Blast From The Previous: The LeMat Revolver

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Blasts From the Previous is a weekly have a look at nice previous weapons and underappreciated shooters from yesteryear. In case you have photographs of uncommon, attention-grabbing, or uncommon firearms, ship them to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.

The LeMat revolver is without doubt one of the extra attention-grabbing curiosities of the Civil Warfare—a revolver with a shotgun barrel within the heart, therefore its nickname, the “buckshot revolver.” It was invented in 1856 by Jean LeMat, in New Orleans. P.G.T. Basic P.G.T. Beauregard of the Confederacy was one among LeMat’s backers, and he carried one of many weapons throughout the battle, as did J.E.B. Stuart and Richard Anderson.

The LeMat was a serious firepower improve over handguns of the day. Not solely did it supply the buckshot barrel, however its revolver cylinder additionally held 9 pictures, versus the six of most revolvers. A small lever close to the highest of the hammer acts because the barrel selector. Flipping it up together with your thumb shifts the striker right down to hit the nipple over the shotgun barrel.

About 100 LeMats have been produced in Philadelphia, a lot of them prototypes. Most manufacturing weapons have been made in France and Belgium; shipped to England, the place they have been proofed; after which smuggled into the Accomplice States by blockade runners. In all, about 2900 have been made, 1500 or so of which reached Accomplice forces, the only real customers of the gun throughout the Civil Warfare. The French additionally used the LeMat within the Franco–Prussian Warfare, giving it a Zero-2 document in main conflicts, though it was by no means produced in giant sufficient numbers to make a distinction somehow. There was additionally a carbine model, which was even scarcer than the handgun.

The cased gun pictured here’s a first-model LeMat that belonged to Thomas B. Memminger, a Accomplice surgeon throughout the Civil Warfare and the son of Accomplice Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Memminger. It’s a really early gun (serial quantity 25). First-model LeMats have been all .40 or .42 caliber; a smaller, .35-caliber model adopted. Homeowners needed to solid balls to suit the non-standard barrels of the sooner LeMats. Later weapons had .44- or .36-caliber barrels that allowed them to make use of normal navy lead balls.

As a first-model gun, Memminger’s gun comes full with a .42-caliber mildew. It’s set to go up on the market at James D. Julia Auctions in October and is anticipated to carry between $25,000–$35,000.

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