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Author Topic: Richard is getting a LeMat  (Read 2424 times)

Online ssb73q

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Richard is getting a LeMat
« on: January 20, 2019, 09:59:04 AM »
Hi, while waiting until I can complete a purchase of a Pietta LeMat, I have been doing some research. This is one of the best videos I have seen on dissembling and timing on a LeMat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8yCFnPIlVg

I look forward to the day when I have it in my hands. It may be one of the more interesting BP revolvers that was ever designed.

Regards,
Richard
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Online ShotgunDave

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2019, 02:43:37 PM »
Congratulations Richard! I look forward to your report on it.
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 05:28:12 PM »
Cool Beans!!! :-*
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Online ssb73q

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 04:48:45 AM »
Hi, this is an interesting video on defarbing the LeMat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71kEBFbmGqw

These are the people that do that work for $250:

http://www.lodgewood.com/LeMat-Revolver_c_295.html

The idea is interesting in that they also include tuning, but I'm not sure I like the old look of defarb. Do you?

BTW, while waiting for the LeMat I ordered this LeMat book to fill the time:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1931464200/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 06:20:53 AM »
If anyone deserves a LeMat, it's you! (7&
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 06:34:07 AM »
I really like the defarbed and aged look but I would be hard pressed to do it to a nice finish.
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Offline sourdough

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 01:39:17 PM »
Richard,

I think that is a superb project! I viewed all 3 links you provided and, honestly, the first one was the most informative.

Insofar as the tuning, the first vid explains it very well. The guy goes step through step with disassembly, troubleshooting, takes his time, and comes up with a good solution even though this is the first LeMat he has seen, and then reassembles it to working condition. I give the guy 6 stars out of 5 for his presentation.

I like Mike Belliveau's videos but they do not explain much. The Lodgewood ad shows what they can do to defarb a gun, and that is all.

I collect Pietta 1851 Navy .36 type guns and would very much like to have a Pietta LeMat but the price is way out of my range, sir.

I wish you well with your project and am looking forward to pictures, PICTURES!

Regards,

Jim

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 05:09:10 AM »
Hi Jim, after seeing disassembly instructions for the LeMat in the book "Antique Firearms Assembly/Disassembly" by David Chicoine, that linked video is somewhat wrong. The video guy tries to remove the hammer screw without removing the side plate nut first. That nut needs a type of screwdriver head somewhat like a spanner, I ordered this spanner set:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017AG6Q3G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
If the owner of a LeMat expects to completely take down the LeMat for a through internal cleaning, they need to buy or make that screwdriver head. It turns out that the hammer screw doesn't need to be removed from the right side of the frame to get to the internals. Some of these early designed BP revolvers like the Paterson and LeMat makes me so grateful for the simplicity of the Colt 1851 and 1860.

I ordered a Lee 20ga round ball mold so I can make balls for the LeMat grapeshot barrel. The LeMat's short barrel is pretty ineffective for shot use over ten feet, but a single round ball should allow some effect at longer ranges.

All the reviews and LeMat instructions I have found suggest that tight fitting caps are a must to avoid chainfires. Remington 10 on the .44 chambers and CCI 10 on the grapeshot barrel. Mike has an excellent write up on a chainfire with the LeMat:
http://blackpowdersmoke.com/colt/index.php/topic,2696.msg27279.html#msg27279

I'm beginning to make a list of possible spare parts that I should have on hand, springs being a priority. Almost all the reviews of the LeMat that I have seen complain about the LeMat loading lever, much less leverage than a Colt or Remington. The loading lever usually breaks. I will load the LeMat using either the Tower of Power loading tool or an arbor press off the revolver. I would love to have a few extra LeMat cylinders, but they cost too much, $170 each.

I am looking forward to shooting the Glock of the 19th century, the LeMat.

Regards,
Richard
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 05:47:15 AM by ssb73q »
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 09:11:01 AM »
I read the same about the loading lever, Richard.
Since you seem to be quite handy with tools, I might suggest possibly making a "stuntman" loading lever from stainless to use on the gun and keep the original where it can't be damaged, or use a Tower of Power press to load off the gun. Not sure how easily that cylinder comes off, and you certainly don't want to buy any spares ($$$$).
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Online ssb73q

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 08:53:51 AM »
Hi Kirk, the barrel comes off the revolver very easily simply by dropping a lever and unscrewing the barrel. When I get the LeMat I will remove all the loading lever hardware, store that hardware, and shoot the LeMat by loading the cylinder off the revolver. I'll keep my eyes open for used LeMat extra cylinders.

I ordered an extra set of delicate parts that may fail in the future and new screws so I can keep the LeMat pristine. The first thing I will do is to tear down the LeMat and inspect the internals. The LeMat is coming from a fellow member that takes excellent care of his firearms so I don't expect any issues. The internals will then be stoned and tuned to have the LeMat working like an expensive swiss watch.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Online ssb73q

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2019, 09:34:45 AM »
Hi, an interesting write up on the LeMat revolver:

http://americansocietyofarmscollectors.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Confederate-LeMat-Revolver-Edmunds-v100.pdf

Notice all the references to LeMat's missing the loading lever.

My LeMat is due to arrive today, I'm juiced.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Online ShotgunDave

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2019, 06:41:42 PM »
Did it come today Richard?

Dying to to see it! (*3
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Online ssb73q

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2019, 05:12:50 AM »
Hi Dave, yes, the LeMat arrived yesterday. I am very impressed with this revolver. Based on internet reviews I expected a revolver that was difficult to operate, especially thumbing the hammer. This 18yr old used LeMat was exceptionally smooth to operate and timing is perfect. I had expected to do a lot of internal polishing, but since the action is so smooth, that may not be necessary. I took some quick photos to show. They are not the greatest, but will revisit photos when lighting conditions are better. My LeMat:








Some Pietta LeMat parts on hand if ever needed:



I'm now going to tear down the LeMat to inspect the internals.

I'm a really happy camper!

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2019, 07:58:09 AM »
Hi, the LeMat was torn down for internal inspection. Grease was used in the revolver that was removed with a toothbrush and paint thinner. I don't use grease in my BP revolver internals, just Ballistol. Grease tends to goop up with BP fouling that is a pita to remove when cleaning. Ballistol lets me just rinse the parts in hot soapy water, much easier than when grease is use. The hammer nose spring on the hammer was weak and replaced. Inspection of the bolt showed that the front of it was bent, see left area in the photo:



I didn't use a range rod, but concern for cylinder to bore alignment had me proactively replaced the bolt. The original bolt could have been bent back if I didn't have a replacement.

Timing of bolt drop on hammer pull back is super easy. There is a tiny screw next to the hammer screw that regulates bolt timing. This arrangement for bolt adjustment is much slicker than with Colt's or Remington's.

The last issue I will address is that it takes a lot of hand pressure to start barrel removal. The same for screwing the barrel home. Since I will load the cylinder off the gun, I want to lighten the force required. I need to be careful since changing the mating surfaces may affect barrel/cylinder gap, but a little light surface stoning may do the trick.

The loading lever has been removed and will be stored. Loading the cylinder off the revolver has no use for the loading lever.

Too bad the temperature outside is 5-degrees F with blowing snow. I can't wait to shoot my LeMat.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Online ShotgunDave

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Re: Richard is getting a LeMat
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2019, 09:36:19 AM »
Oh boy Richard! She's a beauty! Thank you for showing us.

Bummer about the weather. I am very impatient and would have a hard time not being able to load it up and fire it. Looking forward to better weather so we can enjoy your range report.
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