Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have an absolute monstrosity of a revolver. This is the centerfire LeMat revolver designed by the Frenchman Dr. Jean Francois Alexander LeMat. During the American Civil War Dr. Jean Francois Alexander LeMat designed a nine-shot percussion cap revolver with a fixed 20 gauge barrel as the center pin. these were popular revolvers with the confederate calvary and have a small cult following in popular culture today for their unique look. This is a much later designed centerfire LeMat. These are incredibly rare because well they are gigantic and strange looking and that usually does not translate to record sales or high production.
“Dr. Jean Francois Alexander LeMat (1821-1895) is best remembered for the percussion version of his “Grapeshot” revolvers which were famously used by the Confederacy during the American Civil War, but he continued to pursue and alter his designs in the post-war era. The centerfire variation of LeMat’s famous revolvers were introduced in the late 1860s and modified and improved multiple times into the 1880s. This example is similar to the design shown in the 1871 French patent extension. Like their famous percussion predecessors, these centerfire revolvers have a combination of a rifled barrel fed by a revolving cylinder and a central shot barrel. There is a loading gate on the upper right for loading the cylinder and a larger loading gate with a firing pin on the back of the recoil plate for loading and unloading the shot barrel. The hammer has a pivoting arm to switch to the shot barrel. The upper barrel has a triangular front sight, “Colonel Le Mat Paris,” and the oval “EP” marking. A notch rear sight is on the top of the recoil plate. A lanyard ring secured by a cross-pin is on the butt. The upper barrel, cylinder, frame, trigger guard, and grips are marked “31.”
Lot 3082: LeMat Centerfire Single Action “Grapeshot” Revolver. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/85/3082/lemat-centerfire-single-action-grapeshot-revolver.