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Why do derringers suck so bad?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by CARRY'IN, Aug 27, 2005.

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  1. CARRY'IN

    CARRY'IN member

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    A derringer looks like a decent weapon to me- like a two-shot single action .38 snubnose. But while I hit pretty good with a snubbie, the only derringer I ever shot sucked and I have heard nothing but bad about them. How about that cobra "longbore"? It has a little more barrel length- anyone shoot one? I am really surprised cobra makes such a crummy product (according to all posts)- with just a little work, surely they could make the thing half-way decent?
     
  2. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    Hi Carry,

    They sell MILLIONS of those a year. I got to be the only guy who admits to carying one at times. .32 ACP. Small, light, loaded with Glasers.

    Kevin
     
  3. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    I'm not familar with the cobra that you mentioned.

    I know there are some high quality ones made (American Derringer I think) that are very good.

    Biggest downside is that it's pretty old technology. Rather big/heavy for only 2 rounds, hard to get a 2nd shot quickly due to the grip and it being single action.

    I like them and have always wanted one but other things kept bumping it down the list. I think the .410 version would be a good snake gun.
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Part of the problem is the over/under barrel configuration. The sights may (or may not) line up with one barrel, but not both. This isn't true with snub-nosed revolvers. Also, many of them weigh as much or more then a small revolver or pocket pistol, which I see as a better choice.
     
  5. Rabbi

    Rabbi Member

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    They don't suck. If you put one up in a guy's eye socket who is beating you to death and pull the trigger, he will stop hitting you immediately. Buy one in .45 acp or .45 Colt and carry it in your pocket.
     
  6. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I just think for the money there are a lot better choices.

    Now if you just want one, that's as good a reason to have one as any.
     
  7. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    You could get a Downsizer, the single shot DA 45 palm pistol, smaller than a derringer.
     
  8. rugerman

    rugerman Member

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    A couple of years ago I bought a Cobra Enterprises 38 special derringer, what a POS you couldn't hit a barn wall if you were standing inside it, the trigger pull was about 20 lbs and after 5 shots the lower barrel stopped firing. I called the company and they said they would fix it if I would send it back and pay shipping both ways, I passed. It wouldn't even make a good rock. I'd rather have a 22oz Estwing. rugerman
     
  9. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Nowadays there are a lot of smaller, lighter, higher capacity, similar power-level and easier to shoot quickly and accurately options out there.

    Similar to the SAA's and other "obsolete" guns, most people don't carry them not because they are somehow "bad" but just that there are so many options that are "better".
     
  10. Boats

    Boats member

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    Like an earlier poster, I view the derringer as a last resort contact weapon not to be relied upon for any effective sighted fire or distance.
     
  11. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Try American Derringer Company instead. Asking why Cobra derringers suck is like asking why Jennings Baby Browning copies suck.
     
  12. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    Derringers, esp high quality ones don't suck but the inherent design is not condusive for target shooting. I personally don't like them but in their niche, a big caliber in a small package to use at point blank range for serious work I think they have merit. Considering how big some of the serious derringers are though I'd rather have a chiefs special. I really want a 410 derringer for the novelty factor but they are illegal in my area.
     
  13. scbair

    scbair Member

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    Well, I have a lightweight (aluminum-framed) American Derringer model, in .45ACP. Some things to consider:

    1) It offers the most painful recoil of any handgun I've yet fired.
    2) It only offers 2 rounds.
    3) Item #2 isn't that important, since I miss more than I hit at any range past 10 yards.
    4) It does throw a big, heavy slug.
    5) It is actually significantly shorter than a J-framed snub, but only slightly lighter (10 oz., IIRC), and thinner.

    I never carry it, but I could see it as a third gun, a last-ditch, point-blank, get offa me ankle or "belly" gun.

    Now, this particular configuration does have one use; loaded with Speer .45ACP shotshells, and dropped in a hip pocket, it makes a dandy piece for vermin and venomous snakes if you or your neighbors are concerned about the range/ricochet potential of .22 bullets. Nice & handy when working the garden, etc. Works like magic at extremely close range, with extremely limited "danger" range.
     
