Derringers are small, pocket-sized pistols that are known for their concealability and ease of use. They are a type of handgun that typically has a two-shot capacity and is known for its compact size and unique design. In this article, we will explore the history of derringers, the best derringers on the market, the benefits of owning one, and the safety considerations that come with owning a derringer.

The derringer has a long and interesting history, dating back to the 19th century. It was popularized by the infamous Deringer brothers, who were known for their small, pocket-sized firearms. These early derringers were single-shot and were primarily used for self-defense.

Today, there are a variety of derringers available on the market, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Some of the best derringers include:

  • Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer
  • North American Arms Mini Revolver Derringer
  • American Derringer Model 1 Derringer
  • Remington Model 95 Derringer
  • Cobra Big Bore Derringer

Owning a derringer comes with several benefits. Firstly, their compact size makes them ideal for concealed carry. They are also easy to use, making them a good choice for beginners or those with limited experience with firearms. Additionally, derringers come in a variety of calibers, giving gun enthusiasts a range of options to choose from. Finally, their unique design and historical significance make them a popular choice for collectors.

However, it’s important to consider safety when owning a derringer. Proper handling and storage are crucial to prevent accidental discharge. It’s also important to receive training and familiarize yourself with the specific features and operation of your derringer. Lastly, it’s essential to be aware of the legal considerations and regulations surrounding owning a derringer in your state or country.

In conclusion, derringers are a popular and iconic type of handgun known for their compact size and ease of use. Whether you’re looking for a self-defense weapon or a unique addition to your gun collection, a derringer may be the perfect choice for you. Just remember to prioritize safety and be well-informed about the legal considerations before purchasing and owning a derringer.

Key Takeaways:


  • Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer is one of the best derringers on the market, with its powerful caliber and high-quality construction.
  • The compact and concealable nature of derringers make them a great choice for self-defense and everyday carry.
  • When owning a derringer, it is important to handle and store it properly, receive proper training, and be aware of any legal considerations.


What Are Derringers?

Derringers are compact handguns that were first introduced in the 19th century. They are easily recognizable by their unique design, featuring either a single or double barrel and a short grip. Due to their small size, derringers were popular among gamblers and women for their ability to be easily concealed.

Today, they are primarily used for self-defense purposes or as collectibles. Despite their limited capacity, they can still be effective in close-range encounters. In fact, there have been real-life instances where derringers have been used successfully in self-defense, such as the case of Della Moore who defended herself against an armed intruder with a derringer.

What Is the History of Derringers?

Derringers have an intriguing history that dates back to the early nineteenth century. The term “derringer” was coined after Henry Deringer, a renowned gunsmith who popularized these small, single-shot pistols. These compact firearms were highly concealable and gained popularity among gamblers, women, and individuals seeking personal protection.

One of the most well-known derringers is the Philadelphia Deringer, famously used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Today, derringers continue to be manufactured by various companies, offering a combination of traditional and modern design. Understanding the history of derringers provides valuable insights into their significance and enduring appeal.

What Are the Best Derringers on the Market?

When it comes to derringers, there are countless options available on the market. However, not all derringers are created equal and some stand out above the rest. In this section, we will discuss the top 5 best derringers on the market, each with its own unique features and capabilities. From the Bond Arms Snake Slayer to the Cobra Big Bore, these derringers are sure to impress any gun enthusiast. So, let’s dive in and discover the best derringers that are available today.

1. Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer

The Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer is a popular choice for firearms enthusiasts looking for a compact and powerful self-defense weapon. Here are some steps to consider when exploring this particular derringer:

  1. Research: Learn about the features, specifications, and reviews of the Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer.
  2. Try it: If possible, visit a local shooting range or attend a firearms expo to test fire the derringer.
  3. Consider your needs: Determine if the Snake Slayer’s caliber, barrel length, and overall design align with your self-defense requirements.
  4. Price and availability: Research the market for pricing options and availability of the Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer.
  5. Legal requirements: Familiarize yourself with local and state laws regarding the purchase, ownership, and carrying of the Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer.

2. North American Arms Mini Revolver Derringer

The North American Arms Mini Revolver Derringer is a highly sought-after choice among firearm enthusiasts. This compact derringer is renowned for its easy concealment and carry capabilities. Its sturdy construction and reliable design ensure long-lasting durability and smooth operation. Available in various calibers, users can select the one that best fits their preferences and needs. Additionally, this unique and collectible firearm is a popular choice among collectors. However, it is important to always consider safety precautions, such as proper handling, storage, and legal compliance, when using any firearm.

