Bond Arms Derringer – Range Report & Factory Tour

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By Wayne Lincourt

Bond Arms Derringers
http://bondarms.com/

The Bond Arms derringer is a thoroughly modern adaptation of a firearm classic.

The Bond Arms derringer is a thoroughly modern adaptation of a firearm classic.

If you like small guns, you’ll find the Bond Arms derringer both capable and versatile. Its capabilities stem from the fact that it’s not as punishing to shoot as you might expect. In fact, controllability and shootability are very good with every caliber shot for this review. Its versatility stems from the wide selection of barrels, calibers and grips available. Whichever of the eight models you select initially (nine including their new Backup model), you can add barrels and grips to turn it into any of the other models. Mix and match grips and barrels to customize it to your needs. Bond Arms’ price list shows a total of 21 barrels capable of firing 17 different calibers. Their 3” barrel, their most versatile, is available in .22LR, .22Mag, .327 fed mag, 9mm, .357/.38spl., .40 S&W, 10mm, .44spl., .44/40, .45GAP, .45ACP, .45Colt, and .45/.410 (2 ½” chamber). However, as in most guns that serve multiple needs, it does some things better than others.

Disassembled with an extra barrel and grips. Lots of ways to customize it for your own purpose.

Disassembled with an extra barrel and grips. Lots of ways to customize it for your own purpose.

I toured the factory in Granbury, Texas, USA, with owner and president Gordon Bond to see just how these guns are made. With the exception of the 400 series stainless steel forgings from which the guns are machined, all the work is done in-house. It may be a small company, but that doesn’t mean they don’t use state-of-the-art equipment to ensure their high quality standards. From numerically controlled milling machines operating down to less than ten thousandths of an inch accuracy, to robotic arms which provide precision and repeatability in surface preparation, to the artistry of individual experts who assemble, polish, and time the  function of the finished product — quality is their principal driver.

The Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV model comes standard in .45 Colt/.410 (3”).

The Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV model comes standard in .45 Colt/.410 (3”).

Our test gun was the Snake Slayer IV, which comes with a 4 1/4” barrel chambered for .45 Colt and 2 ½” or 3”.410 shotgun shells. The gun is 6 1/4” long, 4 5/16” tall, and 1 3/8” wide at the grip. The frame is actually just under an inch at its widest. With the exception of the grip panels, the entire gun is made from high-quality stainless steel. Fit and finish are excellent as you would expect from a CNC machined firearm. All of the components attached to the frame and barrels were robust, including the takedown lever that holds the barrels tightly to the breech face when in battery (closed, locked, and ready to fire). The greater width of the grip is one of the elements that make the recoil manageable in such a small package. The other is the weight of the gun at 23.9 ounces. That’s not light for a pocket gun, but it makes the gun much more comfortable to shoot than some of its competitors. Bond has an

Snake Slayer IV with one of the optional bird’s head rosewood grips.

Snake Slayer IV with one of the optional bird’s head rosewood grips.

extensive line of grip panels. The extended rosewood grip of this model provides better controllability with heavier rounds than the smaller bird’s-head grip panels found on some of the other models. There is also an extended rubber grip available which provides added security and comfort, especially when firing higher-powered cartridges.

The optional extended rubber grip makes the gun more secure in your hand and more comfortable to shoot.

The optional extended rubber grip makes the gun more secure in your hand and more comfortable to shoot.

In the .357 magnum configuration using a 2 ½” barrel and smaller bird’s-head grip panels, the dimensions are 4 ½” long, 3 ½” high by 1 ½” wide. The smaller variant weighed in at 20.9 ounces with the trigger guard in place. There’s a shortened frame available, sans trigger guard, which removes the bottom front of the frame where the hole to secure the trigger guard is located. This reduces the weight by about an ounce.

The barrels are held in battery by a spring loaded locking lever. The lever is easy to manipulate for reloading and locks securely. Barrel changes couldn’t be easier. Using a 1/8” Allen wrench (provided), remove the single bolt holding the barrel to the frame, swap barrels, and reinstall the bolt. I swapped barrels many times and each time they lined up perfectly and locked tightly into battery.

The barrels swing up for easy loading.

The barrels swing up for easy loading.

