Author Topic: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period  (Read 565 times)

Online Long Johns Wolf

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Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« on: June 07, 2022, 02:38:22 AM »
Hello from Germany,
I am in the middle of composing an article for a German gun journal on the history of the LeMats and their replicas.
Regarding the LeMats' Ante-Civil War and Civil War period I collected sufficient material and also on the limited use of their metal cartridge variants during the Franco-Prussian War.
Where I am at a complete loss is the use of their C&B Civil War versions by lawmen, outlaws on the Western frontier.
Can you pards and pardettes, please provide some information or links to famous or not so famous names of people who carried and used them during the second half of the 1860 through say the 1880s.
Thanks a bunch & regards,
Long Johns Wolf
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Offline LongWalker

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2022, 04:24:28 PM »
The only mention I can recall of the LeMat in the west during that time period was of one shown to a few people as a curiosity.
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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2022, 05:55:56 PM »
I'd be amazed if you find anything:  As nice as the paper stats may look, as a PDW it's awful.  Also, the ones that made it thru the blockade were mostly issued/sold to ANV officers, virtually none making it to the Western armies.

 I imagine former CSS officers back east putting it above the fireplace as soon as they could get something else.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Cap'n Redneck

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2022, 10:15:02 AM »
Mr. Wolf; I trust You have access to a copy of Doug Adams' book "The Confederate LeMat Revolver" from 2005?

On page 111 it lists 26 LeMats by serial number that have reported Confederate use and association.

As mentioned a lot of them were presented to or bought by Confederate staff officers.

The following two were owned by soldiers associated with the Western Theatre of war:

#197: Captain Albert G. Hervey, Co. F, Morgan's Battalion, Texas Cavalry.

#1942: J. Costa, 6th. Texas Cavalry.

In addition #105 was found on the battlefield at Chickamauga, TN., and #801 was found on the banks of the Harpeth River, site of cavalry action during the battle of Franklin, TN.


I suspect the most memorable use of a LeMat out west was by the fictional character "Gutzon, Swedish quick-draw champion" in the 1995 movie "The Quick and the Dead", featuring Sharon Stone as the quick.

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Offline River City John

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2022, 11:02:52 AM »
Mr. Wolf; I trust You have access to a copy of Doug Adams' book "The Confederate LeMat Revolver" from 2005?

On page 111 it lists 26 LeMats by serial number that have reported Confederate use and association.

As mentioned a lot of them were presented to or bought by Confederate staff officers.

The following two were owned by soldiers associated with the Western Theatre of war:

#197: Captain Albert G. Hervey, Co. F, Morgan's Battalion, Texas Cavalry.

#1942: J. Costa, 6th. Texas Cavalry.

In addition #105 was found on the battlefield at Chickamauga, TN., and #801 was found on the banks of the Harpeth River, site of cavalry action during the battle of Franklin, TN.


I suspect the most memorable use of a LeMat out west was by the fictional character "Gutzon, Swedish quick-draw champion" in the 1995 movie "The Quick and the Dead", featuring Sharon Stone as the quick.



2015 movie "Forsaken" has Keifer Sutherland wielding one in tandem with a Colt.
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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:31:41 AM »

Offline St. George

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2022, 11:44:37 AM »
Look at the 'Internet Movie Firearms Database' under 'LeMat Revolver' and you'll see they were used in a number of films/television shows - but those were movie guns used by actors and not historically used ones used by actual people.

In practical reality they were pretty much a 'horse pistol', rather than a 'belt pistol', and were both heavy as well as unwieldly - by 1865 there were sleeker and more reliable Colts and Remingtons in wide use - more, after they turned to cartridge weapons post-war.

Good Luck in your quest.

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Offline Mogorilla

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2022, 03:09:47 PM »
I really cannot remember the movie, but I believe it was George Hamilton (yes of the mighty tan fame) that had a LeMat Carbine.   ( I think it was a Time for Killing).   Anyway, it stuck out to me, but not a real use in the west.   

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2022, 05:05:40 PM »

West World??  Still just TV.  I don't remember ever reading historical information that included references to the LeMatt.  It seem'd to be universally despised.

