Tuesday, July 21, 2009

American Derringer Model 1






Purchased new in December of 1993

Fires .45 Colt or 2 ½’’ .410 shotgun

3’’ Barrel

The best reason I can give for me owning this gun is that it is way cool. “Made in the USA,” means something special to me, especially when it is “Made in Texas.” When the stuffed suits at Smith & Wesson were licking the boots of anti-gun politicians,
it took a woman to stand up and “fight like a man.” I respectfully tip my hat to Elizabeth Saunders, AKA Lady Derringer; she put principles above profit. I wish her well.

As far as I know, there never was a double derringer chambered for the .45 Colt during the Wild West era.
This American Derringer Model 1 is a modern gun made of muscle. This is a durable, well made, stainless steel gun, unlike the less expensive copies made with steel-lined alloy barrels.

As with its archaic .41 rimfire predecessor, the Model 1 is not a long-range gun. In order to accommodate the option of the .410 load there is only about ½’’ of rifling in the 3’’ barrel so key holing is common with the .45 slugs. However, when you need to make a big hole in something at bad breath distance, whether the bullet flies out of the barrel nose first, sideways, or tumbles nose over butt, a 225-grain .45 slug from a derringer has bodacious potential. Just how much juice does a .45 Colt have from a 3’’ barrel?
Click here for Ballistics by the inch. At a target distance of 3 – 6 feet from the muzzle, most shooters can get it to shoot to near point of aim. From 9 - 12 feet a shooter can usually maintain at least one-minute-of-watermelon accuracy. I cannot hit the vital zone of a man-size target at 20 feet, but I’ll hazard a guess that some people can. The farther away you are from your target, the more likely you are to miss. A miss with any gun can have unfathomably dire downrange consequences. Derringers are not for use in running gun battles across parking lot expanses, the primary mission for pistols of this size has always been for sneaky, up close, last ditch defense. Have no doubt about it, the .45 Colt kicks hard when fired from this little gun and it hurts the shooting hand. When a shooter asks to try it out, I first have him shoot a .45 Colt from my Ruger Vaquero and then ask if he still wants to give the derringer a go. Usually the answer is “no,” or they only manage to suffer through a couple of rounds from the derringer. This pistol is not a plinker for the faint of heart or the weak of hand.

As far as using the Model 1 with .410 birdshot loads for snakes, or using rifled slugs or buckshot loads for self-defense, I’ll refer you to
some tests done using a Taurus Judge over at the Box O’ Truth. In the Model 1, the .410 loads recoil less than the .45 Colt but they still have a substantial kick to them. While the Box O’ Truth rates the buckshot loads less than adequate for personal defense, they are somewhat easier to shoot from this derringer than the .45 Colt and my guess is they would be substantially more effective than a .41 rimfire or a .25 ACP.

The Model 1 makes an interesting option for use as a kit gun or a woodland survival tool. When trying to travel light on a backpacking trip, ounces and inches can add up; a Model 1 provides big bang versatility without taking up much space. It is larger than a Seecamp but smaller than a J-frame. The .45 Colt load can offer protection during close encounters with two legged predators and maybe provide you one last great earthly act of defiance just before the pissed off momma black bear kills and eats your ugly ass for scaring her cubs (in case you missed the sarcasm, I am doubting that it would be an effective bear gun). The .410 birdshot loads can snuff snakes or pot small game provided you are close enough. I don’t get to practice with the .410 buckshot loads anymore; the ranges in my area do not permit it. With the .45 Colt loads, practice is just too painful for my arthritic right hand to tolerate and the recoil is too much for my left hand to learn how to manage during these later years of my life. As of today, my Model 1 officially is retired from home-defense duty; it will only come out of the safe if I choose it as a hiking companion or am playing with some light .45 Colt loads.




52 comments:

Hammer said...

Great stuff. I remember a friend firing an American 45-70 derringer years back. Wowee!

Elizabeth used to model for her own advertisments.

http://blogs.kansascity.com/photos/uncategorized/ladyd.jpg

Yum!

Borepatch said...

.45 Colt in that looks painful. Slugs, too.

But it looks totally cool.

And Hammer, .45-70 in a derringer? The fireball must have caught the target on fire, if the round missed!