There’s an added safety feature which prevents movement of the lever when the trigger is pulled to the rear. This is to prevent inadvertent release when firing should your thumb hit the locking lever. When the locking lever is depressed for reloading, the barrels swing up and a spring loaded extractor lifts the spent casings by their rims for easy removal. For the rimless cartridges, like 9mm and .45ACP, there’s a notch allowing you to extract the spent casings by inserting a fingernail and sliding them out of the honed chambers.

The patented rebounding hammer locks in the half-cock position after firing which prevents it from contacting the firing pin should the hammer be subsequently hit or the gun dropped. There’s an additional cross bolt safety which provides added protection from inadvertent firing when the hammer is manually dropped on a loaded chamber. I didn’t find it necessary, but it’s there if you want it. The cross bolt can be locked in the safe position for storage by tightening a small Allen screw with the included wrench. It can also be locked in the firing position with the same screw, a handy feature for self-defense applications.

Ten rounds of Herter’s .45 Colt 250 gr LFN offhand from seven yards produced two five-shot groups, one for each barrel.

Ten rounds of Herter’s .45 Colt 250 gr LFN offhand from seven yards produced two five-shot groups, one for each barrel.

When the red stripe on the cross bolt safety is visible, the safety is off. You can see the allen screw above it which can be used to lock the safety either on or off.

When the red stripe on the cross bolt safety is visible, the safety is off. You can see the allen screw above it which can be used to lock the safety either on or off.

The Bond Arms derringer fired a variety of ammo without a glitch. Derringers are obviously close-in guns. Shooting offhand from seven yards, it was easy to put .45 Colt rounds into a 3-4” group for each barrel using the fixed front blade site and rear notch. However, the barrels shoot to different points of impact. At seven yards, the lower barrel grouped 2 ½ “ below point of aim while the upper barrel grouped 6” high. The Snake Slayer comes with a removable trigger guard which some people say gives them better control. I didn’t find a difference regarding control with or without the trigger guard. The low barrel placement is an easily controlled configuration. However, I found the trigger to be marginally easier to manipulate without the guard.

Because the trigger pivots at a point above your hand on the grip, as it moves to the rear it also moves down. The original triggers had a small raised area at the top of the trigger. With the combination of a high grip and a straight pull on the upper part of the trigger, you may not have gotten the shot to break at all. This is undoubtedly where the reputation for a hard trigger pull came from. Bond Arms modified the trigger to eliminate the high spot, thus eliminating that problem. The current trigger is actually quite nice at 5 pounds 11 ounces (average measured with a Lyman trigger pull gauge), with no creep or stacking and a clean break. A little practice with it and you don’t even notice the downward movement. Ergonomics were excellent, with all controls falling naturally to hand, and the curved back strap fits comfortably into the curve of your palm.

I fired 50 rounds of Herter’s 250 grain lead flat nose cartridges and 50 rounds of Federal’s American Eagle 225 grain jacketed lead flat nose bullets. Although felt recoil is subjective depending on your hand strength, physical size, experience level, etc., I found the recoil to be similar to that of a small, all steel, .45acp revolver. It’s enough that some people may not like it, but the majority should have no trouble with it. The low position of the barrels in relation to the grip means the recoil is nearly straight back with moderate and easily controlled muzzle flip.

The bar on the front of the hammer moves up and down between the two barrels and is a visual indicator of which barrel will fire next.

The bar on the front of the hammer moves up and down between the two barrels and is a visual indicator of which barrel will fire next.

You can easily determine which barrel you want to fire first, which is especially helpful should you, for example, want to use a .410 round in one barrel and a .45 Colt in the other. When you pull the hammer back to the full cocked position, you can see a small bar on its face. Bond Arms calls it the “hammer head,” and it moves up and down with each pull, showing which barrel will fire next.

The barrel of the Snake Slayer IV may be 4 ¼” long, but 3” of that is actually the firing chamber, leaving only 1 1/4” of rifling to stabilize the bullet. The downside to this was keyholing (making an elongated hole from hitting the target sideways) from about 20% of the rounds fired from seven yards. Still, with an average muzzle velocity of 678.54 fps and muzzle energy of 255.53 foot pounds, even if the bullet hits sideways, it will still do a lot of damage. Firing at the closer ranges eliminated keyholing.

