The North & Skinner was an early percussion-fired revolving rifle design. Its design was patented in 1852 by Henry North and Chauncy Skinner (US Patent #8982), and the guns were manufactured from 1856 to 1859 by the Savage & North company (which was Henry North and Edward Savage – not the Arthur Savage who developed the Savage 99). About 600 of these guns were made in total, with roughly 20% being .60-caliber shotguns and the remainder .44 caliber rifles. Unlike many revolving rifle designs, the North & Skinner functioned as a lever action, with the trigger guard serving as lever.

North & Skinned revolving rifle with action open
North & Skinned revolving rifle with action open – note locking wedge at rear of cylinder (image from

The North & Skinner design also included several features intended to protect the shooter from the cylinder gap blast (which was a significant problem with all such revolving rifle designs). It used recessed chambers and a locking wedge that would push the cylinder forward to achieve a semblance of a gas seal (a bit like the 1895 Nagant revolver). How well this worked, I have not been able to determine – perhaps one of these days I will find an example of the gun that I can shoot and find out.


US Patent #8982 (Henry North & Chauncy Skinner, Revolver, June 1, 1852)



  1. Six “North’s rifles” were issued to Capt Samuel H. Walker’s Company of Texas Rangers in Mexico, April 1846.

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