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  1. It may be impractical, but it’s better than nothing in bear country. Not everyone can afford a .500 S&W or equivalent powerhouse of a revolver anyway. I know I can’t with my gun budget.

    • I was thinking pretty much the same thing. BUT it looks like you can find a EAA Bounty Hunter in .44 mag for about $400. I’d take my chances with that. It’s cheaper than this derringer, and I would probably not have a 5-minute-of-bear sized flinch.

      • A lot of people knock cheaper guns because they break, but forget that every machine big and small will break down at some point for some reason and need a part replaced. I’d rather buy a Taurus 1911 and then spend the extra coin tuning it up with quality parts later than blow $1,000+ on a Colt because “It’s a Colt”. I’ll take function and reliability over cosmetics and brand names any day.

        • I disagree. I’d like to buy a WWII Colt 1911 “just because it’s a Colt.” A classic. As are original, matching serial number 1851s, 1860s, 1861s… get the idea. But I’m not talking about every day guns, just guns I want “because.” Unfortunately, the size of my wallet doesn’t approach the size of my desire.

  2. Having to go through all of those steps to ensure that the firing pins are not exposed when the chamber is forcefully closed is absolutely insane. While I am certain that everyone that reads this blog would never make a mistake, there are a lot of idiots who get their hands on firearms. I am sure that this one will lead to at least a few of those lesser individuals creating the perfect circumstances for an ND and losing some part of their hand.

  3. WOW! Who thought that chambering a derringer in .45-70 would be a good thing? No way would I want to pull the trigger on that thing!

  4. If I am ever someplace where a grizzly bear attack is a genuine threat, I am certain I will have brought along proper firepower instead of this derringer.

  5. If you close it like a sane person, even with the hammer exposed, it’s unlikely to fire a round. Still, it could have been designed better.

    To say nothing of having two .45-70 barrels.

  6. Silly people shooting silly guns. The thing that separates higher primates from lower species is our ability to use tools, effectively. Use the right tool for the job. Be prepared. Do your best not to get yourself into a situation where all you’ve got is half or quarter measures.

  7. All my life I’ve seen these over/under and side by side powerhouses and have always asked, WTF. Who thinks this would be a good idea?

  8. I worried a bit that my .45-70 might cause me to fall out of my tree stand two seasons ago (I was missing part of my harness, but the hunt goes on). My full sized .460 Smith Revolver kicks bad enough, I have no desire to try a .45-70 in a derringer. Well, ok, I actually would try it once, but there’s no way I would buy it.

    A .410 shotshell / .45 Colt would be pretty useful, though. Of course CA has banned “shotgun handguns,” so I won’t have to worry about it.

    • I have to Admit I would try it too just for the “kick” of it, but then again some people would call me crazy. Its like riding a roller coaster its a trill gun weather or not there a pratical reason for it who cares. I wouldn’t buy one but I wouldn’t mind shooting it at least once. Also when did CA ban handguns chambered in shotgun caliber does that include things like say the Taurus judge or the S&W GOV.

  9. Uh, I dont think I would ever want to fire one of those things. Looks painful. Why not just get a guide style rifle in 45-70?

  10. I like that guy, reminds me of some kinfolk, work hard and play hard but just all around good people.

  11. Would I shoot it? Yes. Would I buy it? Not likely. A short barrel like that takes away the advantage of the .45-70 Govt. cartridge. I’d like to see a comparison between the .45-70 and the .45 Colt through a chronograph using that gun. My suspicion is that there wouldn’t be much difference, and thus, it’s more of a .45 Colt +P than a true .45-70.

  12. I just keep on remembering the ballistic testing done with a 35″ barrel in .45-70 back in the late 1800s, and they were tossing rounds 3500 yards (couldn’t hit anything, but they were flying that far).

  13. Agree with others.

    The ballistics of a .45-70 out of a barrel that short will be abysmal. 4198 or 3031 class powders have nowhere near enough burn time to be useful. You might as well go with super heavy cast bullets in a .44 Mag, .45 Colt or .454 Casull and enjoy the luxury of five or six shots in a gun not too much bigger than that derringer.