This gun will also chamber either 3” or 2 ½” .410 shells which are, of course, virtually the same diameter as the .45 Colt. The round producing the lowest recoil was the Herter’s .410 one quarter ounce slugs. One quarter ounce equals 109.38 grains, so it’s a comparatively light bullet. The first one I fired clocked at 537.5 feet per second although I wasn’t able to get a good average because the next round took out my chronograph! The good news is that it provided information on the penetration of the slug. The bullet hit the edge of the front opening for the circuit board, was deflected down somewhat before penetrating several layers of glass and plastic, and being stopped by the metal bulkhead in the middle. That level of penetration might be effective on small game at very short range but wouldn’t be a good choice for self defense.

One round of 2 ½” Federal Premium .410 000 buckshot patterned into 1 3/8” from ten feet.

One round of 2 ½” Federal Premium .410 000 buckshot patterned into 1 3/8” from ten feet.

The 2 ½” Federal Premium 000 buckshot shells with four lead shot were comparable in recoil to the .45 colt. In a Winchester test using a 3” barrel Taurus Judge to fire the rounds (http://www.410handguns.com/410_bond_results.html), the shot penetrated four layers of clothing and 9.25” to 13.62” of 10% gelatin. Of course you’re not going to get the same velocity out of a 1 ¼” effective barrel length (4 ¼” minus the 3” chamber) in the derringer. Each 000 Buck lead pellet is .36” in diameter and 72.9 grains. At ten feet, they grouped into a 1 3/8” string. At twenty feet they spread to about a foot with one missing the 10” target completely. At contact distance, about four feet, they blew one big jagged hole. With shot shells fired from these short barrels, the pattern spreads very quickly with increasing distance. In the same Winchester testing, their 3” Winchester PDX1 Defender round, the one with four plated discs and 16 plated BBs, didn’t have the same penetration. The disks penetrated an average of just under 7” and the BBs averaged 3 ½ inches of penetration. Again, out of the derringer barrel you wouldn’t get the same velocity or penetration. The  3” PDF1 Defender is also one of the hottest .410 rounds on the market–the recoil was brutal. In fact, the back of the trigger guard slapped my middle finger with each shot raising a painful bruise. Every time I fired, it hurt a little more, which prompted me to change to the .357 magnum barrels.

The four plated discs of each of the two 3” Winchester PDF1 Defender shot into two groups from ten feet, one for each barrel. Most of the 16 BBs missed the target.

The four plated discs of each of the two 3” Winchester PDF1 Defender shot into two groups from ten feet, one for each barrel. Most of the 16 BBs missed the target.

Recoil was mild firing Hornady Custom .38 special 158 grain XTP, American Eagle 158 grain lead round nose, and Hornady Critical Defense .38 special +P 110 grain FTX bullets through the 2 ½” barrels. There was a loss in accuracy as you would expect from the shorter barrel/sight radius. Again, this is not a target gun. For use at short range, the accuracy was fine. In a self defense situation with this very short barrel, you would be most likely to draw, point, and fire without consciously lining up the sights. Starting at 10 feet and moving forward a short step between each round, I pointed and fired 8 rounds of Hornady .38 Spcl +P at an 8” Dirty Bird target. As you can see in the accompanying photo, all rounds hit the target. The last

Eight shots of Hornady .38 spcl. +P starting at ten feet and advancing a little more than a foot towards the target with each shot. The gun was not aimed but merely drawn and pointed at the target as you might do in a fast-developing self-defense situation. The last shot was in the green bullseye. The specks surrounding it were from the powder residue in the muzzle blast.

Eight shots of Hornady .38 spcl. +P starting at ten feet and advancing a little more than a foot towards the target with each shot. The gun was not aimed but merely drawn and pointed at the target as you might do in a fast-developing self-defense situation. The last shot was in the green bullseye. The specks surrounding it were from the powder residue in the muzzle blast.

round, fired at contact distance, was in the green bulls eye. The smattering of little dots around it was from the muzzle blast powder residue.

The .357 magnum rounds had a stouter recoil but the gun was still easy to control with any of the grips. However, the checkering on the wood grips is not very aggressive which doesn’t significantly improve on their slipperiness. The rubber extended grip felt secure and was the most comfortable to shoot. If you plan to shoot the heavier recoiling calibers, you should really consider adding the rubber grip panels. Firing the .357 magnum Remington 125 grain semi-jacketed hollow points from 10’, the rounds from both barrels combined grouped at 4 ½”, even though the top barrel grouped higher than the bottom. Three-shot-groups from each barrel individually were actually significantly less. Because of the aforementioned chrono hit, I wasn’t able to get velocity readings. Suffice it to say that they’d get the job done.