Borepatch said...

Hammer, I made the mistake of clicking through to Lady Derringer with Mrs. Borepatch here next to me.

Ouch.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Ted, the recoil isn't anywhere near the pain that Mrs. Borepatch gonna lay on your head for peeking at Lady D ;)

Hammer, I cannot even begin to imagine shooting a .45-70 derringer; it's beyond anything I have ever tried. My hand is swelling just from me thinking about it.

Both of you, thanks for stopping by.

Hammer said...

I'm sure this is with a light load.
The one I saw used a 350 grain winchester hunting load.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P34v983P2j4

Anonymous said...

I own the American Arms .45/.410 derringer , all I can say is practice , practice and more practice shooting this weapon if you buy one ! The point of impact with an over and under derringer is very different from shooting a revolver ! Also I was not very impressed with shooting the .410 #6 and higher shot ! Lots of noise but very little penetration and pattern of shot placement was not that good beyond 20 or so feet , for self-protection I use .410 buckshot or .45 Colt ! Recoil was not too bad with .410 2 1/2 inch shells 3 inch shells recoil is more noticeable , a word of warning avoid the .45/70 and .44 magnum derringers as the recoil is ungodly painful , just take a hammer and hit the web of your hand and that will give you an idea what the recoil feels like , I talked to an individual who owned the .45/70 derringer and when he fired the gun it fly out of his hand and hit his wife in the head !He could not wait to sell that gun !

Anonymous said...

An additional comment about the .45/.410 derringers as I have owned both the American Arms as well as the Bond .45/.410 , I would recommend buying the Bond derringer over the American Arms derringer for the main reason the barrels are all interchangable with the Bond derringers , a person can shoot .22 LR out of the same weapon as the .45 Colt or 9 MM , .357 magnum or even .44 special just by removing the barrel and replacing it ! The extral barrels can be purchased for between $130-$150 , it is almost like have several guns in one ! .45 Colt ammo is very expensive and .410 shotgun ammo is not exactly cheap so there is considerable savings in buying the extra barrels for shooting cheaper ammo such as .22 LR , you will also get more use and fun with your derringer by being able to shoot it more often and not have to mortgage your home to buy expensive .45 Colt ammo to shoot it !

Anonymous said...

An additional comment about the American Arms .45/.410 derringers as well as the other .410 derringers on the market , check that these weapons are legal in your state or city before purchasing one and carrying one ! California I know that all .45/.410 derringers and Taurus Judge revolvers are illegal !I have a good laugh at the ad that Bond derringer uses to sell their derringers , a female in an automobile shootng a car-jacker with a blast of shot pellets from her derringer ! well legal or not that action could bring a massive law suite in California ! Head lines could read "woman driver shoots a blinds teeenage car-jacker with her shotgun pistol" ! Lawyers like sharks who can smell blood , smell big money from miles away !Just something to think about !

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I went to the range and took my .45/.410 derringer a small single barrelled weapon not the American Arms or Bond derringer , but a little derringer I purchased once at a gun show , I shot the weapon with a couple of #7 two and a half inch shot shells at a book which was about 10 paces away ! Well the results were very disappointing , Alot of noise , alot of recoil but very little penetration about 20 pages of the book and very few of the #7 shot even hitting the book ! My hand hurt so all I felt like shooting were two shots ! Maybe this would be good against snakes at very close range but definately nothing larger !

Anonymous said...

I own a 44 Mag Derringer. I've shot it once and don't plan on shooting it again. I couldn't even hang on to it when it fired. My hand hurt for a week. I'm going to try 44 Specials to see if it's easier on the hand, otherwise I'll sell or trade it.

Anonymous said...

I just purchased an American Derringer Model M4 (.45Colt/.410ga) and have this question. Is some "barrel play" (or rattling) normal for this weapon, or does it need servicing?

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

I'd call A.D. and ask them if I were you. I can't remember if my Model-1 has any play in it... I know the old rimfire Remingtons had quite bit of play when closed-and-empty but only a tad when closed-and-loaded.

Best regards,

Zack

Dick said...

