.45-70 Derringer – Crazy In Handgun Form

I’m not one to typically like Derringer handguns, but know they have a sweet spot in the market for simplicity. However, I don’t know where the place in the market is for the “M-4 Alaskan Survival Derringer” from American Derringers. Chambered in .45-70 on the top and .45 LC / 410 Shotgun on the bottom, this is taking the concept to an extreme.

Big Daddy Hoffman tackles the handgun with some gusto, and I am glad he did, for I do not want to actually test the handgun for fear of breaking a hand. While nice to have the title of “most powerful pocket pistol”, I’m not sure its a title that I would be shooting for as a manufacturer.

From the video description, “not appropriate for women or inexperienced shooters.”

The M-4 Alaskan Survival .45-70 is a derringer chambered in .45-70 on the top barrel and .45 LC/410 gauge on the bottom barrel. This model has been called the most powerful defensive pocket pistol in the world. It was produced by the American Derringer Corporation in Waco, Texas. This is the model 4 “Alaskan Survival Model” that has the bright polish stainless finish. This gun came with letters from the manufacturer that warn about severe recoil. A quote from the letter says, “This pistol is not suitable for women or inexperienced shooters. This gun was designed for the ultimate short range hide-out for police officers who demanded a lightweight compact pistol with one shot stopping power. This is the worlds most powerful pocket pistol. As a result of being the most powerful pocket pistol it also has the most severe recoil of any pistol.


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Giolli Joker

    Was this clip part of a Jackass casting video?

  • Jeff Smith

    Anyone have experience with one of these? I’m wondering how 45-70 does out of a 2″ barrel. Can you gain any noticing everyone velocity over the 45 lc?

    • Anonymoose

      with 405 grain bullets at the same velocity you might have more punch, but then you’re also talking much higher pressures…

    • derfelcadarn

      Lets say you can ignite your BBQ grill from 25 feet away with the muzzle flash so any lack of accuracy is negated by the flame thrower feature

    • Amanofdragons

      I have shot one. I won’t lie. Factory grips SUCK. Aftermarket with bigger grips isn’t too bad. Hand loading is fun for this gun. So long as you stay at trap door levels or less. They fireball is spectacular. On a side note, it may get you banned from some indoor ranges.

    • DIR911911 .

      I think you broke google translate with that last question.

  • Kevin Harron

    Not sure I’d want a weapon that wounds you when you use it.

    • iksnilol

      If it wounds you, imagine what it does to the other guy.

  • iksnilol

    I’d rather shoot a sawn off 12 gauge than that thing. O_o

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Let me know when they add rails for Aimpoint and a laser.

  • nova3930

    The Derp is strong

  • Cal S.

    Gotta love it, “One shot stopping power.” Just don’t know whether that one shot is going to be first or second. I’m pretty sure the MSRP is going to be $1,200, in which case I’ll go for a Bond Arms 45LC/.410 bore with Hornady Critical Defense.

    • Amanofdragons

      Used they can be had for around 500/600.

      • Cal S.

        Hmm. Still about the price of a brand-new BA derringer that doesn’t wreck your hand but can fire buckshot or slugs.

    • Dan

      1 shot stopping power. Bullet stops the threat, the gun flying out of your hand smacking you in the head stops you.

  • Don Ward

    I can actually think of a practical use for a derringer. Maybe. If I work at it. So can we focus on derringers in a caliber that is actually practical instead of this nonsense?

  • gunsandrockets

    When a .44 Mag just isn’t enough, this is your answer. Yikes!

  • USMC03Vet

    The whole “big daddy” thing creeps me right the f out.

    • Brett

      What’s wrong with an old, hairy dude who just wants to be your daddy?

    • DIR911911 .

      C’mon . . . . Big Daddy loves you

  • Sulaco

    Are those the standard grips shipped with the gun or did the shooters have a brief moment of contact with reality and change them out to something ALITTLE better to hold on to.

  • Devil_Doc

    Isn’t there a video on youtube of some guy breaking his wrist shooting one of these? Regardless.. I have zero desire to shoot the 45-70, but a double barreled 45 colt would be an interesting ankle gun.

    • jerseydave

      There was a company back in the 1990s that made a side by side .45 Colt Revolver derringer.

      • jcitizen


  • AR-PRO

    American Derringer used to make a Derringer where both barrels were chambered in 45/70, I remember that they had a 1/4″ of rifling to keep them legal, insane recoil!

  • sliversimpson

    “..women or inexperienced shooters.”

    Brace yourselves. Someone, somewhere is highly offended.

    • Zebra Dun

      Well, most experienced shooters would knowingly decline and any woman would beat you to death with it after you talked her into shooting this hand held Naval Rifle off a Battleship.
      No I’m not offended it does need to be on the warning label after “Severe recoil to be expected.

      • jim

        After she came to from the recoil sending it back into her head

        • Zebra Dun

          I let the wife shoot my Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 magnum once, I did not see her naked again for about thirty days!
          I miss that revolver too.

  • Zebra Dun

    Be still my heart!
    A 45/70 vest pocket pistol.
    Warning, recoil is severe use only if Grizzly/Polar bear is at breathing on you ranges!

  • jim

    Saw one back in the early 90’s

  • I think maybe they should have said “not suitable for women unless your Ronda Rousey or similar”

  • Madcap_Magician

    Nothing a shoulder stock and a 20″ barrel wouldn’t fix.

  • Cymond

    I didn’t realize American Derringer was still in business. Last time I checked, their website looked like it was 20 years out of date.