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Old 05-16-2020, 07:07 PM
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Default High-Standard .22 Magnum Derringer

EDIT: Turns out mine was not reliable and Iíve gotten rid of it. Make sure to test for reliability with your carry load and POI if you decide to carry an old HS .22 derringer.

Hey gun buddies!

I just bought a NIB High Standard .22 Magnum Derringer:



This one isnít mine but this is what they look like. I am going to carry it as a BUG to my J-Frame (or Springfield Hellcat if I buy one soon) in my unused back pocket in a Safariland wallet holster like this:



Oh no! AOW Iím breaking the law felony alert! Not with this design holster, guys. As you can clearly see the gun is not in any way hidden in this one, therefore it doesnít fall under that definition and is perfectly legal. The wallet holsters that fully conceal the gun minus a hole for the trigger are the ones that are a no-no. This holster is made to carry with the flat leather backing pointing outwards from the pocket to make it seem like a wallet.

Check out this video on YouTube from Lucky Gunner describing this pistol:


Also check out his .22 Magnum ballistics testing video. Seems Speer Gold Dots are a winner in this caliber (Paul Harrell also tested them in his meat target with good results) and Iíve got a few boxes for testing and carry coming:




Seems these guns have quite a following from law enforcement guys as a backup gun (or backup to a backup gun) or for deep concealment. It will in no way be my primary, but I like its attributes and definitely has a cool factor going there. These seem well made and two rounds of reliable .22 magnum at point blank is nothing to sneeze at.

And, I just think theyíre nifty and have wanted one for years, and sure beats having nothing if my primary goes under or if I get disarmed (anything is possible) or other reasons. Again, this will NOT be my main carry weapon and will be in my back pocket (which I never use) tucked in its wallet holster ready for use if it ever comes to that.

Thanks gang!

-Jay

Last edited by JayFramer; 05-24-2020 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:17 PM
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You illustrated your post with a a "type two" version of the gun. These were made from 1967 to 1970 and had a "trigger" logo. The early ones, from 1962 to 1967, had an "eagle" logo, and the third type, made until 1984, had no logo at all.

You will find that with practice, you can "stage" the trigger with a distinct pause before final letoff, and you can then squeeze that off similar to a single action gun. Shot in this manner, it can be fairly accurate out to around 15 yards or so. I found that I can handle the gun better when firing by extending my index finger alongside the barrels and pulling the trigger with my universal symbol finger.

A word of caution on the magnum-chambered guns. With some use, they will loosen up considerably and the lockup will not be secure. The .22 LR versions will hold up way better. I'd suggest this should be a "carry a lot, shoot little" gun. More detailed info on these little guns can be found in my book "101 Classic Firearms" beginning on page 182.

John
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
A word of caution on the magnum-chambered guns. With some use, they will loosen up considerably and the lockup will not be secure. The .22 LR versions will hold up way better. I'd suggest this should be a "carry a lot, shoot little" gun. More detailed info on these little guns can be found in my book "101 Classic Firearms" beginning on page 182.

John
Thanks, Paladin!

PS: I just annotated my OP mentioning that one is not my gun, just one I found a picture of on the internet. My serial number starts with 1431***. Iíll be sure to post some pics when I get the gun in hand.

It wonít be a regular range gun, just enough shooting for testing and familiarization.

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Old 05-16-2020, 07:43 PM
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I had one of these many years ago. A hot little handful. Don't remember where it went.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:47 PM
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I have come across several of these in .22 mag over the past few years. I would've bought one, but every one I've encountered was loose as a goose. I haven't seen a .22 LR version in quite a while.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:07 PM
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Been carrying that forever.
Best boat gun when crawling around bilges or up the stick mounting antennas.
Lockup is fine after 4 decades and hundreds of rounds.
Was recommended by a Cop as opposed to anything else available.
My boy carried it for the first hour when he got his license.
Then came home, took the M59 and went out and bought a G36.

I bought a Security Six snub after patterning the Derringer, dropping a large Bufo Toad and lotsa CCI snake shot.
Some big snakes in the Swamp.

My fishing guns when I first moved to Florida.
Switched to the M59 soon after.

When I really have nothing to do I'll finish this project.
SgtV Recoil Tamers! Pachmayr is laughing.

You'll love it!!!
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:14 PM
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I carried one the same way when I worked the streets. It was my “Onion Field” gun.

