Pinfire LeMat Grapeshot Revolver at RIA

Channel: Forgotten Weapons


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Colonel Jean Alexandre LeMat was a native Frenchman who emigrated to the United States and in 1856 secured a patent for a "grapeshot revolver", which had both a 9-shot .42 caliber cylinder and a 20-gauge smoothbore barrel acting as the cylinder axis. A moveable striking surface on the hammer allowed the user to alternate between firing the rounds in the cylinder and the center shotgun barrel. Unable to find a manufacturer in the US, LeMat had them manufactured in Belgium. These revolvers achieved most of their current notoriety as a result of several thousand being used by the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War - and those guns were percussion ones. However, LeMat also made a smaller number of pinfire variants for sale in Europe (where pinfire cartridges were much more common than in the Americas). This LeMat revolver is one of the pinfire examples, which still has a 9-shot cylinder and retains the percussion mechanism for the center smoothbore barrel. It comes in its original case, with several tools including a mold to make an interested 3-part segmented slug.