Patent: Dr. Alexandre Le Mat

US 15925


Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 15,925, dated October 21, 1856.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, Dr. Alexandre Le Mat, of the city of New Orleans, State of Louisiana, have invented a new and Improved Center-Barreled Revolver; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the letters of reference marked thereon.

The nature of my invention consists in using a shot-barrel instead of the solid central cylinder, upon which the cartridge-cylinder of revolvers, constructed upon Colt’s and other similar systems revolve, and in adapting to such revolver a cock of such construction as to explode there with, at pleasure, either the caps of the cartridge-cylinder or of the central shot-barrel.

To enable others skilled in the art to make and use my invention, I will proceed to describe its construction and operation.

I construct my center-barreled pistol or gun in any of the forms known of Colts and similar revolvers, but instead of the usual central cylinder I employ a shot-barrel, S, which may either be screwed to the breech, as in Nos. 1 and 10 of the drawings, or wrought of one piece with the same.

The chimney of the barrel is placed in a recess practiced in the breech, as shown in 2 and 3, and at a slight distance back from the revolver cartridge-cylinder. There may be several methods to explode the respective caps of the revolving cartridge-cylinder and of the central barrel. For the sake of exemplification I have represented in 4 a top and side views of a slide which plays exactly over the chimney of the central barrel, as represented in 2 and 3. This slide being by a spring kept in the position as shown in Fig. 2, a cock constructed, as represented in 5, with two hammers would, upon the trigger being pulled, explode with its upper hammer the caps upon the revolving cartridge-cylinder, the slide 4 being in such position as to present no obstacle to its inner or lower hammer, while the same slide, being by a mere pressure upon its exterior button or knob pushed in the breech, as shown in 3, the cap set upon it would come to stand exactly over the chimney of the central barrel, and consequently the cock, on dropping, will strike with its inner hammer the said cap, and thus explode the same, leaving the cap of the cartridge cylinder untouched. To that plan, however, I prefer the following arrangement:

No. 11 of the drawings shows a cock with two hammers, a and b, the hammer at of such a length as to strike the caps of the revolving cartridge-cylinder and the hammer b to strike the cap of the central shot-barrel. The cock is provided with a slit, extending from c d to e f, to admit the insertion of the hammer b, and the latter, after being placed in said slit, is firmly pivoted to the cock on the nut g, which is permanently fastened to both side faces of the cock, but on which the hammer b is made to move freely thereon. The hammer b is dovetailed at its lower extremity, at the inner side of which is a notch, h, while the outer side forms a somewhat elongated bar, i.

At right angles with the above-mentioned longitudinal slit in the cock is a transverse slit, k, which corresponds exactly with the aperture l of the above dovetail of the hammer b. In this transverse slit plays a ring, m, mounted upon a spring, o, keeping it in the position shown in 11, and which embraces the outer bar, i, of the dovetailed hammer b while in the position shown in A, and the same hammer, being in the position exhibited in B, clasps the recess or notch h of the inner side of the dovetail. Thus the cock, being set as in A, and which I call its “regular form,” will, upon pulling the trigger, strike with hammer a the caps of the revolving cartridge-box; but upon pushing the ring in down the transverse slit k the hammer b will assume the position as in B, and the ring m, moved up again by the spring o, will embrace the recess or notch h, and thus hold it fast, so that on pulling the trigger the cock, with its hammer b, will strike the cap of the central shot-barrel.

No. 9 represents a shot-cartridge, which may be used for the central barrel in any of the usual ways. Nos. 6 and 7 are views of the usual revolving cartridge-cylinder.

The operation of my revolver speaks for itself, the cartridge-cylinder being charged in the usual way with bullets and the central barrel with shot. Now, in the firing of the bullet-charges the cock remains undisturbed in its regular form, as shown in A, 11; but when ever the central barrel is to be fired the ring in of the cock 11 is pushed down with the index finger of the hand holding the pistol, and and the hammer b is set with the other hand in the position as shown in B, when the ring m, returns up again to embrace the notch h of the dovetail of the hammer b by the elasticity of the spring o. The cock being thus set for the discharge of the center barrel, the trigger may be pulled and said barrel discharged. If there be any bullet-charges still left, the cock is again brought to its regular form, as indicated above, previous to pulling the trigger anew. A means of close defense and attack is thus given, heretofore not known or used, which in naval combats is especially invaluable.

What I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is—

1. The substitution of a shot barrel to the solid cylinder or pin upon which the revolving cartridge-cylinder of revolvers constructed upon Colt’s or similar systems of revolver, in the manner and for the purposes as described.

2. The gun-cock No. 11, with a double hammer, a and b, constructed and operating substantially as described, and for the purposes specified.


John S. Hollingseead,
C. Girard, M. D.