The Bondhus CL380 Palm Pistol – SHOT Show 2014

bondhus005Bondhus Arms

Looking for a new carry piece? Wait until you see the Bondhus CL380. This collapsible pocket rocket is about the size of a credit card and as thick as a cellphone in a case. The clockwork-like action looks more complex than it actually is. Simply fold open the wings, rock up the trigger mechanism, secure the whole contraption between your fingers, and you’ll have two barrels of .380 ACP and a laser ready to roll.

When we happened upon the CL380 at the SHOT Show last week, we were enthralled. The rectangular shape hides its purpose better than anything else on the market. Devices like this sometimes run afoul of the ATF, but previous attempts have not become legal because the makers tried to class them as non-guns. Bondhus is calling this a gun and seeking ATF approval based on that fact. The CL380 is still in the prototype phase, and we suspect that it will not be as complex to operate in its final form.

As it is, the CL380 isn’t fast. I’m going to point this out as a serious liability on what amounts to not much more than an idea with a semi-working prototype. Once removed from the pocket, you must take several steps in order for the CL380 to be ready to fire. The wings have to be folded out. The trigger mechanism has to be readied, and then you have to get it secured just right in your hand. It isn’t easy to do one-handed, and it takes a few seconds to do. In a world where time may be the difference between life and death, drawing and preparing the CL380 will look less appealing.

bondhus002Yet there’s clearly some potential. As our Managing Editor pointed out to me, the CL380 may be a great way to prepare for a long walk through a dark parking garage. Set up the CL380 before you make the walk. Even with it ready, and gripped in the hand, it doesn’t look like a pistol. If you are looking for simple convenience (and not so worried about time), this is going to be a viable option.

Predictions anyone? What do you think? What impact will the CL380 have on the way we think about pocket carry? The company will be watching your comments here and maybe they’ll make you the wallet sized gun you are looking for!


{ 92 comments… add one }
  • Obersaber December 17, 2014, 7:57 pm

    Just learned about these. Production should begin April 2015.
    It will feature a green laser sight and a led illuminator.
    A rarity and very collectible firearm with
    a price that insures only a select
    group of gun enthusiasts
    will ever own one.
    Best of all, there is no plastic!

  • trickyrick April 17, 2014, 8:21 pm

    Yeah, what about a very concealable and unrecognizable potential last ditch life-saver. A little piece of mind,such if not able to even utilize weapon or back-up. Maybe game changer if held by perp or disarmed?

  • Jim March 28, 2014, 11:24 am

    I like it. I pocket carry small guns – Beretta Bobcat 21 in .22, NAA .22mag w/ the pocket clip or a Bersa Thunder .380 when I feel threatened. Not sure about the recoil of a .380 but I’d take a sore hand over being dead. It would have to have three rounds over two so as I could fire a warning shot into the ground if the situation allows. Having a gun for protection does me no good if it’s not on me and I’m just not interested in carrying bulkier pistols although I do have them in the safe.

    The price is not even close to being in the ballpark for me so I would not purchase one. I feel the price would need to be comparable to guns of roughly the same size, like the ones I use. In the $300 range for me to get one.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear but it’s good that you’re getting feedback b/f you go into production.

  • Ringo Lapua March 10, 2014, 10:28 pm

    Would hate to depend on two shots from a contraption like that to protect my life, albeit better than nothing. Personally I carry a backup Northamerican Black Widow 22 magnum Personal Protection, 2250fps which has 5 shots. Just pull the hammer back and it’s SHOWTIME. Also, carry a Northamerican Pug 22mag as a 2nd backup bootgun. My main carry gun is my Glock 32c ported, .357sig HP PP, Underwood Ammo, 1600fps. Tough to beat by a 2 shot complicated .380 folding gun with 3 feet of range capability.

  • Stevie January 23, 2014, 11:10 pm

    Given that in a high stress situation your fine motor skills are the first to go, I don’t think this has any real value as a self defense gun. Give me a plain old revolver any day.

