The Sundance Point Blank Handgun
The Sundance Point Blank is one of the coolest little Saturday Night Specials I’ve ever seen.
But wait. What’s a Sundance? For those who have never heard of the company, Sundance Industries was a firearms manufacturer established in 1989 by Steven Jennings, who happened to be the nephew of George Jennings, of Raven Arms fame. The company had a thirteen year existence, fading away in 2002. The younger Jennings was a bit of an innovator, not being satisfied with merely producing “me-too” copies of the Raven. Thus, you can find Sundances with 1911 style grip safeties (Steven Jennings even got a patent on his grip safety design!) and with built-in lasers, long, long before anyone else came out with them.
The Point Blank stands out as completely unique among the pistols made by the so-called Ring of Fire manufacturers. The over & under design bears a loose similarity to the High Standard D100 derringer, one notable difference being the trigger guard on the Sundance fully protects the trigger. Another difference is the Point Blank was only available in .22LR, whereas the High Standard could be had in .22LR and .22Mag.
When I acquired a Point Blank for my collection, I discovered the trigger was frozen, so I pulled the grip to see if I could determine what was wrong. Lucky for me the problem was resolved with a shot of penetrating oil, followed up with a real good cleaning and re-oiling. But in the process I learned a little more about these somewhat hard to find derringers and thought I would share.
The gun is double action with a single blade firing pin on a cam that moves upward on the first shot, and cams downward on the second shot. The frame/receiver has an elongated slot in it to allow the firing pin to move in the upward /downward direction.
Below is what the Point Blank looks like 90% torn down. That itty-bitty dot taped to the white scrap of paper is a ball bearing that fits into the safety detent. It’s about the size of the head of a pin!!
Construction: The grip frame is molded resin. The receiver and barrel housing are good ol’ Zamak and steel barrels appear to be inserted into the Zamak housing. The rest of the internal parts are steel.
Grips: The right grip is actually molded into the frame and is not removable. The screws on the grips go into a threaded post that acts as both a method to hold the grips on the pistol and also as a spacer. The lower of these posts rests firmly against the hammer spring. The third grip “screw” is molded to look like the head of a screw, but it is NOT a screw at all. If you try to remove it, you’ll mar the grip.
There is a very small tab on the left grip that helps hold the grip firmly against the frame. Care should be taken to not forcefully remove the grip –least you break the tab off when removing the grip.
There is a small pin molded onto the grip frame that matches up with a recess on the grip. When re-installing the grip, FIRST put the grip onto this pin. Next, rotate the grip so that the tab (see #3 above) on the grip slides underneath the grip frame. If you don’t do it this way, there is a good chance that you’ll break off the little tab, resulting in a gap between the grip and the grip frame as there will be nothing to hold the grip snugly in place. See photos below
Serial Numbers: All have a “D” prefix, followed by a couple of zeros. In the five years I’ve been watching for these derringers, the serial numbers I’ve documented start at D000134 and run up to D004297.
Finish: Black on black and Chrome on Black. (Chrome on black is fairly rare; I’ve only seen one.)
The Point Blank is one of the more difficult Saturday Night Special pistols to find on the used market, and they tend to command higher prices as a result. If you run across one, don’t be surprised to discover it priced in the upper $200 to low $300 range, particularly if has the original box.