View Full Version : remington .41 derringer

mega twin
January 14, 2007, 07:55 AM
a friend brought me an old derringer to look at. it is a remington, with the ejector. the only no. I could find on it was a very small 12 stamped on the grip frame. I'm sure this could not be the serial no.,as I assume there were a bunch of these made.were these numbered back then? thanks, Mike

Snow Dog
January 14, 2007, 04:04 PM
Here's a good site to find a bit more info about the gun: http://www.littlegun.be/

James K
January 14, 2007, 09:57 PM
If you can find one of those in decent condition with an uncracked hinge, treasure it. If you are offered one with a cracked hinge and told they are easy to fix, or can be welded, run away.

For some reason, Remington never changed the design or made the guns from anything but iron for the entire 68 year production period (1866-1934). They look neat, and everybody wants one, but they are very fragile and broke, even with original loads. So looking is fine, shooting is a no-no. Plus, if you want a compact defense gun, get something a lot more powerful, like the super power .25 ACP.

They were not serial numbered.


mega twin
January 15, 2007, 06:18 AM
He is looking to sell the gun, but I'm not a buyer. Old guns are neat,but I would rather have a shooter. I just cleaned it up some for him. It does seem loose at the hinge and on lock up, but having never held one before, I don't know what the norm is. thanks for the help guys , Mike

August 13, 2008, 09:15 PM
My mother in law just gave me a Remington .41 Cal Derringer that belonged to her mother. The one hinge is missing, and the other is broken. Can they be fixed? Also, is there a piece missing? I will explain. There seems to be a piece missing between the hammer, and the shells. It doesn't look like the little catch will hit either shell, let alone both. Is this suppose to fire both at the same time, or one, and then the other? :confused:Wasn't sure what this was until I Googled it. Please help. You may email me directly, or reply to this post. [email protected]

August 14, 2008, 09:16 AM
Are you talking about both parts of the hinge? It's doubtful it could be fixed, not reasonably anyway. Sounds like the extractor is missing. It fires one barrel at a time.

James K
August 14, 2008, 03:24 PM
I will say it again. Those guns were made from cast iron, not steel. They can't be easily welded, brazed or soldered, and attempts to do so almost always fail, usually leaving the gun looking worse than it did before.

The number is an assembly/batch number, not a serial number.

August 14, 2008, 06:10 PM
.....but it will make a dandy trotline weight..........

August 16, 2008, 05:33 PM
The father of one of my college buddies shot and killed a man with one of these Remington Derringers. In about 1947, I believe. They did serve a purpose, under desperate conditions.

I would not like to fire one of these.

October 11, 2009, 02:05 PM
If it has the markings on the rib in the side or a "two-line" on top it is a type I, on the side is a 1st model, on the top 2nd model. (E. Remington)
If there is a on line address on the top (Remington Arms) this is a Type II, third model (unless it includes UMC) which it becomes a type III 4th model, if the rib is gone it's a mono-block (quite scared) it's a 5th model.

Type I, 1st model's are serials. (Around 2,000 made, 3 actual variations)
Type I, 2nd model are NOT serials, two runs (~18,000) made from 1-9999 and then repeated.
Type II, 3rd model has 6 variations, the 1st variation is a serial number this is referred to as a "short-line" because of the obvious words start and end 1/2 or so from sight/hinge (others are 1/4 or so). They made approximately 3,000 of these, they are simply serials because they change the variation before they started the run from 1-9999, repeat, repeat.
Type III Remington UMC's, they have real serials (although at the end they got a bit goofy with letters), starting in 1921 they also marked the month/date code on the lug under the barrel.

October 11, 2009, 02:19 PM
I have always had a weakness for these little guns but not to the extent of sacrificing 'working guns' in order to own one. As Jim has noted they are a wall-hanger of the first water and for those who simply must have a derringer to shoot, there are a number of more modern versions available in about any caliber you could fancy.

I'm glad that some of you have snarfed these up and I commend you for preserving a unique firearms artifact from days gone by.

James K
October 11, 2009, 08:58 PM
I have fired them (I know, do as I say...) and most folks just don't realize they have a spring more suitable to a Ford truck. In the movies, the guy with the derringer always snaps off a couple of fast shots, but either he was using another make, or his Remington had been worked on.

Just FWIW, it is a lot harder to ignite a rim fire round than a center fire since the hammer has to smash a layer of metal strong enough to withstand the pressure inside the cartridge. That explains both why hammer springs on old rimfires are so strong, and also why there are no large caliber high pressure rimfires. If a rimfire case were made strong enough to stand up to the pressures of a .357 Magnum, it would require a massive hammer and spring to set it off.


