A LeMat revolver could be yours… if you’re into black powder.
Film and television have a way of keeping a gun in popular consciousness. One such model is the LeMat revolver. The LeMat is certainly a unique design and was wildly innovative in its day. The unique look of the pistol has gotten it into various movies and TV shows, which have kept it “alive,” to a point.
You might wonder if you can buy one. You totally can! And not only that, you won’t have to go broke waiting for one at an auction!
There is a bit of a catch, though.
Coolest of the Westworld Guns
Lately, the LeMat’s been enjoying a bit of attention due to being carried by Ed Harris’s character in the HBO series “Westworld.” However, the pistol in the show is a prop, as it’s a LeMat conversion revolver, which didn’t really exist much in real life.
Other LeMats have found their way onto the silver screen. Adam Baldwin toted one in the cult classic TV series “Firefly” and the tie-in film “Serenity” (a man who carries that gun clearly isn’t afraid of anything) and it’s been featured in a number of novels, comic books and other media due to its unique appearance.
LeMat Reproductions are Available and Quasi-Reasonably Priced
An original LeMat would set you back a lot, but as it happens, Pietta makes a series of LeMat reproductions, which work very well and are actually fairly affordable, all things considered. Prices start around $1,100 or so, which in the world of revolvers isn’t half bad. A modern Colt Single Action Army is more expensive than that, though the Colt fires .45 Long Colt instead of .44 caliber ball. They even have the 20-gauge shotgun barrel, and it will fire.
They may not be the most common reproduction revolver in stores, but they are out there and they are available.
Just Don’t Expect a LeMat Conversion
However, you better not count on a LeMat conversion without some serious gunsmithing. Westworld’s prop department created a working prototype prop that fires .38 Short Colt, though this couldn’t work in real-life without a custom barrel and cylinder.
The original, you see, was a cap-and-ball muzzleloading pistol. Cartridges could never be used because the rims would overlap at the cylinder. Additionally, a shotgun shell can’t be loaded in the pistol because the shotgun barrel is fixed to the frame. The show’s version has a removable shotgun barrel, which wouldn’t likely be shootable under real-world conditions. (Can we say “catastrophic failure”?)
Cartridge LeMat revolvers were invented after the Civil War, but failed to achieve much success. They are exceedingly rare.
So, if you’ve got a serious jones for a LeMat, you totally can! But you best square yourself to shooting black powder.