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Thread: Derringer Problems

  1. #1
    Regular Member mem1977's Avatar
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    Question Derringer Problems

    My brother just bought an old Davis Industries Derringer model DM-22. It keeps misfiring and rarely shoots. The pins are hitting the back of the shells on the sides. Any one out there know what we should do fix the problem? Any suggestions?
    I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands! ~ Charlton Heston (1923 -- 2008)

    Lord, make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true and my hand be faster than those who would seek to destroy me. Grant me victory over my foes and those that wish to do harm to me and mine. Let not my last thought be if I only had a gun; and Lord if today is truly the day that you call me home, let me die in a pile of empty brass. ~ The Gunfighter’s Prayer

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Well, Davis Industries is not known for being high quality. With it being an old gun, it could be a variety of problems. As with any old gun, if you are planning on shooting it then I recommend having it carefully checked by a competent gunsmith. Your hand will thank you.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 12-24-2011 at 05:19 PM.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  3. #3
    Regular Member mem1977's Avatar
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    That is what I told my brother he will most likely will have to do. He still insisted that I check here online to see if anyone new the problem. Thanks for the info.
    I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands! ~ Charlton Heston (1923 -- 2008)

    Lord, make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true and my hand be faster than those who would seek to destroy me. Grant me victory over my foes and those that wish to do harm to me and mine. Let not my last thought be if I only had a gun; and Lord if today is truly the day that you call me home, let me die in a pile of empty brass. ~ The Gunfighter’s Prayer

  4. #4
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    The DM-22 is chambered in .22 Magnum (.22 WMR), so of course the firing pin should be striking the rim. If it's leaving visible strike marks on the rim, yet not firing, the first thing to do is to buy a new box of a different brand of ammo.

    If it still doesn't work, then you have the classic symptom of a primer strike that is too light. That could be from a weak spring, or it could be because gunk is impeding the hammer from properly striking the primer. If it's "old" as you said, chances are it's full of pocket lint and dried oil. Spray the hell out of it with solvent, lightly re-oil, and try again.

    Just in case your brother doesn't know this, .22 LR and .22 Magnum are not interchangeable. The Magnum has a larger diameter case, so .22 LR can split when fired in a Magnum chamber. It's not a problem in a derringer, since there's no real back pressure due to the short barrel, but extraction is a problem.

    By the way... is he trying to shoot it with .22 LR? The difference in rim diameter (WMR = 0.294, LR = 0.278) could result in a misfire.

    Caliber markings mean things.

  5. #5
    Regular Member mem1977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    The DM-22 is chambered in .22 Magnum (.22 WMR), so of course the firing pin should be striking the rim. If it's leaving visible strike marks on the rim, yet not firing, the first thing to do is to buy a new box of a different brand of ammo.

    If it still doesn't work, then you have the classic symptom of a primer strike that is too light. That could be from a weak spring, or it could be because gunk is impeding the hammer from properly striking the primer. If it's "old" as you said, chances are it's full of pocket lint and dried oil. Spray the hell out of it with solvent, lightly re-oil, and try again.

    Just in case your brother doesn't know this, .22 LR and .22 Magnum are not interchangeable. The Magnum has a larger diameter case, so .22 LR can split when fired in a Magnum chamber. It's not a problem in a derringer, since there's no real back pressure due to the short barrel, but extraction is a problem.

    By the way... is he trying to shoot it with .22 LR? The difference in rim diameter (WMR = 0.294, LR = 0.278) could result in a misfire.

    Caliber markings mean things.
    It is leaving a visible mark on the rim after not firing. I think what he was using is Winchester 22 rounds. I can't remember off the top of my head what the rim diameter is. I know the gun was filthy when he bought it and he didn't clean it before shooting. I told him to clean his guns, but he procrastinates as always. If he doesn't clean the gun I will, and if it still doesn't fire I will take it myself to a gunsmith. Thanks for the input guys!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands! ~ Charlton Heston (1923 -- 2008)

    Lord, make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true and my hand be faster than those who would seek to destroy me. Grant me victory over my foes and those that wish to do harm to me and mine. Let not my last thought be if I only had a gun; and Lord if today is truly the day that you call me home, let me die in a pile of empty brass. ~ The Gunfighter’s Prayer

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