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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2007 02:23 pm
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David White
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Having held an original in my hand this is an awesome weapon.

I think I held a later model because it had the adjustable hammer, I believe the tip of the hammer is lowered to fire the shotgun charge.  If I am not mistaken,  the earlier model had two triggers one for the shotgun charge and one for the roundshot.  Also I thinki they changed calibers of both barrells from the original to the final model too.

Last edited on Fri Dec 14th, 2007 02:24 pm by David White



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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2007 03:40 pm
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David White
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I think one of the advantages of the original model was you could pull with enough force on both triggers to deliver a ball and the shot at the same time.  The disadvantage was if you had thick fingers it was tough just to pull the shotgun trigger.



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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 02:04 pm
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Johan Steele
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Destruction caused would pale next to a double barrel shotgun and any advantage of the buckshot charge is negated by the very short barrel making it's effective range minimal... in fact a pistol really doesn't have that great of an advantage over a sword in a CW era CQB.  I've read scores of stories of men w/ pistols emptying their weapons and missing at 6'-15' ranges.   The CS thought them unimpressive and overpriced when compared to British & French pistols; and rightly so.

Actually I don't know of a model off hand w/ 2 triggers as such an arrangement would require two hammers unless there was some sort of disconnect.  S/N 19 as pictured in Swords work only shows one trigger w/ S/N 1422 pictured in Firearms from Europe also showing only 1 trigger.  THere were only some 3000 made w/ only about half that reaching the CS.  Among the problems were SERIOUS quality control issues such as the use of poor quality cast iron frames, indexing problems which prevented the cylinder from rotating & worst excessive variances between the barrel & cylinder... this can cause flash fires or  injury to the firer in the form of burns.  Not exactly endearing qualities in a firearm.  The LeMat's failure was in consistant quality control issues which in no way made it compare favorably to it's rivals.  It's a fearsome pistol, on paper.  THe CS inspectors refused many before they were even put on ship bound for the CS and word of failures in the field only condemns it further.

There are a couple books on the subject.  I'm fondest of Swords work: Firepower from Abroad The Confederate Enfield and the LeMat Revolver.

THe men who mattered preferred the Colt, Remington & Kerr.  All roughly half the weight of a LeMatt, smaller and more comfortable to carry.  The CS was desperetly short of pistols and didn't have the luxury to differentiate.  Saddle jolsters were in short supply, not to mention a problem as often when Cav fought it was dismounted, the majority of the time w/ their feet planted squarely upon moma earth.  THe Cav charges of Europe were very few & far between; while dramatic when succesful they were devestating upon failure.  Forrest was more of a raider and frankly not a Cavman in the traditional sense.  The reality is that shooting anything from a moving horse is a challenge and more grounded in hollyweird than reality.

The reality is that the LeMat is like the modern .44 Automag, .454 Cassul, Coonan or .50 AE Desert Eagle in that the men who have to carry and use one on the sharp end prefer something lighter and more handy to use such as the Glock, SIG, CZ, 1911 etc.

Last edited on Sat Dec 15th, 2007 02:22 pm by Johan Steele



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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 06:32 pm
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Johan Steele
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Any idiot can hit any other idiot w/ a big stick. Sword is simple, pointy end goes in the other guy; failing that just keep wacking the other guy w/ it till he falls down or runs away.

Pistol is sooooo much more complicated. Point, pull trigger repeat s needed.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 16th, 2007 03:34 pm
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Dixie Girl
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Poor squirrels!!!!



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Thu Dec 20th, 2007 04:43 pm
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younglobo
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Saber Fighting on the back of a horse does require some talent but, I would have to agree with Johan Hacking at your opponent comes pretty easy as long as you can handle your mount , leg control is the key (thats using your legs to guide the horse for those of you that don't ride)that leaves you a free hand for a pistol and saber unless you are the duke and can use your teeth. I would have to disagree with the fact that pistols were not very effective, have read several accounts of Bushwackers being feared for their ability to shoot with em. And as we say in the cav. "who would bring a knife to a gun fight anyway"



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 Posted: Thu Dec 20th, 2007 08:30 pm
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Johan Steele
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I prefer shotguns... 12 guage sawed off in the hands of a frightened shaking woman. Makes a .38 look pretty small.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 13th, 2008 08:01 pm
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Widow
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Mosby's Rangers gave up on sabers fairly quickly.  They much preferred pistols and shotguns.  They weren't interested in fighting battles, stirrup to stirrup, but rather they specialized in hit-and-run raids.

Widow



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 Posted: Tue Jun 22nd, 2010 07:48 pm
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blueshawk1
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The LeMat revolvers are very cool. I knew I couldn't even afford to get one of the black powder replicas, so I bought a non-firing replica. Just looking at that, brings home what an impressive weapon it was for the time.



 Posted: Tue Oct 30th, 2012 06:11 pm
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Darryl
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Pvt Clewell is right on the prices of an original LeMat and on the Henry rifles, even though his post is several years old. I saw an original Henry in the Kittery Trading Post in Maine in 1988 and the price then was 10,000 dollars. The last CW gun and relic show I went to the Henrys were marked no lower than 47 thousand. The iron framed one was 54 thousand. The LeMats are still around 25 to 35 thousand. The story every man in Stuart's cavalry had a LeMat is just that a story. A great many favored the 1851 Navy Colt in 36 and the 1860 Colt Army in 44.
Stuart did a own a LeMat and it broke on him sometime in the fall of 1863. He reverted back to carrying his Whitney Navy Revolver, a solid frame type that was a 36. The Confederate Spiller and Burr was a copy of the Whitney, but only in a brass frame.



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