The Snake Slayer IV would make a great little trail gun for dispatching snakes and other varmints. I wouldn’t hesitate to put one in my fishing tackle box for those fishing holes frequented by cotton mouths either. The ability to fire .410 loads is a definite plus in this role. The other mainstream handguns which chamber the .410, the Taurus Judge and the Smith & Wesson Governor, are considerably larger. The compact frame Taurus firing the 3” .410 cartridge, for example, weighs 36.8 ounces and is 9 ½” long.

 

Big power in a small package.

Big power in a small package.

Nothing against the Snake Slayer and its variants, but I couldn’t recommend any single-action-only (SAO) derringer or revolver for the self-defense role. Can you use an SAO firearm for self-defense? Sure, SAO derringers have been used in that role for across-the-card-table distances since their introduction, but there are drawbacks. It takes time and a certain amount of dexterity to draw and thumb back the hammer. On the trail, when you can shoot at your leisure or where a rattlesnake gives you warning, it’s fine. But in the urban jungle, predators aren’t always so accommodating. It’s much easier to draw and pull the trigger of a double action revolver or pistol than to draw, cock the hammer, and pull the trigger of an SAO gun. If you do decide to buy one of these derringers for self defense, you would be well served by taking the time to practice drawing and cocking until it becomes second nature.

The newest member of the Bond Arms family is the .45 acp Backup model featuring a 2 ½” barrel, rubber grip panels, a powder coated frame, and bead blasted barrel.

The newest member of the Bond Arms family is the .45 acp Backup model featuring a 2 ½” barrel, rubber grip panels, a powder coated frame, and bead blasted barrel.

The mechanics of drawing and cocking it aside, there are several advantages to this gun for self defense if you’re willing to take the time to practice with it regularly. Given its diminutive size, the little derringer can be easily carried inside the waistband or in an ankle holster. When carrying it as a backup, you can even match the caliber to your daily carry gun. In addition, it’s about as simple a gun as you can find; simpler action means greater dependability. Their newest model, in fact, is called the Backup. The frame is finished with black powder coat and the rest of the metal is bead blasted to produce a low luster finish. It comes with a 2 ½” barrel, rubber grip panels, and is chambered for the widely popular .45 acp. I have a 3” barrel in .45 acp and the recoil was just a tad sharper than shooting the .45 Colt from the 4 ¼” barrel. You can expect other new guns from Bond Arms in the not too distant future. Bond Arms offers an extensive line of custom holsters at reasonable prices. This isn’t a gun where you’re going to have trouble finding a holster that provides a good fit. I bought their driving holster, which attaches to your belt in a cross draw orientation. It fastens easily and securely with a clever strap that goes behind your belt, over the top of the holster, and closes with a large Velcro patch. I found the fastest presentation came from establishing my fingers around the grip with my thumb on the hammer. It was easy to then draw and cock the hammer simultaneously.

The Bond Arms Driving holster. A strap decorated with a star slides behind your belt, over the top of the holster, and secures with a large Velcro pad. It’s quick to don and holds securely. ( I removed the thumb break for my personal use.)

The Bond Arms Driving holster. A strap decorated with a star slides behind your belt, over the top of the holster, and secures with a large Velcro pad. It’s quick to don and holds securely. ( I removed the thumb break for my personal use.)

All-in-all, the Bond Arms derringer is a robust, thoughtfully designed, and well-made piece of hardware, surprisingly accurate for its size. If you’re a cowboy action shooter, you probably already know that it’s the number one gun in derringer competition, having taken the championship for the past fourteen years. Although tastes vary, it was also a good looking gun to my eyes. The MSRP for the Snake Slayer IV is $519 with a street price that’s a little less. Barrels are available direct from Bond Arms and can be shipped to your door, except in the handful of states that require shipping to a Federal Firearms License holder (FFL). Bond Arms does not sell in California or Massachusetts. The 2 ½” barrel used in this review was $109 plus shipping. They’re also available in 3”, 3.5” and 4.25” lengths. Prices increase with barrel length up to $189 for the 4 ¼”. Guns seem to be available, although not in great quantities. I bought this one from a local dealer, and it was the last one on the shelf. There are, however, a number of guns available on the GunsAmerica.com web site.

