Volcanic No. 1 Lever Action Pocket Pistol manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company circa 1857-1860. The pistol has a silver-plated frame. The frame is decorated with the open scroll work used on factory engraved Volcanic firearms and large United States shields in the center of both side plates. The two-piece walnut grips have a high polish piano finish. The pistol has the distinctive brass frame with octagon barrel and integral magazine and finger hole loading lever. The barrel/magazine are blued. The hammer, trigger and lever are color casehardened. The barrel has a steel front sight and a fixed rear sight is mounted in a dovetail on the frame. The hammer has a knurled spur. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped "NEW HAVEN CONN./PATENT FEB. 14.1854" in two lines. These markings were adopted by the newly formed New Haven Arms Company after Oliver Winchester reorganized the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in April 1857. The serial number "1568" is stamped on the lower left side of the frame underneath the grip and "568" is stamped on the inside of both grips. The Volcanic pistols and carbines are extremely important firearms. They represent a key step in the development of both self-contained cartridges and repeating, magazine firearms. The toggle lever action utilized on Volcanic pistols and carbines eventually evolved into the action used on the successful Henry rifle and the Winchester Model 1866, 1873 and 1876 rifles and carbines. The reorganization of the Volcanic Repeating Arms Co., into the New Haven Arms Co., was the beginning of Oliver Winchester's involvement in firearms manufacturing and the beginning of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
Fine overall. The barrel hints of bright original blue with the balance a blue-gray patina with clear markings and a few small spots of surface discoloration. Most of the silver-plated finish is present on the frame. The plated finish shows some edge wear on contact points. The frame and side plates have a few minor handling marks. The engraving is crisp. The case colors on the hammer, trigger and lever have faded to a gray patina. The grips are in very good overall condition with some finish loss on the heels and a few minor handling marks. This is a very good example of a later production New Haven Arms Co., No. 1 Lever Action Pocket Pistol with silver-plated frame and patriotic factory engraving.
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