In fact, it is impossible to speak of this weapon as a single model for any reason; it is the collective name of all pistols that have several barrels and which are recharged when the barrel is “broken”. Henry Deringer became the father of these simple and compact pistols, but this is not at all the Henry for whom the Kentucky rifle is listed, an equally well-known weapon, despite his age, and his son, that is, Henry Jr. An interesting fact is that the very idea of creating such a weapon was born to the designer in his youth, but he managed to realize his plans in metal only by the age of forty. One can only guess why so much time passed from concept to action. Perhaps the reason for this was some kind of problem of future weapons, which the designer could not decide, which is unlikely because these pistols are very simple in their design. Personally, I am inclined to believe that the opinion of the father, who did not consider the prospect in the idea of his son and did not give this one, played a big role. This is confirmed by the fact that the first obozec was created just when Henry Jr. became the owner of his father's business. Roughly the first derringer appeared in the 1825 year, but no one can say for sure that it is not surprising.
With the establishment of the mass production of these weapons, Henry Deringer's pistols seized not only the territory of North America, but also became widespread outside. The main feature of this weapon was its incredibly low price for those times. Although the absence of compact and at the same time effective weapons also affected. The thing is that the revolvers of that time were very, very expensive, in addition, really effective ammunition was used only in some of the most expensive options. The guns of the derringer, which we associate with weak and small-caliber weapons, were also made for fairly powerful ammunition, because, despite its small size and weight, the design of this pistol could withstand very powerful ammunition. Thus, these pistols have become an integral part of the image of a woman of easy virtue, a card player and other representatives of dangerous "professions". It was also interesting that even the owners of such an expensive weapon as a revolver acquired for themselves a smaller sample in the form of a derringer pistol, which was worn just in case. Speaking of ammunition. The first mass-produced derringer pistols were .41 caliber inches.
In the process of reading the article, many have already noticed that the name of the gunsmith is spelled with one “P”, while the name of the pistol has two “P”. I can not vouch for accuracy, but I have an assumption that explains this phenomenon. The fact is that in addition to Henry Deringer, many other manufacturers were involved in the release of this weapon. Simple design, good demand, what else is needed in order to establish mass production. In short, it was difficult then without an advanced copyright law. It was a sin not to take advantage of this, especially since even one person, provided that everything needed at that time could make 3-5 pistols a day, and these are 30-50 dollars, which were very good money. With such a competition, the guns of Henry Deringer were not the most popular ones, aggravating the situation as well, that the gunsmith did not have a patent for such a weapon, which was his serious mistake. The main competitors of Henry were his employees, who, after being dismissed, opened their own production of these weapons “under the wing” of merchant Adolph J. Plate, and at the same time solved the problem of marketing. In the end, it all ended in a lawsuit between Plate and Deringir, which dragged on for many years and ended, oddly enough, in favor of the gunsmith, not the merchant. So a double "P" in the name of the weapon could well appear for the fact that there would be less complaints from the legal right holder, from which it naturally was neither cold nor hot.
The designs of the pistols were so varied that to describe only one of them and argue that it was she who alone was “correct” to do stupid things. Coming out of the workshop of Henry Danger, this gun became really popular and was made in a variety of calibers, barrel lengths and the number of these same barrels. Most often, the pistol was based on the trigger mechanism of an ordinary action, as if it were the simplest. However, with the development of weapons design improved and among these pistols you can find real masterpieces of nameless weapon genius. It is also interesting that the combined pistols were met, when one barrel was rifled, the second one was designed for shot shooting. The variety is that the head is spinning.
With the development of weapons business, the price difference between derringer pistols and revolvers was inexorably reduced, which should have meant an end for this weapon. Nevertheless, the pistols did not disappear, but continued to occupy a niche of a compact and always ready-to-use means, both of defense and of crime. No matter how the designers tried to improve their revolvers, they still could not make weapons cheaper and more compact than the derringer. Even now, when the views on the weapon have changed and completely different requirements are placed on it, relatively modern versions of these pistols can be found. A clear example of this could be the MP-451 or the silent C4M. You can see on the store shelves the continuation of derringers in the form of traumatic OCA pistols, Guard and so on. Here is a timeless weapon.