Offline River City John

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2022, 07:05:41 PM »
Interesting fact:

In the movie I mentioned, "Forsaken", at one point during the final shootout Sutherland asks the hired gunslinger opposing him whether he'll let him get rid of the LeMat as it's grown too heavy to cart around.
And his opponent agrees.
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"He who will not look backward with reverence, will not look forward with hope." - Edmund Burke
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Online Long Johns Wolf

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2022, 01:06:14 AM »
Thanks, pards,
That helps a lot.
If your read German for the complete story check the September issue 09/22 of Deutsche Waffenjournal (DWJ).
Thanks again,
Long Johns Wolf
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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #10 on: Today at 01:31:41 AM »

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2022, 07:08:14 PM »
Thanks, pards,
That helps a lot.
If your read German for the complete story check the September issue 09/22 of Deutsche Waffenjournal (DWJ).
Thanks again,
Long Johns Wolf

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Offline Major 2

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2022, 07:05:34 AM »
Side bar  :)

Back in the mid-80's Navy Arms (Pietta) offered a pre-production on the new to be produced LaMats
The deal was you sent $100 to NA and when the guns were available, you sent $250
and  Navy Arms sent the gun of your choice Cavalry, Army or Navy Model.
  I ordered two Cavalry models, I think the wait was just about a year.

When they arrived they were VERY nice, well finished beautiful blued examples and at the time $350 (shipped)

However not particularly practical, the Cavalry model had a flawed design in the barrel retention.
The locking lever would loosen under recoil ( the Navy & Army models had spring retained pin a much better retaining lock)

The hammer on all models was a reach and you had to alter your grip the cock the piece.
Also the detachable, ramrod for the Shot Barrel was just friction retained and would loosen & fall out under recoil....

As cool as they were, they were not practical (I was into mounded cavalry reenacting)
Difficult to handle, and on occasion I had to dismount to retrieve the lost rammer.
At one point I was not successful in finding the lost piece. and had to make a new replacement.
I learned to put a slight bend in the rod on both guns that increased the bind and snugged the hold.

After about a year, I sold both guns got my initial money back plus a bit. 

Cool as they were, they were awkward to handle & shoot,
My guess is compared to the Colts, Smiths & Remington's readily available at the time,
The rarer LaMat would have been overlooked and dismissed.
They might have been regulated to an attic trunk, for future finds.

 
Edit: BTW I carried these two LaMats in Pommel holsters never as a side arm, that was a 2 Gen 1860 Army I still have today (purchased NIB in 1977).

when planets align...do the deal !

Online Long Johns Wolf

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2022, 07:36:30 AM »
Interesting findings, Major,
because this were about the flaws we noted when testing our Pietta made two LeMats, a Navy and a Cavalry.
My co-author's pistol is from 1997 (Cavalry), mine (Navy) was 2000 production.
Although they have the correct low hammer spurs you have to chance your grip to cock the piece when shooting duelist style ... which is in contrast to the Colt or Remmy designs.
The loading lever does not stay in place during recoil, kicks upwards ... as opposed to the Walker which would drop.
Accuracy with bullets is soso.
As a fighting weapon their weigh close to a Colt Dragoon but hold ony about 50 % of the powder behind their bullets.
One has to love them, ha.
Long Johns Wolf
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Offline Arizona Trooper

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2022, 05:38:51 PM »
Might also see if you can find a copy of Val Forgett's "Lemat, The Man, The Gun". Val was a huge LeMat fan and did a lot of research for that book. I don't have a copy, but if any of them found their way West, they are probably mentioned there. Worman & Garavaglia's "Firearms of the American West" doesn't mention them.

Offline Drydock

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2022, 06:51:01 PM »
FWIW department: Went thru my copy of "Arming the West: the western shipping records of Schuyler, Hartley & Graham".  Of the amazing variety of firearms recorded in their records, not one mention of the Lemat. 
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Cap'n Redneck

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Re: Help needed - LeMats Use during Post Civil War Period
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2022, 03:24:40 AM »
Checked my copy of Chris Hirsch: "The Texas Guntrade 1780-1899"; no mention of the LeMat there either....
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