Iver Johnson's latest is a quad-barreled 22 LR. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)
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It’s hard to miss the new Iver Johnson Pocket Ace pistols, tiny though they may be. After all, it isn’t every day you see a tiny handgun like this one. Sure, it’s little when it comes to dimensions, but it has four barrels. Four. Barrels. How can you not be interested?

The Pocket Ace is a pepperbox derringer chambered in .22LR. If you’re at all unfamiliar with Iver Johnson, one of the cool things about them is that they’ve been around since right after the Civil War. They used to make a little break action revolver in .32 Smith & Wesson that U.S. Cavalry members were issued to put their horses down (if the horse was seriously injured, of course). Let’s just say that have a long and storied background.

As for the Pocket Ace, pepperbox derringers are diminutive pistols with three or more barrels (they can have more than four, too). Chamberings vary.

I’ll be honest. I was a little disappointed this quad-barreled pistol fires its barrels one at a time. No, that isn’t surprising, but it would be fun to fire four rounds of .22LR at the same time.

If you’re going to rock a derringer, all the better if it has four barrels. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

You can also see that unlike some derringers, the Pocket Ace does not have a trigger guard. Whether or not you care is a matter of personal preference. It isn’t exactly easy to bump and negligently fire a single action model like this.

Caliber: .22 LR
Barrel Length: 2″
Overall Length: 4″
Weight: 7oz
Frame: 17-4 Stainless Steel
Grips: Oak Dymondwood
Capacity: 4
Action: Single Action

As it turns out, teensy, tiny pepperbox derringers are not easy to photograph on the show floor. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

Will Iver Johnson also offer teeny, tiny holsters? Probably not, but you’ll probably thrill a holster maker by requesting one from them for the gun.

The first run of the Iver Johnson Pocket Ace will be available with three different grip options. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

The three versions of the Iver Johnson Pocket Ace that will be available soon are all steel with grips of either Oak Dymandwood, Black Dymandwood or Rosewood Dymondwood.

Two of the options for grips on the Iver Johnson Pocket Ace pepperbox derringer. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

MSRP is currently a state secret, but the company has an email list set up so you can be notified of cost and availability when they’re made public.

Here’s the manufacturer’s image of their Pocket Ace, just with different grips. (Photo credit: Iver Johnson)

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    • Uhm, that looks like SAO, to me, with that hammer.

      SAO isn’t a problem, that’s how the NAA mini-revolver functions. It’s inherently safe, since you *must* cock it before you can fire it…

      • Manual SAO is an expert’s system, even in the optimum (ergonomic revolver with a huge, can’t-miss hammer spur and trigger) case. A derringer is not an expert’s weapon. Not only does requiring two separate fine manual actions per shot (with tiny little controls, while keeping pointed in a safe direction) make it less likely for inexpert shooters to get a timely shot off under stress; it’s also less safe if one has to decock that little hammer with sweaty, shaking hands.

        • It’s the exact same set of motions as the NAA Mini-Revolver, cock, and fire.

          Spend 5 minutes with it, and you have it down cold. It becomes intuitive to anyone with a few functional brain cells…

        • Yes, it’s the exact same set of motions as another tiny, silly novelty widely regarded as something to avoid if you have any other choices whatsoever.

          So “intuitive” that SA revolvers (even the larger, more ergonomic ones) went from 100% dominance of the defensive handgun market to nearly zero as other designs became available.

          I used to put in the practice (a cylinder or two a day, plus hundreds of dry-fire motions) to be quite effective with a full-size SA revolver. No amount of practice will make it intuitive to manipulate the tiny Pocket Ace under life-and-death stress.

      • I wouldn’t say “inherently safe”.

        There’s bodycam video of a cop responding to some old guy who was working at some rando local sporting goods store with a Mini in his pocket. Went to the bathroom and ended up shooting himself in the leg when the gun was cocked and then discharged inside his pocket.

        Probably owes his life to an officer with a CAT. There’s a lot of blood.

        • *actually now that I think about it it might be something bigger than a mini but it’s definitely a small pocket gun with an exposed trigger.

