This page is for entire categories or series of rare firearms that might fit into multiple other categories when split, rare projectile weapons that qualify as guns in a very loose sense, as well as for rare weapons that don't fit into any other category.
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Expected to become a popular handgun caliber when the FBI chose the Smith and Wesson 1076note as its new sidearm in 1990, its rise and fall is largely tied to the failure of that weapon. Reliability problems with the pistol (and every other pistol initially designed for it for that matter, from the Bren Ten to the Colt Double Eagle), coupled with concerns over the recoil of the 10mm Auto cartridgenote , soon led the FBI to abandon not only the gun but the cartridge as well, though some of the FBI's special units do use a 10mm version of the MP5note and there are a small number of newer pistols manufactured in the caliber today.
To a large extent the cartridge has fallen victim to Technology Marches On - the derivative .40 S&W cartridge has almost completely taken over its intended niche within the handgun marketnote . What market remains for the 10mm Auto is basically the minority of handgun hunters who don't like revolvers, and people who want a defensive weapon to carry in grizzly bear country.
On the other hand, reports of the 10mm Auto's demise may have been greatly exaggerated. It continues to have a die-hard following, most strongly evidenced by the fact that in the same time period, a large number of firearms manufacturers have rolled out new 10mm handgun & carbine models, and ammo manufacturers have followed suit by producing a wide variety of training and defensive ammo loads. Another factor contributing to the 10mm's revival is the alarming rise in the use of cars and trucks as terrorist weapons, leading to a low-key but growing demand for a powerful handgun round that can reliably penetrate vehicular glass note . The 10mm continues to be a popular cartridge in fiction, particularly in works set 20 Minutes into the Future, where presumably the real-world problems with the cartridge were addressed. Perhaps in the near future, the 10mm Auto may not be such a rare beast anymore.
- Button Man. While he uses whatever comes to hand, Harry Exton has a preference for the Smith & Wesson 1006 as his Weapon of Choice in books 2 and 3, set while he is in the United States. A couple of panels clearly show boxes of 10mm Auto while Harry is loading up.
- The famous M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens is said to be chambered for a caseless, explosive-tipped 10mm bullet.
- In the Tom Clancy novel Rainbow Six, Rainbow's assaulters are described as using the MP5/10note as their primary weapons. Somewhat Truth in Television, as in reality the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team does use the weapon in a similar role.
- In addition to Rainbow, Clancy also depicted FBI Special Agent Pat O'Day as carrying a Smith and Wesson 1076. Again, this is partly truth in television; as noted above, the FBI did test, and even briefly issue this weapon to its agents. However, O'Day continued to carry one long after all real life agents had turned theirs in.
- Miami Vice had Sonny Crockett carry a Bren Ten, whose real-life sales were driven largely by its use on TV. While the Bren Ten is widely considered to be among the best pistol design of the 1980s (incorporating the best features of the CZ 75 and Browning Hi-Power, as well as having the legendary Col. Jeff Cooper as a design consultant), production shortfalls and notoriously bad quality control drove its manufacturer Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises into bankruptcy after just three years with only 1,500 pistols made and most of the original commercial orders never filled. After this happened, the Sonny Crockett character switched between seasons two and three to the decidedly less rare Smith & Wesson Model 645, as the production refused to use firearms that were not in active production. It also gave birth to the "Bren Ten Curse": All companies that have attempted to resurrect the pistol have either gone bankrupt trying to do so, or ditched it in favor of more lucrative military and police rifle contracts before a single example was sold.
- In the Fallout universe 10mm was a common pistol caliber before the Great War, and great amounts of it remain in the post-war world. There's a fairly high number of weapons using it in the series, including a shoulder-mounted minigun in Fallout: New Vegas DLC, and a unique PPK in Fallout 4 that has a noticeably longer ejection port compared to the real pistol.
- In Deus Ex and its prequels, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the standard sidearm is a 10mm Auto pistol. This is also seen in expanded universe material set in or between the time periods of these games.
