.

    It's certainly a looker.
     
  18. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    What is it chambered for?
     
  19. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    Ron James is correct; the so-called "bringback paper" was to satisfy U.S. customs, not to prove capture from the enemy.

    There should be proof marks whether the gun was actually made in Belgium or France, though since fewer French guns are seen in the U.S., French proof marks are not as readily recognized.

    The gun is a very typical large caliber European revolver of the era; the same basic design being made earlier in pinfire. There is nothing really unusual about it; the engraving is nice but not spectacular. It is probably in 10-11 mm, but there were several cartridges in that range, so further information would be needed to determine the exact caliber.

    As to romantic ideas about gun used by the Resistance, I doubt any respectable Maquis would toss his STEN or No. 4 rifle in favor of an long-obsolete revolver for which no ammunition would be available.

    Jim
     
  20. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    Jim while I know there where French proof marks since around 1700 I always thought it was common to see French guns without proofs. Something to do with them not being mandatory for smaller gun manufactures. There is also the chance that this is a "fake" branded gun made at the time period. As you said French guns seen in the U.S. are fairly rare and more than often military guns with well documented marks.

    This gun shows nothing of the sort as far as proof marks.


    It is 11mm something but as stated there where a handful of similar 11mm center fire cartridges at the time.

    I'm sure this was "confiscated" sometime during the war and probably not fired since the late 19th century.
     
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