Tuesday, July 14, 2015
A back-up piece. Extra insurance. Last resort. Whatever you call them, these compact and easily concealable guns can bring you peace of mind in a small package. Take a look at these tiny treasures.
Although Henry Deringer manufactured other types of firearms, he is perhaps best known for his pocket pistols—so much so that his name has become generically associated with them. (The more common spelling nowadays is “derringer.”)
Original derringers held only a single round until Remington designed one that doubled the capacity. Sometimes called the “Double Ace,” this compact derringer was made between 1866 and 1935.
Between 1863 and 1888, Remington also produced multi-barrel derringers called Remington’s New Repeating Pistol. This .32-caliber Elliot Pocket Repeater has a four-shot square barrel.
A patent was issued to Christian Sharps in 1849 for this “revolver” which was actually a four-barrel pepperbox that didn’t revolve. Some 85,000 of these were made between 1859 and 1868.
Fewer than 17,000 of these diminutive—but powerful—derringers were made. Across the confines of a gambling table, the owners of these Colt derringers were ready for any eventuality.
Less than 600 of these expensive but ultra-compact law-enforcement back-up pistols were ever manufactured. The Semmerling LM4 wasn’t a semi-automatic, but rather a manually operated repeater.
All of these guns, plus other historic treasures, can be seen at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., located on the first floor of NRA Headquarters.
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