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Volcanic Arms Exhibit

Volcanic Rifles and Pistols, and related experimental items. The Volcanic Magazine firearm was patented February 14, 1854 by Smith and Wesson and manufactured by Smith & Wesson, The Volcanic Repeating Arms, and New Haven Arms Companies until 1860.

A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: MarsVoyager


1988.8.153
New Haven Arms Co., New Have...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Repeating Carbine .38, 24 1/8", #8, ca. 1858, New Haven Arms Company.

Museum record: 1988.8.153 | ca. 1858 | L: 42.75 in, Barrel length: 24.125 in, H: 7.875 in | The magazine and method of loading this Volcanic carbine are like that of the Henry rifle, with the barrel and magazine being in one piece. The magazine is charged by pushing the magazine spring up and turning the muzzle end of the magazine 1/4 turn. Cartridges can then be inserted into the magazine. | bbl/NEW HAVEN CONN. PATENT FEB. 14 1854/ | Volcanic Repeating Carbine | .38 | 88 ; 8 (WN believes the serial number was a mis-hit and is not 88 but is 8) | 1988.8.153v1.jpg | 1988.8.153v2.jpg | firearm | walnut | volcanic | engraved | plain | metal | brass | trigger | carbine | New Haven Arms Co., New Haven, CT.

1988.8.154
New Haven Arms Co., New Have...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Repeating Rifle .38, 20 1/4", #82, ca. 1858, New Haven Arms Company.

Museum record: 1988.8.154 | ca. 1858 | L: 39.125 in, Barrel length: 20.25 in, H: 7.75 in | The magazine and method of loading this Volcanic carbine are like that of the Henry rifle, with the barrel and magazine being in one piece. The magazine is charged by pushing the magazine spring up and turning the muzzle end of the magazine 1/4 turn. Cartridges can then be inserted into the magazine. | bbl/NEW HAVEN CONN. PATENT FEB. 14 1854/ | Volcanic Repeating Rifle | .38 | 82 | 1988.8.154v1.jpg | 1988.8.154v2.jpg | 1988.8.154v1 (2).jpg | 1988.8.154v2 (2).jpg | 1988.8.154v2.jpg | 1988.8.154v1.jpg | firearm | nickle | trigger | plain | volcanic | metal | brass | walnut | sporting | rifle | New Haven Arms Co., New Haven, CT.

1988.8.148
C.A. Waterbury | American | ...
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Exhibit notes: Volley Rifle, 30 1/2", ca. 1855, C. A. Waterbury.

Museum record: 1988.8.148 | ca. 1855 | L: 52.5 in, Barrel length: 30.5 in, H: 9.5 in | This Waterbury rifle must have been made to take self-consuming cartridges or loaded bullets similar to those used in the Hunt, Jennings, or Volcanic firearms. There was no cartridge shell, for there is no way to eject an empty case. The cartridge must have been self-primed for there is no provision for a separate priming mechanism. The magazine was filled and the gun worked in the following manner. There is a tubular magazine located below and parallel with the barrel. A tube-shaped section of this magazine, 3-3/4 inches long, was moved about 3-1/2 inches toward the muzzle of the rifle. When this had been done, a coil magazine spring and follower were brought up into the forward section of the magazine tube. This action revealed an opening at the upper end of the true magazine. Into the magazine were dropped 10 or 11 cartridges, that is, loaded and primed bullets. Then the magazine opening was closed, and the follower was lowered until it rested against the bullet nearest the muzzle. Next the bolt was unlocked by lifting up on a swinging thumb piece at the end of the receiver, and by drawing back on the hooked shaped finger piece on the end of the bolt the latter was opened. Next a hook-shaped finger piece below the forward end of the stock was moved out away from the barrel, bringing down the carrier with it. Onto the top of this carrier a cartridge moved, forced into that position by the magazine spring. A long steel plate upon which the carrier and finger piece is fastened acts as a spring, so that when it is released the carrier moves back into position, bringing the cartridge into line with the chamber and at the same time acting as a magazine cutoff. The bolt had been cocked on the opening motion; when it was closed and the thumb piece turned down to the right, thus locking it in place, the rifle was ready to fire. There is a sliding safety device to the rear of the trigger, operated by a supplementary trigger projecting below the trigger guard. This also serves as an extra finger rest. The single set trigger is adjustable by utilizing a set screw working through the forward part of the trigger guard. No patent has been found for this action. It is not known who C.A. Waterbury was or where he worked. It is believed that this rifle was made about the middle of the 1850s, perhaps designed to sell in competion to the Jennings or Volcanic, probably the latter. | top of receiver/C.A. WATERBURY'S/VOLLEY RIFLE/ | 1988.8.148v2.jpg | 1988.8.148v1.jpg | firearm | rifle, repeating | sights | buttstock | open type | round barrel | heavy | barrel | magazine | rifle type | tubular | stock tip | remarkable mechanical operation | pewter | unique | plain | walnut | sporting | C.A. Waterbury | American

