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Deaver’s Derringer hits the silver screen in new ‘Lone Ranger’ film PDF Print E-mail
Written by Becca Brandt   
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 12:50
A three-barreled Marston Derringer is a rare find with only about 3,300 manufactured, but finding an 1864 three-barreled Marston Derringer with an engraved four-inch barrel and frame with a mother of pearl grip is even harder, with only the first 50 units being given special options.

Narrowing the criteria even more to a firearm that was also used on the set of “The Lone Ranger” to threaten the life of Johnny Depp’s character, Tonto, there is only one weapon that fits the description.

Steve Deaver of Holyoke is the owner of the sole Marston Derringer that can be classified thusly. His Derringer is marked serial number 25 on the barrel by the hinge.


Steve Deaver’s Marston three-barreled Derringer features a four-inch barrel, engraving and a mother of pearl grip exclusive to the first 50 Derringers produced.  —Enterprise photo


The engraved detailing runs along the barrel and on the frame. The engraving was done either by prominent 19th century gun engraver Louis D. Nimschke or in his style by an apprentice under his supervision, as were most other Marston Derringers. A Nimschke star and Nimschke scroll motif adorn the frame on which is stamped the patent and improvement dates of the gun.

The Derringer uses .32 caliber short rim-fire cartridges. Deaver equated it to a concealed handgun someone may use today. Since the gun was manufactured before 1898, it does not require a permit to own.

Stumbling upon the unique piece at a gun show in Denver in November 2011, Deaver traded one of his firearms for the gun.

He then sent the gun with a friend to Las Vegas for an antique collectors gun show with the intent of selling the Derringer. This is where property master for “The Lone Ranger” Kris Peck took notice of the pistol.

With the gun being improved in 1864, it was a must-have item for Peck as it was from the correct period for the film set in 1869.

Peck asked Deaver’s friend if he could rent the gun, then Deaver was put in touch with Peck to discuss the details.

The only details Deaver received about the use of the gun was that it would be pointed at Depp.

After a little research indicated an increase in value of firearms used as props, he decided to ship the gun to Peck at Silver Bullet Productions in January 2012.

Peck has worked as the prop master for numerous box office successes, including “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol” and “Rock of Ages.”

Deaver has found the whole experience to be very cool and could contact Peck in the future with unique firearm finds.

The Derringer will be on display at Deaver Hardware with the other guns Deaver buys, sells and trades. With the increased value, the gun will be out for people to see during business hours, but closely guarded and locked in a safe otherwise.


Steve Deaver holds the Derringer that was used as a prop in “The Lone Ranger” in front of many of the other unique guns he has in his collection.  —Enterprise photo


Deaver may advertise the Marston Derringer for sale after the film is released, but he will only sell if the price is right. Using a firearm in a movie generally doubles its value, but other factors, such as the actors and success of the film can influence value.

As he continues his work as a collector and dealer, Deaver has about 150 guns on hand, but he has noticed that people flock to the Derringer at gun shows.

Despite the use of his gun in the film, Deaver has been kept in the dark about most of the gun’s involvement in the movie. He will discover more when he goes to a Colorado Springs gun show, where he plans to attend the film with his family and friends.

Viewers can get a sneak peek of the gun in the official “Lone Ranger” trailer No. 2. Directly after Depp stabs a knife into a table, Helena Bonham Carter’s character, Red, pulls the Derringer on Depp at the two-minute mark in the preview.

The scene in which the gun was used was filmed on March 13, 2012 and audiences can finally see it on the big screen as it premieres nationwide July 3.

Community members can check out Deaver’s Marston Derringer at the Peerless Theatre where the movie will begin playing July 3 for a two-week engagement.



The Holyoke Enterprise July 4, 2013