John Walch was a man trying to catch a ride on the Sam Colt run-away band wagon so he invented a firearm that fired more quickly. He took the popular revolver design and reasoned that one could carry more firepower with superposed rounds in each chamber.
About 1000 steel framed and 2000 brass framed pocket models were were manufactured from 1860 - 1862. Allegedly only 200 of the Walch 12-shot revolvers were ever produced around 1859.
There is a channel leading from the front load to the right nipple, and the left nipple fires directly into the rear of the chamber. When the trigger is pulled, the right hammer drops firing the front load. The trigger must be released before it can be pulled a second time to fire the rear load.
The revolvers did see use in the Civil War and I have run across several mentions that in late 1861 or early 1862, when the regiment was stationed in Kentucky, the whole of Company I of the 9th Michigan Infantry purchased Walch revolvers.
"Elisha Stockwell, a Wisconsin private, recounted an incident in which he and a fellow soldier armed with a Walch attempted to supplement their rations in a farmer's pig sty: "Reeder shot several times before he would give up. That gun wouldn't kill a hog, and the pigs got so wild we couldn't get near them."
For a Forgotten Weapons video on the Walch Pocket pistol go HERE .
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