Pinfire LeMat Grapeshot Revolver

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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.


Hi guys thanks for tuning into another Video episode on forgotten weapons comm I’m Ian I’m here today at the Rock Island auction house taking a look at Some of the guns that they have coming Up for sale in their April 2015 premier Auction one of the ones I wanted to take A look at is in this case right here we Looked at in the past we’ve looked at Some centerfire lamotte revolvers and People are reasonably familiar with the Original percussion lamont revolvers Well there’s a third version which we Have right here this is a pin fire LeMat Revolver so pin fire cartridges were Fairly popular in Europe they never Really caught on here but the LaMotte Revolvers were all being made in Europe This was the general design was patented In 1856 by man named dr. Jean Jean Alexandre Lamont who was actually a Resident of New Orleans at the time he Was unable to find manufacturing Facilities for them here in the United States so he ended up going to Belgium And had these manufactured in the edge Belgium this was obviously just at the Break out of the American Civil War and The percussion lamotte’s are best known For well for the fact that the Confederate States of America ordered Several thousand of them and actually Used them in military service now the Pin fire version is quite a bit rarer

These would have been manufactured in Belgium primarily for European use like I said pin fire didn’t really take off In the United States beyond that it’s Very similar to the percussion version Of the gun they were manufactured Basically at the same time these would Have been made between 1863 and 1865 the Company didn’t do very well and Ultimately shut down in 1866 Although LaMotte did make an effort in Years after that to market and sell his Centerfire versions which unfortunately For him didn’t go well either in total About 3,000 of the percussion lamont Revolvers were manufactured and probably About 1,000 of the pin fire guns this Has a nine round cylinder of 12 Millimeter pin fire cartridges and then It has the same kind of standard muzzle Loading still shotgun barrel in the Center axis of the bore a central axis Of the cylinder so why don’t I bring the Camera back here and let’s take a little Bit of a closer look there’s some Interesting differences between this and The And guns and then between this and the Center fire guns so the pin fire LaMotte Was made on the basically the exact same Frame as the standard percussion guns You’ll see the grip angles the same the Trigger guards are of the same style With our hammer we still have the option

To switch to hitting a percussion cap For the center shotgun barrel so when I Do that that hits a percussion cap while This hammer doesn’t come down far enough To actually strike a pin fire pin and Then we have a little snap that back up And you go back to firing the pistol Cartridges I said this is a nine round Cylinder unfortunately on this one the Lockup is in need of some repair so here We have the gun at half [ __ ] we can Rotate the cylinder freely in order to Load it you have a loading gate here on The side pop that open you can load each Cartridge one at a time of course have The slots here for the pins in the Pinfire ammo this was an early version Of a cartridge where you actually had a Round dowel like pin sticking out the Side of the cartridge when that pin was Hammered into the case it would set off A primer and fire the round you do have An ejector rod here latched into the Barrel there’s a little notch to hold it Up there and it comes out like that Interesting what I do have our criminal Limit marking underneath right there Now one really cool thing that comes With this boxed case set for this lamont Is this loading mold this of course was Included so that you could cast Projectiles for the shotgun barrel Either round ball or this rather odd Angular shape well as it happens we have

A number of those that come with it as Well there’s one and here’s a couple Others all right you may be wondering What on earth these little things are Supposed to be well when you look at Them in the right perspective got three Of them that line up just like that that Forms a single projectile just the right Size to load into the smoothbore center Barrel of your grapeshot revolver and Ram that home as a single piece and then When you fire it it breaks into three Separate projectiles so this is you know What this is an early version of Specialty exotic ammo like you can still Find in catalogs today it’s kind of Funny how that sort of thing Never really goes away but really it’s An interesting idea at the same time it Allows you to get the maximum efficiency Of getting mass into that center barrel Rather than using shot and packing it Trying to pack it as dense as possible Just use three segmented partial slugs Instead in addition in this case you get A cleaning rod for the long barrel the Pistol caliber barrel you also get a Separate cleaning rod for the short Smoothbore barrel you get a case of what Would have been originally I believe 500 Percussion caps there’s a few still in There oil bottle bore brush this is not An original Lamott bore brush that’s a Modern piece your bullet mold of course

And you get this package of already cast Projectiles including One round ball there are not many Markings on this piece and then we Wouldn’t really expect there to be we Have a serial number here Three two one four these were run side By side with the percussion LaMotte so That doesn’t mean there were 3200 pin Fires just means this was number Thirty-two hundred of LaMotte in general Made and then we have some Belgian proof Marks on the cylinder there we go an e LG right there that’s a typical expected Belgian proof mark that’s pretty much it You saw the the Colonel Lamont marking Under there and not much else on there Here we go there’s one other proof mark On the barrel let that focus crown over L that would be an inspectors mark Thanks for watching guys I hope you Enjoyed the video we’ve got a chance to Take a look at another unusual variant Of the Lamont and it’s always cool to Look at grapeshot revolvers like this so If you would like to add this one to Your own collection maybe you already Have a percussion gun and you’d like to Add another variant you will have the Opportunity in April of 2015 if you take A look at the link in the text below That will take you to rock island’s Catalog page on the gun you can check Out their high res pictures their

Cataloguers description and if you think It’s something you need you can create An account online place a bid online or Make plans to come here to visit the Auction in person thanks for watching

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