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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default derringer for self defense?

    I am new to the forum and will be listening mainly. However I have one question that has long interested me. Of what use. if any. is the derringer pistol in 44special410 shotshell inself defense? With the short rifled portion ahead of the chamber the 410 would not have much velocity and the 44 special would not be particularly accurate. Thank you. Marcus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Any weapon is better than none, but I would take a pocket knife over a derringer any day.

    Debating the mechanical advantages of a derringer is kind of like contemplating nipples on a bull, it kills time but doesn't really mean anything.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    No. And here is why.

    The derringers have
    a) very small grips and thus hard to get a hold on, like FAST

    b) very slow to cock (yea there are a few DA versions but they have small trigger guards.)

    c) zero sights for all practical matters.

    d) extremely hard to shoot past pissing distance.

    e) extremely limited rounds (1 thru 4)

    f) extremely slow reloads.

    g) if in a large cal. they kick like heck (and if in small cal. then what the heck are you doing with it?)

    Other than that they are good guns for SD.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Long Island, NY
    Certain Derringers are easier to shoot than others. I have derringers by ADC in 45ACP, 44Magnum,45Long Colt and the monster 45/70. All are difficult to shoot fast at ranges beyond contact distance for the reasons already mentioned. That being said I also have another one made by ADC called the DA 38 that shoots double action only in 357 magnum, there is a cut away trigger guard for fast shooting and it has the flat profile and similiar look of the old High Standard Derringers. Though I enjoy shooting all of my ADC the DA38 in the only one I would carry in a back up role for self-defense. I can shoot this one very fast and accurate out to 25 feet, in the potent 357 magnum caliber...recoil is not as bad as the other classical derringers with the birds head grip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    They can serve a good purpose,but are not best for a SD carry gun,, those in the large bore calibere's are very hard on the hands when shooting,due to grip angle and size,those from ADC,which in MO are the best, are as big as a good J frame or a Charter Arms.

    Now with that said,I do have one of the 45cotl/410 versions and have carried it on UC jobs,always loaded with the buckshot loads,never shot any human with it but did shoot a large doberman,and it DRT.

    This could be again IMO the best ankle carry gun for those who just don't want to bother with semi's or wheelies,the ADC has a very positive safety,and works basicly just like a single action colt in cocking it
    All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.

    Samuel Butler


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    In the world but not of it
    I've handled a couple of those Bond derringers, and I don't have enough strength/leverage in my trigger finger to make the hammer fall.

    Derringers are also restricted by Sat Night Special law dimension limits or prohibited in some states.

  7. #7
    Al Lipscomb Guest
    All good points already made. If it is what you have, and there is no chance of getting a decent SD firearm then use what you have. Given the choice a five shot .38 J frame would be a better tool for SD use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by marcus
    I am new to the forum and will be listening mainly. However I have one question that has long interested me. Of what use. if any. is the derringer pistol in 44special410 shotshell inself defense? With the short rifled portion ahead of the chamber the 410 would not have much velocity and the 44 special would not be particularly accurate. Thank you. Marcus
    I know an older guy who carries a 2 shot Derringer. He says if he misses, he'll just hurl the gun at the perpitrator like in the movies. I was like "R U nuts. Get a semiauto old man."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE TX
    I would not carry a derringer as my primary defensive weapon, as I want something powerful that I can deploy quickly and shoot well, such as a Ruger SP101, as a minimum. I would not use a derringer as a backup because the firepower/weight/bulk equation favors other firearms designs, such as small-frame snubby revolvers and compact autoloaders, IMHO.

  10. #10
    From The Armed Citizen:

    Parma Sun Post, Parma, OH, 7/30/98
    The husband and wife owners of an ice cream store were cleaning up after closing one evening when two men, both wearing handkerchiefs over part of their faces and one armed with a handgun, appeared at the building's screen door. After demanding that the wife open the door, the nearest man forced the door open. The wife yelled for her husband, who pulled a derringer from his pocket and fired two rounds, sending both men fleeing.

    The Tribune, Salt Lake City, UT, 4/7/97
    Animal control must sometimes be performed with a firearm. Bill Call of Ogden, Utah, was walking his miniature schnauzer when it was attacked by a pit bull. Call tried to intervene, but received bites from the ferocious dog for his trouble. After a passing letter-carrier tried to subdue the large dog with pepper spray, Call drew his .22 derringer and shot the vicious canine in the head, killing it instantly. Police said Call had no other option to save the schnauzer as well as protect himself.

