One of the rarest models of LeMat grapeshot revolver is this, the “Baby” LeMat. This is a substantially smaller gun than the normal LeMat, although it retains a 9-shot cylinder and a central barrel. In the Baby, however, the cylinder is in .32 caliber (rather than the standard .42) and the central barrel is .41 caliber instead of .63 (and in this specific pistol, the central barrel is rifled, where they are normally smoothbore).
These Baby LeMat revolvers were made under contract for the Confederate Navy, although production was very slow, and the contract was cancelled when even the first shipment of guns have not been receiver many months after it was scheduled. In total, only 100 of the guns were manufactured, and these were inspected and delivered to a Confederate representative in London shortly after the contract was revoked (the CSA agreed to take those guns which had been finished at that point).
Interestingly, I found that the Baby LeMat handles quite well. The standard LeMat is a very heavy and poorly balanced handgun (in my opinion), but the reduced size and weigh of the Baby has an effect on its handling out of proportion to the measurable difference. Perhaps if this had been the standard model for the gun, they would have been substantially more popular on the open market…
Development of the LeMat: https://www.full30.com/video/7a91783c813bb926a093db6fe938133a
Cased Pinfire LeMat: https://www.full30.com/video/eed19ea428f6361e5836e30a588366ef
Category: Firearm Reviews Uploaded: 09/29/2016