Help on a Colt Derringer?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by Hightide, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Hightide

    Hightide New Member

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    Digging around the basement I found a Colt Derringer mounted on a picture frame. I recall this hanging on the wall in our house when I was a kid in the 1950s-1960s. My Dad was a collector and partial to Colts.
    The weapon is mounted on a frame of nice dark wood about a foot square on a red tweed matte. It has a plaque in brass stating "Genuine Colt Derringer 4"
    It is a single shot and removing it from the frame indicates that it is chambered and marked for .22 Short. It also is marked "Colt's P.F.A Mfg. Co. Inc. Hartford, CT USA" The barrel is rifled and it breaks open not on top, but pivoting sideways to load a single shot. No Serial No. White or Ivory grips
    Anyone have any info on this piece and how old it might be. I assumed for years that it was a replica. However, on taking it off the frame and cleaning it up, it appears to be a fairly well made firearm, like a Colt.
    Any idea as to the mounting or why? Perhaps a dealer promotional piece? It does not look homemade, and the plaque is nicely engraved.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    NOTE OF STRONG CAUTION

    My references list Derringer No. 4 Commemorative Models

    "Limited production version of .22 Derringer issued w/ appropriate inscription to commemorate historical events. Additionally non-firing models (w/ unnotched barrels) were furnished in books, picture frames, and encased in plexiglass. "

    Since these were made 1959-1963, if a working handgun it would by law have a serial number. It sounds as if you have a non-shooter- I really would NOT try to fire it with that note in the references. Really.
     

  3. Hightide

    Hightide New Member

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    Agreed! Thanks for the input. Additionally, I found this note online from the American Rifleman:

    http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/colt-fourth-model-deringer/

    But no mention of this sort of commemorative framing. I think this needs to go back up on the wall in my den and certainly will not be fired! Again thanks for looking that up.
     
  4. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    I have a set of colt derringers in a box, the action flips to the side like you described. A local Smith gave me the ok to fire them. Cool little pistols.
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Sniper- there were SOME made as shooters- and some made as non-shooters. Lack of a serial number on a modern Colt would indicate it is a non-firearm.
     
  6. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    Yeah, if I wasn't sure I would not have fired them. Better safe than sorry, thanks c3