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This Second Model LeMat revolver was manufactured in Paris, France, circa 1862. This revolver has the unique LeMat combination of a conventional .42 caliber barrel with percussion nine-shot cylinder which revolves on a centrally mounted smoothbore .63 caliber/16 gauge "buckshot barrel". The revolver has the distinctive Paris features which include full octagon, .42 caliber, revolver barrel, loading lever on the left side of the barrel, pivoting hammer nose with central change lever on the hammer spur, rounded trigger guard with no spur and lanyard ring hole in the boss on the butt frame. The two piece grips are finely checkered European walnut. The top barrel flat is engraved "COL. LeMAT, BTE. S.q.d.g. PARIS" in a panel with engraved flourishes at either end. The right side of the barrel is stamped with the "*/LM" LeMat trademark. The serial number "1312" is located on: the right side of the barrel behind the trademark, right side of the frame, right side of the trigger and side of the cylinder. All of the visible serial numbers match. The loading assembly is original and numbered on rod and lever.

The LeMat revolver was developed by Dr. Jean LeMat of New Orleans, Louisiana, and patented in 1856. LeMat revolvers were manufactured in Liege, Paris and Birmingham c. 1856-1865. The total production is estimated to be fewer than 2,900 revolvers. Approximately 1,500 LeMat revolvers were purchased by the Confederate government during the Civil War and are the most distinctive of all Confederate associated firearms. LeMat revolvers are rare and very desirable Civil War era revolvers. Privately purchased LeMat revolvers were carried by a number of prominent Confederate officers such as General J.E.B. Stuart and General P.G.T. Beauregard. Prior to the Civil War, General Beauregard strongly endorsed the military procurement of the LeMat revolver. In fact, Beauregard owned 25% of the LeMat company and presented LeMat revolvers as gifts, including to Thomas Henderson of the Savannah Volunteer Guards and General Stonewall Jackson. Beauregard later sold his shares to LeMat for $10,000 after his relationship with LeMat became strained. By his marriage to Justine Sophie in April 1849, LeMat also became cousin to Beauregard who rose to fame as the Confederate general who ordered the first shots of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter and commanded armies in the Western Theater.

Very good condition. The revolver is original and has a mottled, silver-gray patina. The revolver has scattered light pitting and surface discoloration. The sides of the revolver barrel and shot barrel have vice marks near the muzzle. The revolver shows the hard wear associated with Civil War Confederate weapons. The 'ears' of the hammer are missing; not unusual. The percussion nipples show no flash pitting and are probably replacements. The barrel legend, LeMat trademark and serial numbers are crisp. The action is tight and functions perfectly. This is a solid representative example of a Paris Second Model LeMat Two-Barrel Revolver that saw considerable use most likely by a confederate soldier or officer.


 

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