- Like the novel above, the Rainbow Six series of games usually give the player the option of using the MP5/10 in place of the many 9mm variants. Similarly, Splinter Cell: Blacklist has the MP5/10 available to Sam.
- In Police Quest 2, Sonny Bonds carries a 10mm 1911 variant.
- Takedown: Red Sabre allows players to take a 10mm "1911 Elite" as their sidearm.
- DRL uses 10mm for its take on the pistol and chaingun ammunition, unlike the game it's based on that based its pistol off the Beretta 92.
- In PAYDAY 2, the MP5 can be turned into an MP5/10 with the "Straight Magazine" attachment.
- Jagged Alliance 2 v1.13 adds the Colt Delta Elite and the MP5/10 to the game's already extensive arsenal, the latter of which comes in both standard and integrally silenced flavours.
- The default Guns Akimbo handguns in the on-foot sections of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division are, in all but name, Colt Delta Elites with wooden grips, the manual naming it the "Kawamori A47" and noting its 10mm caliber.
- The Bren Ten appears in Girls Frontline as a 2-star handgun. In reference to the so-called Bren Ten Curse, she's worried that her adoption will lead to the bankruptcy of Griffon & Kryuger and the Commander.
- With an ammo conversion, you can turn an MP5 into an MP5/10 in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), which improves its damage ranges overall and slightly boosts the gun's minimum damage, at the cost of a very minuscule fire rate drop.
Originally developed for the Russian Spetsnaz as an emergency weapon, the Ballistic Knife is a knife with a detachable blade that can be ejected to a distance of several yards by pressing a trigger or operating a lever or switch on the handle, using either a spring, air, gas propulsion or explosive charge. Several clones of the weapons are also made in countries like the United States. However, any actual use of it by the Spetsnaz is unknown, and the weapon gained notoriety in the US in the 80's after commercial examples were marketed and sold in the US and several other Western countries, leading to it being restricted and prohibited by law in several countries. Nowadays, it's considered to be more of a collector's item than a true viable weapon.
Anime and Manga
- Radinov from Gunsmith Cats OVA absolutely loves to use this weapon at any chance she gets. In fact to give Rally the message that she's still alive and wants revenge she leaves a blade on the hood of her Cool Car. One mook even lampshades the impracticality of her weapon of choice.Mook: What kind of a psycho uses a weapon you have to recover every time you use it?
- In Chapter 5 of Violet Evergarden's first light novel, Violet has a ballistic knife (one of plenty other weapons on her) in her garters while performing an amanuensis job at a prison full of violent felons. Her weapons are confiscated by the prison staff while she works... not that she needs any of it, since she outright says she is a weapon.
- Diabolik will sometimes use them. He has good reasons: as everyone in-universe knows, his weapons of choice are needle launchers loaded with either poison or sleep needles and custom-made knives he's incredibly good with, so an enemy that has him at gunpoint will not fear him at range if there's no needle launcher and the arm is down... And die surprised when the knife shoots the blade. As Diabolik is incredibly inventive and expects the enemies to be ready for previously-used tricks, the ballistic knife doesn't show up often, instead being replaced as surprise gadget by whatever Diabolik came up with this time.
- The original Soviet Ballistic Knife is usable in Call of Duty: Black Ops, as the first Special weapon unlocked. It increases your melee speed and the launched blade kills enemies in one hit with the blade also being retrievable and reusable, though the blade's trajectory drops quickly when fired from closer than short range. It returns in the single-player of Call of Duty: Black Ops II as the Spring Knife in past levels, while a more modern/futuristic reproduction is used in the future levels and in multiplayer as the Ballistic Knife, being the second Special secondary weapon unlocked.
- The Ballistic Knife is useable in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops as the Spetsnaz Knife.
- Failing to stop Nicholai in time at the end of Resident Evil 3 (Remake) has him use one of these to kill Carlos and Jill, the former by slashing his throat and the latter by launching the blade into her face.
