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Wildlife72 10-26-2013 08:50 PM

Colt Derringers 4 model
3 Attachment(s)
Attachment 123802
Attachment 123803
Attachment 123804
I bought these pistols and I don't know much, if anything about them. Any help on that is welcome.
Now the problem is, neither of them open to load, I know how to, they just won't why might that be?
The one that is black with the wooden handle's trigger is separate, I have it, it just isn't installed. Also the two grips won't screw in together.

Anybody have any suggestions on what I can do to fix these things?
I know there are some not for shooting, but the serial number says these fire.
If I replace parts will it do anything to the value?

p.s. original wooden case.

hiwall 10-26-2013 10:14 PM

Take the barrel screw out so the barrel comes off then you could see why they won't open.

BillDeShivs 10-27-2013 06:26 AM

They have to be on half-cock before they will open.

Wildlife72 10-27-2013 01:02 PM

I had them in half cock.
I know how to open them, they just won't. the black one has a little budge but it won't open. The white one though, gives nothing.

Clermont 10-30-2013 01:27 PM

I believe you have deactivated Colt derringers.These were produced by Colt, in addition to firing models, for a non-firing display pistol. Beneath the chamber is a spring loaded detent that serves two purposes. It extracts the fired cartridge case when the barrel is swung open, and it also prevents movement of the closed barrel by entering a slight indentation in the frame, beneath the hammer. Pressure used to swing the barrel open will allow the detent to retract from the slight frame indentation. In producing the non-firing derringer, the frame indentation is a deep hole, preventing the detent from retracting and the barrel from swinging open. There is no conceivable way to open either of your derringers. There is no way to get the detent to retract itself from the deep hole in the frame. If you want to make them firing models, you would need replacement barrels because removing the original barrels using a hacksaw is the only means to accomplish this. Avoid damaging smaller parts, including the detent, in the barrel. Also, you will have to restore, or reduce, the frame indentation to allow the detent to retract when swinging the barrel open, otherwise you will have the same problem, again.

hiwall 10-30-2013 03:54 PM

The barrels on most of those move quite stiffly.
Colt never made them. They only have the Colt name.
The detent is on the side not the bottom.

Wildlife72 10-30-2013 05:55 PM

Well, I went through and searched the serial number and it says they're supposed to fire, the inside of the barrel has some powder stuff which makes it look like it has been shot. But I don't know man.

Clermont 10-30-2013 08:45 PM


Originally Posted by hiwall (Post 1417772)
The barrels on most of those move quite stiffly.
Colt never made them. They only have the Colt name.
The detent is on the side not the bottom.

The cartridge case ejector, or spring loaded detent, which also presses up against a dimple on the frame when the barrel is closed, is located beneath the chamber. There were two series of Colt Number 4 Derringers produced with Colt markings and manufactured by Butler Manufacturing. Butler later produced them, after Colt discontinued that model, with Butler markings. Both the frame and barrel are made using potmetal. Even the rifled bore is potmetal. The original poster's derringers may have fired at one time, because they are serial numbered, and the deactivated derringers I've observed lacked serial numbers. It is possible that a previous owner may have deactivated the derringers by deepening the "dimple" the tip of the ejector sits in, preventing any barrel movement.

gr8oldguy 10-30-2013 08:49 PM

This looks like an interesting read on your guns:

good luck

hiwall 10-30-2013 11:23 PM

Clermont, thank you. I'm old and my memory plays tricks on me sometimes.:)
I have seen and shot these (and the ones marked 'Butler') many times.

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