Horst Held†† *†† Antique Handguns
† e-mail†† held@ectisp.net

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Volcanic Repeating Arms Co.
StÝckel: Norwich and New Haven, CT, 1854 - 1857, founded by Horace Smith and Daniel Baird Wesson, for 1854 patented repeaters. Oliver F. Winchester buys in 1856 the shares and reorganized the company as New Haven Arms Co. Since 1866 Winchester Repeating Arms Co.













serial # 228 on back strap and grip, caliber 31. 3Ĺ" octagonal barrel, pinched post front sight and integral magazine tube. Top barrel flat has the 2-line New Haven address with patent date Feb. 14, 1854 and it has fixed rear sight in the top flat of the receiver. The frame is silver plated and engraved with typical Volcanic patterns consisting of foliate arabesque scrolls on sides and side plates with a scallop border at the transition to the front fluted area. Top side flats of frame and around hammer slot are engraved in feather patterns with foliate patterns on top flat and back strap. Pistol is mounted with nicely  smooth American walnut 2-piece grips.

Accompanied by an extremely rare original Volcanic case, dark blue lined and compartmented for the pistol, a cleaning rod, oil can and key.
The lid shows
Baron Thornton de Mouncie, Londres.
In Taylerson's book ďThe Revolver 1865 Ė 1888" we find his address Baron A. T. de MOUNCIE of Paris, now Queen Victoria St., City of London.
De Mouncie received some patents for British handguns.
Flayderman's Guide 5K-014: only 850 of these rare pistols were produced in the period 1857-1860. Few of those survived and cased models almost unknown.
The pistol is in good working order, some plating is worn off, over all fine condition.     The very rare set is sold.


matching # 1285



inscribed on 8 octagonal barrel with magazine underneath, caliber .41 rocket ball cartridge (see picture below) Matching serial # 1285 on trigger, frame and grips, the frame in smooth brass, the barrel with magazine, trigger and guard with traces of original blue, varnished grips,  tight and in good working order including the sometimes broken cartridge elevator and spring in the magazine.
It was originally used in a repeating Smith & Wesson pistol made by them in Norwich, CT in the 1850ís. Oliver Winchester bought it away from them and set up shop in New Haven to build the weapons, which later evolved into the famous Winchester 1866. A rare piece of history from two early leaders in the industry. With scarce case in fine condition.
Fine condition. Flayderman's # 5K-007 "Navy Model"    sold


for information
- Cartridges designed for early Smith and Wesson (later Volcanic Arms) They are deeply concave-based lead cartridges containing powder and primer within their bases. They are an evolution of the Hunt Rocket Ball.


NEW HAVEN VOLCANIC NO. 1 LEVER ACTION POCKET PISTOL, matching serial #197 on butt strap and grip, caliber .31, 3Ĺ barrel maker's inscription on top. This is a very nice example of these early predecessors of the Henry and Winchester rifles. The barrel and integral magazine retain traces of original blue and are mostly a smooth even brown patina with nice edges and good clear markings. There are a few scattered pits on the barrel primarily on right side and near the muzzle. The brass frame shows a very nice untouched mellow patina with well-defined edges. The two piece walnut grips are numbered to the gun and rate very good plus having. Flayderman's Guide 5K-014: only 850 made. In good working order and fine condition.     sold


Pietro Antonio VENDITTI, Napoli + Lancusi, 1877 patented repeating pistol.

hammer cocked

action open, showing elevator to carry cartridge from tube to barrel

Rare Italian Venditti Lever Action Repeating Pistol
no visible serial #, 9 mm caliber. 6 15/16" octagonal barrel with front sight, underneath the barrel is a tubular10 shot magazine. The top of the barrel is marked "VENDITTI E CI LANCUSI". This pistol is a copy of the American Volcanic and fires a similar self-contained cartridge. The pistol has a brass frame with steel side plates. The sides of the frame, side plate, back strap and top of the barrel are engraved with floral scrollwork with a stippled background. The walnut grips have a checkered panel on each side with engraved screw escutcheons. The brass frame has a honey brown patina and the other metal parts are a clean steel gray with a little age spotting on the barrel. All of the engraving is in  very good condition. The grips show light wear and rate very good.

StÝckel:  Volume II, page 1324:1828 - 1878. After being released from hard labor, as he had been convicted for murder, he started his own activity in Torre Annunziata; after many patents, he realizes and patents his famous repeating pistol, made for ten and even twenty-six shots.

According to the internet there are less than 100 made, this is the second I own in more than 50 years of collecting.   

additional information supplied by a reader:

It is a second series pistol and not a first series. The principle differences between the two series are as follows:
The extractors for the cartridges are clear in the picture you have posted on your site showing the close-up of the chamber marked "action open, showing the elevator......"
The 1877 patent specified the adoption of a strange brass or copper cased cartridge that constituted a sort of compromise between centre-fire ignition and Dreyse-Chassepot needle peroration and hence the necessity of the extractors. (quote from article by Emanuel Marciano in
Robert Held's edited Arms and Armour Annual, volume 1.)

thank you!

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