Read the book The Onion Field and you will understand the popularity of this gun with leo’s.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSA1 View Post
I carried one the same way when I worked the streets. It was my ďOnion FieldĒ gun.

Read the book The Onion Field and you will understand the popularity of this gun with leoís.
Amen. The first rule of law enforcement: go home alive at the end of your watch.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:32 PM
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I have two friends, one a LEO and the other a robbery victim, who have killed attackers with this gun.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:45 PM
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I have one of these for years now. Like others have said, it's loose as a goose. I wore it for several years on the strap on my vest under a uniform shirt. That is till I fell on it and cracked some ribs. I was young and dumb. Thought it was a good idea at the time. Still have it though. The finish on it took a beating riding close to the body for a few years. It looks dreadful.

Where in the heck did you find a NIB example?
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:59 PM
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*** when loading, make sure the cartridges are seated fully to avoid mis-fires.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:09 PM
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Back before CCW in this state, I was known to carry an NAA .22 magnum mini-revolver in a pocket holster. After CCW, it still went along as a BUG, at least until the morons in Santa Fe decided to amend our statutes to prohibit the carrying of more than one concealed weapon. But, sometimes I open carry, and then the little .22 magnum goes along for the ride.

If I ever have to use it, just like that cute High Standard derringer, it is going to be the gun of last resort.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyj View Post
*** when loading, make sure the cartridges are seated fully to avoid mis-fires.
^^^what he said. I own a couple because I like derringers. Since I don't dress 'skin tight,' I prefer a J-frame as a BUG, preferably a 340. The weight difference between the 2 is insignificant. Some folks remove the grip panels to make the gun thinner: the panels are mostly for show, the gun works fine without them. Note, this is NOT a gun to fieldstrip or play with to reduce the trigger pull. Fire 4 rounds at a close range silo, clean it and then carry it. Fire 2 rounds each year. That's it. Trust me. Welcome to the wonderful world of derringers.

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Old 05-16-2020, 11:58 PM
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Although heavier, I’ve been looking at Bond derringers with barrels for:

.45/410
10mm
357 mag
22 mag
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:16 AM
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Although heavier, Iíve been looking at Bond derringers with barrels for:

.45/410
10mm
357 mag
22 mag
FWIW, look, but don't buy. I have a Bond with too many extra bbls. Weighs something like 18-20 ozs with a terrible trigger pull. It's a beautiful klunk...

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Old 05-17-2020, 11:18 AM
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Thanks guys! And thank you especially to the LEOs out there, active and retired.

Anything else I should know about these guns? This forum is so knowledgeable!
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:47 AM
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Late friend of mine had a High Standard in 22 mag. We tried it out on a sheet of plywood at 7 feet. Top barrel hit foot and a half to right of point of aim, lower barrel a foot and half to left of point of aim. Only gun I ever saw where you could stand in front of it and most likely not get hit. You could open it, hold it up to the light and see , without squinting, that the barrels were not bored in line. Save your money for something better.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:15 PM
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Iíve always liked those. The first time I shot one was at the indoor range at the FBI Academy during firearms instructor school. They had a bunch of them for issue to guys working undercover. They didnít look like cop guns and they were so ungodly loud help was sure to come running.

I gave my last one to my niece in ABQ. It was in her car when it got towed and nowhere to be found when she bailed it out.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:52 PM
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I carried one for a bug back in my early LE days.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:38 PM
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Carried a .22 Magnum every day I was with DPD. Had it in a Bianchi #6 swede IWB holster clipped to the body armor under the left arm..

Only probably 100 to 150 rounds through the gun but still tight... Took the grips off to make it slimmer.

To me however the best last ditch gun now made is the Keltec .32...

Would never bother owning a full size derringer other than a range toy...

Bob

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Old 05-17-2020, 03:00 PM
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I have one in .22 Magnum and I donít think this was mentioned yet. I donít have chubby fingers at all, but one time I got pinched real hard between the trigger and 1/2 guard. My mistake with bad finger position, I guess, but watch out for that.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:17 PM
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Not to rain on your parade... but I have never seen anyone who had one of those even come close to shoot a qualifying score with it and the trigger pull is so hard their hand would shake pulling the trigger while attempting to keep it on target. Point of aim and point of impact are barely in the same room... I did own one for less then a week in 22 LR thinking it would be better then a sharp stick but I re-evaluated that position. Too much of a liability of hitting an innocent person if it was ever fired in defense. An airweight Chief Special is a much better option.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:29 PM
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Ha! We just had a discussion that started on SBRs and I added the weirdness of ATFs rules on these derringers.

