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Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Lot 1020: New Haven Arms Co. - Volcanic

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Rare Factory Engraved New Haven Arms Co., Volcanic Lever Action Carbine with Inscribed 25 Inch Barrel
Estimated Price: $40,000 - $60,000
Item Views 177 Bid Activity Average
Serial #New Haven Arms Co. - Volcanic ManufacturerNew Haven Arms Co. ModelVolcanic
TypeRifle Gauge41 Volcanic Catalog Page20
Barrel25 Inch FinishBlue/silver-plated Grip
Stockwalnut ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionFactory engraved Volcanic lever action carbine manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co., c. 1859. The silver-plated brass receiver and crescent buttplate are decorated with the standard scroll and border engraving found on most factory engraved Volcanic carbines and pistols. The engraving features large open scrolls without punch-dot backgrounds. The carbine has a scarce 25-inch barrel with alternate rear sight dovetail and blue finish.. The top barrel flat is engraved "John K. Henry" ahead of the barrel dovetail in addition to the New Haven Arms legend: "NEW HAVEN CONN FEB 14 1854" stamped behind it. The serial number "2252" is stamped on the right side of the loading lever. The hammer and lever are color casehardened. The stock is straight grain American walnut with a high polish 'piano' finish. The receiver is fitted with the standard, dovetail mounted, rear sight with elevation wheel. Although the Volcanic rifles and pistols were not a commercial success they were revolutionary firearms. The Volcanic introduced the integral spring; loaded magazine and self-cocking lever action that became the hallmark of the Henry and Winchester rifles that evolved from Volcanic design. The self-contained Volcanic .41 caliber 'rocket ball' cartridge was the among the first self-primed cartridges. Investment in the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company and subsequent ownership of the reorganized New Haven Arms Company introduced shirt maker Oliver Winchester to firearms manufacturing and eventually led to the creation of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. This Volcanic Lever Action Carbine ranks among the most important American firearms designs. This carbine reportedly was formerly part of the original collection of repeating firearms assembled by Samuel Colt before his death in 1862. Samuel Colt's collection became part of the Colt Firearms Company collection which was transferred to the Connecticut State Library in 1957. More research is needed to be done on the aforementioned statement and the barrel inscription.

ConditionFine. The carbine is all original and shows only light to moderate storage wear. The blue finish on the barrel has faded to a very attractive plum-brown patina. Traces of the original blue finish are visible in protected areas. The edges of the barrel are sharp and the legend and inscription are crisp. The barrel has had a sight dovetail added to the barrel, although no sight is present. Small amounts of the delicate silver-plated finish remain in protected areas of the receiver. The balance of the receiver has a good looking, un-touched patina. The factory scroll and border engraving is sharp. Most of the sliver-plated finish is present on the crescent brass buttplate. The case colors on the hammer and lever have faded to a mottled brown patina. The stock is in excellent condition and retains most of the original piano finish with a very minor handling and storage marks. This is a fine example of a factory engraved New Haven Arms Co., Volcanic carbine with scarce 25-inch barrel.
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