    The Courant, Hartford, CT, 1/6/95
    A would-be rapist started the year off on the wrong foot when he attempted to rape an armed West Hartford, Connecticut, woman as she walked home early on New Year's Day. Dragging the woman into the bushes, pinning her to the ground, and forcibly removing part of her clothing, the attacker refused to heed the woman's words when she tried to reason with him to stop. Her licensed derringer did what words failed to. A single gunshot wound to the chest ended the attack as the man staggered into the road and collapsed. He died later in a hospital. The woman was not charged in the incident.

    The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, 10/10/94
    After a man pounded on her door, cut the electric, telephone and alarm system lines to her house and launched several bricks through her windows, 61-year-old Annie Holt decided she'd had enough. With her .22 derringer in hand, the Nashville resident repeatedly warned her harasser to stop trying to force entry or be shot. He didn't stop, so Holt finally shot and killed him. Police did not expect charges to be filed against Holt.

    The Tribune, Chanute, KS, 12/4/91
    Clint Spear, 10, was at home with a group of eight children and their baby sitter when a man knocked on the door and claimed car trouble. As Spear was getting his father's two-shot deringer, the man forced his way into the house. The boy fired the first barrel, which missed the man, who then grabbed a girl, who was also at the house. Spear's second shot hit the man in the neck, causing him to drop the girl. The man fled while Spear was trying to reload the pistol, but was later found at a local hospital undergoing treatment.

    The Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX, 11/11/82
    A woman driving to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport was flagged down by a motorist and informed that a wheel was loose on her vehicle. She thanked him and drove on, but was pulled over again and told the car was not safe. He offered her a ride to the airport, then, saying he knew a shortcut, drove to a cemetery. There, he attempted to rape her, but was thwarted when she drew a derringer and shot him.

    The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA
    American Rifleman Issue: 1/1/1983
    As he was locking his San Francisco, Calif., grocery for the night, Gene Hui saw four young men charging him. He jumped into his pickup, but the gang closed in and yanked the grocer and a waiting friend to the street. Beating Hui with a bottle, a pair of the thugs tried to wrest a briefcase containing the day's receipts from him. But Hui countered with a drawn derringer and shot and injured them. Police arrested two suspects shortly thereafter when they sought treatment at a local hospital.

    The Tribune, Oakland, CA
    American Rifleman Issue: 3/1/1982
    The instincts gained from enduring five robberies in 10 years told Louis Anderson that something was wrong when three men entered his Oakland, Calif., tavern. After one demanded cash and bashed him on the head, Anderson drew a derringer and shot him twice. The doughty barman then pulled a 9 mm automatic and shot it out with the three criminals, wounding two and being hit three times himself. Anderson, who had killed an armed robber three years earlier, said he would keep his establishment open: "It's my business ain't it? The rest didn't run me out."

    The Morning News, Dallas, TX, 10/24/81
    A pair of burglars cut the telephone lines to 65-year-old Francis Pullin's Oak Cliff, Tex., home but hadn't planned for Pullin's poodle or for his .38 cal. derringer. The dog alerted the homeowner to the burglars, and when one took a swing at him with a baseball bat, Pullin opened up, hitting the criminal in the side and arm and sending him fleeing. Police caught him and an accomplice later as they sought medical attention.

    The Ledger, Columbus, GA
    American Rifleman Issue: 1/1/1978
    Bruce Davidson was standing on a corner in downtown Columbus, Ga., when he saw a mugger grab an old woman's purse and knock her to the ground. Drawing a cal. .22 derringer, he chased the thug, stopping him with a shot to the leg.

    The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA
    American Rifleman Issue: 1/1/1974
    A man wielding a rifle and a female companion with a knife burst into an Oakland, Calif., store and demanded money from owner George Hester. When Hester fired a cal. .22 derringer at the pair, the holdup man fled but was later found by police lying in a gutter with a neck wound. The woman was arrested at the store.

    Associated Press, TN
    American Rifleman Issue: 11/1/1960
    In Jasper, Tenn., Mrs. Gene Taylor shot a burglar with a cal. .32 double-barrel derringer

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