The player can obtain it by saving Twin Rocks from a zombie outbreak.
The player can also obtain in a "I Don't Feel Too Good Mister" Random Encounter in which it can be obtained by hogtying the victim before he/she turns Undead.
The Volcanic Pistol is unlocked into the player's regular inventory upon reaching rank 5.
The "Volcanic Killer" weapon challenges are unlocked at the same level. Completion of these challenges turns the weapon golden for the player.
It can also be obtained by killing another player who has the weapon equipped.
The Volcanic Pistol, although relatively obsolete compared to larger-caliber revolvers and automatic pistols, can still be used to effectively dispatch enemies.
The weapon in multiplayer is capable of quick kills and can kill a player with one headshot, unlike many other pistols and revolvers which would require 2 or 3.
It may be hard to utilize the Volcanic to its fullest potential due to the fact that the weapon uses Pistol Ammo, which, at the beginning of the game, is rare and expensive. By the time ammo is readily available, the Volcanic Pistol is obsolete because of the presence of better weapons that use pistol ammo.
Very few were ever made in real life, in the 1850s, and by 1911 they would have been rare collectors' items as well as completely obsolete. This may explain why the Volcanic Pistol is featured on the emblem to the Exquisite Taste Achievement/Trophy, which requires players to buy a rare weapon.
Although it was short-lived and lever action pistols didn't catch on, the Volcanic Pistol had a far-reaching legacy. It was designed by Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson, who went on to found Smith & Wesson, one of the most prolific manufacturers of revolvers (including the Schofield Revolver). Oliver Winchester was a major investor and production was supervised by B Tyler Henry. The lever action design of the Volcanic pistols and carbines was refined by Henry and Winchester with the Henry Repeater (1860) and the Winchester Repeater 1866 and 1873 rifles.
The pistol is shown being reloaded through the breech when in reality bullets had to be loaded through a magazine tube near the muzzle.
In an ad in the 1911 edition of the newspaper, the gunsmith in Armadillo states the Volcanic Pistol is a fine weapon but has large stocks that must be sold quickly. This may be to make room for more modern weapons.
Although in the game the gun has greater power than the Cattleman Revolver, the reverse would be true in real life due to differences in ammunition; the Volcanic's so-called "Rocket Balls" were notably feeble.