Looking at this list, you will no doubt see that many of these guns tried quirky, unusual, sometimes innovative features that never took off. The Gyrojet might be the most unusual among them, for it tried to be a gun without utilizing what many would say makes a gun a gun: the traditional chemically-propelled bullet.
The Gyrojet was a project launched in the mid-1960s by MB Associates, intending to revolutionize the firearms industry. Rather than use a bullet as the projectile, the Gyrojet fired what amounted to a miniature rocket (without the explosion, sadly), more or less making the Gyrojet a miniaturized rocket launcher. The barrel was not rifled, instead the rounds were guided gyroscopically, hence the name. The intent for this design was to make a handgun that had just as much velocity as the .45 ACP round fired by the then-standard issue Colt M1911 but at half the weight. The rockets were also intended to be more accurate at greater distances and be capable of piercing body armor. (For more on the design of the gun and the bullet, check out The Other Wiki's article on the subject.)
Unfortunately, it did not not live up to expectations. It was marketed as a civilian weapon, but a few U.S soldiers with cash to spare brought them to Vietnam to try there. It was advertised as being accurate, reliable and simplistic to use. Customers said that it was none of these things. It proved to be wildly inconsistent in accuracy between shots, its complex action meant that it would foul up at the drop of a hat and users reported it was cumbersome to reload at all and doing so quickly was impossible. One report even stated that the weapon had a nasty habit of hang-firing, a seeming misfire only to have that round suddenly shoot out of the barrel without warning. And unlike a conventional bullet, the rocket projectiles continue to accelerate after leaving the barrel... which sounds great until you realize that at very close range (ie the kind of ranges where a pistol would normally be used) the projectile is too slow to kill a person quickly unless it goes through the victim's eye socket (however, trying to stop the projectile by covering the tube with your hand would rip your hand off as the rocket exhaust would heat it up pretty quickly and accelerate the thing to the point that it would have enough energy to shatter a plastic bucket placed right at the muzzle). To top it all off, the weapon and its ammunition were extremely expensive to both produce and purchase. It's pretty much the poster child for Awesome, but Impractical.
The Gyrojet eventually fizzled out, but the afterimage was burned into the public psyche. The idea of a hand-held rocket launcher was just too cool to let fade away, not to mention its Space Age look. Today, both the Gyrojet and its bullet are some of the most coveted items for firearm collectors today. While many variants were planned (including a light machine gun variant), only the pistol, a carbine and a rifle were ever produced. Due to the rarity of ammunition, Gyrojets are rarely fired today, with a single round costing as much as 100 USD. Most people also get confused by the fact that the gun fires rockets and assume the rockets blew stuff up. They didn't. This video includes footage of the Gyrojet pistol in action.
In an odd consequence, the one thing that it could have been good at was combat in space: regular firearms wouldn't operate in free-fall and zero gravity as well as they do normally,* so a self-propelled projectile would work far better. This was something that interested the American military during the space race, but, for obvious reasons, didn't save it.
As mentioned above, the Gyrojet rounds aren't actually explosive. This has not stopped many from thinking that they are explosive though, likely due to the association of rockets with explosions.
Anime & Manga
- In Gungrave, a Gyrojet pistol can be briefly seen in a collection of firearms when Brandon Heat grabs a Wildey Magnum to send a bad-guy flying.
- When Riki-Oh takes his revenge on the entire prison staff in the animated adaption Riki-Oh: Wall of Hell, the Chairman of the prison pulls out a chrome-plated one. Unfortunately for him, before he could even fire a shot Riki-Oh instantly kills him.
Films — Live-Action
- One of the most iconic uses for the Gyrojet was the climactic battle of You Only Live Twice, also acting as a marketing ploy. In the film, Tiger Tanaka's Ninja army uses both Gyrojet pistols and rifles along with katanas to fight through Blofield's defenses in his secret mountain lair.
- There are two remarkable things about the mostly unknown Action/Comedy film Collision Course. The first is that one of the villains, played by Tom Noonan, uses a Gyrojet. The other is that Jay Leno starred in it. No, really.
