Pietro Venditti Copies the Volcanic Repeating Pistol

This is lot #11 in the upcoming April 2020 RIA Premier Auction.

The Venditti pistols are copies of the Volcanic made in southern Italy in the mid to late 1870s – well after the rocket ball style of ammunition had become obsolete. Pietro Venditti’s first patent was in 1872 for a two-barreled rocket-ball-firing pistol. He followed that with an 1875 patent for a Volcanic type pistol with a 26-round capacity, and in 1877 with a patent on a style of cartridge.

Two types of Venditti pistols were actually built, although only a few hundred in total. The first type was the large-capacity style, which had a standard Volcanic-type magazine tube but also two additional tubes on either side. These held addition ammunition, which could be transferred into the true magazine tube when it was empty. The second type looked like a standard Volcanic, but used a cartridge with a metallic case, thus necessitating the addition of extractors into the bolt design.


    • A redesign of the magazine and grip would be needed and a law-necessitated safety catch would have to be added somewhere if only to prevent some amateur from shooting himself on the draw.

      • Being a lever-action like a Winchester, a simple crossbolt safety blocking the hammer would probably be sufficient.



        • I used to have a replica ’92 (no external safety). Since my hands were always gloved and/or cold in deer season, I was a bit uncomfortable lowering the hammer to the half-cock notch. I found that leaving the lever a bit out of battery required a more deliberate / positive motion than a 1911-type grip safety to go into “fire” mode, yet was very easy and intuitive.

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