.42 caliber, the extra barrel is .476 caliber, 19.687" octagonal-to-round barrel length; the extra barrel is round and 17.375". S/N 108; all numbers match. Next to the serial number on the right flat is LM under a five-pointed star. Top barrel flat is marked Colonel LeMat B syste[me] S.D.G.G. Finished in a highly polished blue, with extra fancy French highly varnished walnut stock. Eyes for sling swivels in the butt stock and on the middle barrel band. Two-leaf folding rear barrel sight and and small dovetailed sight with blade. Cleaning rod on the right side in between the barrels. Loading lever on the left side of the barrel. Some of the screw heads are engraved.
The LeMat carbine and its use by Confederate troops was of special interest to Cliff Young. In his chapter on this weapon in Murphy's 2002 edition of Confederate Carbines & Musketoons (Young, 2002: 158-165) Young notes that the LeMat carbine was the only foreign-made long gun and repeating arm made for the Confederacy. Young indicates that no more than 125 were probably manufactured under Confederate Army and Navy contracts. Because of the Union blockade of America's coastline during the Civil War, most never reached the shores of America.
Young's research recorded about 20 surviving examples as of 2002 with serial numbers ranging from a low of 2, to a high of 112. This example, serial number 108, fits squarely into the range of weapons produced for the Confederacy.
Young, Clifford M.
2002 "Le Mat Revolving Percussion Carbines". IN: Murphy, John M. Confederate Carbines and Musketoons, Graphic Publishers, pp. 158-163.
This is the finest known LeMat carbine and shows no evidence of ever having been fired. The entire gun retains most of its bright original blue finish, with just a hint of some light brown bleeding through in some small areas. The barrel bands retains original blue blending with some brown to plum. Loading lever has a speckled look with blue to plum. Cylinder retains most of the original bright blue finish with some plum on the face of the cylinder and one small spot in the middle of the cylinder. Trigger guard has some of the bright original blue finish with some turning plum. Both the upper and lower tang has a nice blue turning to a plum. Buttplate still retains most of the original bright blue finish. Stock still retains most of the highly varnish finish with a nice honey brown look highlighting the grain of the stock. Some nicks and dings and one minor scratch on the right side of the stock.
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