Colt Derringers 4 model

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by Wildlife72, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Wildlife72

    Wildlife72 New Member

    27
    0
    0
    Colt Derringers 4th model.jpeg
    Colt Derringer 51754DER 3.jpg
    Colt Derringer 51753DER 5.jpg
    Hey,
    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.
     
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    4,269
    22
    48
    Take the barrel screw out so the barrel comes off then you could see why they won't open.
     

  3. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

    850
    1
    18
    They have to be on half-cock before they will open.
     
  4. Wildlife72

    Wildlife72 New Member

    27
    0
    0
    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.
     
  5. Clermont

    Clermont Member

    922
    0
    16
    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.
     
  6. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    4,269
    22
    48
    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.
     
  7. Wildlife72

    Wildlife72 New Member

    27
    0
    0
    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.
     
  8. Clermont

    Clermont Member

    922
    0
    16
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

    1,115
    0
    0
  10. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    4,269
    22
    48
    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.
     
  11. Wildlife72

    Wildlife72 New Member

    27
    0
    0
    That sounds more like what is happening. And I can take out the barrel and assembly screw and still the barrel will not come off. Would deepening that make the barrel unremovable?
     
  12. whitedemon

    whitedemon New Member

    15
    0
    0
    i don't know either but they is sure purdey
     
  13. Clermont

    Clermont Member

    922
    0
    16
    The barrel cannot be removed, from the frame, in the closed position. The only other possibility is to disassemble the hammer, hammer screw, and mainspring from the frame and see if the hole in the frame the ejector sits in, goes through the frame. If yes, it would be simple to push the ejector back with a sharp object. If no, the only other solution would be to drill a small hole, precisely where the ejector would rest against the frame, from the back of the frame, so the ejector can be pushed back.
     
  14. Wildlife72

    Wildlife72 New Member

    27
    0
    0
    I just got back from taking these guns from two different gunsmiths. They said after working on it that it should open and fire and there is absolutely nothing obstructing the barrels. And that I am S.O.L.