Jean Alexandre LeMat

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"LeMat" redirects here. For the revolver, see LeMat revolver. For the actor, see Paul Le Mat.
Jean Alexandre Francois LeMat
Born Jean Alexandre Francois LeMat
(1824-06-09)June 9, 1824
Paris, France
Died December 15, 1883(1883-12-15) (aged 59)
New Orleans
Occupation inventor, physician.
LeMat revolver

Jean Alexandre Francois LeMat (1824–1883), is best known for the percussion cap revolver that bears his name (see LeMat revolver).[1]

Early life[edit]

LeMat was born in France in 1821 and studied for the priesthood at an early age. He decided against it and became a doctor.[2] LeMat immigrated to the United States in 1843 and in 1849 he married Justine Sophie LePretre, the cousin of U.S. Army Major Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. Beauregard would lead the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in 1861. LeMat was an avid inventor as well as a practicing physician and Beauregard financed some of these ideas.[3]

LeMat, secured US 15925  for his "Grapeshot revolver" design on October 21, 1856. British patents for the same design were issued in 1859, and he later designed a revolver rifle of similar concept as the handgun.


  1. ^ Cumpston, Mike (July 2005). "A Hail of Lead-the Confederate LeMat". Percussion Pistols and Revolvers: History, Performance and Practical Use. iUniverse. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-595-35796-3. 
  2. ^ Taffin, John (2005). Single Action Sixguns. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. pp. 187–188. ISBN 1-4402-2694-6. 
  3. ^ Adler, Dennis (28 March 2011). Guns of the Civil War. Zenith Imprint. pp. 205–206. ISBN 978-0-7603-3971-8.