In regard to the American Derringer Model 4:

I've fired 100 rounds or so of FEDERAL 2-1/2" 4x000 BUCKSHOT Personal Defense ammo through it and I find (with a lot of practice & some pain in the beginning) that it will consistently put 4 .36", 68gr balls in a 4" circle at 20' and a 10" circle at 40'. Less recoil than the .45 Colt rounds.

I tried the 3" 5x000 Winchester .410's but it's too much recoil for the additional pellet.

The birdshot rounds are for birds! Not personal defense!

I can now fire up to 10 rounds per session per hand before the pain tells me to back off for a week or so!

On another note:

I have found that some .45 Colt rounds (even from the same box) when loaded into the LOWER barrel will cause the barrels to not be able to lock down for firing!

For self defense use, I try discard (use for practice only) those rounds that cause this problem.

In addition, the Federal .410 rounds sometimes are difficult to eject after firing. A little "sillycone" one these rounds seems to help.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Dick mentioned: "I have found that some .45 Colt rounds (even from the same box) when loaded into the LOWER barrel will cause the barrels to not be able to lock down for firing!"

That is a great point to bring up. The rim thickness on .45 AND .410 cartridges are sometimes not uniform and every now and again one can run into the problem of not being able to close the derringer. FURTHER, on some of the .410 loads the rims were too thin which put the primer farther away from the firing pin causing light hits and misfires...

Great comments!! Thanks, Dick.

Anonymous said...

I really have a good laugh when I read some of the ads that these companies put out to the public to sell their pistols , American Arms sells a derringer called the "Alaskan survival" a derringer that shoots a .45/70 bullet from the top barrel and a .410 or .45 Colt in the lower barrel , this gives a very false sense of security to people who are armed with this weapon ! Picture yourself in Alaska and being attacked by either a charging polar bear or a grizzle bear and you are trying to defend yourself with a two shot over and under derringer ? These animals do not stand in one spot so you you can get a good shot at them , the bear would have to have his teeth right in you before before you could make an accurate fatal shot ! The same with the North American Arms ad calling their mini-revolver a "trail gun" that is even more of a joke ! A trail gun where ? And against what ? It is not a trail gun here in Northern Arizona , on our trails we have mountain lions that hide behind rocks and sneak up on you before you know it and the last thing in the world I want is a puny little single action low powered .22 mini-revolver with no rear sight !

ratfish said...

I fired all three loads colt45,410 bird shot and 45/70 from this little gem, only the latter kicked more than my s&m .500. Its a better trail gun for the desert than the woods. But the American derringer Alaska survival model is a show stopper at the range

Anonymous said...

have any of you had problems with the primmers backing out with 45 colt and the 410 ?

Anonymous said...

I have the 10mm M1 it is a lot of fun to shoot. I have had for many years. When I go to the desert to shoo I usually fire just 4 rounds of double tap ammo. Yes it kicks but in a pinch I would trust it with my life.

jim said...

Just sold my 38 Special M1 Derringer to a dealer. Here in South Texas ATF is sending in illigals with charges pending to try and buy pistols for " friend" who doesn't speak English. Buyer has a driver's license and all seems good except the hovering "friend" and the obvious Mexican accents all around We have learned to avoid all that by selling only to FFLs and get a receipt.

Noticed when I got home the receit had no buyer's name, address etc. The routine is to pick up dealer's business card and staple it to the paperwork.

Not that long ago private sales went like this: hand me the pistol and I hand you cash. That is over here in Texas. Jim

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever owned or shot the Aluminum framed lightweight American Derringer ?? Recoil ??? I have never seen them for sale here in Connecticut.. Glen

Anonymous said...

I was at one of our gun shows today here in Arizona and seen an American Arms derringer in .44 magnum for $200 , memories of the last .44 magnum derringer came to my mind and the pain I endured after firing only two rounds , no I would not buy that gun again if it were $100 ! The web of my hand felt like it were hit with a heavy hammer ! God did that hurt !!!!

Anonymous said...

Bought a "high end" Custom M-1 (.410/.45)and was really disappointed. Custom grips - paint wore off within first few months and the lever to release the barrels jams after only minimal firing. Elizabeth takes no responsibility for resolving issues. Would definitely not buy an AD again

Anonymous said...

