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 BTJ 9mm Derringer - Hamden, CT
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cbxjeff
Advanced Member

USA
9355 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2003 :  8:00:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone have any info on this piece. It looks like a High Standard but is marked BTJ.

Thanks,

cbxjeff

It's too late for me, save yourself.

oak
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2004 :  11:26:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lots of info;

The original DA 38 Derringer was made only in 38 special chambering.
The logo "BTJ" stands for Benjamin Johnson Technologies. (the "T" is in the middle as a stylized logo)
A company called "Maxim" run by a person named John Galt -if memory serves me- began distributing these derringers in 1985.
Interestingly the design is very similar to the High Standard derringers, and the address Hamden, CT is the same as High Standard's address.
I do not know if BJT bought the right to manufacture from High Standard. But in less than a year the company was gone with no fowarding address. If anyone knows the reason, please post it.

The DA frame is aluminum and the barrels and latch are stainless steel. The stainless castings were made by Pinetree Castings, the same company that Ruger often used.
The original BJT derringers did not actually have wood grips but are made from a composite wood look-alike.
Later, the rights to manufacture and leftover parts were bought up by American Derringer Corporation, who began making these in 38 Special and 9 mm para. The earlier ADC-DA derringers have the BTJ logo and the Hamden CT address since they were leftover and already stamped by BJT.
The ADC derringers now have wood laminate grips.
Later American Derringer began chambering the DA derringers in 357 magnum and 40 S&W.
It is not possible to make these DA derringers in a caliber larger than 40 S&W without enlarging the barrel casting width, so you are not likely to see one.

There is a difference between the ADC derringers and BJT that you can see at a glance: the Safety on the ADC derringers have a center screw to adjust the safety tension. The BJT derringers have a solid safety piece and do not have or need the screw.

Oak the derringer guy
Cheers!

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oak
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2004 :  12:07:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A correction to my post above.
What I refered to as Benjamin Johnson Technologies is Bellmore-Johnson Tool Company in Hamden Ct.

They began making the DA derringers in 1984 and ended in 1986.
Production numbers for 1984: 38 special # 504,
Production numbers for 1985: 38 special # 6208
Production numbers for 1986: 38 special # 1102, 9mm para #228
Total production 38 special = 7814, 9mm para = 228

Note, this is before American Derringer resumed production of the DA

(if anyone cares!) I hate inaccurate posts!

Oak the derringer guy
Cheers!

Edited by - oak on 05/29/2004 12:46:59 AM
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Lance
Junior Member

172 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2004 :  11:39:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oak: I appreciate your precision regarding production and dates. I have a question, though. When I bought mine in 1986, Howard Johnson (president) in a telephone conversation, informed me that production was for one year only.

Is it possible that both of you can be correct, kind've -- that is, BJT may have manufactured for more than one year, but they shipped to the market only in 1986? If not, I have no explanation for the discrepancy of information. What follows is a summary of my information.

BJT DA was made one year, 1986, by Bellmore-Johnson Tool Company. It is a double-action only stainless steel derringer that was made ONLY in .38 Special and 9 x 19 mm. Frame & barrels' assembly are stainless steel.

Possibly ADC's version has aluminum frame? I've not examined one, though.

That Bellmore-Johnson Tool was located in Hamden as was Hi-Standard was propinquity. Bellmore-Johnson Tool's main sources of business, circa 1986, were prototype development contracts from among area commercial firearms manufacturers and DoD. Pinetree Castings is, or was, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ruger. It furnished investment castings for several firearms manufacturers, as well as non-firearms manufacturers. Dunno if situation remains so.

After one year of production, the BJT O/U production ceased. More than 1000 were made, but I cannot confirm an exact number (I thank you for YOUR numbers, Oak.). Several years later, ADC of Waco, Texas, bought the tooling and rights from Bellmore-Johnson Tool. This ADC O/U with some differences, I imagine, remains in production today.

Bellmore-Johnson Tool Company is still in business at a different location, but Mr. Johnson is no longer active. During Mr. Johnson's active participation the company was a prototype weapons developer and manufacturer for several commercial gun manufacturers, and DoD. Among their niftier failures were the four- and eight-barrelled break-open DA-only shotguns developed for DoD for use in Vietnam.

Edited by - Lance on 05/31/2004 11:57:47 AM
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goldensmoke
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2004 :  11:53:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'M IN NEED OF ADC PARTS AND CANNOT GET A RESPONSE TO SAVE MY LIFE FROM THEM!

If anyone has any sources for parts for ADC products, I need an extractor (I call it "stirrup" or "U-shaped" style NOT THE "T" style) for a DA38 in .40 S&W caliber.