Short-barreled rifle question

I have two. One is unfired, NIB, and the other sits in the holster that ATF requires a tax stamp for, which I have.







We have a Forum member who used one to save his life in Vietnam. It's his story so I won't tell it but suffice to say his NVA captors missed it and paid for that error.

Someone above said this:
Quote:
A hot little handful.
Which leads to this:
Quote:
I'd suggest this should be a "carry a lot, shoot little" gun.
I totally agree; the AOW holster mediates the hot little handful part but I carry it as my "robe gun" - that way, wherever I am at home I have a gun with me. When I get dressed it hangs in the closet and I carry bigger defense guns.

==================================

That said, Paladin, where do I find these "markings"? -

Quote:
You illustrated your post with a a "type two" version of the gun. These were made from 1967 to 1970 and had a "trigger" logo. The early ones, from 1962 to 1967, had an "eagle" logo, and the third type, made until 1984, had no logo at all.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:32 PM
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I got one because I thought they were interesting, but would never carry it as backup... the NAA is much easier to shoot accurately, and carries more rounds.

Cool tho... the first real advance in derringer design in many years.

Imagine a bunch of revolver guys seeing their first High Standard - ďYeah, itís more reliable, but it doesnít have the capacity!Ē
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:39 PM
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Carried that same model HS .22 Mag derringer in the same model wallet-style holster (back pocket) through most of the 1980's when working as a beat officer.
We were not allowed BUG's, but I was not the only one to carry similar. I was acquainted with an officer that got into a struggle with a perp trying to snatch his weapon and the HS derringer inserted up his nose caused him to cease efforts.

Eventually, it took on tacklebox duty - loaded with shotshells it took out a few snakes here and there.
Still have it and the many-times-sweat-soaked holster.

Interesting little pieces.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:20 PM
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I can hit five somethings with the NAA. I am not certain what the ballistic impact is, but I have seen them hasten along the journey several times. The magnum is better than the LR is better than the Short, but they all work up close.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
Ha! We just had a discussion that started on SBRs and I added the weirdness of ATFs rules on these derringers.

Short-barreled rifle question

I have two. One is unfired, NIB, and the other sits in the holster that ATF requires a tax stamp for, which I have.







We have a Forum member who used one to save his life in Vietnam. It's his story so I won't tell it but suffice to say his NVA captors missed it and paid for that error.

Someone above said this:


Which leads to this:


I totally agree; the AOW holster mediates the hot little handful part but I carry it as my "robe gun" - that way, wherever I am at home I have a gun with me. When I get dressed it hangs in the closet and I carry bigger defense guns.

==================================

That said, Paladin, where do I find these "markings"? -
The logo markings can be found on the left side of the barrels. Here's my own type 2 with the "trigger" logo. It was made in January 1970, and is a .22 LR gun.

John

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Old 05-19-2020, 08:29 PM
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Yes, indeed, there are better options -higher capacity & energy - today for not much more weight & size. I have a similar pocket holster that holds a Remington .380. But in the 70s and 80s there were not those options. The alternatives were the little Browning or Colt .25s or Beretta .22s and .25s, if you could find and afford one. The Ravens, Sterlings, etc. also were used and cost less than the HS. I did not find them reliable.

An Onion Field gun had to meet two criteria: it had to be unobtrusive enough to be missed in a pat-down search and it had to go BANG reliably.

The HS met both criteria and had the added advantage that if the first round misfired another was immediately available. It was meant to disorient or (God willing) disable an assailant, regain momentarily the element of surprise and provide an opportunity for fight or flight.

It was never meant to be used as a BUG in the sense most use the term (i.e. a second fighting gun) by anyone I knew who carried one. It was a last ditch "get out or go down fighting" gun. Maybe that's why I hang on to mine.

At that time the after actions that informed our decisions were Newhall and the Onion Field, not Miami and Skokie. We did what we could with what we had.