1988.8.415
Winchester Repeating Arms Co...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Rifle Receiver adapted for rimfire cartridges, 1859-1860, Benjamin Tyler Henry.

Museum record: 1988.8.415 | 1859-1860 | L: 8 in, H: 4.5 in | Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection | This model is a complete receiver with lever and all internal parts for the Volcanic brass frame rifle. It shows the bolt alteration to adapt to a rimfire cartridge. | This receiver is the original model constructed by Benjamin Tyler Henry to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing reperating rifles using metallic cartridges. The arm developed from this model was the renowned Henry rifle, which in turn was modified to become the Winchester rifle. | 1988.8.415v1.jpg | 1988.8.415v2.jpg | firearm | receiver | Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, CT | Volcanic Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, CT

1988.8.3856
Volcanic Repeating Arms Co.,...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic No. 2 cartridges box, ca. 1854-ca. 1860, Volcanic Repeating Arms Company.

Museum record: 1988.8.3856 | ca. 1854 - ca. 1860 | L: 5.625 in, width: 3.0625 in, depth: 1.625 in | One (1) empty box of Volcanic No. 2 cartridges | 1988.8.3856v3.jpg | 1988.8.3856v4.jpg | 1988.8.3856.jpg | 1988.8.3856v1.jpg | 1988.8.3856v2.jpg | 1988.8.3856v5.jpg | Other | paper | cardboard | ammunition | box | Volcanic Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, CT

1988.8.418
Smith & Wesson, Norwich, CT ...
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Exhibit notes: Smith & Wesson Volcanic Pistol .30, 4 1/8", #44, ca. 1854, Smith & Wesson.

Museum record: 1988.8.418 | ca. 1854 | L: 9.375 in, Barrel length: 4.125 in, H: 4 in | Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection | BBL: SMITH AND WESSON, NORWICH CT. PATENTED FEBRUARY 14, 1854. CAST STEEL. | small frame; S & W volcanic; refinished. | Volcanic Repeating Pistol | .30 | 44 | 1988.8.418v1.jpg | 1988.8.418v2.jpg | firearm | metal | trigger | rosewood | plain | volcanic | pistol | Smith & Wesson, Norwich, CT | American

1988.8.414
Smith & Wesson, Norwich, CT ...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Repeating Pistol .38, 8", #179, ca. 1854, Smith & Wesson.

Museum record: 1988.8.414 | ca. 1854 | L: 14.625 in, Barrel length: 8 in, H: 4.75 in | Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection | BBL: SMITH AND WESSON, NORWICH CT. PATENT. CAST STEEL. | large frame volcanic; refinished. | .38 | 179 | 1988.8.414v1.jpg | 1988.8.414v2.jpg | firearm | volcanic | plain | rosewood | trigger | metal | pistol | Smith & Wesson, Norwich, CT | American

1988.8.3854
American | Volcanic Repeatin...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Pistol, 8", #1161, ca. 1857, Volcanic Repeating Arms Company.