  • Wm. Parker Roop January 23, 2014, 9:51 am

    If you need a test person for my area ,send me one (((FREE ))) and I`ll try it out and post my opinion for all to read

  • Noel Mellen January 22, 2014, 6:18 pm

    This falls into the category of belt buckle pistols and Palm pistols and a dozen other gimmick weapons of past history. there will always be people who have to have one as evidenced by many remarks here but this will just be a fluke amongst real weapon users. It will have to be used at near point blank range as aiming will be trial and error and reloading will be almost out of the question. Its major attribute is it does not look like a gun. A NAA .22 short key ring gun would be more practical than this and you can get that one in .22LR and .22mag.

  • SpitBrass January 22, 2014, 5:30 pm

    I want one! But after it’s been “tuned” more for safety and perhaps further efficiency of deployment if that’s possible. Either way it’s a novel implementation that will fit certain circumstances, but obviously not all. I like how they’re thinking out of the box. Plenty of traditional compacts out there to meet the needs of most everyone, but this is plain cool. Please build it and I will buy it.

  • WilliamDahl January 22, 2014, 3:25 pm

    I would be more interested in seeing one that looked like a Maglite multiple D-cell flashlight. Maybe with a center flashlight and 6 or so barrels around it, each chambered for .357mag. The center could contain an LED flashlight with a few batteries directly inline behind it. Just need to come up with a way to sequentially fire each barrel upon some type of trigger mechanism activation.

  • WilliamDahl January 22, 2014, 3:24 pm

    I would be more interested in seeing one that looked like a Maglite multiple D-cell flashlight. Maybe with a center flashlight and 6 or so barrels around it, each chambered for .357mag. The center could contain an LED flashlight with a few batteries directly inline behind it. Just need to come up with a way to sequentially fire each battery upon some type of trigger mechanism activation.

  • Dusty January 22, 2014, 1:48 pm

    The unintended consequences… Since it is not an effective defensive weapon- it will be viewed as an offensive one. The gun control debate will demonize it or anything like it. Law enforcement will not much care for it and if it is found in a circumstance where intent or premeditation is an issue- it will likely not receive a ‘benefit of doubt’- it would also get cops into your pockets and looking at your cell phones, recorders, digital cameras etc., during suspicious circumstance type contacts…

  • tom January 22, 2014, 1:28 pm

    Not a lot smaller than a Ruger LCP 380, 6+1 and with the LCP all you have to do is pull it out and squeeze the trigger.

  • Dochan January 22, 2014, 11:13 am

    price PRICE!!!!!!

    • Dochan January 22, 2014, 11:16 am

      Aprox PRiCE

  • BB January 22, 2014, 8:26 am

    This could be TSA’s nightmare. Stick this in a bag with other electric devices and cables, and TSA may over look it. I mean heck, they over looked two bic lighters and a pocket knife I had accidentally left in my carry-on 3 weeks ago.

  • BB January 22, 2014, 8:21 am

    I’m quite the gadget guy, and find this gun fascinating, but for $795.00, this is a buzz kill

  • Troy January 22, 2014, 1:12 am

    The price is high at $795.00 for a novelty gun. If it was cheaper I would pick up one or two of them just to have. This is a neat gun for those that collect odd/novelty pocket pistols, not as a defensive carry gun. I’m sure even though it has ATF approval, it will be one of those guns that won’t be produced long and will end up being a collectible. I bought a Stinger Pen Gun many years ago, with extra barrels in different calibers. I believe I paid around $250 for it, and ended up selling it (new/unfired) on an auction site for about $2000.00 a couple years ago (it got bid up that high). All because they weren’t produced anymore and the extra barrels were hard to find. This pocket gun will be bought by few at this price, and be in the same category 10 years from now.

  • Blake January 22, 2014, 12:02 am

    Make it a .410 and have a handle design at least target the snake protection when speed is not the major factor

  • John January 21, 2014, 11:41 pm

    I like it and would add one to my collection. There are many bad situations that could pop up and still give one time to deploy this little life saver before making that critical, final decision of sending a bullet into the perp at close range if it were to come to that. Sure, i’d rather have my commander at hand but that is not always practical. Cool “gun”

    • John January 22, 2014, 9:20 am

      Fits that old description, “Some gun is always better than no gun”

  • IWW January 21, 2014, 10:58 pm

    Hang it from your key chain in an office drawer. Better yet on a lanyard for one of those e-cigs, then if your in a position you can’t get to an ankle or tucked holster it would be right there…In a more realistic view I feel it has real potential, keeping in mind it’s a prototype. If they spring loaded it and tweaked the firing mechanism where it could be deployed in a single motion then we have something. Right now it’s like a nice folding knife while it needs to be a nice OTF automatic, there is something there it just needs to be better defined.