RIP - Campbell and Hettinger
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:48 PM
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The logo markings can be found on the left side of the barrels. Here's my own type 2 with the "trigger" logo. It was made in January 1970, and is a .22 LR gun.
Okay, then. Mine both say "DERRINGER" on the left side of their barrels, no logo, so they were made between 1967/68 and 1984. Got it. Gracias.
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  #30  
Old 05-19-2020, 11:10 PM
JayFramer JayFramer is online now
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Yes, indeed, there are better options -higher capacity & energy - today for not much more weight & size. I have a similar pocket holster that holds a Remington .380. But in the 70s and 80s there were not those options. The alternatives were the little Browning or Colt .25s or Beretta .22s and .25s, if you could find and afford one. The Ravens, Sterlings, etc. also were used and cost less than the HS. I did not find them reliable.

An Onion Field gun had to meet two criteria: it had to be unobtrusive enough to be missed in a pat-down search and it had to go BANG reliably.

The HS met both criteria and had the added advantage that if the first round misfired another was immediately available. It was meant to disorient or (God willing) disable an assailant, regain momentarily the element of surprise and provide an opportunity for fight or flight.

It was never meant to be used as a BUG in the sense most use the term (i.e. a second fighting gun) by anyone I knew who carried one. It was a last ditch "get out or go down fighting" gun. Maybe that's why I hang on to mine.

At that time the after actions that informed our decisions were Newhall and the Onion Field, not Miami and Skokie. We did what we could with what we had.

RIP - Campbell and Hettinger
Beautifully well written. GOD BLESS those that would defend our safety and freedom, and the lives that they gave.
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  #31  
Old 05-24-2020, 01:30 AM
JayFramer JayFramer is online now
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So I got the little High Standard Derringer in and aside from NOT being ďNIBĒ like the seller described on GunBroker (ah good old trusty folks there! ) my example was unfortunately not reliable with a few varieties of ammo. It would have a couple light strikes every 50 rounds or so.

With two rounds onboard that failure rate is not acceptable. No doubt there are High Standard .22 derringers out there that are perfectly reliable but I couldnít carry this one in good conscious, so itís been gotten rid of.

It was actually fairly large but was very thin and did disappear in the back pocket in the Safariland wallet holster. Muzzle flash and noise were intense and was a bit snappy! Honestly it was super fun to shoot but mine also seemed to be poorly regulated and shot more than a foot apart at only a handful of yards away. Iíve read thatís very common with these.

Oh well... I just ďhadĒ to try out one of these after hearing so much about them from retired LEO guys. I may or may not buy one again if I can find one in good shape for a good price, Iím still drawn to them for some reason.

-Jay
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:17 AM
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I carried one as in an ankle holster while in the Border Patrol, not authorized, but I knew lots of guys with second guns in those days. It has since disappeared into the mist of my memory, gone somewhere along the way. I always figured it was a stick into flesh and pull the trigger if I needed it, certainly not a target gun, thankfully, I never needed it but I liked having it just in case.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:41 AM
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I bought one of these new almost fifty years ago. Firing it near dusk right after purchase produced a fireball like a .357 or .44 Magnum cartridge loaded with H110 powder. Might have been blinding in a dark room.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:43 AM
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I carried one as in an ankle holster while in the Border Patrol, not authorized, but I knew lots of guys with second guns in those days... I always figured it was a stick into flesh and pull the trigger if I needed it, certainly not a target gun, thankfully, I never needed it but I liked having it just in case.
Great post. Sums up the rationale behind the derringer. The advantage of the H-S was that it could be carried loaded safely, unlike the Remington pattern and knock-offs which used a half-cock notch which caused many of us to worry...

Back before guns became innately evil, it was not uncommon for someone to carry a small handgun in one's pocket or purse. There have always been difficult people ready to confront/harm law-abiding individuals. Paper ballistics aside, who knows how many 1,000s of times these pocket guns deterred such people?

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Old 05-24-2020, 12:33 PM
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Default Rimfire? Really?

If you shoot enough rimfire, either .22 or .22 magnum, you've had the following experience: you pull the trigger and nothing happens. So, you take out the cartridge, rotate it a bit to get a piece of fresh rim under the firing pin, pull the trigger and the gun fires.

The priming compound is spun into the rim by machine, oftentimes, a short segment of the rim is missed and if the firing pin strikes that segment, you have a dud. During my years of firing interclub .22 Gallery, we could hardly ever run a relay with having to run an "alibi" relay.

