Red Dead’s LeMat Revolver: Is It Realistic?

Whether you’re a gamer or not you might be interested in the way guns are used and depicted in video games. Games like Red Dead have been including guns for a long time with varying degrees of accuracy. In this video, Guns of the West talks about the LeMat revolver and how it’s used in Red Dead, for better or for worse. Is it done right? You’ll have to read on to find out.

Guns of the West talks about the realism of the LeMat revolver in Red Dead.
Guns of the West talks about the realism of the LeMat revolver in Red Dead. (Photo credit: Guns of the West)

What is Red Dead?

For this we jump to Wikipedia — one of the incredibly rare times Wikipedia makes a decent source — to tell the uninformed what this game is:

“Red Dead is a series of Western-themed action-adventure games published by Rockstar Games. The first entry in the series, Red Dead Revolver, was released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in May 2004. Originally developed by Capcom, Red Dead Revolver borrowed elements from their 1985 arcade title Gun.Smoke, to which it was intended to be a spiritual successor, but the game was cancelled in 2002. Subsequently, after acquiring the rights, Rockstar purchased Red Dead Revolver and expanded on it.”

Basically, it’s a video game with a lot of western-inspired guns in it, which makes sense considering that’s what this video covers.

What is the LeMat Revolver?

The LeMat revolver
The LeMat revolver. (Photo credit: Taylor Firearms)

The LeMat revolver is a percussion pistol dating back to the 19th century. It was designed by Dr. Jean Alexandre Francois LeMat, of New Orleans and produced between1856 and 1865 for use by the Confederacy. Not many of the guns were made — only around 2900 — making it a collector’s item. (Then there’s the fact it’s a pretty cool revolver to boost how much you want one of your own.)

The Smithsonian has the following information on the gun:

“This .42 caliber LeMat revolver has a nine-chambered cylinder and weighs about four pounds. What makes this revolver unique is the addition of a second smoothbore barrel, of approximately .63 caliber, underneath the barrel. This larger barrel was designed to fire buckshot. The top of the hammer was fitted with a pivoting striker that could be rotated to fire the .42 caliber rounds or changed to fire the lower, larger barrel.”

Is it Realistic?

Guns of the West started out by offering a visual analysis of the Red Dead LeMat revolver compared to a reproduction one made by Pietta:

“You’ll notice there is no loading lever on the left side of the gun [in the video game] but there is on the real gun — [mine] is a reproduction from Pietta, of course — but on the early models…it was on [the right] side…and that’s what they have done here.

“A couple other signs of it being an early model [include] you’ll notice this one just has a round trigger guard, on the real one, but this video game version has a little hook…and that was on the early version. Also, this little lanyard ring — you can see it’s just fixed and solid on this [real gun] but on the game it has a loose one that swivels. That is also correct for an early model. So far, I would say so good, on this.”

Interested in finding out what else they had to say about the Red Dead LeMat revolver? Check out the video:

Are you a fan of reproduction revolvers? Which one do you have?

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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