The Volcanic firearm series was most commonly produced in a rifle, a pistol, and a pocket pistol. However there was a rare fourth model that came in the form of a pocket rifle or pistol carbine. The Volcanic pistol carbine featured a 16 ½ inch barrel with a regular pistol grip. A detachable buttstock came with the carbine which attached to the grip. Like other Volcanic firearms, the carbine fired the rocket, an early cartridge which consisted of a bullet with a hollow channel, which was filled with gunpowder and sealed with a primer. Only 300 Volcanic pistol carbines were produced.
The Volcanic Firearms Company was founded by Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (Smith & Wesson) in 1855 with the financial backing of Oliver Winchester. The Volcanic series would be a failure due to its ammunition, the rocket ball had very limited power, range, and accuracy. The Volcanic Firearms Co. went into insolvency in 1856, and was bought out and reorganized into the New Haven Firearms Company by Oliver Winchester in 1857. The Volcanic design would form the basis for the later Henry Rifle, and Winchester series of lever action rifles.