This isn't about bullet power, expansion or energy, Rimfires are simply not reliable enough to stake your life on one.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:40 PM
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If you shoot enough rimfire, either .22 or .22 magnum, you've had the following experience: you pull the trigger and nothing happens. So, you take out the cartridge, rotate it a bit to get a piece of fresh rim under the firing pin, pull the trigger and the gun fires.

The priming compound is spun into the rim by machine, oftentimes, a short segment of the rim is missed and if the firing pin strikes that segment, you have a dud. During my years of firing interclub .22 Gallery, we could hardly ever run a relay with having to run an "alibi" relay.

This isn't about bullet power, expansion or energy, Rimfires are simply not reliable enough to stake your life on one.
Iím thinking so, too. Maybe with rare exception to something like a DA rimfire revolver for people who are recoil sensitive. If one round is a dud, there can be as many as 5-12 additional rimfire ready.

After my experience with the HS I view it as truly a product of its time. I see now my plans to carry it today weíre folly and clouded with nostalgia. Even if it was 100% reliable, I compared it to my Kel-Tec P32 which is several ounces lighter, has the same footprint in terms of length and height, and is darn near every bit as thin, yet offer 8 .32 ACPs. Guns like the Ruger LCP are barely any larger and offer even more power.

Guns like that didnít really exist back when the HS was so popular. It was pretty much that or the various .25s. I donít know how many reports Iíve read of HS derringers experiencing misfires and the internal components getting out of wack, too many to count. Add the rimfire aspect and the over 10 oz loaded weight and the size of the thing... again, a product of its time.

Iím still glad I got to try one out but today their are legion better options.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:10 PM
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If you really need a deep concealment gun and want to carry in a wallet holster, check out the .32 or .380 Seecamp. Seven rounds and no larger than the two-shot High Standard.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:11 PM
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Possibly it was bubbarized to lighten the trigger pull.
They are fun and depending on ammo choice and a superb DA discipline, capable of hitting a target at 15 yds.
Twice in a row.
Index finger along the barrels.

In all my years with 22 rimfires, the only round not to go bang was a CCI MiniMag 40 gr solid recently in my MKIV Target.
Match 22 shorts... tens of thousands with the smallbore team.
Thunderbolt LRs... tens of thousands.
etc etc but never junk.
The old Yellow Jackets did not chamber in my Bobcat.
Call me truthful and lucky.

Maybe you'll luck out and find a good one.
Wish I had bought two.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:38 PM
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Got out to the indoor range briefly today.
Ran 4 rounds thru the HS Mag at 10 yds.
All 4 in the body area fired at about 3 second intervals.
CCI 40gr solids.

In and out fast but fired the new 460/6rounds/XTP, the old G36/two mags hardball and the S&Walther PPKs/four mags plus one in the chamber DA then SA.
Seven shooters on ten lanes, old Revere range, too smokey.
Just checking function.
Didn't want to waste the 40 I loaded with 13.5 grs of TrailBoss last night. 30/255gr HC @.452 and 10/250gr XTP@.452.

I need a backyard range!!!

Keep looking OP as they are fun.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Imissedagain View Post
Got out to the indoor range briefly today.
Ran 4 rounds thru the HS Mag at 10 yds.
All 4 in the body area fired at about 3 second intervals.
CCI 40gr solids.

In and out fast but fired the new 460/6rounds/XTP, the old G36/two mags hardball and the S&Walther PPKs/four mags plus one in the chamber DA then SA.
Seven shooters on ten lanes, old Revere range, too smokey.
Just checking function.
Didn't want to waste the 40 I loaded with 13.5 grs of TrailBoss last night. 30/255gr HC @.452 and 10/250gr XTP@.452.

I need a backyard range!!!

Keep looking OP as they are fun.
Frankly I donít much care if they are fun, but reliable. If I ever get one again Itíll have to be reliable.
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:23 AM
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Reliable and fun are the same.
Unreliable is NoFun.

I was gifted a #ZA DB380 and it was replaced by them with a #ZE DB380 and it'll go back for replacement again.
Light primer strikes.
Range toy to show what not to buy when it goes "unreliable" to a new shooter.
Will glue on some interesting wood slabs just to test adhesion to plastic.

The HS without grips has an access hole to cycle the firing pin if the lever fails to move it.
Mine has been rock solid since day one around '80.

People sell guns for two main reasons.
They need money or the break/wear them out as I've noticed.
Of if you have too many reliable 380s and need more adult calibers for a different location.
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