Philip revolver
Philip revolver

This is a three-cylinder revolver designed and patented by William H. Philip in 1873.


The Philip revolver is basically similar to a Colt or Remington revolver, but with three cylinders rather than one. The front cylinder is supposed to fire first, followed by the cylinder behind it, and so on. The cylinders can each be chambered for different calibers, although the largest caliber would have to be in the front cylinder since the smaller bullets need to be able to pass through the first two cylinders; if the largest bullet was at the back, it wouldn't be able to pass through the first & second cylinders since the chambers would be too small, likely leading to a misfire. Revolvers with more than one cylinder were a small trend in the USA in the mid-late 1800s, but none of the designs ever gained significant popularity probably because of their complex design and unreliability. More details of Philips' revolver can be found in his 1873 patent:

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