          I’ll see if I can find that video…

        • “Went to the bathroom and ended up shooting himself in the leg when the gun was cocked and then discharged inside his pocket.”

          It wasn’t the gun, then, he just paid a stupid tax.

          By your criteria then, no gun would be inherently safe, unless I’m missing something here…

        • No gun is “inherently safe” per se, but most modern handguns contain effective mechanisms to make them less inherently unsafe.

    • Yeah I thought the same thing. DAO and a trigger guard.

      I had an old 4 barrel .22 short of similar design and liked it as a collectors item. But I would not carry one if any other gun were available.

      • But I would not carry one if any other gun were available.

        That sums it all up right there. There are many legit complaints about 2022, but a shortage of affordable, reliable EDC pistols is not one of them.

        • Looks like a fun novelty.

          For a mini baby carry gun, something like the Ruger LCP is far more practical.

        • “How does 4x.22LR compare to 1x 9mm?”

          Inneresting question.

          I suppose a more apt comparison would be a 4-pellet (something) aught scatter gun…

        • Southern Cross,
          That is an interesting question, to which I don’t have a conclusive answer – other than to praise the modern market that has ensured we have so many other choices.

          I think advances in materials and cartridges could make something in this category – like a .327 between Mossberg Brownie and COP size – practical. I’d love to see a DAO version in a modern caliber of https://www.forgottenweapons.com/marston-3-barrel-selectable-pocket-derringer/

  1. If under 200 bucks, I just might try one for the novelty of it.

    Poor Californians are SOL luck, with the spur trigger.

    (Would a SCotUS ruling of ‘Strict Scrutiny’ nuke gun bans like that?)

    • Would need to challenge them probably and should (key word) be able to get offensive laws tossed. Agree with the novelty and if I didn’t have to go through the hassle of adding it to my permit that price range is a why not kind of purchase.

      • I *doubt* it would be 200, probably closer to what NAA sells theirs for. Call it 300, maybe?

    • On a web page I was just on they showed 3 models of the Iver Johson derringer. They showed a price of $310 next to each pic.

    • Ian tried on in a 2 gun match. It turns out the barrels weren’t well regulated. They almost shot to different postcodes.

  2. Looks similar to an old Erl Svendsen 4 Aces 4 barrel derringer (.22 caliber short, 1 3/4-inch barrels). I still have it tucked in the back of my drawer…..

    • To me, it’s a novelty. If we get open carry in Florida, it would look cool parked in the watch pocket of my bluejeans… 🙂

  3. Seriously they announced this at Shot Show 2017, heck I even handled it at NRA 2017 and they are announcing it again. When is actual availability going to be this time.

  4. Very cool. Sure there are better options for self-defense from a cost perspective, but take it in in context: a unique, somewhat modernized interpretation of a classic firearm from 150 years ago or so.

    Iver Johnson isn’t really the continuous manufacturer. Like Indian moto(r)cycles, the brand value is mostly in the name. Iver Johnson also made motorcycles a hundred years ago, by the way.

    I like it and would buy one at the right price.

  5. What a silly, impractical, antiquated design.

    How goofy is this?

    I can see no practical use for this pistol.

    I want one….badly…..

    Maybe two of them…

    • “I want one….badly…..

      Maybe two of them…”

      That’s kinda what I’m thinking, one in each rear pocket for ambidextrous deployment.

      And the NAA mini on a neck lanyard, and the LCR in .357, making it 5-gun concealed carry.

      (Or 7-gun concealed carry, if I buy 2 additional for both-leg ankle carry…)

  6. This is what is known as a “Nostril Gun”- place barrel against an attacker’s nostril and pull trigger. When used properly, it can be effective at deterring an immediate threat. Maximum effective range is no more than 2 inches from the tip of the nose.

  7. A worthless piece of crap in the first production run, dangerous if dropped, hardly deserving of its 15 to 35 dollar price back in the day.

    A waste of pot metal.

  8. As Peashooter mentioned, this has been vaporware since 2017. I’d love it if they’d finally sell the damn thing, but I’m not holding my breath. 😛


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