Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1177: New Haven Arms Co. Volcanic Lever Action No. 1 Pocket Pistol

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Desirable Engraved New Haven Arms Co. Volcanic Lever Action No. 1 Pocket Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,500

Desirable Engraved New Haven Arms Co. Volcanic Lever Action No. 1 Pocket Pistol

Manufacturer: New Haven Arms Co.
Model: Volcanic
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 31
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/silver
Grip: hardwood
Item Views: 373
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 134
Class: Antique

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. This is one of only an estimated 850 "No. 1 4 inch Pocket pistols" manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co. of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1857-1862 and features the classic scroll and border engraving typical of the New Haven Pocket pistols. For example, see the two engraved No. 1 Pocket pistols on p. 73 of "Volcanic Firearms: Predecessor to the Winchester Rifle." The pistol has the distinctive octagon barrel with integral six-shot magazine, round finger hole in the lever and flat bottom grips. The pistol is fitted with a pinched blade front sight on the barrel and a notch rear sight at the rear of the frame. The top barrel flat is marked "NEW HAVEN CONN./PATENT FEB. 14. 1854." Both grip panels are numbered to the gun.

Rating Definition:

Very good, retains strong traces of the original blue and silver finishes, primarily in sheltered areas with the balance either a smooth grey or attractively aged brass. The grips are good with some scattered minor dings and scratches and a heavy coat of protective varnish including on the grip straps. Mechanically fine.

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