Factory Engraved Remington Model 95 Over & Under Double Derringer
- Product Code: FHG-2238
- Availability: In Stock
The Remington Model 95 Double Derringer (aka “Over & Under Derringer”) is probably one of the most recognized and famous firearms in the world. Even those with little interest in, or knowledge of, firearms will immediately identify one as a “Derringer” when it is shown to them. Other than the Colt Single Action Army revolver, and the Winchester 1873 rifle, there is probably no other firearm that has a stronger association with the American West. This is most likely the result of the ubiquitous use of the Model 95 in Hollywood westerns. As a result, the Remington “Double Derringer”will forever be associated with the gamblers, outlaws, women of ill-repute, scallywags and scoundrels that seem to inhabit every western town on both the big and small screen.
The Model 95 Double Derringer was designed by William Elliot of Remington, who had previously designed as whole series of popular and successful pocket pistols and derringers for the firm. The Model 95 was unique in that it provided the “big bore” punch of the .41 rimfire cartridge in a very compact package and offered the user two shots without a reload. The small number of .41 RF derringers that preceded the Model 95 to the market were single shot pistols, so the Model 95 offered twice the firepower of its competition.
The pistol was patented by Elliot and Remington in 1865 and went into production in 1866. The overwhelming success and popularity of the Model 95 is underscored by the fact that it remained in production from 1866 through 1935, well past the golden age of the American West, with more than 150,000 of the diminutive pistols being produced during those 69 years! The simple elegance and utility of the design is further highlighted by the fact that derringers of the same basic design, although made by companies other than Remington, remain in production to this very day!
The Model 95 was a simple and elegant design. Two 3” long, superposed barrels were mounted to a frame with a compact, semi-bird’s head grip shape. The barrels were connected to the frame by a top hinge at their rear and secured by a pivoting latch on the lower right edge of the frame. Swinging the latch 180-degrees down and forward freed the barrels to tip up at the hinge for loading and unloading. The first 2000 or so Model 95 pistols were produced without an extractor, but all subsequent production incorporated a manual sliding extractor on the left side of the frame to ease the removal of spent cartridge casings. The central component of Elliot’s patent was the pivoting firing pin, which automatically shifted between the upper and lower barrels every time the hammer was cocked. This was simpler and more robust design than the rotating firing pins that had been used in the Sharps, Starr and Remington-Elliot multi-barreled derringer designs that had preceded the Model 95. The pistol had a simple, single action mechanism and a sheathed spur trigger. The pistols were available with either a blued or nickel-plated finish and two-piece grip panels came standard in walnut, rosewood or hard rubber, with mother of pearl, ivory and other exotic materials available for an additional charge. Initially the guns were serial numbered sequentially, but this was abandoned fairly early during production for “batch numbering” in smaller quantities. Today, this system of numbering prevents the guns from being dated by their serial number. As a result, collectors have broken down Model 95 production into “Types”, based primarily upon the style and location of the barrel markings.
The only significant manufacturing change to occur during production was the introduction of the manual extractor circa 1867, after less than 2,000 of the pistols were produced. The typical breakdown of types, per Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms…and Their Values are as follows:
Type I, Early Production (aka Model 1): circa 1866, less than 2,000 produced, without extractor. Barrel markings are found on each side, between the barrels. They read: E. REMINGTON & SONS, ILION, N.Y. on one side and ELLIOT’S PATENT DEC. 12, 1865 on the other.
Type I, Transitional (aka Model 1 1st Variant): circa 1867, less than 100 produced, same barrel markings and locations as above, but with the new, frame mounted extractor.
Type I, Late Production (aka Model 2): circa 1868-1888, about 14,000 produced, barrel marking text the same as above, but now in two lines on the top rib of upper barrel.
Type II (aka Model 3): circa 1888-1911, about 80,000 produced, barrel marking changed to a single line on top of barrel and reads REMINGTON ARMS CO., ILION, N.Y.
Type III (aka Model 4): circa 1912-1935, about 55,000 produced, one line marking on top of barrel changed to: REMINGTON ARMS – U.M.C. CO., ILION, N.Y.
Type III, Late Production (aka Model 4, 3rd Variant): circa 1935, about 500 produced, same markings as above, but simplified barrel shape with simple fluting rather than the usual rib between barrels and grooved rather than knurled hammer spur.
