Here’s a look at the historic LeMat Conversion Revolver used by Ed Harris’ character in the new HBO series WestWorld. It’s a fascinating weapon.
WestWorld is one of HBO’s new shows in their fall line-up. It’s loosely based on the 1973 Hollywood film starring Yul Brynner. One of the characters in the show is a dark, mysterious fellow with supposedly bad intentions, played by Ed Harris. Harris’ character carries an unusual pistol: a LeMat Conversion Revolver.
The original LeMat is a 9-shot, .42 caliber muzzleloading revolver that was used primarily by the Confederacy during the Civil War. It also has an 18-gauge shotgun barrel. However, in the television show, Ed Harris uses .38 caliber short Colt cartridges.
In the show he’s using a cartridge conversion system to accommodate cartridges rather than allowing the pistol to operate as a muzzleloader.
There are a few minor inconsistencies between the real gun and the television show prop. For example, the shotgun barrel would not come apart from the weapon when Ed Harris disassembles the gun, were it a real LeMat.
He also could not load a centerfire shotgun shell into the gun as he does in the show. The shotgun barrel on a real LeMat is a muzzleloader, and there is no practical conversion kit that will allow it to be anything but.
But the attention to detail is impressive in the show. Harris does actually switch the revolver’s hammer trigger pin between cartridges and shotgun. Very cool!
In any event, it is a highly unusual gun for a character to wield in a television show, especially a show that is pretending to be a western.
Check it out, you might be impressed at the attention to detail. But besides that, there are robots in the show, and who doesn’t love a show with robots?
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