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This is a solid representative example of one of the approximately 1,000 carbines for all three barrel lengths (16 1/2, 21 and 25 inches) manufactured by Oliver Winchester's New Haven Arms Company between 1857 and 1860. The Volcanic lever action firearms are historically significant and represent an important step in the development of American repeating firearms and self-contained cartridges. The lever action and integral spring-loaded magazine of these pistols and carbines served as the basic design for the Henry rifle, and Oliver Winchester's investment in the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company eventually led to the establishment of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the Model 1866, 1873, and 1876 rifles. The Volcanic repeaters were mainly hampered by their underpowered and often problematic ammunition. After these New Haven pistols, lever action designs focused on rifles and carbines. The barrel has a blade front sight and is marked "NEW HAVEN CONN PATENT FEB.14.1854." This barrel marking was adopted by the New Haven Arms Company after Oliver Winchester reorganized the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in April 1857. The receiver has a dovetail mounted sporting type rear sight featuring a thumb wheel elevator and niter blue finish. A factory floral scroll engraving is featured on the sides of the receiver, and the engraving extends to the upper tang. The left side of the lower tang is marked "68." "68" is repeated on both upper tang screws, one buttplate screw, the butt of the stock, and the buttplate. The cartridge follower is a crudely made period replacement. Provenance: The Felix A. Bedlan Collection
Fine. The barrel and magazine retain 30% of original blue finish in the sheltered areas, otherwise a smooth dark patina with some spotting. The fine receiver and buttplate have an attractive mustard patina overall and crisp engraving. The stock is fine with a couple slight stress lines at the upper tang, minor dings and scratches, and most of the original varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent.
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