  • Brian January 21, 2014, 10:19 pm

    “It could make it possible to have a ‘stealth gun’ in places where they’re prohibited – like your office.”

    This reminds me of the Liberator pistol that was dropped into France. An active shooter trying to murder your coworkers can be shot in the head or chest. After which, you take his/her guns.

  • doug January 21, 2014, 8:51 pm

    Nope, I just checked the price, $795.00 is WAY out of line
    not even in the ballpark !!!

  • doug January 21, 2014, 8:48 pm

    It won’t intimidate a criminal, you will most likely HAVE to shoot them or even use it as “brass knuckles”
    which might work, I would buy one if it is reasonable enough !!!

  • mickey January 21, 2014, 8:36 pm

    not quick enough access and too clumbsy

  • ScottDrspo January 21, 2014, 8:00 pm

    Will get one ! If price is right !

  • Mobius January 21, 2014, 7:33 pm

    I think I got one of these in a box of Cracker Jacks once. Seriously, “fold, this, move that, figure out which end is which” – oops, you’re dead.

  • Robocop January 21, 2014, 6:42 pm

    Useless for the most part. As noted, you can carry a small .380 or even a 9mm pocket pistol that is quicker and less complicated.

    • AL JR January 21, 2014, 9:00 pm


  • George January 21, 2014, 5:40 pm

    I like the idea but this implementation looks a little too slow to be practical. I would not go through the hassle of getting the tax stamp for this poor implementation. I would be willing to spend the $5 and 6 month wait if someone comes out with something that is quicker to bring into action if needed. Though it would take something really good to pull me away from my current EDC.

  • Jeremiah January 21, 2014, 5:26 pm

    The only problem I can with this nifty collapsible pocket gun is, because of its unique design and “wrapping” (packaging), the ATF will definitely be worried that due to its deceptive looks it could easily slip by TSA, and therefore they might not sprinkle their “holy water” on it for approval. ON the other hand, I WANT ONE!

  • Randy Kemink January 21, 2014, 5:08 pm

    Great idea ,but not real practical . Looks like too long of time to put into action!

  • Ross Walters January 21, 2014, 4:27 pm

    I doubt you would scare many shoppers by open-carrying this contraption.

    Dr. No: “That’s a Smith and Wesson, and you’ve had your six”. Surprise Mr. Bond…look in my other hand.

  • Somaliavet January 21, 2014, 4:26 pm

    A gun that appears even MORE useless than Taurus’s new View revolver!

  • reelman1 January 21, 2014, 3:39 pm

    If I ever have a nightmare on elm street this nightmare might work for about 2-3 back deep cover. Sure would not be considered for a primary under any nightmare.

  • RayGee January 21, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Hope his cell phone doesn’t ring while he has it in his hand!

  • glen January 21, 2014, 2:35 pm

    Reconfigure the concept into a tool that has three chambers and feels/projects its purpose with operational comfort and excellent hand held ergonomics. Most serious comments were fair and objective. This concept has merit and should receive further real world user consideration. Smooth operation and stability in the hand are paramount concerns.

  • Barry Pulley January 21, 2014, 2:34 pm

    As mentioned in previous posts, there are already many .380 caliber guns that will fit easily into your pocket and that have 6-7 rounds available to shoot. This is a novelty so there will be some people interested in having one for that reason. But what is the possibility of configuring these in 9 mm? Being able to carry a 9mm Bondus – which looks more like an electronic device or a tool than a gun, in my pocket would persuade me to buy one if the price is right. I think a good pricepoint is ~$300.00

  • John January 21, 2014, 2:23 pm

    Left handed model? Price? This is far from perfect but it is a starting place.