This is an EXCELLENT condition example of a Type I Late Production (Model 2) Remington Model 95 Double Derringer. The pistol remains in EXCELLENT condition and bears the expected two-line barrel marking on the top rib that includes the 1865 patent date information and reads:
E. REMINGTON & SONS. ILION, N.Y.
ELLIOT’S PATENT DEC. 12TH 1865
This marking places the production of this Remington Double Derringer between 1868 and 1888, during the heyday of westward expansion and during the most turbulent days of settling the American West. The pistol is factory engraved with simple, open foliate scrolls, primarily executed with a punch dot technique. Flowing punch dot vine motifs decorate both sides of the superposed barrels with a simple wavy line of geometric form decorating the rib between the barrels. More flowing punch dot scrolls decorate the frame with the backstrap having a very simple geometric boarder. The pistol remains is clearly and crisply marked on the top rib of the barrel and all of the engraving remains crisp throughout as well. The serial number, or “batch number” 525 is present under the barrel and on the upper left side of the frame, under the factory polished bone grips that have the appearance of ivory. The gun retains about 90%+ of its original factory nickel finish with only a couple of the minor areas of flaked loss along the lower edges of the butt and some loss from handling wear along the sharp edges of the engraving, particularly on the frame. The nickel has a slightly milky, lightly frosted patina which is typical of 19th century nickel and remains 100% period and factory original. The metal is smooth throughout, with some freckled areas of lightly oxidized surface roughness on the butt where the nickel has flaked and some brownish oxidized discoloration in the recesses of the engraving where the nickel has worn. The small metal parts all retain the large majority of their bright fire-blued finish. The hammer retains about 80%+ vivid fire bluing with some fading and high edge wear, the extractor retains about 50%+ of its fire blued finish with most of the dulling and loss on the checkered thumb piece. It also shows some scattered flecks of surface oxidation. The breech locking latch retains the least amount of its fire blue with only some flecks of bright color and a mostly dulled bluish-gray appearance due to fading, loss and wear. The spur trigger, which was likely handled almost as much as the barrel catch, retains slightly more blue than the catch does, with some strong traces of bright blue the protected areas and a similar faded bluish-gray patina over most of its surface. The screws retain most of their original finish as well with most retaining about 50%+ of the blue, some of which has faded and dulled. All of the screws fairly remain crisp with fairly sharp heads which show only some light slot wear. Even the hinge screw remains fairly crisp with minimal slot wear. One of the biggest design problems with the Model 95 was the weakness of the barrel hinge, and as a result cracked and broken hinges are common on these pistols. The hinge on this gun is pristine and completely undamaged. The pistol functions perfectly, with the automatically pivoting firing pin alternating between the upper and lower barrels exactly as it should. The breech latch functions smoothly and locks the action securely and the extractor moves smoothly, functioning as it should as well. The bores of the pistol are in about FINE condition. They remain mostly bright and shiny with excellent rifling. The bores show some moderate oxidation and some lightly scattered pitting along their length, with a couple of larger patches in each bore. The two-piece hard bone grips are in FINE condition. They are solid and complete and free of any breaks or repairs. The right grip does show a surface crack that is about 1” in length and runs through the grip screw escutcheon. The grips have a mellow yellowish-ivory appearance with some darker brown flecks and patterning in the panels. The grips really look very much like ivory, but under strong magnification are bone. The grips do show some minor handling marks and light surface scuffs but are otherwise quite fine and complement the appearance of the pistol very much.
Overall, this is a truly excellent, investment grade example of the most famous and recognizable of all the old west era “derringer” pocket pistols. No collection of American western arms, pocket pistols or derringers is complete without a Remington Model 95 “Double Derringer”. This gun is in a really wonderful state of preservation and is a piece that will be extremely difficult to ever upgrade from. It is a really attractive factory engraved example that was formerly in the collection of Owsley Brown Frazier. Mr. Frazier was the founder of the Frazier Firearms Museum, now the Frazier Kentucky History Museum, and after his passing the gun was part of the Frazier’s extensive firearms collection. Mr. Frazier acquired the pistol from the late C.W. Slagle in 2002. Mr. Slagle was a well-known collector and dealer in high grade antique arms, particularly exceptional pocket sized pistols. This is an end of the road, outstanding factory engraved Remington that you will be extremely happy to add to your collection. The current Blue Book of Gun Values (41stEdition) places a value of $3,500.00 on a 90%, plain, unengraved example of this pistol. This gun is better than 90%, and much closer to 95% and is factory engraved to boot, making it a very fairly priced example of a wonderful little Remington Model 95 Double Derringer.
Provenance: ex-C.W. Slagle Collection, ex-Owsley Brown Frazier – Frazier Kentucky History Museum Collection.