- Used by a private investigator in the Larry Niven short story The Meddler. It's not very effective, but that's only because the alien he shoots is Immune to Bullets.
- The Big Bad in Licence Renewed uses a Gyrojet pistol in the final firefight. When he is shot In the Back with it, it is described as leaving a clean hole through him.
- Used for a Boarding Party IN SPACE! in Boomers by J. R. Dunn. The soldier using the Gyrojet regards it as "a piece of shit", but it's the closest thing they have to a recoilless pistol so he's stuck with it.
- In Cybergeneration, a sequel to Cyberpunk 2020, gyrojet weapons have obsoleted most traditional handguns; unsurprising, since in the dark future the projectiles are self-guided, computer-controlled little monsters.
- The Ultra-Tech supplement for GURPS has "Gyroc" weaponry, arriving on the scene at Tech Level 9 (Cyberpunk tech). The Gyrojet is mentioned as the distant ancestor of Gyroc weapons which overcome the earlier weapon's design flaws through application of futuristic tech. Like the example from Cybergeneration above, GURPS Gyrocs can also fire homing rounds (along with a wide variety of specialized warheads).
- In Mutant: Year Zero, specifically from the Elysium Source Book, the arsenal of Gyrojet Weaponry is the rarest and some of the most powerful firearms that are available in the game as a whole. Being able to decimate most enemies with a single rocket.
- From Warhammer 40,000, the high-end ballistic small arms used by the Imperium of Man are "Bolters", guns that fire amor-piercing, rocket-propelled rounds that explode just after contact. They're fairly hard to get, meaning they're well beyond the means of the average Imperial soldier. They're most commonly seen being used by elite forces, such as Space Marines or the Sisters of Battle.
- 7.62 High Caliber has all three variants show up. Naturally, they are Awesome, but Impractical, as both they and their ammunition are pretty costly. You even have a random chance of recruiting a mercenary early in the game who carries one, but the gun and its ammo are literally impossible to find at that point and you're better of selling the package.
- Batman (Sunsoft) for the NES gave Batman a pistol based on the Gyrojet.
- Given a nod in Borderlands 2 with Torgue's gyrojet munitions. They behave like very exaggerated versions of this, starting as Painfully Slow Projectiles, but getting quite fast towards the end. They also explode.
- Policenauts: The guns usually used on Beyond are described similarly to gyrojets, gaining most of their velocity out of the barrel to reduce recoil in microgravity. The Fish out of Temporal Water protagonist still uses a conventional "recoil gun".
- The Scribblenauts series includes a gyrojet amongst countless other weapons and firearms. Given the series exists in a 2D plane, it doesn't suffer from they gyrojet's crippling inaccuracy and fires explosive rounds, making it awesome AND practical.
- Shellshock 'Nam 67 has the main character run across a Gyrojet pistol. It fires only two rockets, which are high-explosive.
- A late game pistol in Phantom Doctrine. Being a Cold War spy thriller, it's only natural that a weapon most famous for its appearance in a James Bond film would turn up.
A series of very unusual proposed and prototyped weapons from Australian company Metal Storm Ltd., based on proprietary technology invented by J. Mike O'Dwyer. Unlike traditional firearms, the Metal Storm weapons use superposed loads, which loads multiple projectiles into a single barrel, then individually launches them via electrochemical ignition. Despite sounding like pure science fiction, the idea of superposed loads is not a new one, originating as a gimmick for some old muzzleloading firearms. What Metal Storm did was fixing the issue of unintended propellant ignition, where the ignition of one propellant causes others to be accidentally ignited.
The potential of such a system then is enormously high fire rates, due to not using any moving parts. The 36-barreled technology demonstrator had a firing rate of over 1 million rounds per minute, firing its entire load of 180 rounds in less than 0.01 seconds, with each individual barrel shooting 5 shots at around 27,000 rpm. For comparison, the M61 Vulcan merely has a rate of fire of 6,000 rpm.