Just a comment that I wish to make especially for the owners of the shotgun derringers or owners of the Taurus Judge , today March 21, 2011 Taurus is waiting the approval from the BATF to market their newest shotgun revolver not .410 gauge but a 28 gauge revolver ! I can only imagine how many people will rush out and buy this hand cannon, only problem 28 gauge ammo is alittle hard to find, should be a real blast to shoot ! The anti-gun liberals will be having fits when and if this weapon is ever offered to the public !

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of buying a A D Mod 1 in .410 for carry & back up .I like the fact that when you cock the hammer ,the safety clicks OFF automatically .The Bond doesn't.the Bond would take too much time to get in to action.also the bond is way Too heavy to carry in my pocket..With the popularity of the "Judge" the Ammo Manufacturing C.O. s are now coming out with all kinds of low recoil & specialty .410 rounds.With a Derringer .410 is the only way I would GO...Any Advise ????..GLEN M

Anonymous said...

this is Elizabeth at ADC and i greatly appreciate all of those who have owned and stood up for our product, we are here to please and i know some people have had problems in the past maybe that didn't get resolved but i will do my best to still make out product by hand one at a time and give it my upmost attention to quality and if you have any problems or questions don't hestitate to call, ES

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Mrs. Saunders, thanks a million for stopping by. I am most honored.

Anonymous said...

I own the Bond derringer as well as the American American Arms derringer both are top quality, my preferance goes towards the Bond derringer because of the interchangable barrels, I shoot every thing from .22LR to .45/.410 in the same gun by just changing barrels ! For self-protction with .45/.410 derringers use .45 Colt, .410 buckshot, .410 slug, avoid #8,#9 shot as they are nearly worthless, lots of noise, recoil but no penetration beyond 15 feet ! I picked up a Thompson Contender this past weekend in .45/.410, that is a truely accurate and well made weapon, very good for survival as it is easy to hit with at much greater range than the .45/.410 derringers ! The problem with derringers is that they have over and under barrels making them not very accurate beyond short range ! Good for about 10 feet maximum !

Anonymous said...

Growing up in the 1950's and 60's and after watching TV westerns like Yanncy Derringer or Maverick I like so many other boys my age always wanted to own a real cowboy six shoter and a derringer ! Well I now own several derringers, two original Remmingtons , plus a Bond derringer and an American arms derringer and in the past numerous Davis and Rohm derringers ! All I can say is these little two shot weapons are an interesting relic of a bygone past, but not something a person should even consider today for self-defence ! There are so many top quality handguns today that are so far superior to carry, such as an air-lite model 442 S&W or even the Ruger LCP revolver or the numerous .32ACP or .380 pocket automatic pictols,Kel-Tec, Ruger,Seecamp etc, derringers are slow to shoot as the hammer must be cocked ! I do have a big laugh when ever I see the ad for the American Arms derringer "Alaskan survival" .45/70 over .410 , a two shot derringer used in Alaska for survival!? Using a two shot derringer against a polar bear that is charging you ? The bear would have to be on top of you before you could make an accurate killing shot ! And then you would probably get a broken wrist from the massive recoil ! In Alaska as a good "backup" gun give me S&W .44 magnum revolver or atleast a Glock .45ACP with a high cap magazine ! Wild animals like young criminals move fast, the self-defence weapon you need must also operate fast as your life will depend upon it !

Anonymous said...

Just an important word of advice, once in awhile a person will come across reloaded ammo for sale at garage sales, swap meets especially in the western states such as here in Arizona, my advice is avoid it unless you know very well who reloaded that ammo, two weeks ago I fired some reloaded .38 special ammo purchased from a local swap meet, four rounds fired alright, but the fifth round just went pop, no bullet left the barrel, needless to say whoever loaded this ammo forgot to put powdwer in the shell, the bullet stuck in the barrel and I had a heck of a time getting it out ! Thank God I was not using my gun to defend myself ! Also I have heard of stories of individuals (new at reloading) reloading ammo to beyond magnum in power making the ammo dangerous to fire, so for safety, stay away from reloads!

Anonymous said...

