✅ SOLVED All you CW bullet guys....is this a .40 LeMat?

Mason Jarr

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I have a Thomas & Thomas handbook and have looked through it thoroughly. The only bullet that comes close to this one is the .40 LeMat (T&T #22), a French manufactured revolver for the Confederate troops. If it is a .40 LeMat I have another predicament. I found it at the Indian Wars site I hunt that was used from 1865-1870. Considering the LeMat was only used by the Confederates, how do you suppose it ended up at a western fort site? Souvenir from the war? Captured revolver that was being used by US Army personnel? Former Confederate troop who transferred to the US Army and was serving in the west? As far as I'm aware there were no Galvanized Yankees at this site. It measures .417" diameter (at the widest point), .645" length and 157 gr for weight. Pretty close to what the T&T handbook lists for the .40 LeMat.
 

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TheCannonballGuy

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In my opinion, your bullet is the T&T book's bullet #22... a "European-made" .40 LeMat bullet.

The facts that the LeMat revolver was made in France, and (of course) so was its maker-supplied ammunition, could explain how you found your specimen at an 1865-70 site. Although the most famous civil war LeMat owner was CSA Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart, apparently troops from both sides in the civil war purchased LeMat revolvers. It's certainly possible that a yankee officer bought an imported French Lemat and ammunition which had been part of the cargo of a captured Blockade-Runner. The US Government auctioned off the captured cargoes, to help pay for the war.

Or, it might have been one of the "illegitimately manufactured" British-made .40 LeMats.

I should mention:
Firearms manufacturers in the mid-1800s, especially pistol-makers, generally offered a "proprietary" bulletmold for sale with the revolver, so you could cast your own bullets for it. In this case, proprietary means the mold produced a bullet whose form was designed by the firearm's inventor -- not a "generic" bullet. For example, it is known with certainty that "proprietary" bulletmolds were sold with Savage revolvers and Colt revolvers... and British-made Enfield rifles.
 
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Mason Jarr

Mason Jarr

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In my opinion, your bullet is the T&T book's bullet #22... a "European-made" .40 LeMat bullet.

The facts that the LeMat revolver was made in France, and (of course) so was its maker-supplied ammunition, could explain how you found your specimen at an 1865-70 site. Although the most famous civil war LeMat owner was CSA Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart, apparently troops from both sides in the civil war purchased LeMat revolvers. It's certainly possible that a yankee officer bought an imported French Lemat and ammunition which had been part of the cargo of a captured Blockade-Runner. The US Government auctioned off the captured cargoes, to help pay for the war.

Or, it might have been one of the "illegitimately manufactured" British-made .40 LeMats.

I should mention:
Firearms manufacturers in the mid-1800s, especially pistol-makers, generally offered a "proprietary" bulletmold for sale with the revolver, so you could cast your own bullets for it. In this case, proprietary means the mold produced a bullet whose form was designed by the firearm's inventor -- not a "generic" bullet. For example, it is known with certainty that "proprietary" bulletmolds were sold with Savage revolvers and Colt revolvers... and British-made Enfield rifles.
Thank you, sir! I was hoping you might see this post and offer your opinion.
 
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THing4CSA

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Hi My Fellow TH'ers
I checked my reference book "Some Civil War Bullets 2' by Thomas J. Stelma. On page 116 there is a .42 Cal LeMat revolver bullet that is almost exact match for your description. .418 Diameter X .651 long with the tie base. I would say that you should have many Congrats on that bullet! It is one of many on my bucket list! LOL ;-)
 
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Mason Jarr

Mason Jarr

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Nov 23, 2012
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Hi My Fellow TH'ers
I checked my reference book "Some Civil War Bullets 2' by Thomas J. Stelma. On page 116 there is a .42 Cal LeMat revolver bullet that is almost exact match for your description. .418 Diameter X .651 long with the tie base. I would say that you should have many Congrats on that bullet! It is one of many on my bucket list! LOL ;-)
Thank you! Yes, I see that they're highly desired bullets...and for me to find one out west of all places. I have another, smaller diameter bullet that has a similar shape. I don't know what it is either, but it's not the same as this one. I'll try to post it up later today.
 
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