Various products using Metal Storm technology were conceived, including:
- "Bertha": The 36-barreled technology demonstrator nicknamed "Bertha" by O'Dwyer.
- Metal Storm VLE: A proof-of-concept pistol with several variants, showing how the technology could be miniaturized. Essentially an attempt to defictionalise the Lawgiver, it used a Smart Gun concept with user identification and multiple ammo types.
- Advanced Individual Combat Weapon (AICW): The Australian counterpart to the OICW, based on the Australian F88 version of AUG with a Metal Storm grenade launcher.
- Multi-shot Accessory Under-barrel Launcher (MAUL): An accessory shotgun (intended to compete with the likes of the KAC Masterkey) using a front-loading 5-shot preloaded barrel.
- Metal Storm Redback RWS: A four-barrel remote weapon station, using 40mm grenades.
- Metal Storm 3GL: A grenade launcher that superposes 3 grenade rounds in the same tube.
Despite the weapon's potentials, the company had never realized them, and they come with a host of other problems. For one, Metal Storm weapons suffer from overcomplicated reloading, as each barrel has to be individually pre-loaded then replaced. Two, the superposed loads causes each individual projectile to have slightly different ballistics, as they travel down slightly longer barrels, restricting the applications to mortars and grenade launchers where the variance in the accuracy is not a concern. Weight was also a frequent concern even for the close-to-successful ideas; the 3GL, for example, came in at two-thirds the weight of a loaded M4 carbine.
Metal Storm was ultimately a commercial failure. Their largest contract was 500 MAULs and 50,000 less-lethal barrels to Papua New Guinea for law enforcement use, and even that may have not been delivered. In July 2012, the company's shares were suspended from trading, and the company was placed into voluntary administration. In August 2015, Australian company DefendTex acquired all of Metal Storm's patents, intellectual properties, trademarks and assets, so who knows where will these technology go next.
- Savage. Bill uses a six barrelled assault rifle variant known in-universe as the Steel Storm. The weapon uses a coded key ring to operate and is implied to be a prototype stolen from the Volgs. It proves incredibly effective in mowing down hordes of Volg troops.
- The MV Oregon from Clive Cussler's Oregon Files gets one of these mounted on her aft decks on a 360-degree gimbal. Its rate of fire puts the Oregon's 20mm CIWS gatlings to shame and makes it a basically-infallible anti-missile battery due to it being able to literally put up a wall of bullets, but it is still portrayed realistically: even with an automated reloading system, it takes too long to be fired multiple times in a high-intensity combat situation, so it is often left as a weapon of last resort or when time is on the Oregon's side.
- Metal Storm assault rifles show up in the hands of a group of mercenaries in Scarecrow. Relatively justified since everything in the Reillyverse runs on Rule of Cool.
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson apparently owns a Metal Storm VLE in his memorabilia collection, as seen in "Eye Spy" (S 1 E 04).
- One episode of CSI: Miami revolves around a "Vaporizer Gun", a thinly-disguised version of Metal Storm.
- The Metal Storm AICW was featured as an unusable weapon in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, used by People's Voice revolutionaries in the opening level. Even Sam comments on how strange it is for these guns to show up in their hands (noting that he thinks Kalashnikov when he thinks "guerilla"), leading to an optional objective across the first two levels to tag crates of the guns to find out where they came from.
- Soldier of Fortune: Payback features the Metal Storm VLE pistol. A cut Metal Storm AICW can also be found in the game files.
- Call of Duty seems to have taken an interest in the MAUL for a while, with both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare featuring the weapon, calling it the "Bulldog", featuring it as a standalone weapon in both games and Ghosts also allowing it to be used as an underbarrel attachment for assault rifles. In addition, the ASD or AGR in Call of Duty: Black Ops II is modeled with the Metal Storm Redback RWS, incorrectly presented as a regular machine gun rather than the grenade launcher it really is, and the game also featured a singleplayer-only sniper rifle known as the Storm PSR, a fictional three-barreled sniper rifle based on Metal Storm technology (with its ability to queue up to five rounds at once to penetrate all sorts of cover having been a suggested ability of Metal Storm's weapon systems).
