This factory engraved, silver-plated, Volcanic lever action carbine was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co. c. 1858. The carbine has the desirable 25-inch blued barrel and integral magazine. The hammer and lever have a casehardened finish. The brass receiver and crescent buttplate are silver plated and are engraved with the large open, scroll work typically found on factory engraved Volcanic pistols and carbines. The straight grain American walnut stock has a high polish "piano" finish. The stock wrist has checkered panels on either side that feature well executed, flat top checkering and double line borders. The carbine has a nickel-silver, flat back, front sight blade. The rear sight is mounted on the carbine receiver and has the distinctive elevation wheel. The magazine follower is the lever-shaped type used on Volcanic carbines. The hammer spur has deep, borderless knurling. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the legend "NEW HAVEN CONN./PATENT FEB. 14. 1854". This legend was adopted after Oliver Winchester reorganized the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company into the New Haven Arms Company in April 1857 and eliminates all references to the Volcanic Company. The serial number is stamped on the right side of the loading lever, the lower right side of the tang beneath the stock, on the top of the stock heel beneath the buttplate, on the inside of the buttplate heel, and on the shank of both hand-fitted buttplate screws. All of the visible serial numbers match. The "2941" assembly number is also stamped on the lower right side of the tang behind the serial number. The Volcanic pistols and carbines were revolutionary firearms. The combination of self-cocking lever action combined with an integral spring loaded magazine and self contained, primed cartridges set the Volcanic carbines and pistols apart from contemporary percussion firearms. Deluxe, factory engraved, silver plated, Volcanic pistols and carbines like this example are scarce, historically significant key pieces in any advanced collection of Winchester lever action rifles. According to the book "Volcanic Firearms" by Lewis and Rutter, fewer than twenty Volcanic carbines are known with 25 inch barrels. Deluxe engraved and silver plated ones are of even greater rarity.
Fine. The blue finish on the barrel and magazine has aged to an even plum brown patina. The barrel edges are sharp, and the markings are crisp. There are some scattered rough spots and small areas of light pitting along the edges of the magazine follower slot. The brass receiver and buttplate retain 75% of the original silver plated finish with wear on contact points. The well executed scroll engraving is crisp. The case colors on the hammer and lever have aged to a mottled, gray-brown patina. Traces of fire blue finish are present on the front sight. The stock is fine and retains 80% of the original piano finish. The stock has scattered light superficial handling marks and scratches. The two upper tang screws are replacements; all of the other components appear to be original. The hammer does not hold at full cock, otherwise mechanically fine. This is an extremely fine example of a rare, deluxe, New Haven Arms Company Volcanic Lever Action carbine with factory engraving, silver plated receiver, 25 inch barrel, and deluxe checkered stock. The writer knows of only one other deluxe Volcanic 25 inch rifle!
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