Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 2: Volcanic Repeating Arms Company Lever Action Navy Pistol

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $8,500 - $13,000

Volcanic Repeating Arms Company Lever Action Navy Pistol

Manufacturer: Volcanic
Model: Navy Model
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 41 CF
Barrel: 8 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: varnished walnut
Item Views: 3391
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 8
Class: Antique

This Lever Action Navy pistol was manufactured by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company c. 1856-57. This pistol has a blued barrel with integral 10-shot magazine, plain brass frame, casehardened lever with distinctive finger hole and two-piece, varnished walnut grips. The Type I barrel has a full rib, crowned muzzle, rounded T-bar spring, pinch-top, nickel-silver, front sight and clam-shell shaped, steel, magazine follower. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the three-line legend: "THE VOLCANIC/REPEATING ARMS CO./PATENT NEWHAVEN CONN. FEB. 14.1854". The plain brass frame has a simple dove-tail mounted rear sight and is stamped with the serial number "1198" on the left side of the frame bottom beneath the grip. The hammer has hand-cut knurling on the spur. The serial number, "1198" is stamped on the left side of the lever. The hammer, trigger and lever are color casehardened. "1198" is stamped on the inside of both grips. All of the visible serial numbers match. The pistol has been period altered to accept a brass cartridge. The bolt has been modified with a new firing pin and a screw-fastened extractor on the top. The top of the receiver has been milled to accept the extractor on the top of the bolt. A slot has been milled in the top of the barrel chamber to accommodate the new extractor. Follower spring partially absent. The lever and hammer screws may be period replacements. The bolt and receiver alterations are professionally done. The modifications represent an attempt to overcome the primary weakness of Volcanic firearms - the underpowered and unreliable 'Rocket Ball' cartridge. Provenance: The Dr. Gerald Klaz Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel has 80% of the original high polish blue finish with sharp edges. The barrel legend is crisp. There are light vice marks visible on the barrel side flats for approximately 1 1/2-inches from the edge of the receiver. The hammer, lever and trigger retain 85% of the muted casehardened finish. The period modified receiver remains in fine condition with an attractive patina, tight side-plate joints and only minimal handling wear. The grips are in very good overall condition and retain most of the refinished varnish with a few relatively minor handling marks. Mechanically functions, but lever does not retract breech bolt far enough back to full cock the hammer. This is a unique example of a Volcanic Repeating Arms Company Lever Action Navy Pistol that was period modified for use with a more reliable cartridge.

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