The Whitney-Beals Walking Beam Pocket Revolver is unlike any revolver you’ve ever witnessed, and it has a unique backstory to match.
At the time of its creation, Colt held a patent for the use of a hammer to rotate the cylinder of a revolver. Naturally, this made it difficult for anyone else to manufacture and sell revolvers. Together with Eli Whitney (the inventor of the cotton gin), Fordyce Beals filed his own patent to creatively get around paying royalties to Colt.
Ian from Forgotten Weapons has one on hand to explain how it all works.
The Whitney-Beals Walking Beam Pocket Revolver has quite an interesting action – about as odd as they come. The strange ring trigger allows the cylinder to rotate and to fire. This 7 shot .31 caliber revolver lacked a mounted loading lever to load this cap and ball black powder revolver. The cylinder was removed for loading.