Was the Civil War vintage LeMat revolver ever modified to take brass cartridges?
The LeMat cap and ball was immensely popular among Rebel cavalrymen and infantry officers. About 1,500 of them were shipped to the Confederate Army and Navy. It had a nine-shot cylinder. The central barrel was a smooth-bore that also functioned as a short-barreled shotgun. It wasn’t as bulky or heavy as a Colt’s Dragoon, yet it was hard-hitting. Between 1856 and 1865 some 2,900 of them were produced.
After the introduction of cartridge-firing revolvers, LeMat did make one for cartridges but they were pin-fire or rim-fire. For some reason they didn’t make a center-fire. Today there are replica center-fire LeMats, but they are quite expensive.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.