October 12, 2009, 01:21 AM
Here is my Third Model, 1st issue (1888-1910).




I have seen lots of these derringers... blued, nickel, both, engraved and even gold plated but the purple/brown finish on the frame of this one I have not seen. Does anyone know if this was a factory finish?

If no one knows about this finish who or where can I ask about it.

This goes back in my family to at least the 1930s.

Bill DeShivs
October 12, 2009, 01:59 AM
Cast iron sometimes turns purple when reblued.

James K
October 12, 2009, 03:15 PM
I think Bill has the answer. I can't see your first two pics but the gun in the last one shows signs of having been reblued.


October 13, 2009, 03:26 PM
Also it is a 2nd Type, III Model, and NOT a first issue, a first issue (variation) is a short-line. Also based on production numbers it's somewhere between 1891-1912 the short-line was basically the first three years (3022 produced) and then there is 5 other variations which I would not swear to the order of. Doug's book may I don't remember but if it does I respectfully disagree.

October 14, 2009, 04:53 PM
I will first say I don't know much about the Remington Derringers except what I have read. I looked at, "The History of Remington Firearms" By Roy M. Marcot starting on page 30.


Is Marcot wrong in his discription of the models or did I interpet the markings wrong?

Thanks Bill, I thought it had been refinished as it looked too good to be original... as well as purple.:)

Oh, number on the underside of barrels and left frame under grip match... 7xx.

James K
October 14, 2009, 08:10 PM
I don't know what happened but I can now see those first two pics by powermwt.

That gun has not only been reblued, it has been ground and polished to the point that it almost has a "melted" appearance. Possibly it was heavily rusted at one time and the polishing was necessary to remove rust. Too bad.


October 15, 2009, 04:39 PM
Ok, so I pulled my complimentary copy from the author ;)

So Roy only lists 4 variations there are 6 variations, three of which have the same writing but the font's are different. The first being the "short-line" and this is not it. I have to pull Doug's book. I believe I still have the pre-print when I proofed the book and it may have the nice photo of the tops of all the barrels showing the variations. Have to dig.

Ok easier to find then I thought...


James K
October 15, 2009, 07:38 PM
I'll leave open the question as to whether the use of a new roll stamp constitutes a "variation", but are there other changes, internal or external, in the gun over the years?


October 15, 2009, 08:30 PM
Do you mean variation vs issue? This designations were probably made before I was born I just go with what is commonly accepted by collectors of these pieces. Even the Blue Book and Flayderman's differ on the terminology. The Type's were based on the company's owner, E. Remington, Remington Arms, and Remington UMC, that makes sense I guess. The Model is markings significantly different and forced when the maker changed.
Type I From the sides (with 3 variations)
Manufactured by ... This is the first 200 where Remington actually made them for Elliot and hadn't purchased the rights to (only 24 known to exist). The rest of the serials up to about 2,000 didn't have the manufactured by. Somewhere late in the game but not by serial I guess just what was on the shelf left or maybe sent back I believe all however after 1600 and there's also not a heck of a lot of them out there, they cut in ejector which of course cut in to the patent information. I assume that's why they went to the two-line address on the top (still 1st type 2nd model).
From then on it was one line on top.
Anyhow for changes in each Type you can see that the hinges kept getting larger and larger which is of course the weak spot and something you need to always check if buying one. There is also changes in the mechanism that controls the firing pin and spring. I don't remember off-hand exactly when changes were made, I'm not sure if this is even in a book or I would just have to go take some apart.
As for other visible changes, other then hinge size, and roll stamp the III type 5th Model nicknamed a mono-block there is no rib.
Here is a picture, they made 500 of this model, this is actually the only one known to exist in original nickel the majority of type III's are blue (look black) this is also the last serial no known to exist.

November 1, 2009, 07:04 PM
Hello to David Fagan;

I too have a Remington Derringer in .41 cal. and it has the exact same lettering as the fourth one down in your terrific photo of the six top straps. Mine is in blue and is in what we would call excellent condition. The blueing is (I belive), original, but with black plastic grips that have a Franzite "silver" medallion in them. There is also a flying eagle with what appears to be a shield on the medallion.

If anyone could give me an idea of this Derringer's worth it would be most appreciated.
I've heard they go anywhere from a badly broken one at $500.00 right on up to excellent condition for $2700.00 is this true or was someone writing a web site full of misinformation.

Many thanks for any information. Oh, and the number stamped under the grips on the right side of the piece is 668

Thanks again.

November 13, 2009, 12:44 PM
I have one of these also. I inherited it. I will post pics soon. It has very dirty bores but the hinge is good. Nickel is above average, at least I think so. Plastic grips have hunk busted off. I am glad I saw this thread.

