Factory Engraved, Factory Gold Plated, Fully Docu
This is a truly rare No. 1 or "pocket model" Volcanic pistol that was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company successor to the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. New Haven Arms manufactured Volcanic firearms from 1851 until 1860 when the company was reorganized again, this time as the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. It is believed that fewer than 850 of these No.1 pistols with 3 1/2 inch barrels were manufactured from 1857 until 1860. Because so few were made very few survived making these pistols extremely desirable in any condition. These pistols retailed for $12.00 at the time of production with an added expense of $1.50 for engraving or plating, this pistol having both! This example features the standard fixed front and rear sight. The top barrel flat is marked "NEW HAVEN CONN. PATENT FEB 14.1854" in a single line. The pistol has a high polish blue finish on the octagon barrel. The loading lever is blue and has the distinctive finger ring. The hammer and trigger are casehardened and the cartridge elevator is niter blue. The frame, grip strap, and cartridge follower are all beautifully gold plated. The pistol is factory engraved on the frame and grip strap. Each side of the frame features the "typical" large open scrollwork and a non-typical thumbprint motif at the center. The top of the frame and back strap have a matching floral design. The two-piece, flat-bottom, walnut grips have a high gloss finish. The serial number "1168" is stamped on the inside of each grip and again on the left side of the grip strap. This particular pistol is photographed and described in two well known and respected firearms publications. The first, "Volcanic Firearms" by Edmund Lewis and Stephen Rutter on page 74. The description states that the pistol belonged to Captain James Drum a Civil War veteran who was killed at the battle of San Juan Hill. The second is the May, 2000 issue of "The Gun Report" where it is featured on the cover and discussed on page 34. "The Gun Report" states that the original purchaser of this firearm acquired it from U.S. Army General James Hugh Drum who inherited it from his father, Captain James Drum a Civil War veteran who was killed at the battle of San Juan Hill. While no documentation can verify this story, further research was done by the writer and uncovered a strong military tradition in the Drum family, most notable of which is U.S. Army General James Hugh Drum. Hugh Aloysius Drum was born September 19, 1879 and died October 3, 1951. Drum served as assistant Chief of Staff to General John J. Pershing in France during WWI and was promoted to Colonel in 1918 and became Chief of Staff to the First United States Army. He was promoted to General in 1931 and sent to Honolulu where he brushed shoulders with George S. Patton. With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 Drum assumed command of Eastern Defense Command responsible for domestic defense along the Atlantic seaboard. During his career he was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Service Medal, the Mexican Border Service Medal and the Croix de Guerre. Fort Drum, New York named for him. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
BBL: 3 1/2 inch octagon
Gauge: 31 Volcanic
Serial Number: 1168
Very fine. 50% plus original high polish blue finish remains on the barrel, the balance is a mottled silver/gray patina. All markings are crisp and clear. The hammer retains 25% of the original case colors. The frame and back strap retain half of their original, brilliant gold plated finish. The engraving is sharp and clear. The cartridge elevator exhibits its original but muted niter blue finish. The grips are very fine with minor varnish loss on the butt otherwise only collector type pressure marks. This is an exceptionally rare factory engraved, factory gold plated, documented Volcanic pistol. Further research could only enhance an already much sought after Volcanic pistol variation!