  • jerry January 21, 2014, 1:38 pm

    Growing up in Brooklyn, NY in the 60’s, this thing would be easily Out-Matched by a simple “ZIP-GUN”, which, by the way, uses a simple “Rubber Band”, and, it would also go through any “Metal Detector” (except for the bullets, of course). But, the simplicity of a Zip-Gun is the simple placing of a Bullet in the chamber, which is a LOT FASTER than having to “Unfold Wings”, “Making Sure It’s Not Backwards”, “Fitting It Between Your Fingers Properly”, and last but not least “Aiming At Your Target”…while the guy with the “Zip-Gun” takes you out with a .22 Cal in 2 seconds.

    I feel the need for SPEED.

  • Marco January 21, 2014, 1:27 pm

    I have to note the price and ease of usability. However, I don’t think that “re-loading” is an issue , per sey. Because, this is a two-shooter. As is the Derringer in a hidden in a wallet! If you intend to have a shoot out, prepare for that! The caliber is debateable but, I don’t think an issue, either! I would like to see something in a buckshot, to be more effective, for the two shot limitation. The preoccupying notion of shooting yourself is definitely, a thought. Maybe something more ergonomic! -Sleek.. so the ease of use is attained. I think its a great idea and innovative.. just not done, yet! Maybe a belt buckle! But, not all, are into that! So, I would stay with the premise of pocket carry or wallet-sized. Other than that, I want one, too! But, in buckshot! Or a teargas shot of sort!

  • heavy c January 21, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Only one… I want two!!!! LOL this is probably the neatest pistol I’ve seen since the double 1911!!!

  • Sam January 21, 2014, 1:12 pm

    I think this is exactly what gives the gun-grabbing politicians the ammunition they need. They can use this to paint a picture for the unknowing public. It would be a picture of how crazy “gun nuts” are, and how we all just want to pretend to be James Bond.
    Especially as is, but even with improving the deployment, the set up time for this would make many label it an offensive rather than defensive weapon. The author’s scenario calls for preparing it, in hand, a head of time, when walking in a dark garage. Now you’ve gone from having a “just in case” carry gun, to having a firearm walking into a situation, expecting something to happen. Most prosecutors would jump at a case that easy.

  • Jack Moler January 21, 2014, 1:00 pm

    I like the idea of something that I can carry in a small cell phone case and not be noticed. This way you can carry a firearm any place you can legally have a weapon. No one would ever know.

  • Rocketgeezer January 21, 2014, 12:41 pm

    With the 380 being marginal as a self defence rd anyway why especialy with just two rds would anybody spend ANY money for this as you can get a derringer about the same size or less for $125 ???????

  • BRASS January 21, 2014, 12:34 pm

    This is a toy for most. Very few will have a real life need that can’t be satisfied better by more conventional and existing designs. Slow, not easy to hold and manipulate and easy to drop or fumble under stress I can’t imagine me using one other than to fulfill some wannabe James Bond fantasy.

  • william m. quirk January 21, 2014, 12:34 pm

    It needs to have a one button or lever to push with spring loaded release. No safety when opened ,ready to fire when opened.. THEN I will check reviews on it . I am interested ,good luck with it

  • OafDawg January 21, 2014, 12:25 pm

    I’d rather just carry a 2 shot Derringer in 9mm, 40 S&W, or .38. Easier to operate and just as small if not smaller. This looks way too complicated to use when you’re under stress or need it in a hurry.

  • Charles January 21, 2014, 12:20 pm

    This thing is entirely impractical… If they want to make something other than a weak derringer with piss poor ergonomics and a really bad price they’re going to have to do a complete redesign of the weapon. Looks like two shots, a laser and a whole lot of fiddly bits. Give me a regular old .380 or even a derringer in a much larger caliber.

    I’d recommend them taking a look at the Chicago Palm Pistol (if I recall correctly the company pretty much got all the bugs worked out aside from the anemic caliber), it was patented way back in 1898 so they should be able to work off their own version.

  • Austin January 21, 2014, 12:13 pm

    I would be interested in this as a novelty or collector’s item, but like others have said it looks like it would be more at home in a spy movie than my pocket.

  • Mike January 21, 2014, 11:43 am

    It will be classified as an AOW, Class 3 $5.00 tax stamp, because it does not look like a regular firearm. Same as cane guns and wallet guns.