I was at the Walmart the other day and wanted to purchase some .410 ammo for my American Arms and Bond derringers, needless to say all that was avalible was the #8 .410 shot, which I feel is just about worthless except for mouse and rat removal at very close range, I purchased the .410 ammo anyway and tryed something different, I cut off the top of the shell and pour out the small shot and replaced it with a couple of fired .22 bullets and a few .177 air-gun pellets, packed cotton over the shell ! Took my American Arms derringer to the range and fired at a piece of 1 inch plywood about 10 paces away ! The .22 bullets went right thru the plywood and the pellets put deep holes(pattern was not that good as the used bullets were deformed)but good for very close range self-defence ! Much better than the #8 shot, something to try if you can not locate buckshot or #4 shot for your American, Bond derringers !

Anonymous said...

"The .22 bullets went right thru the plywood and the pellets put deep holes(pattern was not that good as the used bullets were deformed)but good for very close range self-defence ! Much better than the #8 shot, something to try if you can not locate buckshot or #4 shot for your American, Bond derringers ! "

Try this sometime. Take a shotgun shell, and with a pocket knife, score the plastic case above the brass about where the base of the wad starts. Cut it deep but try not to cut all the way through, but cut all the way around. Now when you shoot it, the shell separates and leaves the barrel as a single projectile. Like a plastic jacketed Glaser Safety Slug.

Anonymous said...

what many of you fail to grasp is that a derringer is a BELLY gun, not a primary defence weapon, I have an AD M-1 in 44 mag, loaded with 246 gr 44 special ammo its enough to take out tarzan on PCP.
It is very accurate to 20 yards
and is ultra concealable. makes a great holdout gun to compliment my .45 officers model. and, when in the back woods makes a a great last ditch 2 shots with full power 44 loads, after the six in my revolver are used up. derringers have always been, and always will be a belly gun, small highly concealable Hail Marys. If you are down to your derringer, a lot of things have gone horribly wrong.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading the comments about the American Arms derringer especially in the .45/.410, Zack I wish you would start a comment review of the Taurus Judge which is also .45/410, this is a fantastic weapon especially if it is used with the proper ammo ! I always carry my Taurus Judge when ever I do any hiking here in Northern Arizona, great gun for rattle snakes with .410 shot and large animals if .45 Colt is used ! And I wonder if Taurus will make their new Judge available to the public the 28 gauge Raging Judge ?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of purchasing a .45-.410 American Derringer for back-up & self defense....Thanks for the feed back.. I have now changed My mind. I think I will stick with My ..38's & My Keltec .32..I do wonder if any one owning a A.D.C. in .45 has tried .45 Scofield (Can You?)maybe less recoil..??

Anonymous said...

The Ameican Arms derringer really is not that bad a weapon, but ! Know it's limitations, it's a derringer so it is only two shots, great little gun to use against snakes or a wild dog attack on the trail, but would you really want a two shot weapon to use against a gang of thugs ? Ammo with these derringers is most important, #8 birdshot is just that birdshot, not to be used on a drug crazed killer or a murderous street gang, my humble suggestion for personal protection while driving or in our urban jungles, buy a quality revolver, such as a Ruger LCR or sp-100, an S&W revolver or a Taurus model 85 these guns can be used in a hurry,as there are no safeties or levers to fool with as with automatics, remember muggers work fast ! The shotgun derringers are great for the trail, but for the city streets use a quality revolver .38 special or .357 magnum !From first hand experience I know how young muggers operate, they work fast, you will be dead before you can get your auto into oeration !

Anonymous said...

Went out to the range today and took my American Arms .45/.410 derringer with a few .410 shot shells, this little derringer really is built like a tank, but you really have to be rather close to your target for any type of real penetration, specially with small shot, I tryed cutting open a couple of shells and pouring out the shot and putting bb's in it's place, I put too many bb's in the shell as velocity was very poor, I will try what one of the posters suggested, cutting the shell at the point where the plactic meets the metal ! A question : Has anyone ever used an America Arms or a Bond Derringer for self-defence against either wild animals or against criminals ?

Anonymous said...

Finally tryed the suggestion from "anoymous" from May 24,2011, scored the shell of a .410 #8 shot shell above the brass with a pocket knife, not cutting completely but deep ! And I was very impressed with the results,a #8 shot shell can now be used for self-defence at close range !