November 14, 2009, 05:23 AM
Here is mine after closer exam of the pictures I believe mine has a cracked hinge. Hard to see with the naked eye (sucks getting old). Any and all thoughts are welcomed!

November 14, 2009, 05:25 AM
more pics

November 14, 2009, 05:26 AM

November 14, 2009, 05:30 AM
why wont they let me add more than 2 or 3 @ a time?

January 10, 2010, 06:55 PM
Values are GREATLY determined by condition, condition, and condition in addition to scarcity / rarity or a model / variation. Without knowing the condition and which exact model/variation you have it's simply not possible. For example a brown type I model I "manufactured by" (1st variation) is worth 5G+ a brown (what you see in the picture tops) 2nd type 3rd model is probably only worth about 500.

January 20, 2010, 06:35 AM
Elmer Keith made several references to this little gun in his books and stated that it had a lot of respect in the Old West, though not for the power of its cartridge. He also stated that the company that was the first to produce reproduction Single Action Army revolvers (Great Western?) was going to also produce these little derringers. That would have been over 50 years ago now. Any idea if any of them were ever made?

December 14, 2013, 08:50 PM

Did you ever find out any more about your derringer. I have one that was passed down from my grandfather and has the same color. Yours is the only other one that I have seen the same color. I will include pics of mine at it is in pristine condition for its age and I don't think the other posts about it being anything other than original are true. Please update me if you have any further information.



December 14, 2013, 09:05 PM
It is plum colored because it is made of iron { not carbon steel }and has been polished and reblued . Iron takes a special process to be blued. just ask someone who has blued a Winchester 94.

December 14, 2013, 09:20 PM
Sometimes cast takes on that hue. I've had a couple of revolvers that I know weren't reblued that turned plum.

December 15, 2013, 10:44 AM
Elmer Keith made several references to this little gun in his books and stated that it had a lot of respect in the Old West, though not for the power of its cartridge.
He also stated that the company that was the first to produce reproduction Single Action Army revolvers (Great Western?) was going to also produce these little derringers.
That would have been over 50 years ago now.
Any idea if any of them were ever made?

Great Western (1953-64) made 3500 deringers in the buyers choice of either .38S&W or .38S&W Special (not interchangeable) before they closed their doors in 1964.
There has reportedly been one (1) experimental model in .22WRM documented.



December 15, 2013, 11:43 AM
Here is mine after closer exam of the pictures I believe mine has a cracked hinge.

I'm afraid you're right. It's definitely cracked in the first picture.

December 15, 2013, 01:51 PM
Here is mine after closer exam of the pictures I believe mine has a cracked hinge.

The hinge definitely looks to be cracked, and the lower barrel also appears to have running cracks on both sides.

December 15, 2013, 01:54 PM
Are you saying my plum HK P7 is cast iron ?? :rolleyes:

Those little guns were dangerous not because of a powerful cartridge but because if infection. No antibotics in the old days.

December 15, 2013, 06:14 PM
Thanks for the replies. I never considered that two guns could age or discolor in the same way. I also never considered that a blued gun would change color. I will try again to include better pictures.









December 15, 2013, 06:33 PM
Are you saying my plum HK P7 is cast iron ??

FWIW, There's a LOT of Rugers out there with plum-colored rifle receivers & Sa revolver frames, too.

Similarly to gunz like the Remington Double Derringer with iron frames, the Ruger (and most likely the Glock's) plum color is a result of the type of steel alloy used, combined with the maker's bluing process, which causes a reaction over the years (not immediately).


Here's a discourse on the subject: http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=127768


James K
December 15, 2013, 08:01 PM
The "plum" color is usually caused by the alloy metal (often nickel or chrome) but also can be the result of the bluing used and its freshness. Ruger's "plum" guns certainly were not cast iron, and Ruger's engineers went nuts trying to come up with a bluing process that would "blue" those guns.

On those derringers, the hinge cracking is probably due to the common practice of "flipping" the gun open, not from firing it. Nonetheless, a cracked hinge (and the hinge on that last gun is cracked) will reduce the value.

Many of the problems with modern center fire double derringers comes from the greater distance the firing pin has to move from the center of one primer to the center of the other. In the originals the firing pin had to move only a short distance, from the top of one rimfire round to the bottom of the other.


December 15, 2013, 08:04 PM
FWIW, There's a LOT of Rugers out there with plum-colored rifle receivers & Sa revolver frames, too.

Ruger frames/receivers are cast steel. not forged. That's why they turn plum. I think the amount of sunlight they get has something to do with it.