PHOTO CREDITS: FLOYD "CHUNK" SIMMONS, former actor and stuntman. c. M.Jacquelyn Patterson 1991
YOU MEAN IT ISN'T A SEVEN-SHOOTER?
confusion about this Confederate weapon resulted from the decision to
ignore its real properties in favor of a myth the writers and/or producer
felt had more dramatic impact. In the show it is referred to as
a "seven-shooter." Case Thomas constructed it, and mentioned
he got the idea "from Colonel LeMat." He gave it to
Johnny in the first episode as an edge against the handful of villains
he had to face alone. (Not enough just to be the fastest gun
in all the West!) The seventh round was fired from the
shotgun barrel and served as a nasty surprise to bad guys counting shots.
It was said to hold six .45 calibre cartridges, and the shotgun
shell used was often referred to as a .410 gauge. Don recalls
with a chuckle the writers thought that "sounded bigger."
In fact, the LeMat originally held NINE .42 calibre percussion rounds, and the shotgun barrel, used with either slugs or "grapeshot," was approximately 18 gauge! Stembridge adapted it to fire nine .44 rimfire cartridges. A full-load .45 blank was inserted into a metal sleeve fashioned to look like a shotgun shell. It is this Johnny Ringo is seen loading into the shotgun barrel from time to time, and it produced an impressive muzzle flame. The small button on the right side of the hammer can be thumbed to reposition the firing pin from one barrel to the other.
OJALA designed and constructed
Photos copyright 1999 Don Durant
text on this page copyrighted M. Jacquelyn Patterson--1991-2009.