From Old To New

The old Remington Double Derringer has quite a history. It arrived around 1865; and its .41 Rimfire cartridge was mild enough to allow material and parts to be of moderate quality and size. In the 1950s, makers and importers rediscovered it, and chambered the Derringer for modern cartridges. The materials were better, but design and parts were about the same.

The imports were mostly made in .22LR, with a few in mild centerfire chambering, so usually there weren’t any problems. All imports were stopped in 1968 by a stupid federal law — apparently these handguns were just too small.

From a design standpoint, the weakest link was the barrel-hinge. In centerfire guns, sometimes the frame would crack at the top.

Another problem with the original Remington design was safe carrying with a chamber loaded. The only “safety” was a “resting-step” on the hammer, engaging the rear-end of the trigger when you moved the hammer very slightly rearward. Dropped on a hard surface, impact on the prominent hammer spur would likely break the sear tip, or the notch and fire the cartridge.