Who Invented the Derringer Pistol?


Quick Answer

Henry Deringer designed the first small pistol that later became known as a "derringer" (a misspelling of Deringer's name), producing it from 1852 to 1868. William Eliot invented the first double-barrelled derringer pistol in 1866 while an employee of the Remington company.

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Full Answer

Many people copied Deringer's design, and the small pistol became known generically as a "derringer." Eliot's double-barrelled pistol used a .41 short caliber bullet and became very popular. The original derringer pistol was a single-shot muzzle-loading pistol. As firearms technology advanced, the design of the pistol changed significantly, but small pistols were still known as derringers. The name "derringer" is typically given to the smallest handgun of any specific caliber.

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