Rock Island Auction Company
Back to Catalog
Auction Date: November 30, 2012

Lot 1378: Smith & Wesson - Volcanic

Sold for Smith & Wesson - Volcanic
Full Screen
Sold For:
Desirable Smith & Wesson Lever Action, Large Frame, Type I, Repeating Pistol with Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500
Item Views 186 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Smith & Wesson - Volcanic ManufacturerSmith & Wesson ModelVolcanic
TypePistol Gauge41 Volcanic Catalog Page174
Barrel8 Inch FinishBrown GripRosewood
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionSmith & Wesson Large Frame, Type I, Repeating Pistol with Smith & Wesson factory letter. The letter states that this pistol, serial number "147" was manufactured in 1854 and was sold through the S&W agent J. Dixon Company of New York. The pistol has a half-round/half-octagon barrel with integral ten-shot magazine. The pistol has the distinctive "Type I" frame with hump behind the hammer, single spring screw on the bottom of the frame and flat uncrowned muzzle. The finger lever has a spur at the bottom. The pistol has a screw-fastened L-shaped fixed rear sight on the frame and a flattened cone front sight. The hammer has a knurled spur. The pistol has two-piece rosewood grips with a varnish finish. The top and sides of the frame and back of the hammer are decorated with open scroll and leaf engraving. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the legend "SMITH & WESSON/NORWICH CT./CAST-STEEL" in three lines followed by "PATENT". The serial number "147" is stamped on the back face of the rear sight and on the left side of the butt underneath the grip. "147" is written in pencil on the inside of both grips. All of the visible serial numbers match. Designed in 1852, the Smith & Wesson Repeating pistol was the first successful American-made handgun capable of firing a self-contained cartridge. Smith & Wesson produced fewer than 500 large frame .41 caliber repeating pistols. Surviving examples are extremely rare.

ConditionVery good. The pistol has an even silver-gray patina with scattered traces of age discoloration. There are some small spots of light pitting on the left side of the barrel and the frame. None of the original brown finish is present of the barrel, frame or lever. The well executed engraving on the frame and hammer is crisp. The barrel markings and serial numbers are sharp. The period revarnished, slightly undersize, grips are good with light handling marks; there is an old chip in the heel of the left grip. This is a solid representative example of a scarce Smith & Wesson Large Frame Type I Repeating Pistol.
Click here to see keyboard shortcuts.
F Enters/exits full screen view for items
Esc Exits full screen view for items
Moves to previous lot, or moves to previous image if full screen view is enabled
Moves to next lot, or moves to next image if full screen view is enabled
Fully zooms the image when full screen view is enabled
Fits the entire image to the screen when full screen view is enabled


Buyer’s Premium: 17.5%

Cash Payment Discount: 2.5%

Participation Requirements: Valid Credit Card required for bidding approval. You will have the option to pay with these payment options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, and Cash.

Sales Tax: It varies each auction typically around 94% of auction items are not subject to sales tax. Read more here on sales tax.

We will contact you after the auction to arrange payment and shipping.


Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.