The simple answer is a resounding yes, just because of its size. A pistol that fits in your palm conceals pretty easily. But the Derringer has a fascinating history. Take note that while the history of the gun has nothing to do with its concealability, it has everything to do with the way we view it, and all other conceal carry pistols today.
Derringers aren’t the most modern pistol, but they are arguably the most concealable. The historic use of Derringers tells us that. It was made for concealability and ease of use, and its most famous performance is what boosted its novelty and propelled it to success nationwide.
Deringer, or Derringer?
Named for Henry Deringer, its creator, the original Philadelphia Deringer only had one “r”. It was a black powder muzzle loading single barrel pistol. It was sold in pairs, so if the first shot failed, you had another.
Henry Deringer lived in Philadelphia. His father was a gunsmith, so he grew up around the rifles his father created and held an apprenticeship in Richmond, Virginia to follow in his father’s footsteps. The Philadelphia Deringer was one of his first creations, after switching from manufacturing rifles to pocket pistols.
Pocket pistols were not new to the people of Deringer’s time. However, nothing so small and concealable had existed before. Now men and women alike could defend themselves efficiently and secretly.
The Philadelphia Deringer was affordable, so they were accessible to anyone. They were popular among gamblers and ladies who used them as muff pistols in their hand warmers. Popularity soared, and money came pouring in for Henry.
As fate would have it, the Deringer became even more well-known with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and from there, other manufacturers started capitalizing on the name, and, to circumvent copyright law, the Derringer, with an extra r, was born.
People most likely associate Remington’s design with derringers because of the improvements Remington made. The double barrel, over-under design (doubling capacity), and the metal cartridges helped maintain its popularity. Smokeless powder enabled the use of smaller cartridges with higher power.
Remington ceased production of their derringer models in 1935, but they paved the way for the evolution of the derringer in other manufacturers lineups.
Other companies have continued to make these pistols in a variety of calibers. Cimarron produces a .38 special and Bond Arms makes a .357 magnum.
Some derringers have trigger guards, and some have longer barrels. They even have fun names like Dragon Slayer, Ranger, and Cowboy Defender.
What’s not to love?
Carrying a Derringer
While a derringer lacks the same firepower as a larger revolver, it’s ideal for deep concealment. You can holster a derringer almost anywhere on your body, but even without derringer holsters, they fit nicely in jeans, jacket pockets, and even your bra. I’m looking at you, ladies.
Yes, the derringer is for everyone. It’s accessible, lightweight, small, and versatile. It’s not intimidating, and it really is a point-blank weapon. You only have one chance to make an effective shot, meaning the deep concealability and use at short range is exactly what it’s intended for.
You won’t get much distance with it, but a small gun is better than no gun, and this is precisely the reason why it seems so much less frightening and risky to carry one. You may not intimidate your target, but the point is that they not see it at all. I dare say you’ll undoubtedly startle them when you need to: at close range.
You can carry it when it’s uncomfortable to carry something bigger, and it hides entirely out of sight. Going for a run where you might run into critters? Derringer. You can even stick it in an MP3 player armband, behind the MP3 player.
We’ve covered how well the derringer conceals, and by now you may be convinced that it’s not just a novelty item. While the history of the derringer makes it a popular pistol by notoriety alone, it’s far from useless.
They’re fun to shoot, and some would say they’re cute, but don’t underestimate the need to practice with your pistol before carrying it. It offers a one-of-a-kind concealed carry option and is ideal for precisely that purpose.