Let’s start with some basics. The first revolvers ever created were developed in the mid-1800s. They used gunpowder, balls, and caps very much like you would’ve found in early pistols, but the big difference was that they had six separate chambers so a person could continue to fire beyond a single round.
Over time, the revolver has become a lot more sophisticated. In the 1870s the first bullet cartridge was created, meaning that users no longer needed gunpowder and caps. All they needed was the bullets, also known as a cartridge. The gunpowder and primer were often contained within the bullet itself.
In the modern revolver, each cartridge is loaded into one of six chambers in the revolver. A spring-loaded hammer is located on the other side of the cylinder directly in line with the barrel. The basic idea behind the revolver is pretty simple. The hammer cocks back into position to be ready to fire. When the trigger is pulled, the hammer lunges forward due to the spring action mechanism. This causes it to crash into the primer which ignites, launching the bullet out of the barrel.
You will find that the barrel is lined with spiraling grooves inside that helps to provide stability for the bullet. This also gives the characteristics signature markings to a bullet that lets forensic examiners know exactly where a bullet was fired from, as no two barrels are supposed to have the same groups.
As a note, the shorter the barrel the less speed the bullet will have. This is why some prefer longer barrels. Because the gas is building up pressure inside the barrel, the longer the barrel the more that pressure is able to speed up the bullet’s velocity.