Bond Arms moved to a new, larger facility about two years ago. They produced 15,000 guns last year and are on track to produce 17,000 this year. However, demand for their guns continues to grow and they’re investing in people and equipment to significantly increase production in 2014. In the meantime, if you find the gun you want, buy it. I went looking for their Ranger II model and found the Snake Slayer IV. They’re basically the same gun except for the grips, which I planned to replace with the rubber grips anyway. That’s how I ended up with a Snake Slayer. The Bond Arms customer support is excellent, by-the-way. The products I ordered arrived in a matter of days, and they were quick to answer any questions.

The extended rubber grip with the .357 magnum barrel.

The extended rubber grip with the .357 magnum barrel.

Lessons learned: 1. Herter’s 2 ½” .410 ¼ oz. slug from a short barrel would not make a good defensive round. 2. Don’t use a chronograph with a derringer.

Lessons learned: 1. Herter’s 2 ½” .410 ¼ oz. slug from a short barrel would not make a good defensive round. 2. Don’t use a chronograph with a derringer.

 One round of 2 ½” Federal Premium .410 000 buckshot patterned into 12” from twenty feet with one pellet missing the ten inch target. With lighter shot, the pattern spreads even more quickly.

One round of 2 ½” Federal Premium .410 000 buckshot patterned into 12” from twenty feet with one pellet missing the ten inch target. With lighter shot, the pattern spreads even more quickly.

The frames start out as investment castings.

The frames start out as investment castings.

Barrels start out as solid bars of steel. A hardened steel button is forced through the drilled barrel to create the rifling. This also polishes and hardens the inside of the barrel.

Barrels start out as solid bars of steel. A hardened steel button is forced through the drilled barrel to create the rifling. This also polishes and hardens the inside of the barrel.

A number of operations, including polishing, are done by hand.

A number of operations, including polishing, are done by hand.

Machined and sanded frames awaiting the next operation.

Machined and sanded frames awaiting the next operation.

State-of-the-art robotics ensure exacting finishing operations.

State-of-the-art robotics ensure exacting finishing operations.

All guns are hand assembled with quality checks along the way.

All guns are hand assembled with quality checks along the way.

There are several milling operations in the production process.

There are several milling operations in the production process.

Bond Arms test fires every gun into a bullet trap. They also have an in-house range for additional testing and product development.

Bond Arms test fires every gun into a bullet trap. They also have an in-house range for additional testing and product development.

: Each box contains a different model of holsters, sometimes two. This is about half of their holster fulfillment room.

: Each box contains a different model of holsters, sometimes two. This is about half of their holster fulfillment room.

Frames at the assembly station.

Frames at the assembly station.

 

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Ray the Mulchmiester August 1, 2016, 8:50 am

    Carry my Bond Arms every day every where!!! Love it! My little hand cannon!! The Mulchmiester!!

  • adam benton May 12, 2016, 1:44 am

    I’m 33 years old. Have been shooting since I was 6. Almost 30 years of guns. I’ve shoulder fired 22lr up to 577 nitro express all before I turned 18. I was 15 when I bought/ my father my 1st bond arms derringer in 44 Magnum. Which sadly is no longer made. It if my memory serves was a defender model no trigger guard. At 15 Yrs I didn’t have any issues with 210 silver tip 44magnum. Now 310 hardcast handload only fired once. I do own 2 bond in 410/45. Have fired both which I carry daily when I do carry concealed. They have no harder recoil than my Taurus judge. But bond derringers can slip into any jeans pocket. The judge or my j frame can not. Bond arms make a damn good solid product. And the same a river revolvers. Bond arms seem over built which is never bad. Now as far as any rifle grade in a derringer. My 1st derringer was an American derringer model 4 Alaska survival in 45/70 and 410. Long story short at 15 years old I did fire it 3x in 45/70. 300 grain soft. After -5 hours my father took me to ER. To find bones in right hand and thumb were dislocated. So 45lc yes 410 good. Anything higher than a 44 Magnum in any derringer no. I’m over 6ft and even at 15 yr I’ve been over 200lbs. So not weak but the fact is now that at 33 years old. The 45/70 with only 3 rounds fired years ago. Physical therapy, medical cast. My hand writing looks comparable to a 6 year old. And no I didn’t fire it off hand or single. It was one over to brace for the recoil.