There is an answering service that picks up their phone and takes messages but I'm told they rarely ever call for their messages. Emails go absolutely nowhere.

Can anyone give me a clue on how to reach them or how I can get the part I need???

Thanks in advance!
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snarkman
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2007 :  7:12:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oak, I have a DA marked btj 38 special, all stainless, serial #002275. I bought it in Texas around 1985. This may substantiate your facts. I was looking for any info on it. I still have the original handbook that came with it. Thanks for the info. Snarkman out.
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WRenegar
Starting Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2008 :  7:11:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know a ballpark value for a DA, by BJT, 38 spl. serial #004109 in new condition?

Billy
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oak
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2008 :  10:35:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Talking about responding to an Old thread:
Uh, well, I noticed it 4 years later! Ha! Anyway...

To try to answer WRenegar: Between $250 and $300 should be about right, although I saw an asking price of $365 recently.
If you have the original holster they often came with it you can add another $25.

The production numbers I used below are from the report that Belmore Johnson Technologies was required to make to the ATF of guns they manufactured, so they are very likely to be correct. To reiterate:
Production numbers for 1984: 38 special # 504,
Production numbers for 1985: 38 special # 6208
Production numbers for 1986: 38 special # 1102, 9mm para #228
Total production 38 special = 7814, 9mm para = 228

Notice that few were made in late 1984 and few were made in early 1986 so that it could be rounded to about a year of production as Mr. Johnson said. I personally saw them for sale in 1985.

As for the frame material, all the metal you put your hand over when holding the gun, the lower portion of the gun under the grip and the back strap, the part that contains the ratchet mechanism, is aluminum: it just looks like stainless.
(Weasel style caveat: there might be some that are all stainless and I just do not know it)

Also, I did not mean that BJT went out of business, I meant the distributor Maxim just disappeared, probably because BJT stopped production. I am curious as to why they stopped production.

An anecdote; I spoke to John Galt of Maxim in 1985 and I asked about a plus P .38 spl rating for the derringer. His response was that the DA-38 could handle .357 magnums, but that would be too much for a person to handle, along with the plus P's. His gruff manner was not very promising for his business.

In 1999 I first met Elizabeth Saunders, a really nice lady and the president of American Derringer Corp. She had entered the company as an employee late in 1986, just after BJT ceased production of the DA-38's. Robert, her husband and company founder later worked the deal with BJT to make the DA's.

Unfortunately her husband passed away in 1993, and she was left without his good guidance.
She had also lost her son when he was testing one of the .45/.410 number 1 derringers at their range.
For some reason he pressed the muzzle against his torso and the gun went off with the Winchester 000 buckshot load in it. The wound sealed itself with the heat of the powder. Three pellets went in three directions, and he died.

And unfortunately, ADC also changed their insurance company which dictated how they made some parts of their guns. No longer could they have normal rifling in the barrel, it had to be overbore and "loose". Anyway, you may notice that the rifling is not as deep or as stabilizing as the old production guns as before 1995.
Some other changes are also reflected in the DA-38.

Later, American Derringer decided to make the derringers in .357 magnum and .40 S$W.
When ADC began making those, they had problems with the top latch coming loose under fire, especially with the snappy .40 S&W. They then redesigned the top latch mechanism.
I hope the fix worked because I have a .40 in front of me that I haven't fired yet.

Oak the derringer guy.
Cheers!

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JohnStimson
Junior Member

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2008 :  9:24:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bellmore Johnson Tool made a .38 Special Prototype for High Standard but High Standard decided not to proceed with production. Later someone re-chambered the prototype for .357 Magnum which wasn't a very good idea.

It seems reasonable to believe that the High Standard prototype was the basis for the Bellemore Johnson Tool derringer. I have seen teh magazine ads for the Bellemore Johnson derringer but I do not recall the year(s)

Over the years Bellemore Johnson made prototypes for High Standard and probably other gun manufacturers in the New Haven area. I know they were involved with the 9mm T-3's for the government.contract.

Several of High Standards designers worked for Bellemore Johnson after leaving High Standard.


With respect to the ATF producion figures, the ones they have for High Standard's later years do not agree with the factory shipping records. I cannot explain teh difference but there is one.


John Stimson, Jr.
www.histandard.info
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billymart
Starting Member

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2008 :  1:28:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have 2 BJT DAs. One in 9mm and one in 38. The 9mm is the standard non-blue stainless. The 38 is dark Blue in the original box with book and registration card. Does anyone know how many Blue DAs were made.
Billy

Billy Mart
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