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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Derringer

Here's a cute little gun that's fun for all ages. It's called a Derringer, a small pistol used for personal protection. They were mostly one-shot models, although a double-barreled Derringer was also produced. Being so small they didn't have room for a magazine or cylinder.

These guns were so small they could be hidden in pockets or even ladies' stockings and were favored by gamblers, prostitutes, and other citizens who sometimes had need to protect themselves. A newsboy even fired one at Jesse James and his gang when they held up the Missouri Pacific Express in 1876. The newsboy objected to one of the gang members stealing his assortment of pies and tried to plug him. The gang took it in stride and laughed, "Listen to that son of a bitch bark!"

Below is the most infamous Derringer of all, the one that was used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.

Photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


  1. At one time my Dad had several of these small guns. I was really bummed that by the time he died he had sold them off. I should have asked for one sooner.

  2. never have been a gun type person, but if I was, I sure like the looks of this one! It is like a mini-piece of art!

    will be back to read more......


  3. That really is a neat looking gun. Nice bit of history about it too.

    Cheers, Jenn

  4. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but that's a beautiful gun and a fabulous history lesson!
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  5. I have one very similar to the one pictured and am wondering what its worth is. Been passed through a couple of generations so it is an old one and still works.


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