  • Larry April 14, 2016, 5:31 pm

    My experience with Bond has not been good. Sent back initial purchase for quality issues, jerked around, still waiting for gun that I paid for long ago…

  • Eddie Evans February 25, 2016, 5:23 pm

    Received the wrong barrel. Ordered a 3/12″ “357”barrel, got a 3′ barrel. Order # ba64457.

  • N M Hvarre January 6, 2016, 11:12 am

    I have the “snake slayer” the 3 1/2″ barrel and the 4 1/4″barrel in .45 colt and .410 , … My experience with accuracy. hass been superlative . Great company … great firearm …. I have the new trigger and hammer on mine . I would buy another … a very good firearm. comfortable to carry just about everywhere.

  • Dustin Sanchez December 18, 2015, 8:47 pm

    I just can’t bring myself to go any smaller than my Glock 26.

  • Bruce Schenck February 8, 2015, 9:13 am

    Just bought my USA Defender from Henrys Guns in Yukon, Oklahoma. It’s the older model with the thinner hammer. The thing is truly a work of art! Fired it for the first time yesterday and felt it to be a truly enjoyable experience! The trigger pull is tough but I believe it will ease with time and practice. The only problem I experienced was with the ammunition, apparently you shouldn’t fire Fiocchi 2 1/2, 410. The brass casing are thinner than most and will tightly jam the extractor in place and you have to poke them out with a screwdriver or some other instrument. Federal ammo extracted just fine! I’m going to also buy the new backup and several barrel calibers for both! I couldn’t be happier and I’m proud to wear the USA on my belt!!! Bond Arms, truly an American piece of art!!!!

  • Al W July 7, 2014, 10:58 am

    The comments on penetration performance of the .410 3″ 000 shot shell was from a “Snake Slayer” with a 4.25 ” barrel. This gives you an effective barrel length of 1.25 “. Bond offers the “Snake Slayer” in a 3.5″ barrel. With the same .410 shell, the effective barrel length would be only 0.5 “. How would this test out for self defense (penetration) performance?

  • George M February 16, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Good gun for fooling around. I consider the slightly harder trigger pull a safety feature. I and my son can vouch for the excellent customer relations. i would like for them to make a 9X19 barrel and am very comfortable calling them and talking to them about.

  • Al January 12, 2014, 10:09 am

    best company I have ever dealt with bar none and best, most well constructed gun I have ever owned or fired. My only complaint about the company is it does not make a .454 or 50 cal. with wide extra long grips. But all things being equal the 45 is just way too cool. These little pocket cannons are very, very accurate with practice. I would give Gordon and the guys a thumbs up for being the best of the best in gun manufacturing.

    • Kneauxla February 9, 2014, 1:25 pm

      I can’t even imagine what it would be like to shoot a .454 Casull or .50 AE out of a derringer with a 3″ or even 4 1/2″ barrel. I’m wondering if I would be able to hold on to the thing? Probably even worse than shooting that WW II FP-45 Liberator in .45 ACP issued to the French for the civilian resistance movement. Even though I’m a native of and living and working in south Louisiana my primary residence is in Granbury Texas. I’ve known about Bond Arms since I moved for work (gas pipeline landman) to Granbury in 2006. I am going to buy one more because of that than for any specific intended purpose and also because they are very well made and look cool. I’m thinking maybe the thing to do is get that snake slayer IV for my tackle box.

  • Paul December 29, 2013, 8:29 pm

    I’m the proud owner of a Ranger 2, for myself I do find the trigger odd to use , you half to kind of bull your finger back and down to fire it however very easy to conceal and quick to load and unload and load again,the fire arm (snake slayer & ranger2) we’re designed for close quarter and point blank shooting and I’m so impressed with my ranger 2 I take her every where with me , I have the 45 colt/410 and also a change out barrel 357/38 yup I love my bond arm … Thanks

  • Richard Betts November 26, 2013, 1:50 pm

    While these Derringers have a place and a following I wonder why the High Standard D/A hammerless was not a greater success .I carry an AMT 380 backup in an ISBH crossdraw,not much bigger,a little heavier but D/A and 5 rounds.Would like a larger caliber but 380 will get the job done.