Anonymous said...

I truely wish that the makers of the American Arms derringer, the Bond derringer as well as the Taurus Judge could make a weapon that not only shoots the .410 shot shell, the .45 Colt, but also shoot the .45ACP ! If Smith & Wesson can make a revolver(the govenor) that shoot all three why can not Taurus, American derringer, and Bond make the same thing ? .45 Colt ammo is hard to find, and when it is located the price is terribly high ! Here locately at the Walmart .45 Colt ammo is $23.00 a box of 20 rounds !Russian .45ACP ammo is $15.00 a box of 50 !

Anonymous said...

I got alot out of these comments. I am still trying to decide on whether I want to buy on for "concealed carry" I have a .45/410 barrel for my contender and it is great. It is not hard to hit things with it. 410 shells especially with buck shot are hard to find. I have been making my own out of .450 S&W cases. They are a stretched .45 so they fit the the chanber. They use large rifle primers so all you need really is the same tools to load .45 colt. they are just under 2" With powder and a wad you can load 3-000 balls. They don't make alot of noise... they didn't even bother me with NO EARPLUGS and seemed to have good penetration. For Gas check I used .45 cal black powder wads between the powder and the balls. I also loaded up some 410 flechettes just for fun. Those were wild! at about 20 feet you see half of the flechetts flip around in mid-air !

Anonymous said...

American Arms has a superior safety, while the advantage of the Bond is interchangable barrels !The Bond derringers feel alittle bulky, the American Arms feel better in one's hand ! I wish that both companies would come out with large rubber grips ! The .44 magnum in the American arms hurts like hell to shoot with the standard grips !

Anonymous said...

I had been looking for a deep concealment weapon for some time but was not impressed with the little .22's. Spotted the Model 1 in .45 ACP, for sale in our local gun shop, used, but in the box and in near new condition. I love it, but it is a bear to shoot. I too was concerned about barrel play. It is tight when it's open for loading, but loose when closed. I e-mail Elizabeth for suggestions, but got no reply. The gun shoots fine and is accurate at card table distances, but then, that's what it was designed for.

Anonymous said...

I have a number 1 in 357 mag. I have never shot it with a 357 but it shoots plus P 38's pretty well. I also use some HBWC's in it seated backwards with 3 grains of bullseye. They consistantly mushroom up to .90 in wet phonebooks with lots of penetration. The recoil is tollerable but not for plinking. At about 15-20 feet I can hit a watermellon once out of two shots. These are well made guns. I have seen some of the newer FANCY colored ones and such. My advice. those things make good paperweights but don't get one intending to use it in a time of extreme desperation. Spend the money and get a real gun. If you have time to go for another gun, then go for your revolver or auto first. If not, wait till they get right up on you and surprise!

Anonymous said...

This past Sunday I purchased a used American Arms model one derringer at of all places a yard sale ! Just got done testing out the weapon today, it is .357 caliber,I used .38 special as it is not so hard on my hand . The weapon is well built and I like the safety, but at 10 feet shooting at a box a 6 inches by 6 inches I think I only hit the box twice out of firing 6 rounds !An intresting weapon, but it is a design of a bygone time, give me a real practical weapon, a Ruger LCP or a Kel-Tec P32 or better yet a Seecamp automatic to carry in my pocket !