- In Battlefield 4, the Final Stand DLC, fitting the DLC's military sci-fi theme, features the technology demonstrator as a weapon emplacement, called the Schipunov 42, as a reference to Battlefield 2142. The weapon functions like a massive shotgun, able to blast away infantry, light vehicles, and choppers with ease.
Additionally, the Naval Strike DLC features the "M320 3GL", based on the Metal Storm 3GL grenade launcher. However, it is very lazily implemented, reusing the normal M320 model and its reload animation, which only shows one regular round being reloaded.
- The Metal Storm 3GL is the standard under barrel launcher for the NATO faction in the base Arma III, available with both single and three-round versions of explosive, flare and smoke shells.
- The Typhoon from Crysis 3 is conceptually based on the Metal Storm. Its magazine and barrel consists of ten tubes of 72 superimposed rounds each, and has a devastating 30,000 rpm (500 rounds per second), tearing through everything with ease.
Well-known examples of underwater firearms from the Cold War include the Heckler & Koch P11, an underwater pistol with a design resembling a pepperbox pistol, and the Soviet SPP-1 underwater pistol and APS underwater assault rifle. More modern Russian developments include the ASM-DT based on the APS (which is designed to fire both its proprietary darts underwater and regular 5.45mm rounds on land) and the ADS amphibious rifle based on the A-91 assault rifle.
While undoubtedly a cool idea and still seeing active use, underwater firearms are very specialized and rare, and not used very often even in the rare situations they would be useful in for various reasons. For one, even their specialized ammunition is limited in range in their intended element (the longest-reaching ones like the APS have a maximum effective range of 30 meters at shallow depths - for context, regular modern 9mm pistols reach 50 meters through air), and their ability to be fired both above or below water means they're not very effective at either (to mention the APS again, its above-water range is only 50 meters - and its barrel is only rated to withstand two-hundred shots in air, versus 2,000 underwater). While rifles have more than acceptable range and power for underwater usage, it's also hard to aim them properly, as the longer barrel and the typical wide, flat magazines give a lot of surface area for water resistance to hinder movement; generally, Spetsnaz frogmen would prefer to take the smaller SPP-1 pistol for underwater work, then switch to a regular AK-74 once they got on land.
Lastly, don't expect any civilian divers in real life to get their hands on them.
Anime & Manga
- In Black Lagoon, one episode shows off the APS underwater rifle, with Revy using it both above and underwater to kill some people. Though Revy gets it specifically for an assignment which will take her underwater, and she gets it from Balalaika, who is (possibly-not-so-)ex-Spetznaz and possibly the one person in the world most likely to be able to get one for Revy.
- Lara Croft played by Angelina Jolie uses a P11 once in the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
- Rogue Warrior: Red Cell sees the eponymous team acquire some APS rifles for use on an underwater op.
- Depth features an incredible array of underwater firearms armed by civilian divers, though this is required due to the game's focus on divers vs sharks underwater combat. Amongst other weapons like spear pistols, the divers are also armed with SPP-1 and P-11 underwater pistols, as well as the APS and ADS underwater rifles.
- Delta Force: Land Warrior allows use of both the P11 pistol and the APS rifle. They're both depicted rather unrealistically, having ridiculously long range (though rather average accuracy) and high effectiveness both above and below water, the P11 also incorrectly shown as keeping a round in the chamber when it's reloaded before being emptied (despite it being a multi-barrel design that doesn't have room for an "extra" round) while the APS is given the same 30-round capacity as most other assault rifles (the real thing carries 26).
- The APS Underwater Rifle is a weapon featured in some underwater missions in the Call of Duty: Ghosts campaign.
