Here is a three-barrel revolver. It has three firing pins and a firing pin selector (barrel selector) switch at the back of the frame. You cycle through six (of 18 total) rounds, then select another barrel and fire six more. Thus in three full revolutions of the cylinder you have fired all 18 shots. Open the Smith & Wesson type break action for reloading. Apparently the idea didn’t catch on, as this is reportedly the single example of this gun. For one thing it wouldn’t be cheap, plus even in its small caliber (32 or 380 ACP – I forget) it wouldn’t be convenient to carry due to its bulk and weight. You can look it up if you want more information, but that’s just about it.


11 thoughts on “Firepower!

  1. Interesting! Neil Smith described an imaginary “Herron Staggercyl”, a two barrel revolver chambered for .270 REN. He didn’t describe the action, so I invented one. So far it exists only in sketches. My version is a semi-Rhino: one barrel above the cylinder pin, one below.
    Then again, there’s this blog post, with references to much older multi-barrel revolver designs:

  2. It may not be practical, but I can see it featured in the next sci-fi film.

    I can’t find the link now, but there was a side-by-side semi auto with two single stack mags. It was also pimped out to the point that it would have embarrassed a New Orleans madam.

    • It might be fun to take out at the range if you didn’t have to stand in the little booths so your neighbors could see your awesomeness.

  3. I have wanted a LeMat revolver (percussion, nine-shot cylinder with a smooth bore shot barrel in the center, selector on the hammer) for some years, though they’re pushing close to a thousand dollars for an Italian repro now and though it would be cool, the pure cool factor isn’t worth that much to me. I might go for a Remington revolving carbine at some stage though, as they’re cheaper. I already have more modern fighting guns than I can use, so anything more is just play.

    • I was just reading one of the old westerns by Karl May, which features a “Henry” rifle with a revolver cylinder. At least that’s how it’s described. 25 round capacity, no less!
      Did Henry ever make such a thing? I seem to remember some early repeating rifles were Henry, but I don’t remember that they had cylinders.

      • The Henry was one of the very first practical lever action rifles. I’ve yet to hear “Henry” and “revolver” in the same sentence, but I’ll look into it. I suppose it is possible, and anything possible in a gun has probably been done. The revolving carbine came out, well, a very long time before the 1860s. There were flintlock repeaters that could be called “revolvers” but Colt’s, Remington, and LeMat to name a few, did build revolving carbines in the 1860s as an alternative to the Henry. None of then did well in the marketplace. The revolving carbine was merely an extended version of their single action revolvers of the time, hence the LeMat revolving carbine had a shot barrel mounted co axial to the multi shot cylinder, while the Remington looked like a stretched New Model Army revolving pistol. Take the regular revolver, slap in a longer barrel and change the grip frame to accept a shoulder stock. Colt’s 1855 “Root” revolving carbine was substantially like the Root designed pocket pistols, and they later made one based on the Peacemaker design.

        Several intermediate designs involved a regular pistol with a longer barrel of about 12” and a detachable stock. One of these, made by Colt’s, was the 1851 “Navy carbine”. We might be tempted to call it a “Buntline” pistol, but they didn’t. The idea of a detachable shoulder stock for a pistol also goes pretty far back, well before what we know of as a revolver, as it was used on single shot muzzleloading pistols. Later of course it was used on auto pistols, as most of us have been familiar with the Mauser and Luger “buttstockable” pistols. It would be an NFA weapon today, and so you don’t see them for sale new other than as percussion repros.

        • The other thing to consider is that Karl May was a novelist — he writes plausible sounding settings and plausible sounding implements, but that doesn’t have to mean they are real. And he was German; I don’t believe he ever traveled to America.

          • Further it would seem plausable that someone might refer to any repeater as a “Henry” much as we hear people refer to any motorcycle as a “Honda” or any carbonated softdrink as a “Coke”. I don’t know.
            I did a little searching for evidence of a Henry revolver and found nothing of the sort. I did find this 1851 Savage & North revolving carbine. It puts the technology a few years farther back than I though, AND it has a front-to-back movable cylinder, something like the Nagant revolver, to eliminate the cylinder gap while it fires. Check it out;

            And since it uses a sort of “lever action” I could see how someone unfamiliar with guns, but aware of the famous Henry by word of mouth, could end up calling it a “Henry”. Even though the Henry came a bit later, the two did exist side-by-side during the Civil War.

          • I remember mention in passing of Karl May in German language class. He was a bit of a hack, and if I recall correctly, had never been out of Germany until he was in his late 50’s, after he had written most of his books.

          • Depends on what you mean by “hack”. He was, at least in his best known books, a writer for young people. Exactly like the earlier Heinlein novels, in fact. For that audience, those books were quite good.
            I just read two (neither of which I’d read before) courtesy One of them has some newspaper reviews from when the book originally came out. They quite consistently make the point that these are exciting books for boys, and while telling a compelling story they also nicely teach about good and evil. I think that’s correct; it fits what I saw.

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