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December 25, 2013 / Gregory Williams

Cobra Derringer .32 HR Magnum

Back when I created this blog one of my early posts was How to Photograph a Gun, and I sold that gun for a hefty profit using those photos.

I suppose this post is pretty much along those same lines, except in this case I’m not selling the derringer. These pictures were taken just to pass the time.

What’s the first thing to do with a gun? Check to see if it’s loaded because all guns are always loaded, and then, when it is unloaded or verified unloaded, it’s still loaded! Treat it like it is, because it’s a gun, and guns are deadly and one does not take their handling lightly. Always keep your finger off the trigger until on target and ready to fire and always point it in a safe direction, that means not pointing it at anything you are not willing to kill or destroy. In addition, unless you are carrying it, cleaning it, or staring at it, it’s hopefully stored in a safe or at least has a trigger or action lock to secure it from children, crooks, and the like.

The derringer below was made by Cobra Firearms out of Utah. It came with two barrels, one in .38 Special and the one pictured in .32 H&R Magnum. A screw can be removed from the hinge at the top of the frame to swap the barrels.

Half cocked position

Above, the derringer is in the “half cocked” position, which locks the hammer into place for safer loading and carriage. By design the hammer, theoretically, can only move backward in this position, to the “fully cocked” position shown below. The gun is cocked, fired, and cocked again to ready the second barrel.

Fully cocked

This particular model has a cross bar safety which awkwardly disengages from the right to the left, quite difficult to operate with one hand for a right handed shooter; a definite disadvantage for safer carry. But then, derringers aren’t great guns when it comes to usability or accuracy due in part to their short barrel length, in this case about two and a half inches which makes its usable range about five to ten feet with any semblance of accuracy.

Their greatest advantages are their small size for concealment and their stark double barrel design. Point a derringer at someone (only if you are willing to destroy them) and they will take note, especially if they can see the tips of the bullets inside, as sort of shown below. I need to work on that one.

the barrel

Yes, taking a picture of this end of a loaded gun is dangerous! Don’t do it! In any case, I did not tell you to do it.

I was able to do it safely by taking some old brass and making the dummy rounds pictured below. No powder and no primer means no gunshot. Dummy rounds are also excellent for training. The trick is to not confuse them with real rounds. If that happens, the safety rules above are all that can save you, which in the case of looking down the business end of a derringer with a Nikon is already a violation of the most important rules of safe direction and always loaded!

dummy rounds


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