Q: I have this old gun with markings on the barrel’s rib, “DERINGER PHILADA. PATd JUNE 3, 1873.” Deringer is spelled with one “r.” It is a .22-cal., seven-shot, single-action, spur-trigger pocket revolver. The 3"-barrel tips up for cylinder removal and loading. The cylinder is fluted. The serial number is 15XX and is stamped on the curved butt of the frame. The barrel is blued and the frame appears to be nickel-plated. The bird’s head grips are smooth, dark wood. The front sight is a silver-looking blade, and the rear is a V-groove in the frame behind the hinge. The hammer is knurled and has case-hardened colors. I have not had success finding information on this pistol, and I am seeking help.
A: Henry Deringer, of the famous Deringer percussion pistol, died in 1868, but some of his relatives continued his firearm business for a few years and manufactured your metallic cartridge revolver. The pistols were virtual copies of the Smith & Wesson tip-up barrel revolvers of the time. Your revolver, with its rounded barrel, is of the Second Model made, and was manufactured from about 1875 until roughly 1879. Only about 6,500 of this model were produced, and your gun appears to be an excellent example.
--Charles W. Pate