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Old January 6, 2014, 06:15 AM   #1
spacecoast
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My first Deringer

Several months ago I posted about finding a box of 1930s-era Peters .41 short ammunition. Well, last week I found the gun that went with that ammo and made it part of my "accumulation". It's a 3rd generation Colt Derringer, also known as the Thuer Derringer. These were made from 1875 to 1912. The serial number of mine (29xxx, under the right grip) would seem to place it somewhere in the 1899 time frame, but this gun has the date "1876" scratched around the butt, as well as the initials RTM.

From the pics below, you can see how diminutive this gun really is, yet it uses the (relatively) huge .41 short cartridge. To load, the barrel swings to the side. I believe that originally this Colt had silver or nickel plating over the brass areas, but it has long since worn off. The action seems to be in good shape but I haven't pulled the hammer all the way back for fear of breaking something, only to the half cock position to swing the barrel to the side. I have no intentions of shooting this, but it would be really cool to do so just once. The bore is in pretty good shape with the rifling clearly defined.

Neither the Colt book I have nor Proofhouse have any details as to serial numbers and dating this gun, so I may have to send away for a letter from Colt. It would be great (however unlikely) to match the initials carved on it to the original owner.












Last edited by spacecoast; January 6, 2014 at 07:16 AM.
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Old January 6, 2014, 08:26 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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It appears that many, if not most, of these guns had unplated brass frames, while others had various levels of nickel (or silver) and even gold wash plating.

Nice that you picked up the ammo with the gun!

You going to be brave enough to try shooting it?
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Old January 6, 2014, 08:35 AM   #3
spacecoast
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Quote:
It appears that many, if not most, of these guns had unplated brass frames, while others had various levels of nickel (or silver) and even gold wash plating.
Thanks, I didn't know that. Most/all the auction pictures I've seen online seem to have at least vestiges of plating. Not a hint of it on this one, though.

Quote:
You going to be brave enough to try shooting it?
If I didn't have to violate a virgin box of 80 year old ammo (ouch, that sounds bad), I might just do it. The ammo might be worth more than the gun.
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Old January 6, 2014, 11:42 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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What did you give for the deringer?

I did a little poking around on the web and prices are all over the place. One had one in nice condition for $495, another one had one that had a badly pitted barrel and very likely a stretched frame judging by the uneven gap between the barrel and recoil shield for....

wait for it...


$1,795.
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Old January 6, 2014, 01:45 PM   #5
spacecoast
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Quote:
What did you give for the deringer?
It was part of a larger deal, but somewhere in the $250-300 range, which seemed reasonable given the BBGV data, condition, etc. Even though it will likely be a safe queen, it's one of those novelty items you just don't run into very often, at least I don't. A side-opening Deringer with about three moving parts and a name like Colt, even if it's not one of their more renowned models, was just too good to pass up.
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Old January 6, 2014, 02:02 PM   #6
DaleA
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I'd love to see what the effect would be fired into a sheet of plywood from close range but not so much as for you to endanger your hand...so...shrug...guess I can do without. Safety first.
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Old January 11, 2014, 05:08 PM   #7
spacecoast
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I mailed in a request today to Colt for a letter on this gun. They don't list this model (only the 4th model Deringer) on the request sheet, but I'm curious to see if they can dig anything up on it.
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