  • Eddie November 25, 2013, 11:11 pm

    I have had a Snake Slayer since they first came out. Fits nicely into the tray drawer in my Ram. Spread on birdshot is wide, but will hold together at a safe distance from a rattler/moccasin. Mostly I keep 410 in one barrel and a defensive 45LC in the other. Rational, if an attacker dosn’t get the hint from a crotch of #6 birdshot then he’s gona eat some heavy lead. I will comment on the trigger though. It takes a lot of getting used to. Taking the trigger guard off helps but presents safety issues and reduces hand control. Without it and with the short grip, I consider maintaining control of the weapon severly impaired, especially during a confrontation. One last thing about shooting with the guard on, it is nearly impossible to pull the trigger when wearing leather ranch gloves. Would I buy it again, probably not. It’s a neat little pistol, but I think a wheel gun and shotshells or slugs is more versatile…….

  • Dale November 25, 2013, 2:40 pm

    I realize

  • Bob Dougherty November 25, 2013, 9:43 am

    Enjoy the Sneak Peek, and sure like the upgrades on the small pistols. Thanks for the new information, have a great upcoming holidays. Bob

  • Evan November 25, 2013, 9:10 am

    I still don’t get the point of derringers, especially not in the 21st century where, if concealed carry is your thing, there are plenty of options that fire more than two shots single action. And concealed carry only makes sense if open carry is illegal anyway.

    • Dale November 25, 2013, 4:14 pm

      a derringer is not intended to be a primary carry gun, but as a back up or even a 3rd/4th concealed gun. all things being equal, a second gun is the fastest reload. i live in an open carry state, but that doesn’t mean that i want everyone else around to know that i am carrying. concealed carry makes sense for a hole host of reasons – including being specifically targeted by a criminal or terrorist and taken out 1st because your gun is in full view, or even creating extra problems for responding law enforcement, who would see your in-view weapon and not know if you are a good guy or one of the bad guys.
      I’ve carried both ways, but usually carry concealed.

      • Evan November 25, 2013, 11:04 pm

        I’d prefer to grab an extra mag and switch out real quick than go fishing in my boot or pocket or wherever for a derringer where I’ll only get two shots at point blank range. Plus, that way I don’t have to drop my primary weapon. And I also believe that open carry is far more likely to deter any criminal shenanigans than it is to get you targeted, plus it allows you far more options both in the type of weapon you carry (try concealing a Glock 20) and the clothes you wear. Open carry also allows for a quicker draw if you do end up needed to unholster your gun. I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree on open vs concealed carry, but it shouldn’t be quicker to grab some deep concealed weapon than it is to change out magazines.

        • Dale November 26, 2013, 12:51 am

          lets just say i never leave home without it. another saying – one is none, two is one…etc…

  • Jerry Nabors November 25, 2013, 8:59 am

    I hate the hard trigger pull on the bond ! Can it be modified ?

    • Bodacioud November 27, 2013, 1:03 pm

      Jerry,
      I had to learn the hard way that you do not cock the hammer and pull the trigger. The easiest way to shoot these is to use the Cowboy “slip hammer” technique. As you prepare to shoot, learn to use a two handed grip, then press the trigger all the way back and hold it back, have your strong hand thumb on the hammer and cock it all the way back and let the hammer slip from you thumb. The Bond that I use is chamber in 45 Colt with 2.5 inch barrels. I have shot, and hit, 2 steel targets in 0.93 seconds. By Cowboy standards that is fair, not fast. I have noticed that after several years of shooting the trigger has smoothed out and is MUCH easier to shoot in a conventional manner. You are correct that it cannot not be modified as is, however it can be polished and smoothed out. They are a fine product. I will have mine engraved, may have to buy two more….I have 3 Grandchildren.

    • tda1000 December 2, 2013, 6:16 am

      If you don’t like the trigger pull one can do what I did this summer and send them back to bond for upgrades to get the new trigger, hammer and spring. I now have 2 with original trigger/hammer and 2 with the new design. Once in an effort to improve ease of trigger pull I removed the trigger guard and that helped with the trigger pull but made the gun considerably more difficult to control so I put the guard right back on…now maybe in a smaller caliber that would be ok but in my experience not with .410 !

