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Derringer Antique Handguns

Mention derringer and the image that most quickly springs to mind is an Old West gambler getting the jump on a cheating opponent across a card table with one quickly drawn from a concealed spot.

Either a deliberate misspelling or standardized unintentional flub, the derringer is named after Henry Deringer, the famed 19th-century gunsmith who created small pocket pistols bearing his surname. The original Philadelphia derringer was a diminutive percussion handgun produced from 1852 through 1868. A popular concealed-carry weapon of its time, the palm-sized pistol's design was widely duplicated by competitors far and wide.

In the 19th century, derringers were popular not only with gunslingers and vigilantes as backup weapons, but women, who found them ideal for concealment and easy-to-handle firing with little or no recoil. Some of the most popular variants of this handgun were Remington over-and-under double-barreled derringers, .41-caliber rimfire pistols that were manufactured from 1866 until 1935.

Emblematic of a distant yet unforgettable past, antique derringers are romantic holdovers that sprang from the Old West's history of pioneering frontier spirit, virtually lawless violence, and self-made justice.


Quick Facts

  • An original Philadelphia derringer made by Henry Deringer was used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln
  • In 2014, an original Philadelphia derringer percussion pocket pistol sold at a Bonhams auction for $3,276
  • In a 2007 Christie’s auction, an unusual American Civil War-era Moore’s single-shot derringer and a rare Belgian prototype pistol sold for £1,063.

Recommended Items at Auction

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A CASED .30 (RIMFIRE) TIPPING & LAWDEN SHARPS PATENT FOUR-BARRELLED POCKET PISTOL, serial no. 3583,
Mar 25, 10:00 AM GMT
A CASED .30 (RIMFIRE) TIPPING & LAWDEN SHARPS PATENT FOUR-BARRELLED POCKET PISTOL, serial no. 3583,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
SHARPS MODEL 1B FOUR BARREL DERINGER
Mar 24, 10:00 AM EDT
SHARPS MODEL 1B FOUR BARREL DERINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1500 Bids
DERINGER .41 PERCUSSION PISTOL
Mar 24, 10:00 AM EDT
DERINGER .41 PERCUSSION PISTOL
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $700- $900
$3500 Bids
SLOTTER PERCUSSION DERINGER
Mar 24, 10:00 AM EDT
SLOTTER PERCUSSION DERINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
SOUTHERNER SINGLE SHOT .41 RF DERINGER
Mar 24, 10:00 AM EDT
SOUTHERNER SINGLE SHOT .41 RF DERINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $300- $450
$1500 Bids
SCARCE AMERICAN ARMS OVER UNDER DERINGER
Mar 24, 10:00 AM EDT
SCARCE AMERICAN ARMS OVER UNDER DERINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $900- $1,200
$4500 Bids
RARE C.H.BALLARD SINGLE SHOT DERINGER
Mar 24, 10:00 AM EDT
RARE C.H.BALLARD SINGLE SHOT DERINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $700- $900
$3500 Bids
SHARPS MODEL 1A FOUR BARREL DERINGER
Mar 24, 10:00 AM EDT
SHARPS MODEL 1A FOUR BARREL DERINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $700- $900
$3500 Bids
HAMMOND BULLDOG DERRINGER BY CONNETICUT FIREARMS
Mar 23, 10:00 AM EDT
HAMMOND BULLDOG DERRINGER BY CONNETICUT FIREARMS
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Derringer Antique Handguns


Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers