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 Buffalo Arms Derringer
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TWalker
Senior Member

1828 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  6:21:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I saw one of these Buffalo Arms derringers for sale today but don't have any idea what they're worth. This one is in .38 Special, made of stainless steel,is of the over/under type labeled "Model One". It looks like it would make a great cowboy back-up gun. It's more squareish and has larger grips than most derringers. It appears to be well made. Can anyone tell me your experiences with yours, when they were made and the approximate value of a used one? Thanks!

"Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Thoreau

oak
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2004 :  10:25:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It seems there is very little information available about these derringers on the net so I guess it is up to me.

These are very high quality derringers, often underated.
The weight is 19 ounces and the barrels are listed as 3 inches long, but are actually a hair under 3.
The derringers are nickel plated; they are not stainless.
They were packed in a 5 by 3 inch black cardboard case with a folded one page instruction manual and warranty card.
The address of the manufacturer was: 10 Robert Gair Drive Tonawanda
NY 14150.

The manufacturer in Tonawanda, NY (near Buffalo NY -hence the name
Buffalo Arms Inc.) also made military armaments which was their primary business, including some 50 BMG pieces. The derringers were a sideline, not a high production item.
The derringers are made to high military tolerances, and the steel is the same as the .50 caliber arms, which is quite good.
The design is original, not a copy of anything.
They were made between the the mid seventies to early eighties.
Less than ten thousand were made. The highest serial number I have seen was in the seven thousand range, though they may have gone higher.
Most are marked "357 magnum" and are capable of firing full loads.
Some were marked "38 special", but were actually had full length .357 chambers and will chamber and fire both types of ammunition.
Some were ordered as gifts and awards, particularly among policeman. The serial numbers on specially ordered derringers would usually be the persons initials followed by a dash and a 1, for example XXY-1.
Specially ordered derringers tended to have a heavier nickel plating than the others, perhaps doubly plated.
Interestingly, these are the only derringers I know of beside the rare Ljutic Industries derringer, that have regulated barrels, that is, to shoot to the same point of aim.
At 15 feet or so the two barrels will shoot within 3 inches of each other.
In 1982 they sold for $155.00 retail.
As to what one is worth? I would say 2 C notes plus, but consider the above and make your own decision.
That is probably more information than you expected!

Oak, the derringer guy.
Cheers!
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black_adder2
Junior Member

155 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2004 :  04:52:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey if you do plan on selling it, let me know... as a Buffalo native I would like to get my hands on one.

Was 82 the last year of manufacture for these and for Buffalo Arms?
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TWalker
Senior Member

1828 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2004 :  4:41:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OAK, Thank you for your reply and all the great information. Much more than I was expecting, you covered the subject well! The one I've been considering is indeed nickel plated as you said, and is a Model 1, labeled "38 Special". I thought it was stainless when I first saw it, but on closer inspection I found it just as you described. The price has been dropping. A month ago the asking price was $250, now it's down to $159. I'm thinking of offering $135 just to see what happens. I may buy it. This is one well built derringer!

Black_adder2, if I decide to pass on it I'll let you know where it is in case you're still interested.

"Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away." Thoreau
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