3. American Derringer Model 1 Derringer

The American Derringer Model 1 is a popular choice for those seeking a compact and reliable firearm. Its small size and lightweight design make it easy to carry and conceal. The Model 1, also known as the Derringer, is chambered in various calibers, including .45 Long Colt and .410 shotgun shells, providing versatility for different needs. Collectors also appreciate the unique and timeless appeal of this Derringer.

When it comes to safety, proper handling, storage, and familiarization with the firearm are vital. Legal considerations, such as understanding local regulations, are equally important.

True story: A friend of mine, an avid gun collector, acquired an American Derringer Model 1, also known as the Derringer, from a family member. He cherished its craftsmanship and historic significance, often showing it off to fellow enthusiasts during shooting events. While he never had to use it for self-defense, he took pride in owning a piece of American firearm history.

4. Remington Model 95 Derringer

The Remington Model 95 Derringer is a top choice for those in search of a reliable derringer. Its compact size offers many advantages, including easy concealment and portability. With its break-action design, the Remington Model 95 is also user-friendly and simple to load and unload. Additionally, it is available in various calibers, giving users the option to select the appropriate level of firepower.

Owning a Remington Model 95 Derringer is a unique experience and a valuable addition to any firearm collection. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety by following proper handling and storage procedures, as well as adhering to legal requirements when owning a derringer.

5. Cobra Big Bore Derringer

The Cobra Big Bore Derringer is a popular choice among firearms enthusiasts. Here are some important steps to consider when purchasing and using this specific derringer model:

  1. Research and Familiarize: Gather information about the Cobra Big Bore Derringer, including its specifications, features, and user reviews.
  2. Select a Reliable Retailer: Choose a reputable firearms dealer or online seller to ensure authenticity and quality.
  3. Check Local Laws: Before purchasing, make sure that owning and carrying a derringer is legal in your area.
  4. Get Proper Training: Seek professional training on safe handling, loading, unloading, and shooting techniques specific to the Cobra Big Bore Derringer.
  5. Practice Shooting: Regularly visit a shooting range to improve accuracy and become comfortable with the Cobra Big Bore Derringer model’s unique characteristics.

What Are the Benefits of Owning a Derringer?

Derringers may be small in size, but they pack a powerful punch. These unique handguns have been around for centuries and continue to be popular among gun enthusiasts. In this section, we will discuss the benefits of owning a derringer and why it may be a valuable addition to your firearm collection. From its compact and concealable design to its unique historical background, there are many reasons why derringers are a favorite among gun owners. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of owning a derringer and why it may be the perfect choice for your next firearm purchase.

1. Compact and Concealable

Compact and concealable, derringers offer a convenient self-defense option. To fully understand the benefits, consider the following steps:

  1. Choose a compact derringer model, such as the Bond Arms Snake Slayer Derringer or the North American Arms Mini Revolver Derringer.
  2. Ensure proper concealed carry by using a suitable holster or carrying method.
  3. Practice drawing and firing from concealment to become proficient.
  4. Take advantage of the derringer’s lightweight and small size for easy carry and discreet concealment.

Fun Fact: Derringers were originally designed for use during the mid-19th century, making them one of the earliest concealed carry options.

2. Easy to Use

Derringers are known for their ease of use, making them a popular choice for self-defense. Here are the steps to using a derringer:

  1. Ensure the firearm is unloaded and the safety is engaged.
  2. Hold the grip firmly with your dominant hand.
  3. Use your non-dominant hand to release the barrel latch.
  4. Pull the barrel assembly up until it locks into place.
  5. Load the chambers with the appropriate ammunition.
  6. Aim the derringer at your target, keeping your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  7. When ready, squeeze the trigger to fire.
  8. After firing, use caution when opening the barrel assembly to remove spent casings.

Remember to follow all safety guidelines and receive proper training when handling firearms.

3. Variety of Calibers Available

Derringers offer a wide variety of calibers to cater to individual preferences and needs. If you are considering exploring the different calibers available, here are some steps to keep in mind:

  1. Research: Understand the purpose and use of the derringer to determine the caliber that best suits your needs.
  2. Ammunition availability: Consider the availability of ammunition for the chosen caliber to ensure that it can be easily obtained.
  3. Stopping power: Evaluate the stopping power of various calibers and choose one that provides the desired level of effectiveness.
  4. Recoil: Take into account the recoil generated by different calibers and select one that is manageable and comfortable for you.
  5. Personal preference: Ultimately, choose a caliber that you feel confident and comfortable with as personal preference plays a significant role in the shooting experience.

