.410 / .45 Long Colt Derringers and DIY

.410 / .45 Long Colt Derringers and DIY

This is a discussion on .410 / .45 Long Colt Derringers and DIY within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So the story Begins. A couple of years ago I found a derringer frame and side plates that someone had long forgotten in a home ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array mhm2a's Avatar
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    .410 / .45 Long Colt Derringers and DIY

    So the story Begins. A couple of years ago I found a derringer frame and side plates that someone had long forgotten in a home that had been moved out of. I took a gander and thought it was pretty neat and the big bore intrigued me. The derringer parts spent the next several years in my desk drawer at work collecting dust, rust, and other unthinkables.

    The research began. It had only a few markings that were Ducktown, TN and FMJ. A google search revealed that there was a company once known as Cobray or Full Metal Jacket that made kits for many derringers and other firearms. After hours of research I found the owner an the shop still exists outside of Cleveland, TN. I picked up the phone and ordered a catalog as they do not have a website.

    The model I had was actually a part of a kit that was meant to be a black powder derringer, however, it did look to have the same side plates as the elusive .410/.45 derringer. I placed an order for the barrel, pins, hammer, springs, etc...and thought what the hell it was only $30.00. In the kits that they sell you must machine your own side plates and breach face. I had the side plates, so that meant I only needed to make a breach face......how hard could that be?

    Almost a month later I got the parts. Did I mention they were only a couple hours from my house...that is another story in itself. I had the parts together within an hour of getting them minus the breach face. I measured twice and found a piece of 1/8th inch stock to cut a 1 inch circle from. I then test fit...filed...test fit...filed...test fit then filed some more until I had a part that resembled a breach face. I then fired up the welder and made it permanant.

    I thought about snap caps for testing, but I did not have any on hand and I was giddy to shoot this hand cannon. So, on my way to the farm I picked up some .410 varieties and wondered if what I was about to do was very smart. I have absolutely no background in firearms manufacturing or even light gun smithing until this project. Does making a potato gun count? I do have tools and hobbies that require I use them so it did not seem unobtainable that I could make a simple derringer work.

    The test firing. I will admit that this was not the best way to go about this but I did not have a bench, vise, etc...at the farm so I loaded a .410 slug, closed the action, stood behind a tree with my arm pointing out and my eyes closed.....click.....no boom...***....My immediate thought was I wasted $30....However, I forgot to disengage the safety...oops. Safety off now still behind the tree with eyes closed I pull the trigger and blam. It works....It actually works.....and I still have my arm and hand...A bonus. So I went through several rounds and determined I liked the 000 buck the best and I was a hoot to fire something so rudimentary.

    Its gonna make a good beater gun. It goes well in the tool box, tackle box, ATV, Etc....Hell you could probably pass it off as a flare gun. It may not be the best, but it does have a damn good story and hope you guys like it.



  2. #2
    Member Array mtnfreak's Avatar
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    Looks like a lot of fun for $30. I wish my Bond Century was that cheap. Have you tried shooting clays? I've actually hit a couple, but those long-range target shells made my hands and wrists pay for it.
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    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Now that is an interesting gun

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    Dont worry about it.

    Many moons ago I made several. Although they wont win any beauty contests, its acutally a pretty robust design even if it is simple. The orignial kits were made to fire 2 1/2 inch .410 or .45 Long Colt.

    One of them has been sitting in a tackle box for 10+ years and has whacked a few snakes. A few years ago it was looking pretty rough, so I sandblasted it and hit it with barbecue grill paint. It still looks good.

    The .45 LC was pretty accurate for a gun with that short of a barrel. I used to hit coke cans consisiently with it out to 20 yards. As for the .410 shells, it'll throw quite a pattern, enough that if you are shooting at something on the ground, make sure that your feet are under you.

    It looks good. For the money its hard to beat.
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    Member Array mousehunter's Avatar
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    I sold mine for about what you paid for yours. While technically it served it's purpose - the safety, barrel selector, and sharp edges left too much to be desired. I still have a scar on my hand from the rear edge of the trigger guard gouging my index finger. With any luck, it's replacement will be far more enjoyable to shoot.

  6. #6
    Member Array mhm2a's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments. I have not tried to shoot clays with it, but that might provide some entertainment. They do offer a double barrel or O/U that may get you that extra shot.

    There is something to be said for an inexpensive gun that can take a beating. It is so simple that most repairs could be made in the field. Put it in the tackle box and hit it with some lubricant every now and again and you are ready to go. I might make a kydex holster that holds an extra few shells as well. But that would double the value of the gun!

    After playing with this a while the Taurus Judge and the Bond Arms Derringers look like they would be the cats meow. There is so much you can do with a .410 / .45 combo from self defense to a critter getter.

  7. #7
    Member Array mousehunter's Avatar
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    fwiw, should have my hands on a Century 2000 this afternoon - straight from the Bond factory (via a friendly little gun shop - I am having a stocking dealer get it from Bond, since the distributor channel was unable to locate one for a different shop I was using).

  8. #8
    Member Array mhm2a's Avatar
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    Mousehunter,

    Is that the model with or without the trigger guard. I really dig the one with the guard. I may see one in my near future as well. Let me know how you like it and by all means post up some pics.

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    "stood behind a tree with my arm pointing out and my eyes closed"

    That was pretty smart...that way if it Kaboomed then you only lose your right hand but, your eyes will be fully protected...so that at least you'll be able to see that your hand is missing.


    Seriously...neat little gun.

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    Member Array mousehunter's Avatar
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    Quick review. Cowboy Defender has no trigger guard and a 3" barrel, the guard is removable on all others (Cowboy Defender is not tapped for it). Texas Defender has a guard and has a 3" barrels (including 2.5" chamber 45/410). Century 2000 is a Cowboy Defender with a 3.5" barrel chambered for .45/410 bore (3" chamber 410) - that barrel sells at a slight premium, so there is a slight premium on the Century 2000. Snake Slayer has extended grips - and the 3.5 or 4.25" 45/410 barrel (3" chamber).

    Will attempt to post pics, but missing the camera cable at the moment.

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    Senior Member Array ronwill's Avatar
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    Must say I paid a lttle more for mine, of coourse it was purchased in a small gun store. They're a lot of fun shooting, not real accurate.

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    Senior Member Array jofrdo's Avatar
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    Why not call it the Judgelette?

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    You're very talented, and brave too!
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  14. #14
    Member Array mhm2a's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the replies. I closed my eyes by instinct....kind of like seeing your grandmother naked. A wise man once said "It is all fun and games until you lose an eye, then it is just fun and games you can not see".

    It is not a target pistol, but at 7-10 yds it will hit close to the point of aim. I picked up some bird shot #7 that I am going to give a go this weekend.

    I thought about the "judgette" but I prefer the title "Judge Judy" because when it goes off it is loud and obnoxious.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Did quite enjoy your story. Sounds like a blast. (get it? blast?)
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