an early short-barreled pocket pistol.
Also, deringer.

1850–55, Americanism; named after Henry Deringer, mid-19th-century American gunsmith who invented it Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
derringer or deringer (ˈdɛrɪndʒə)
a short-barrelled pocket pistol of large calibre
[C19: named after Henry Deringer, American gunsmith who invented it]
deringer or deringer
[C19: named after Henry Deringer, American gunsmith who invented it]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1850, for Henry Deringer (1786-1868), U.S. gunsmith who invented it in the 1840s; prevailing misspelled form is how his name appeared on the many counterfeits and imitations. "A small pistol with a large bore, very effective at short range" [OED].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


pocket pistol produced in the early 19th century by Henry Deringer (q.v.), a Philadelphia gunsmith.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
After emptying the bullets into his palm, he showed me two pistols and a derringer.
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