SASS Pocket Pistols and Derringers

Pocket Pistols

In Single Action Shooting Matches, Pocket Pistol and Derringer side events are what many enthusiasts look forward to. They are most likely to be part of Annual events, but they might be included in a few Monthly events as well.

The fun in pocket pistol events is actually in owning these small pieces of Old West history. Because there aren’t many reproductions, the majority of pocket pistols you’ll find in the market are originals. And to add to that they’re usually in topmost condition because they were seldom used by their original owners.

Pocket Pistol events consist of five targets to be shot at short range. Sometimes, one or two of these targets are a knockdown target calibrated for pocket pistols. Shooters usually start and shoot while seated. To determine the target order of a competitor, playing cards are usually used and this keeps things interesting. Total time and misses are scored the same as in main stages.


Most of the derringers used at Single Action Shooting matches are Remington-Elliot reproductions of the over/under 2 shot model. Original Remington .44 rimfire derringers are often seen but not easily available. Sharps four-barrel pepperbox, another mighty derringer, is legal to use in Cowboy Action Shooting but is very rarely seen.

Derringer side events are usually two target speed, four target reload or accuracy contents. Reload speed matches aren’t as popular as they used to be because of a safety issue.

As with Pocket Pistol events, Derringer targets order are also determined by playing cards.