COP .357 Derringer
|COP .357 Derringer|
A COP .357 Derringer.
|Designed||Patent filled in 1983 |
|Produced||The COP was in limited manufacturing as early as 1977. |
|Weight||1.75 lb (0.8 kg) empty.|
|Length||5.6 inches (14.2 cm).|
|Width||1.062 inches (2.7 cm)|
|Height||4.1 inches (10.4 cm)|
|Cartridge||.357 Magnum (Can fire .38 Special as well)|
|Action||Break-open with extractors for reloading, double-action trigger with rotating firing pin selector.|
The COP .357 is a 4-shot Derringer-type pistol chambered for .357 Magnum. The double-action weapon is about twice as wide, and substantially heavier than the typical .25 automatic pistol, though its relatively compact size and powerful cartridge made it an option for a defensive weapon or a police backup gun.
Construction and operation of the COP .357
The COP .357 is quite robust in design and construction. It is made of solid stainless steel components. Cartridges are loaded into the four separate chambers by sliding a latch that "pops-up" the barrel for loading purposes, similar to top-break shotguns. Each of the four chambers has its own dedicated firing pin. It uses an internal hammer, which is activated by depressing the trigger to hit a ratcheting/rotating striker that in turn strikes one firing pin at a time. Older "pepperboxes" also used multiple barrels, but the barrels were the part that rotated. The COP .357 operates similarly to the Sharps rimfire pepperbox of the 1850s, in that it uses the ratcheting/rotating striker, which is completely internal, to fire each chamber in sequence.
Two complaints about the COP .357 are that it is too heavy to be used as a backup gun, and that the trigger pull is too heavy for rapid fire—even heavier than most modern revolvers.
History and usage
It was designed by Robert Hillberg, based on his earlier work on the Hillberg Insurgency Weapon. It was manufactured by the now defunct COP Inc. of 3040 West Lomita Blvd., Torrance, California (COP stood for Compact Off-Duty Police). In 1990 it was manufactured by American Derringer for a brief period of time.
The gun was used as a prop in some motion pictures, in some cases after modifications. The COP .357 was used by replicant Leon Kowalski played by actor Brion Howard James at the beginning of the 1982 film Blade Runner. And Robert Vaughn carried one, modified to shoot rockets, in a Man From U.N.C.L.E. reunion made-for-TV movie, 1983's The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E: The Fifteen Years Later Affair. The COP was seen in The Matrix Reloaded carried by Persephone; featuring silver bullets to kill one of her husband's employees.. It was also featured in the car chase scene of 21 Jump Street.
- Heckler & Koch P11, a multi-barreled pistol that can be fired underwater
- Lancaster Pistol, another cartridge-firing break-action pepperbox used from the mid 19th century until World War I
- Original document:US4407085 (A) ― 1983-10-04 espacenet
- I personally ordered and sold these Derringers at that time at the The Gun Room in West Covina, Calif.
- Ahern, Jerry (5 October 2010). Gun Digest Buyer's Guide to Concealed-Carry Handguns. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 130–132. ISBN 1-4402-1743-2.
- COP 357 Derringer
- COP .357 Derringer photos
- Leon's Gun: Mother's Defender
- Patent US 4400900 , covering the rotating firing pin selector