Volcanic .41 Pistol from S&W | Rifle Pistols

The Volcanic .41 was Smith & Wesson’s first-ever pistol inspired the lever-action rifle!


In 1852, a guy named Horace Smith teamed up with his buddy Daniel Baird Wesson and they set out to make a name for themselves in the firearms business. Like many businesses, it was bumpy in the beginning. The two Yankees didn’t know the meaning of quit. Both had families to support and employees to pay. True enough, they were forced to temporarily close the Smith & Wesson doors, but they came back in 1857 with a radical new product based on the established principles of the revolver.

volcanic2.gifWhatever happened to the Smith & Wesson Company since that first partnership is well chronicled. Their first gun is not widely appreciated. It needs to be because that first product is a firearm of far reaching implications. That’s not just for Smith and Wesson, but also for the entire American arms industry.

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  • Gary Cohn

    I featured a customized one of these, called “The Thunderer,” in DEMON GUN, a supernatural western graphic novel I wrote years ago, published by Crusade Entertainment. I found a rather crude non-firing reproduction from CAS Iberia. Best I can tell, you thumb-cock the hammer while rolling the lever forward with middle finger. If the action is light enough that could eject the empty and chamber the next round. But maybe not.

    I’ve often imagined that I’d spend part of my riches from the (hypothetical) movie on a custom Volcanic reproduction chambered for some fairly heavy modern handgun round…just for the pleasure of blasting away with it at the shooting range while everyone tries to figure out what the heck it is!

  • Raven Prometheus

    I’m also very interested in replicas of these beautiful pieces. The only question I have is how were the actions cycled? Were you supposed to grab the magazine tube and cycle the lever, or was a wrist flick type thing (a la “The Rifleman” of old time TV)? Or, possibly, a modified two handed grip on the butt and cycle with your trigger hand? Any further information would be extremely helpful. Thanks.

  • Just love anything pertaining to the Volcanic Pistol. Thanks for the beautiful closeup.
    Is there anyone entertaining the thought of reproducing these gorgeous pistols. I would purchases one or more depending on pricing.
    The Colt Revolving Rifle is also highly desirable.
    Thanks for the look see…Clayton