September 17, 2003, 11:36 PM
I did not know where to post this so here I am

I am wanting a Derringer but I know almost nothing about them...Can you help...Who is a Good Manufacturer and what would be a good caliber.

I am leaning toward a .22lr....I carry a 9mm CZ PCR and the Derringer would only be for those times that I cannot Carry the PCR or used for back up.

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September 18, 2003, 01:28 AM
There's quite a few options for a back-up gun besides a .22LR derringer that I personally would feel more comfortable recommending, but if that's what you've got your heart set on:

1) Avoid Davis derringers, and likewise, Cobra Enterprises derringers(the Davis design marketed under a new name). Cheaply made, with cheap materials and shoddy workmanship. In .22LR the cheap construction probably won't affect the durability much, unless you're gonna shoot the thing as much as your primary gun(i.e. several hundred rounds per year).

2) American Derringer Corporation makes some very nice guns, with lots of choices in calibers and design features. They can be on the pricey side, though.

3) Bond Arms makes excellent, durable guns, which are probably the most user-friendly derringers on the market - the only thing I don't like about them is how big they are. I don't believe Bond Arms offers their guns in .22LR, though.

4) You'll have to shop the used-gun market, but a very good choice would be the old High Standard double-action derringer - you don't have to thumb-cock the hammer, just point and pull the trigger.

Now, with that said, my question is: "Are you looking for a .22LR derringer, specifically, or are you just looking for an ultra-small back-up gun in general? If you aren't married to the derringer idea, please consider, for close to the same price, one of the Beretta .22LR pocket autos(more shootable, higher capacity), the North American Arms mini-revolvers(5-shot capacity, even smaller than any derringer available), or even the Kel-Tec P32(more effective caliber, better ergonomics, lighter and thinner than ANY other gun available, PERIOD).

September 18, 2003, 07:17 AM
Ditto on the NAA mini.

September 18, 2003, 12:41 PM
The derringer is a worthless relic for CCW purposes, in my opinion. They are slow to use because of the thumb cocking requirement, only give you two shots, and are notoriously inaccurate. There are so many better small guns on the market, I can't understand why anyone would want a derringer for CCW.

Besides the .32 autos mentioned above, there are the lightweight snubby .38 revolvers with aluminum, titanium or scandium components for light weight. Something like a S&W 642 would give you a reliable 5 shots of .38 special in a 16 ounce package that is quite concealable. The trigger is double action only, so no cocking is required.

September 18, 2003, 01:31 PM
Borrow, rent or ? first.
Shoot enough to determine if such would be adequate for YOUR purposes.
Rapid deployment and ability to place rounds where you want them to go.

Research and try before trusting your life to anything.


September 18, 2003, 04:17 PM
nowadays there's really very little purpose for a true derringer.

There are autos in .22, .25, .32, and .380 that are similar in size, but much easier to shoot accurately, more reliable, and have a decent capacity (6-8 shots, depending)

When you factor in the reliability (and even safety!) concerns associated with many derringers, I just don't see a reason to trust your life to one.

September 18, 2003, 06:14 PM
Thanks...I am now leaning more toward an NAA Mini Revovler

September 18, 2003, 06:39 PM
If you get a chance to shoot ANY of these small "hide-out" guns (derringers or mini-revolvers), give them a try before you buy; if you have even normal-sized hands, they can be as dangerous to the shooter as to the shootee. The only real advantage to the mini-revolver is 3 more rounds, which you likely wouldn't need anyway, and the blast from the barrel/cylinder gap can cut and/or burn you if you don't take the time to get a good firm hold without anything forward of that gap. I've fired a fair number of the derringers in .357, and they all rock back in your hand on firing to the point that it would take another 2-3 seconds to get the other round off; I'd hate to try something like American Derringer's .30-30 model :eek:

September 18, 2003, 06:41 PM
I have a Sundance Industries Point Blank derringer for sale at

It is double action only and caliber is .22 long rifle.

September 18, 2003, 10:06 PM
I use to have a Davis .38 SPL Derringer, and trust me, it is an inaccurate POS that is difficult to use effectively. They are true 'belly guns', if you ain't got the gun in your targets belly, you'll probably miss.

I also recommend getting something a little more potent than a .22 for a back-up weapon. The many small framed revolvers on the market are good choices, as are the many small-framed autos. I personally rely on a P32 for my primary summertime carry piece and colder weather back-up. It's a good size for concealment and the round, while not as good as a .38, is still effective enough for the purpose of self-defense.


September 18, 2003, 11:37 PM
My "mouse gun" is a NAA .22magnum revolver (single action/cock, shoot) that I carry in my shirt pocket when needed.

But I'm extremely tempted by the new KelTec-P3AT (.380 auto) - I'll probably have to get one just to try it out.

September 19, 2003, 12:38 PM
Interesting topic - the factors are size of the gun, power and actual model.

I think it is clear that folks think the really small derringers by Davis, etc. are not really very good guns.

The NAA minis are quality pieces.

One has to really think about sheer stopping power vs. the overall advantage of having a gun.

We know from studies that the majority of CCW uses are deterrent in nature. This is such a large percent that it overwhelms any argument that it is better not to carry a small caliber gun. The odds much is your favor that you will deter your opponent as compared to the small cases where the dreaded drug crazed biker absorbs your small rounds and then sodomizes you. Shooting a person with a small round has been effective. Look at the American Rifleman stories. You see 22s saving the day quite a bit.

The small guns are quite affordable. That is a real issue for folks. The Saturday Night Special bans are in fact discriminatory against the poor. Yes, richy rich boy can have his Sig but a poor man cannot have Lorcin 25 ACP.

I know cases where the cheapy guns have worked. I'll not bore you with them, they are well known in the self-defense literature.

So if a person can only afford a Davis - go for it. The benefit outweights internet commando crappola.

It is also the case, that sometimes you just can't carry a bigger gun. I can usually manage a J frame but sometimes the NAA is it.

So, if you can only afford a Davis - get it. There are better choices for quality and power.

If you got the dough and still need a real small gun - you can't beat the small NAA's in 22 mag or LR. They are still cheaper than the P32s or other guns.

If you have some more money and clothing allows - then you can't beat the light weight snubbies for a pocket gun.

September 19, 2003, 05:01 PM

It's true that the NAA mini's are cheaper than a new P32 or 'J' frame sized revolver, but not by much. Also, a used P32 or 'J' frame can be had for less than $200. For that price, you get a DA handgun that uses a round more potent than a .22LR.

Yeah, the NAA mini's have a place, and if you feel that place is in your pocket as your CCW piece, that's fine. My opinion is that the extra $20 for a used P32 or 'J' frame is well worth the money.

You also opine that the NAA mini is much easier to conceal. My P32 with belt clip virtually disappears when I slip it on. If someone were to see what little part sticks up, it can easily be mistaken for a pocket knife.

I personally believe that Lorcins, Hi-points, Davis's, etc. have there place. Heck, my first carry piece was a Hi-point .380. I firmly believe that if that's all someone can afford, then no one should deny them their right to carry that weapon. However, there are better weapons out there, and people who carry a handgun to serve as a life-saving tool should consider the possibility of upgrading to a superior weapon as they can afford it.

Of course, these are just my opinions, and I fully respect yours, no matter if we agree or not.


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