The LeMat revolver was one man’s progressive effort to provide European and American troopers the final word in single-handed, close-quarters firepower. Patented in 1856 by Jean Alexandre LeMat, a Frenchman dwelling in New Orleans at the moment, the revolver was a cap and ball muzzle-loader that includes a central smoothbore shotgun barrel, which additionally served because the axis for an enlarged revolver cylinder, usually .42-cal, that fired down an extended 6.75-inch parallel barrel. The shooter may change between the shotgun and the revolver by adjusting a pivoting striker on the hammer.
The weapon’s spectacular firepower potential attracted an 8,000-unit order from Accomplice forces throughout the American Civil Warfare, though solely about 2,500 of them have been delivered, with most going to the Accomplice military’s cavalry and smaller numbers to the Accomplice navy. The latter additionally ordered 2,000 smaller “Child LeMats,” with a shorter 4.5-inch revolver barrel in .32-caliber, although solely about 100 of those have been made.
For all its ingenuity, the LeMat was an ungainly and costly weapon. Its low distribution and single-action design meant that it was quickly outmoded by new generations of extra sensible double-action revolvers. LeMat subsequently produced each pinfire and heart hearth cartridge variations—and even a revolving carbine—in a useless effort to seek out business success.
The fight influence of the LeMat throughout the Civil Warfare could have been restricted, however the gun did have some well-known adopters, together with Basic P. G. T. Beauregard (who was additionally LeMat’s cousin and enterprise associate), Main Basic J. E. B. Stuart, and Lieutenant Basic Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. At the moment LeMats are due to this fact extremely collectible, their worth heightened by their rarity.