Confederate Revolver Le Mat 1856. The LeMat revolver was a .42 or .36 caliber cap & ball black powder revolver invented by Dr. Jean Alexandre LeMat of New Orleans, which featured an unusual secondary 16 gauge smooth-bore barrel capable of firing buckshot. It saw service with the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War of 1861–65.:
Colt Model 1851 Cartridge Conversion - Silvercore Firearms Training BC Before and during the American Civil War revolvers were percussion cap and ball. That meant that each cylinder was loaded with loose powder and a bullet. Each chamber of the cylinder had a nipple which held a percussion cap, a small metal cap holding a bit of explosive chemical. When the hammer struck a percussion cap a spark was driven into chamber which ignited the gunpowder and discharged the pistol.
The Remington-Beals Model Revolvers along with subsequent models and variations were percussion revolvers manufactured by Eliphalet Remington & Sons in .31 (Pocket) .36 (Navy) or .44 (Army) caliber, used during the American Civil War, and was the beginning of a successful line of medium and large frame percussion revolvers. It saw use in the American West, both in its original percussion configuration and as a metallic cartridge conversion, as well as around the world.