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Deringer Model 1842 Navy

United States (1842)
Picture of Deringer Model 1842 Navy Percussion Cap, Rifled Barrel Pistol

The Deringer Model 1842 Navy percussion pistol became the first US government-purchased pistol to feature a percussion cap action and rifled barrel design.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Deringer Model 1842 Navy Percussion Cap, Rifled Barrel Pistol.

 Entry last updated on 2/26/2018; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

Henry Deringer was well-known for his pocket pistols to the point that many eventually carried the generic (and misspelled) name of "derringer" (note double "R"). In 1842, he contracted with the United States Navy to deliver its first percussion cap-based pistol featuring a rifled barrel. The percussion system improved reliability over the long-running flintlock types while rifling improved range and stability of the outgoing bullet. The sidearm in question became the "Henry Derringer Model 1842 Navy" which saw production span from 1842 to 1847 with totals ranging from 200 to 1,200 units (sources vary). The pistols were stamped with "US Derringer Philadelphia" branding along the lock plate.

Outwardly, the pistols were of a typical design for the time. The body was of a wood (walnut) with the lock plate along the right hand side. Brass was used at the trigger ring, butt cap and the single barrel band. The barrel was set upon the wooden body in the usual way, the brass band used for structural stability. The hammer was offset to the right sight and set to fall on a nipple to which a percussion cap would have been seated. The barrel was short and stout, chambered for .54 ball ammunition. The ammunition and powder charge would be inserted through the muzzle manually and the included metal ramrod was used to push the contents closer to the action.

Any available statistics for the Deringer Model 1842 Navy Percussion Cap, Rifled Barrel Pistol are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin and manufacture(s) involved in bringing the weapon to market. Other qualities showcased are related to physical values such as the internal action, available calibers / chamberings, weight and lengths. Global operators are also presented in A-to-Z format as are any model variants available to the series.
Deringer Model 1842 Navy Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United States
Year: 1842
Type: Percussion Cap, Rifled Barrel Pistol
Manufacturer(s): Henry Deringer - USA
Supported Mission Types
Frontline Issuance
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Attachment Weapon
Internal Design, Weight and Dimensions
Firing Action: Percussion Cap; Single-Shot; Muzzle-Loading
Available Caliber(s): .54 Ball
Ammunition Count / Feed: Single-Shot
Barrel Length: 152 mm (5.98 in)
Sighting Assist: Iron

Operating Performance
Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 1 rounds-per-minute (rpm)

Operators List
United States

Model Variants
• Model 1842 Navy - Base Series Designation