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I have a Navy Arms-Pietta LeMat percussion cap revolver that needs work. The revolver has a sloping single action grip much like a flintlock dueling pistol. I cannot cock the revolver with my shooting hand.

Some original LeMats were made with grip/trigger/hammer configuration similar to Colt Dragoon models. Please identify a gunsmith who can alter the LeMat to this more usable shape.
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How were LeMat center barrels loaded during the Civil War? Specifically, I want to know how the shotgun load was held in position while the user rode hellbent-for-leather for hours.

The load could not slide or loosen and move toward the muzzle. If this occurred, the shotgun becomes a grendade. So somehow the shot load was anchored -- but HOW?
 

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Naphtali

The shotgun load was stabilized with card wads, just as in a BP shotgun. I find it takes two to stabilize a load of BB's, I haven't tried to load 00 Buck or buy the Navy Arms mold that makes larger balls for it. Larger balls should be much easier to stabilize than BB's. Remember too that it can be loaded with a single round ball, patched. Again, the same as a musket or shotgun.

My problem with the LeMat is that the rammer retaining spring is inadequate. I've e-mailed Pietta and had discussions with Mr. Pietta about this, have installed another spring, and still the loading lever comes loose by the fourth or fifth shot. I think the geometry of the spring is slightly off.

Sorry, I don't know anyone who is modifying this arm. If it is historically accurate and you have sources with diagrams or an example, why not contact Pietta? They may even be interested in manufacturing the modification. However you do it, don't expect it to be cheap.
 

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Grip shape

I've never seen any other grip shape than the one Pietta is copying, in photos of originals. The only variation is the addition in later versions of a spur on the triggerguard. A gunsmith could weld on a saw-handle bump at the top of the gripframe like the Smith&Wesson had to control the hand position. Easiest way to cock the gun actually is with the off-hand. Overshot wads, as mentioned, are used to contain the shot.
 
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