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Auction Date: December 2, 2011

Lot 1276: Smith & Wesson - Volcanic

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Outstanding Large Frame Smith & Wesson Lever Action Magazine Pistol
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $60,000
Item Views 186 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Smith & Wesson - Volcanic ManufacturerSmith & Wesson ModelVolcanic
TypePistol Gauge38 Catalog Page247
Barrel8 Inch Part Octagon FinishBlue/brown GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionPredecessor to the more frequently encountered brass frame "volcanic", this is a rare example of the 8 inch 38 caliber "lever action magazine pistol" manufactured by Smith & Wesson Repeating Arms Company which began manufacturing in 1854. The company would be reorganized a year later, 1855, as the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company and the rest is history. Smith & Wesson focused their efforts to design and produce a pistol that could fire the self contained metallic cartridge using Rollin Whites bored through cylinder. While the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company would become the subsequent birth of the Winchester Repeating Rifle Company. Relatively little information is known about the total number produced though some estimates suggest as few as 500. The pistol has a half-round/half-octagon barrel with front-loading integral magazine. The pistol has an iron frame and loading lever with round ring hole and attached spur. The two-piece grips are rosewood with flat bottoms and a varnish finish. The barrel has a pinched steel front sight blade. Fixed rear sight with serial number "15" stamped on the rear face. The sides of the receiver are decorated in the typical volcanic pattern with large open scroll engraving and the top of the receiver features an engraved leaf motif. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the legend: "SMITH & WESSON/CAST STEEL NORWICH CT PATENT". The serial number, "15" , is also stamped on the lower left side of the frame underneath the grip.

ConditionVery fine. The barrel retains a strong 80% of the original brown finish thinning only along the high edges and around the muzzle. The top flat of the barrel shows delicate cleaning. The barrel address is sharp, crisp and clear. The left side of the frame shows a single isolated patch of pitting that was polished some time ago. Other wise the frame is now an even gray patina. The engraving is sharp and clear. The side plates are snug fitting together beautifully. The left grip stock has an old repair running the length of the grip but are otherwise very good plus with only a few isolated pressure marks. Overall this is an exceptional offering of a rare highly desirable pistol. These pistols are rare in any condition. This pistol is worthy of the most advanced arms collection and would be difficult to find another as they are seldom offered for sale in any condition!
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