Benjamin Joslyn patented this .44 caliber, 5 shot, side-hammer revolver in 1858. He initially contracted with one W.C. Freeman to act as manufacturer and sales agent, but Freeman was unable to actually fulfill the first 500-unit order received from the US military.
The contract was cancelled, Joslyn brought manufacturing in-house, and proceeded to make 2500-3000 of the guns to sell on the commercial market. About 1100 of these were purchased by various units of the Federal military, including 225 bought (and formally inspected and marked) by the US Navy – one of few (if not the only) significant purchase of .44 caliber revolvers by the Navy. The guns did see combat at Shiloh and in other battles, but the records available show a generally poor reputation among troops.