4. Unique and Collectible

Derringers are highly sought after by firearms enthusiasts due to their distinct and collectible nature. These compact and concealable handguns have a rich history and come in a variety of calibers, making them appealing to collectors.

Some of the best derringers on the market include:

  1. Bond Arms Snake Slayer
  2. North American Arms Mini Revolver
  3. American Derringer Model 1
  4. Remington Model 95
  5. Cobra Big Bore

However, owning a derringer also comes with safety considerations, such as proper handling and storage, training and familiarization, and understanding the legal implications.

Overall, derringers offer a unique and valuable addition to any firearm collection.

What Are the Safety Considerations for Owning a Derringer?

As with any firearm, owning a derringer comes with a responsibility to prioritize safety. In this section, we will discuss the key safety considerations that should be kept in mind when owning a derringer. From proper handling and storage to training and legal considerations, we will cover all aspects of safe derringer ownership. So let’s dive in and ensure that we are responsible and well-informed gun owners.

1. Proper Handling and Storage

Proper handling and storage of derringers is crucial for safety. Follow these steps to ensure responsible ownership:

  1. Always treat the firearm as if it is loaded, even if you believe it is not.
  2. Keep the derringer in a locked container, such as a gun safe, to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. Store ammunition separately from the derringer, in a secure and dry location.
  4. When handling the derringer, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  5. Regularly inspect the derringer for any signs of damage or malfunction.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to ensure proper functioning.
  7. Keep the derringer away from children and educate them about firearm safety.
  8. When transporting the derringer, use a suitable carrying case or holster to prevent accidental discharge.

2. Training and Familiarization

  • Research: Become familiar with the specific derringer model you own or plan to purchase by reading the manufacturer’s manual and any available resources on safe handling and operation.
  • Seek Instruction: Enroll in a firearms training course or seek guidance from a certified instructor to learn proper techniques for handling, loading, and firing a derringer.
  • Practice: Improve your familiarity and proficiency with your derringer by scheduling regular practice sessions at a shooting range. Focus on proper grip, sight alignment, and trigger control.
  • Safety Rules: Always follow standard firearm safety rules, such as treating every derringer as if it’s loaded, keeping your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and pointing the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Maintenance: Learn how to disassemble, clean, and maintain your derringer. Regular cleaning and upkeep are crucial for reliable and safe operation.

3. Legal Considerations

When owning a derringer, it is crucial to consider legal aspects to ensure compliance and safety. Here are some legal considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Research local laws: Familiarize yourself with firearm laws in your jurisdiction, including permits, licenses, and restrictions.
  2. Transportation regulations: Understand the rules for transporting a derringer, such as proper storage, concealed carry laws, and restrictions on carrying in certain locations.
  3. Background checks: Comply with background check requirements when purchasing a derringer from a licensed dealer.
  4. Transfer and sale: Follow legal procedures for transferring or selling a derringer, including required paperwork and background checks.
  5. Storage and access: Safely store your derringer to prevent unauthorized access, especially if there are specific laws regarding securing firearms in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lost wax casting process and why is it important in the production of Bond Arms derringers?

The lost wax casting process is a method of creating intricate and high-quality metal components. Bond Arms uses this process to produce the stainless steel components of their derringers, resulting in extremely well-made guns that are known for their reliability and accuracy.

What is the Bond Arms series and why is it considered the premier derringer manufacturer?

The Bond Arms series is a line of derringers produced by the company founded by Gordon Bond in 1995. Their use of the lost wax casting process sets them apart from other manufacturers and has made them a highly respected and sought-after brand in the industry.

What is a modern derringer and what are some key features to look for when purchasing one?

A modern derringer is a small and concealable gun with a single or double barrel design. When purchasing one, it is important to research the reputation and reliability of the manufacturer, as well as the caliber and chambering options available.

What is the industry standard for derringer caliber and how versatile are Bond Arms derringers in terms of compatibility?

The industry standard for derringer caliber is typically .45 ACP, however, Bond Arms derringers are known for their compatibility with over 20 different calibers. This allows for customization and caliber swap options, making them a popular choice among gun enthusiasts.

Is in-stock ammo readily available for Bond Arms derringers?

Yes, in-stock ammo for Bond Arms derringers is generally easy to find due to the popularity and widespread use of the brand. This is a contributing factor to its popularity among the gun-owning community.

What makes the Mama Bear model the best derringer in terms of compact size and powerful performance?

The Mama Bear model boasts a compact overall length of 4.5 inches and a powerful .357 Magnum barrel. Its small size makes it easy to carry in a pocket or a gentlemans coat, while its powerful caliber makes it a formidable self-defense gun.

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