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Guns for the Pope’s Police: Mazzocchi Pinfire Revolver

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The revolver we are looking at today is a 9mm pinfire revolver adopted for the Papal Gendarmerie in 1868. At that time, the Papal States controlled roughly the same amount of territory as Switzerland today, and had its own armed forced for internal security – the Papal Gendarmerie. The Papal States had previously adopted a 12mm Lefaucheux revolver for its army, but this was deemed too bulky for the Gendarmes. So in 1867, they went looking for a smaller new pistol. The Mazzocchi brothers in Rome had been official armorers to the Vatican for three generations (their shop was actually located in Castel St Angelo until 1850!), and they won the contract for the Gendarmerie with this revolver model. A total of 2500 were made in 1868 and 1869, at 50 Papal Lira each.

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