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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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(X) Butler .22 Short Derringer Pistol
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
(X) Butler .22 Short Derringer Pistol
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$202 Bids
Derringer pistol
Oct 14, 3:00 PM UYT
Derringer pistol
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $80- $120
$700 Bids
A .41 (RIMFIRE) NATIONAL ARMS COMPANY SINGLE SHOT NO 2 DERRINGER, CIRCA 1867, serial no. 3812,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A .41 (RIMFIRE) NATIONAL ARMS COMPANY SINGLE SHOT NO 2 DERRINGER, CIRCA 1867, serial no. 3812,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
A RARE .32 (RIMFIRE) WILLIAM MARSTON THREE BARRELLED DERRINGER, CIRCA 1865, serial no. 1634,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A RARE .32 (RIMFIRE) WILLIAM MARSTON THREE BARRELLED DERRINGER, CIRCA 1865, serial no. 1634,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £800- £1,000
£8000 Bids
FACOTY ENGRAVED SHARPS 4 BARREL DERRINGER
Oct 29, 10:00 AM EDT
FACOTY ENGRAVED SHARPS 4 BARREL DERRINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $700- $1,000
$3500 Bids
COLLECTORS LOT OF 2: SHARPS 4 BARREL DERRINGERS
Oct 29, 10:00 AM EDT
COLLECTORS LOT OF 2: SHARPS 4 BARREL DERRINGERS
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
HIGH CONDITION SHARPS FOUR BARREL DERRINGER
Oct 29, 10:00 AM EDT
HIGH CONDITION SHARPS FOUR BARREL DERRINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
FINE SHARPS FOUR BARREL DERRINGER
Oct 29, 10:00 AM EDT
FINE SHARPS FOUR BARREL DERRINGER
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $700- $1,000
$3500 Bids
LT, WILLIAM B. WETMORE 6TH CAV, SHARPS & DESK
Oct 29, 10:00 AM EDT
LT, WILLIAM B. WETMORE 6TH CAV, SHARPS & DESK
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$2,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Derringer Antique Handguns


Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers

Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

Zorrilla Subastas

Zorrilla Subastas