The 8mm and 11mm Pidault & Cordier Cartridges (aka Raphael)


What is commonly known as the Raphael cartridge was initially patented by a French man 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.

12mm Unknown

Does anyone have the variation with the exposed primer? Also there may be a reloadable one talked about in the 1858 patent?

Fede, Chassepot, anyone else; care to improve on my description?


I have these listed {left to right} as;
8mm Raphael, 12mm Raphael, 12mm Moutier-LePage and 12mm Pidault & Cordier


Who made these cartridges? My 12 mm Raphael sample is identical to Pete’s sample #1031, with a more pointed bullet than Aaron’s sample.


8 mm Pidault & Cordier (alias Raphael)

9 mm Moutier Lepage
The cartridge on the left has LEPAGE MOUTIER PARIS raised headstamd
I don’t know if the longest cartridge on the right is a Moutier Lepage or an Pidault & Cordier, but I never seen a 9 mm Pidault & Cordier Revolver.

12 mm Pidault and Pidault & Cordier long case. The three cartridges on the left are brass tinned, their anvil is in iron

12 mm Moutier Lepage and Pidault & Cordier short case compared

12 mm Pidault & Cordier short case disassembled



Yves, wonderful variations! Thanks for posting these.



These are definitely great pictures.

So is the Pidault & Cordier cartridge considered 11mm or 12mm? Have you seen boxes for any of them??


I have a 8 mm Pidault & Cordier box … but without the top :-(

11 mm and 12 mm are used to designate the “big” caliber. I never seen an original catalog of guns or cartridges.



I recently picked up a long case 12mm Pidault & Cordier cartridge that is different from the ones chassepot posted. Mine is internally primed like the typical shorter ones.

Also, after photographing it I noticed that there is writing stamped on the bullet! I believe it says: D.T. NO 2

Any idea what that means?


How do these cartridges work? Obviously center fire, but how do they fit in the chamber and stay in place for the firing pin to strike the primer. Since there is no rim to hold the cartridge in place, it would seem that maybe the mouth of the case is pressed against a shoulder on the inside of the chamber to hold it in place. (Like some of the U.S> M1917 revolvers that can be fired with .45 ACP without using “moon clips” although extraction is a nuisance.)