Museum record: 1988.8.3854 | ca. 1857 | Barrel length: 8 in | BBL: THE VOLCANIC REPEATING ARMS CO. PATENT NEW HAVEN CT. FEB. 14, 1854 | 1161 | 1988.8.3854v2.jpg | 1988.8.3854v4.jpg | 1988.8.3854v1.jpg | 1988.8.3854v3.jpg | firearm | pistol | lever action | caliber | plain. | plain | barrel | repeating | octagon | stock | sights | walnut grips (two piece flat bottomed). | trigger | American | Volcanic Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, CT

1988.8.3872
American | Volcanic Repeatin...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Lever Action Pistol with Wooden Shoulder Stock .38, 8", #1342, ca. 1857, Volcanic Repeating Arms Company.

Museum record: 1988.8.3872 | ca. 1857 | Barrel length: 8 in | BBL: THE VOLCANIC ARMS CO. PATENT NEW HAVEN CT. FEB. 14, 1854. side of trigger: 1342 | 1342 | 1988.8.3872.v1.jpg | 1988.8.3872.v2.jpg | firearm | pistol | lever action | repeating | plain | stock | barrel | sights | trigger | walnut grips (two piece flat bottomed). has detachable shoulder stock. | open. | octagon | Volcanic Lever Action Pistol, with Wooden Shoulder Stock Maker: Volcanic Repeating Arms Co.; New Haven, CT Serial Number: 1342 Caliber: .38 (8 Shot) Date: ca. 1857 Catalog Number: 1988.8.3872 Gift of Olin Corporation Winchester Arms Collection | American | Volcanic Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, CT

1988.8.416
American | New Haven Arms Co...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Repeating Pistol .30, 3 5/8", #1340, ca. 1859, New Haven Arms Company.

Museum record: 1988.8.416 | ca. 1859 | L: 9.25 in, Barrel length: 3.625 in, H: 4.125 in | Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection | BBL: NEW HAVEN CT. PATENT, FEB. 14, 1854. | silver plated frame. | Volcanic Repeating Pistol | .30 | 1340 | 1988.8.416v1.jpg | 1988.8.416v2.jpg | firearm | volcanic | metal | walnut | trigger | silver | plain | pistol | American | New Haven Arms Co., New Haven, CT

1988.8.417
American | New Haven Arms Co...
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Exhibit notes: Volcanic Repeating Pistol .32, 3 5/8", #1868, ca. 1859, New Haven Arms Company.

Museum record: 1988.8.417 | ca. 1859 | L: 9.25 in, Barrel length: 3.625 in, H: 4.125 in | Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection | BBL: NEW HAVEN CT. PATENT, FEB. 14, 1854. | silver plated frame. | Volcanic Repeating Pistol | .32 | 1868 | 1988.8.417v2.jpg | 1988.8.417v1.jpg | firearm | silver | walnut | volcanic | trigger | metal | plain | pistol | American | New Haven Arms Co., New Haven, CT

The Three Tetons
Leigh, William R. | Painting...
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Exhibit notes: The Three Tetons, by W. R. Leigh, 1911, illustrating my Volcanic Arms Exhibition.

Museum record: 20.85 | 1911 | H: 24.125 in, width: 36 in, Frame height: 31.125 in, Frame width: 43.125 in, frame depth: 3 in | The Three Tetons | Gift of Michael Coleman (by exchange) | Leigh employed some stylistic innovations associated with the impressionistic artists, such as the freer application of paint. His fascination with the Teton Mountains' reflection in the lake reveals his interest in portraying optical effects. Yet he never became a true impressionist because he maintained a commitment to representing forms. | LR: W.R. LEIGH(underlined)/1911 | 20.85.jpg | 20.85.web.jpg | 20.85.JPG | 20.85.jpg | Teton Mountains | Painting | oil on canvas | Leigh, William R.