Hiya everyone, Akumabito here from the BrassGoggles forum. I just signed up here because of Bill's project. Thought that this place was better suited to in-depth discussion of firearm tech than the steampunk forum I normally post in. I gotta say I just like bouncing ideas back and forth. I don't actually know a whole lot about firearms. So I guess my quick renderings are what happens when "non-gun-people" start shouting suggestions on gun smithing..
I should probably also add that I've only shot a few guns in my life, and that was quite a few years ago.. Plus, I've never fired a black powder revolver before, nor have I ever even seen an 1858 model revolver in real life, so my understanding of how they fit together and work pretty much comes from pictures on the net and a few YouTube videos. I just enjoy crazy mental excercises I suppose.. and it doesn't get much crazier than an automatic revolver..
Anyhow, could anyone tell me what the diameter is of the pin that holds the cylinder in place? And is there enough material in the frame of the gun as well as the cylinder to drill a slightly larger hole there? For an all-internal solution, I'm pretty sure you'd need a little more space to work with..
By the way, I just discovered that there are no new things under the Sun: I just came across US Patent 4,197,784 - Pretty much the same idea, only in over-barrel style, rather than underneath.. I could not find any references to any prototypes being built, but I suppose it works without causing damage to the gun by cycling too quickly..