…but here’s a revolver (a carbine in this case) patented in 1852, that wedged the cylinder against the barrel, to eliminate the cylinder gap while firing;
It was also a lever action of sorts.
It came to my attention in comments here.
Previously, the Colt’s “Root” model of 1855 was the earliest true revolving carbine I’d known. Although there were repeating flintlock rifles and carbines from much earlier which used a revolving cylinder, the cylinder in those was advanced by grabbing it with the hand and rotating it manually. The flint versions that I’ve seen had multiple priming pans and frizzens, so they would have been a bit dainty in handling.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that Colt’s had a fully enclosed frame revolver (meaning it had a solid top-strap) long before the Remington/Beals, but Colt’s didn’t bother using the idea for their famous Navy and Army models, and they continued making “open top” revolvers right up into the 1870s. To put it another way; there wasn’t really all that much difference in the open top design compared to the enclosed frame designs when using the relatively low pressure black powder charges typical in a handgun of the time.
And let it not be said that the American founders could not have foreseen the repeating rifle or pistol as a fighting weapon. Many veterans of the American Revolution survived well into the 1840s, ’50s and even ’60s, and they didn’t suddenly cry out, “Waaait a minute!– We never expected anything like THIS!!! We’d better re-write that there second amendment thingy, and right now too…!!!” The Colt Patterson revolver came out in 1836 (an “assault weapon” of its day if there ever was one) and I don’t believe anyone in the Supreme Court suddenly re-thought the whole thing about the right to keep and bear arms now that we had concealable, practical, multi-shot firearms. The Colt “Walker” which was far more powerful and fired a bigger and heavier bullet came out in 1847.