LeMat “Grapeshot” 9-Shot Revolver/Shotgun Combo (Video)
Russ Chastain 03.23.16
When I was a young fellow in my teens, I was leafing through one of my father’s old books. This particular one was packed with photos and information about guns used by the Confederate States of America in the un-civil war, as Dad used to call it.
Anyhow, I ran across a number of interesting guns in the book, but when I discovered one in particular, a golden aura formed around the photos and angels sang as I read the text.
That gun was the LeMat “Grapeshot” revolver. The “grapeshot” moniker was most likely born of the desire to magnify the effectiveness of the gun. Grapeshot is pretty much a humungous load of great big shot pellets fired from a cannon.
This handgun had a nine-shot percussion (cap and ball) cylinder that revolved around a muzzleloading shotgun barrel! Holy handful of happiness, Batman!
The reality wasn’t so sweet, however. These guns were difficult to make and often broke down, which didn’t exactly make them popular on the battlefield. But they are captivating, and so they endure. In fact, numerous replicas of these guns have been made in recent years.
The video below features a couple of rare variants of the LeMat. One is a standard-sized handgun, the other a carbine, and both are centerfire instead of percussion.
Cue those angels again.
The handgun offers nine rounds of centerfire 11mm (the 11mm round was a standard French cartridge of the time) and a 20-gauge shotgun barrel, and when he brought it into view in the video, I laughed out loud with glee. You likey steampunk? If so, I think it will really blow your hair back.
Neither of the centerfire versions were successful products, but they sure as heck look cool and seem to have been carefully made.
Check out the video to see how they work.