    • Yea, that’s kinda what I was thinking. The attraction here, I guess, is that it is much smaller than one of those large single action revolvers.

      Which is part of why their hands hurt so much…

  14. Range toy, maybe. Useful? Well if you only need one shot. I can’t see a single action derringer being quick enough for a follow on shot after shooting one round.

    For the cost of that thing, you can pick up a decent rifle or a used big bore pistol.

  15. All it took was one +P .38 through a friend’s ultra-aireight 5-shot Smith snubbie to convince me that when it comes to small guns there is such a thing as too much cartridge. Much more unpleasant than anything I ever ran through my Super Blackhawk; my thought as soon as I touched off the .38 was “Gee, aren’t you supposed to throw the hand grenade before it goes bang?” This is how I feel about a lot of the micro-carry .45s, 9mms, etc. – don’t care how small/ lightweight it is; if there isn’t enough gun for me to become proficient with carry ammo I’ll go for something a little bigger and heavier.

  16. I’d like to point out an interesting phenomenon. I was looking through the replies, and something didn’t quite feel right. I later realized that the reason for my uneasiness is because nobody was moaning about the poor muzzle control. Especially in this case, where it was demonstrated on film how easy it was to misidentify whether a round was loaded. Somebody please complete the TTAG reply log and complain about the 4 rules, etc.

  17. It’s not a range toy, you’d hopefully never fire it. Still not my first choice, but carrying 60 to 70 oz of gun when you are fishing a river-bank is not fun. Many people are trying to figure out something lighter and pocketable in a fishing vest that would still be effect against bears in AK. Standard holsters don’t work in your waders so you have to wear ‘chesty puller’ or shoulder holsters which get in the way. I don’t think this is the solution I’d choose but I can see the thought process behind it.

  18. This derringer is NOT a bear gun. You can’t just stick a big cartridge in a tiny gun, and still get enough power to do the job it was designed to do. Yu can et a real handgun that is suitable for bar at a much lower price. You can also get one small enough to easily carry, but big engh to handle he job.

    This thing is, at best, a dangerous novelty.

  19. I shoot a 45/70 guide gun quite often. The derringer would be last resort in bear country when the bear is up close and personal. I do carry the 45/70 guide gun when fishing in bear country just as a precaution.

    It does not really kick all that much with proper handling and such now the derringer may be a little troublesome but when your life is on the line it would be better then nothing.

  20. i think it is the greatest small gun ever made, i have several, both 45-70 up and 45 long colt down and double 45-70. i prefer the the double 45-70 and shoot it often, and can hit a coffee can at 15 yards almost all the time, it is a dandy little, overcoat gun and is always right there, i dont find it hard to handle with standard loads and enjoy the extra security, great gun!!!! george in alaska

    • George, strangely enough I will agree with you. When I was growing up my dad always had a derringer of some kind. It started with a 22 Davis, and then there was several different American Derringers. The ADC derringers reminded me of well built Buck knives. I have several of my own now. Whenever I see one priced under $300 I pick it up. I have one in 45win mag that exceeds 44mag ballistics. It is actually fun to shoot with light powder loads but bearable with bear loads; a 230gr fmj at 1300fps. I would like to shoot one in 45-70 load through a chronograph.

  21. Also not having a thousand bucks to spend on an S&W 500, I WAS thinking of getting a used Ruger Super blackhawk .44 mag six shooter, for $500, that I saw at a local pawn shop, as a, (MAYBE- hopefully), acceptable grizzly bear gun. But, in a surprise attack situation, I think that by the time you pulled that multi-pound Blackhawk, with the 10.5 inch barrel, out of its holster, you’d be lucky to get more than one shot off, in time, anyway, (ever see “The Revenant” movie?) -lol – And, with this derringer thing, you could still have that nice .45 long colt to save for yourself.

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