  14. scotjute

    scotjute Member

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    I have an American Derringer DA-38 in .38 spl. I can just barely hit a pie plate at 10 yds. One barrell hits top of plate and the other hits near the bottom. It will hurt your hand after 5-6 shots. The quality seems ok.

    I don't think it is better than my S&W Body-Guard, but it is better than a stick or a rock or a knife.
     
  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The problem is, you might encounter a guy who has something like a S&W M19 or a M1911. And he can hit you in the eye at ranges where you can't even get a body hit. And he gets more than two tries.

    A snubbie revolver is a better choice.
     
  16. Soap

    Soap Member

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    Everything from start to finish is bad on a derringer. It is tough to bring into ready action due to its small size and sometimes single action construction. The sights are tiny. The barrel is short. And you only get 2 chances. Hmm...I'd rather carry something else.
     
  17. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    Are they that much smaller/lighter than a SW titanium snubby? I think not.
     
  18. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I've got a Bond Arms Derringer in 45ACP.
    It's a little shorter than a 2 inch 38 so it will fit my shallow pockets and a Model 36 won't.

    I loaded over a 1,000 light rounds for it to get a lot of practice.

    It takes getting used to but is fairly accurate. I shoot it back to about 10 yards. COM hits are easy.

    Aguila IQ HP does 1245 FPS from that short barrel, so even though it's only 2 shots, they should be 2 pretty effective shots.
     
  19. Pointblank

    Pointblank Member

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    My wife's Bond Arms derringer is devastating up to 7 yards when loaded with two 410 shells each containing 3 balls of 000 Buck. The recoil is negligible because of the weight of the piece. It's simple to operate and bloody deadly.
     
  20. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    3 of 000, that would be the S&B load, right? Winchester makes a .410 load with 5 pellets of 000, which may be a better choice.
     
  21. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    My only experience...

    with a derringer was a Davis in 38 Sp. POS is being very, very kind.

    For the same size and probably less weight, get a Kel-Tec in .380. I've got one in .32 and it's excellent. I know some guys have posted problems, but mine has been exceptional.

    Better trigger, better reliability, lots more capacity, and less weight. YMMV
     
  22. goose

    goose Member

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    Back in '68, I saw an ad in Herter's catalog, "357 mag Derringer...also shoots 38 police specials, only $19.95." Needless to say, I ordered one. It has "Herters" stamped on the top and also "Made in Germany". The 1st time I fired it, it blew the chrome plating off the front of the barrels. I still can't hit anything with it, but it's fun to shoot.
     
  23. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    They don't suck. If you put one up in a guy's eye socket who is beating you to death and pull the trigger, he will stop hitting you immediately. Buy one in .45 acp or .45 Colt and carry it in your pocket.
    END QUOTE

    They do suck. A 22 in a guys eye socket will kill him so your example is rather silly. The derringer is large compared to small pocket revolvers and autos is far harder to shoot multiple rounds with and is not accurate too boot. You would have to stick it in they guys eye socket as you put it to hit him at all.
    Pat
     
  24. Soap

    Soap Member

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    Also, you'd be amazed at how hard it is to put it up to a guy's eye socket when he is pounding on you. Ever train with red guns or airsoft?
     
  25. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    Pointblank
    It's simple to operate and bloody deadly.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    The 410 derringer might not be as deadly as you think.

    The 410 shell is loaded with slow burning powder that functions poorly in a short or the almost non existant barrel of a 410 derringer.

    I had a choice of getting the 410/45LC or 45ACP Bond Derringer.
    I have a TC pistol with a 7 inch 410 barrel so I thought I'd see what the 410 Buckshot would do.

    I shot 3/4 inch plywood and 2x6 pine wood boards .
    The deepest penetration was 1 inch in the 2x6 boards. Most buckshot was about 3/4 inch deep. The buckshot wouldn't make it through the 3/4 inch plywood.

    This is pretty poor. I can't think of any pistol round that won't go through a 2 inch board except a 22LR from the little North American revolver.

    What's worse is my testing was done in a 7 inch barrel, not a derringer barrel.

    I bought the 45ACP.
     
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