- The SDAR 5.56mm is an all-faction underwater weapon in ARMA III, though unlike all of the above weapons, it is a modified Kel-Tec RFB Carbine firing supercavitating ammunition. It can also take regular 30-round 5.56mm magazines for fighting above the water, but since it still has poor range and power with no options for attachments, you're better taking a cue from the above-mentioned Spetsnaz frogmen, only taking a mag or two of the specialized underwater ammo just in case, and packing a regular gun in your wetsuit's absurdly-spacious pockets for once you get on land.
- The P11 is issued to James Bond in the "Night Shift" level for the console version of NightFire, renamed the "Korsakov K5 Dart Gun". It's been re-purposed as a tranquilizer gun used to incapacitate rather than kill the security guards. In the PC version, it can be accessed by a cheat code (and is again renamed, this time to the "UP11") and it behaves like a normal gun, with the bonus of being usable underwater like how it's supposed to be.
- A P11 shows up near the end of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Sully grabbing it from a kit with scuba gear for the two to use. It's shown incredibly unrealistically - for one, it's only modeled with three barrels rather than the real thing's five, and for two, it apparently launches high-explosive rockets, one of which is enough to destroy a crane dragging the game's local Artifact of Doom out of the water, and one more of which is enough to set the entire ancient city this is happening in to start crumbling.
Prior to The American Civil War, Walter Hunt developed the Rocket Ball as an alternative to paper cartridges. The Rocket Ball's physical durability allowed practical repeating firearms other than revolvers to be developed. Since the powder was contained within a cavity to the rear of the cartridge, it was an early example of caseless ammunition.
Development of firearms around this cartridge led to the earliest lever-action firearms. In 1855, Horace Smith and Dan B. Wesson of later Smith & Wesson fame formed the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company to produce these weapons. The company went on to produce a number of pistol and rifle models over the next year until the company was forced into insolvency by investor Oliver Winchester. Reorganised into the New Haven Arms Company, Volcanic weapons continued to be produced until they developed the Henry rifle, which used the now-standard brass-cased ammunition. Both Smith & Wesson and Winchester are Spiritual Successors to the company with the Henry and Winchester Repeaters being evolutions of the Volcanic design.
Volcanic Repeating Arms are probably more well known for their legacy than their performance or success as a weapon. The Rocket Ball ammunition itself was pathetically underpowered, with the pistol calibers in particular firing at velocities comparable to modern airsoft guns — one famous anecdote claims that a man attempted to commit suicide with a Volcanic pistol and gave up after three point-blank shots to the head left him with nothing but a painful flesh wound. The weapons themselves didn't sell all that well and the pistol variant was somewhat Awesome, but Impractical, given that they were heavier than a weapon as underpowered as it was should be and awkward to fire repeatedly due to the lever action not being suited for a small, one-handed weapon.
Nevertheless, the Volcanic pistol has seen a resurgence in popularity in Western-themed video games in recent years, since the idea of a lever action pistol is one of the few acceptable alternatives to revolvers in terms of Rule of Cool, often appearing more powerful than its real life counterpart.
- Manco wields a Volcanic Rifle at the end of For a Few Dollars More to prevent Indio from shooting Colonel Mortimer while he's unarmed.
- Gun. J.J. Webb carries a Volcanic pistol as his Weapon of Choice. After defeating him and Dave Rudabaugh, Colton obtains the Volcanic pistol for his own use. It carries ten rounds and has more stopping power than the previous Colt Navy and Schofield pistols that are available ingame.
- Juarez in Call of Juarez carries a pair of Volcanic pistols as his Weapon of Choice. It's also available for the player to use and carries eight rounds. It returns in the prequel, this time with a twelve round capacity. Like the above example, it's way more powerful than the real version.
- The Volcanic Pistol is available early on in Red Dead Redemption, being available for purchase in Armadillo. Again, it is somehow more powerful than the Cattleman Revolver (Colt Single Action Army), but fires and reloads more slowly, has shorter range and fires ammunition from a separate ammunition pool. It returns for the prequel.
- Hard West features the "Volcano Pistol" as one of the less outlandish weapons in the game.