The Volcanic Volitional Repeater was a revolutionary weapon of its time and it was quite successful as soon as it was introduced. The Volcanic Repeating Arms was a weapons company based in the US and it was formed back in 1855 with the intention of producing lever action mechanism and rocket ball ammunition of Walter Hunt. This company was founded by partners, Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. This company was able to improve the rocket ball ammunition considerably and it was able to successfully manufacture a carbine and pistol model of the level action gun. This company had a short life; however, the companies that resulted from it like Smith & Wesson and Winchester Repeating Arms Company enjoyed major success.
Initially there was a time when guns made use of loose powder and ball and primer for loading. This was soon changed by the introduction of the hollow based bullet which was able to hold the propellant down in the base cavity. It was soon improved and a metallic cartridge was developed to be used instead. This development proved to be a forerunner for the introduction of volcanic pistols, back in 1854. These allowed for the production of both small and large handguns which were being developed in .31 and .41 calibers.
The Volcanic Repeater is a historically important firearm; however, its short life manages to fade its importance to some degree. This pistol, which featured a lever design, was used for target shooting and it was based on an unsuccessful model of the volcanic rifle. During this time, all the other pistols in the market made use of black powder. However, thanks to a joint venture, this pistol was created.
Essentially Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson teamed up with the Jennings Rifle company in order to produce this pistol which was the first of its kind. The development of this pistol was of great importance for another reason– it laid the foundations for the Smith and Wesson partnership that was introduced a year after this, in 1854. Wesson wished to make use of a modified version of the Flobert cartridge, which was a patented design of the rimfire metallic cartridge. This modification laid the foundation for the .22 rimfire. Essentially, the creation of this pistol, led to the creation of the most popular cartridge in the world, along with the largest gun company in the world. Therefore, it is considered to hold great importance. The only problem was its brief and short life– the only thing that obscures its historical importance.
The manufacturing process of this pistol started in 1853 in the .22RF, .31 and .41 calibers categories. However, these versions were quickly labeled as unreliable which led to a great dip in the popularity of the products. This handgun was sold in different barrel lengths which included the Navy variant of 8” barrel, a carbine variant of 16” barrel which featured a removable stock, and the standard 3 ½” barrel variant.