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Back in the early 90s, I purchased a Davis Derringer Long Bore in .38-Special. While it went BANG! every time, I could NEVER EVER see where I was shooting with it. Maybe the bore was incorrectly bored, I don't know. I shot a half-box of ammo with it on my first day out (around 24 rounds) and had a colored arc in my hand from it for about 3 days. Not a fun gun to shoot at tall.

Some of the more-recently made derringers are bigger and have a larger footprint in your hand, so maybe they are better, but be advised that these guns can be real hand-spankers.

I had Davis Derringer for about ten years, then sold it to my cousin. He said he was going to use it as a nightstand gun. At close range (in the belly!) I'm sure it would be effective.
 
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