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of these guns getting a bad reputation simply due to people not thinking things through. People are constantly commenting on the .45/.410 derringers recoil being too heavy, the capacity being too small, and cocking the weapon being too difficult. I don't understand this at all. I am a thin guy, I have bad shoulders and wrists, I'm not very strong either, and I can fire my .45/.410 derringer as much as I want with no pain at all, one hand or two, it doesn't matter. I can cock it one handed easily, all it takes is proper technique - hold it incorrectly and yeah, it's going to be difficult. Lastly a derringer is meant to be used inside of 20 feet - guess what? two shots is all you'll have time to fire at that range, then you still have a pound or more of metal in your hand with which to bludgeon your attacker if need be. You could carry an automatic, but NO automatic pocket pistol is capable of firing a round with half the stopping power of a .45 colt, so you'll be forced to fire more AND hit your target more to stop your attacker. I don't know about you guys, but if a man is attacking me I want to be able to stop him with one shot, not three or four or five. I imagine that the worst thing you could do to an attacker is shoot him without incappacitating him; if he wasn't going to kill you before he will now because you just SHOT him! He's now seeing red with the biggest adrenaline rush the human body can produce, he can now kill you with his bare hands. I'd rather carry a pocket knife! Bottom line - If you want a powerful pocket pistol you're going to have powerful recoil, low capacity and compromised ergonomics. A derringer by design is a COMPROMISE. A full sized pistol is obviously ideal; easy to hold, fire, aim, load, etc. But that's what they are DESIGNED for! If you were to take a revolver and simply scale it down to pocket size, it would be un-useable. If you were to take the IDEA of a revolver and re-design a weapon that is as small as possible while still being useable and effective you would have a derringer. A quality .45/.410 derringer is a wonderful thing for what it is, but YOU CAN'T HAVE EVERTHING ALL THE TIME; a lesson we should all learn in life. By the way, I just ordered the famed .45-70 derringer, I suspect the horror story reports about that weapon are not exactly accurate either.

Anonymous said...

What is this "American Arms" you people speak of. There is no such company. There is a "North American Arms" which makes only mini-revolvers, not derringers, and certainly nothing chambered for anything as large as .45 colt.
Then there is "American Derringer" which is the company you are all talking about. Let it be known that any time you see "American Arms" in this forum the poster means "American Derringer."

Constant mis-spelling, incorrect punctuation, use of the wrong word, use of the non-word "alot" (two words "a lot"), and a generally poor command of the English language runs rampant in internet forums. Things are frustrating and confusing enough as they are, we don't need an entire thread calling a company by the wrong name to complicate things further.

MsArchangel said...

Hey y'all,
I've inherited my husband's little Derringer. It has engraved on it this:

.44 MAGNUM A.D.C Waco, TX M-1

He never fired it. He said he was made to sign a waiver when he bought it, averring that firing it could break his hand. (Was that just to impress me, his impressionable wife, or for real? I don't know.)

I want to sell it but I have no idea where to begin. I do know an FFL -- a friend of my husband's -- to ship it through, but ... do I just list it around and cross my fingers? Is there a good place to list it? Thanks for any help!
Elenor

James A. Zachary Jr. said...


Hi Elenor,

Firing the .44 Magnum from the American Derringer Model 1 is a most memorable experience. If you choose to try shooting the derringer, you may want to load it with a .44 Special cartridge, which has much less recoil but is also quite a little monster of a load for a derringer.

Find a gun store in your area and ask if the will sell it for you on consignment. Another option is selling it via one of the major online firms; two of them are listed below.

http://www.gunauction.com

http://www.gunbroker.com

Good luck!

Zack

Anonymous said...

I was Interested in this Derringer in .45/.410,But Hard to find .Bond Arms Has a New lighter weight Derringer in .410.( Older Bonds Very Heavy)Also I am waiting for the NEW Heizer double tap to come out with a .45 Long/.410!!(right now only avail in 9mm&.45apc) heizer double tap is Double action only & very lightweight! Glen M.

MsArchangel said...

Thanks Zach, I'll try them!

Anonymous said...

I have owned the American Derringer Model-4 for several years now. The pain I felt in the beginning is long gone. I can have as much fun with this thing in a day as I can afford at $20/box of .410 Buck. Last week a big possum ran out from a pile of wood. They defecate on the hay which poisons the horses. At 15" and 2 rounds, that big bugger isn't questioning the power of this great little pocket cannon.

Anonymous said...

I just purchase a Model 1 45 410 derringer..It had the usual barrel wobble I had heard about. I remedied the problem by making a shim out of aluminum foil. I folded a small piece of foil in half, thus double thickness, and fit it to the barrel lock up. The barrels are very tight and it shoots well. Just a bit of good old fashioned jury rigging....

Anonymous said...

The American derringer in .45/410 is a great backup weapon if used with the correct ammo such as the Winchester .410 PDX , avoid using #8 bird shot for self-defence , you will get just alot of noise and very little penetration, also remember that derringers are not very accurate so they must be used only at very close range, my opinion 20 feet or less for self-defence, against human attackers !