  • tda1000 November 25, 2013, 8:02 am

    Bond Arms Derringer in each boot, the worlds best deep carry / backup guns! I have two 45 LC 2.5′ barrels for use with Lehigh Defense multiple projectile rounds…wow! Imagine only the discs from the PDX round without all those pesky random BBs, 5 discs to be exact and all in the super compact 2.5′ barrel, now that’s some compact and effective close range firepower! I also have the Snake Slayer w/ extended grips reviewed here and a 4th Bond gun with the rubber extended grips. For first timers to this wonderful line of Derringers I would suggest the extended rubber grips, those combined with the new trigger and hammer design make shooting these a lot more accessable and pleasant to shoot for those who are new to this type of firearm. And yes the customer service from the fine folks in Texas is second to none!

  • DustinAaron November 23, 2013, 12:16 pm

    About once a month I contemplate getting one of these. My Glock 26 can sometimes get just a little too uncomfortable, especially at the office. I get hung up on the single action only aspect but the misses keeps reminding me that 2 rounds of single action only is better than nothing. I’m just looking for something that I can wear in a suit at business meetings and such. So far it’s been the Glock 26 with a Crossbreed supertuck, but now I’m looking for something a bit smaller.

    • apples417 November 25, 2013, 7:38 am

      DustinAron
      I looked long and hard at Bond and I am looking at them again for a female that has issues operating the slide on a Kahr PM9. But if you are strong enough to operate the slide, for the size and wt look to Kahr for 6 rounds of 9mm (or 40 or 45!)
      For that suit try a Kahr PM9 (or CW9) in a shoulder rig under the shirt!, in a Galco classic Lite. Just leave one button undone under your tie for easy access. I like this for driving too. If you’re skinny like me the P9 will print in the shoulder rig. If you have a thicker chest from front to back than me, wear the P9. Bigger is always easier to shoot. The P9 is like your 26 only thin. Thin in iswb is awesome. Kahr PM9 in a smart Carry, most concealable system for me. I can carry at the beach. Surprising comfortable. We have lots of good choices and 2 shots of Bond is better than none in my girl’s case. They have so many options. I would go 9mm in her case so we can share ammo. If you are a wheel gunner they have 327, 38/357. If you like buck shot you can go 410. If you are a survivalist and have 20,000 rounds of 22LR stashed away they have that too.

      • Dale November 25, 2013, 2:39 pm

        i

      • Dale November 25, 2013, 2:50 pm

        I realize that choosing a firearm is a highly subjective thing, and that what works for one person my not work for another. Having said that, I own a Kahr p9, and will never buy another. I hate the trigger, I hate how hard it is to take apart, even just to clean it. In fact, the ONLY thing I like about it are the factory sights! I switched to a Glock 19. Yes, it is a little thicker, but not enough to make it uncomfortable or hard to hide, it carries double the ammo. in a factory magazine, and I only need 2 hand to take it appart, not 3 like with the Kahr.

    • Wheelgunner November 29, 2013, 6:24 pm

      Look no further than a S&W 638. Small, lightweight, hides in your pocket and you’ve got five rounds instead of two. I looked at the Bond, but (1)the size and weight of the thing, and (2) the incredibly stiff cocking made me keep looking for something else. My wife got the Ruger LCP, but it’s punishing to shoot, but the small Smith & Wesson is terrific even with +P loads. I think the Bond may be disappointing in the long run.

  • Bruce Fletcher November 22, 2013, 9:56 pm

    I have wanted a Bond arms derringer ever since a friend in Nevada took his out when we were stream fishing and showed it to me. He owned the snake slayer version for Rattlers. However, I will have to wait a couple of years. I live in the Peoples Republic of California. For some reason Bond arms aren’t sold here. Most likely they don’t want to go through the nonsense the DOJ of California demands. I have finally decided I have had enough and plan on moving in 2 years. My first purchase will be a Bond arms derringer and a modern sporting rifle with a 20 round magazine.

    • Keith November 25, 2013, 12:16 pm

      Bruce – I have a Snake Slayer and it is my favorite back up carry gun. You should move to Houston, Texas. If you do, contact me and I will help you – I am a real estate broker and gun enthusiast. Keith

      • Wayne January 27, 2015, 11:52 am

        The Snake Slayer is an awesome backup piece but if you order anything direct from Bond and it says that it is in stock, don’t expect quick delivery. I have ordered twice items that were in stock and it took them over 2 weeks to ship it. That, in my opinion, is unacceptable. There is no excuse for in-stock items to take two weeks to box and ship.

        Wayne (Louisville, KY)

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