    • Administrator January 21, 2014, 11:47 am

      The designers claim that it has an angled grip so therefore will be classed as a normal firearm. I just want to know how they got a shot show booth with so many people waiting who make real guns that work and can be sold.

  • Greg January 21, 2014, 11:28 am

    Seems like a pretty bad idea to me. Way to complex and fussy to deploy. Verrrrry poor ergonomics. I don’t see anything useful in this idea at all.

  • Charles Easter January 21, 2014, 11:25 am

    How about a 5 shot .40 which in about the size and shape of an I-phone until deployed?

  • Tom January 21, 2014, 11:19 am

    I agree with your editor, deployed in your hand at the ready, it would be much more comforting than a cell phone or car keys for that late night walk through a parking lot or garage. But what are the legalities of that? Is it still concealed? Or are you brandishing?

  • Mason January 21, 2014, 10:48 am

    Good concept – small, multi-shot. like the laser sight, and appears to be excellent machining (in fact that appears to be it’s undoing) due to lots of high tolerance intricate pieces (pocket lint and dirt?) and the need to unfold it – totally useless for most sudden emergency situations. It’s also unnecessarily complicated, isn’t identifiable as a weapon/threat which might eliminate it’s need to actually use in the first place. Let’s face it, you aren’t going to defend yourself with it in a gun fight, maybe even in a knife altercation. So, you might be just as well off and have less legal liability – with a taser.

  • Gary January 21, 2014, 10:22 am

    There is a place for it. If the price is right I’ll buy one.

  • dave January 21, 2014, 9:50 am

    Get it past the ATF, and in a year or two there will be variations with improvements in trigger, in function, in deployment and even (most likely) in a case that will look a lot more like a cell phone. It could make it possible to have a ‘stealth gun’ in places where they’re prohibited – like your office.

  • Bruce F January 21, 2014, 9:38 am

    Just added to my wishlist. My predilection for micro pistols makes this a must have. Kudos to Bondhus for thinking outside the box and daring to be innovative. Is this the same company that makes the precision tools?

  • Tad January 21, 2014, 9:27 am

    I would like to see the manufacturer demonstrate quick deployment of this. It would certainly be a good firearm if you could pull out of your pocket and fire immediately. And then deploy your sidearm if you needed.

  • Mike M. January 21, 2014, 9:22 am

    What’s cool is this is a different way of thinking. This may not be perfect but others may notice and improve upon the idea like we’ve seen on everything else that comes out. If they sell a decent amount of these other manufactures will take notice. Kind of like the Keltec KSG and then the UTG popped up. It was a different idea and I’m sure they will keep refining the idea. I will probably pick one up if not outrageously priced just because it is a cool variation. Also I loved Transformers as a kid and I like Joe S’s idea!!!

  • ChuckC January 21, 2014, 9:20 am

    What’s the point? I agree with Phil; pure novelty.

  • larry January 21, 2014, 9:20 am

    Thought it was a gimmick at first but then considering the ‘walking part’ (ie, having it ready to shoot), I think it will be big in the market. If it proved itself in the market, muggings would be cut down considerably. Kinda makes you want to go for long walks at night!!

  • Jim Crawford January 21, 2014, 9:19 am

    I would buy one looks cool . What are they going to sell for?

  • charlie January 21, 2014, 9:18 am

    Neat, but the first thing i see in the video is that the man continually has the muzzle pointed into his palm. What ever happened to treating every gun as being loaded. I get the feeling that more people would shoot their fingers off with this gadget then use it for self defense.

  • dan January 21, 2014, 9:02 am

    I want one but only as a curiosity………..simply put, it has to be SAFE and quick to utilize to have an impact on pocket guns

  • Keith January 21, 2014, 8:54 am

    I would like to know the price point they are expecting to sell these at. I am finding that when any ‘pocket gun’ gets priced out of the range of the everyday buyer, sales come to a halt very quickly. The gun aficiondos buy them and then you see them in every gunshop sitting unsold. If it is too cheap, the quality generally gets tosed out the window. From the short video it does look well made.
    Sure looks like a neat concept and I would buy one if the price is not out in the stratosphere. Better yet, send me one for test and review. I’m just an average guy but will give you an honest and unbiased review. 🙂

    • BB January 22, 2014, 12:03 pm


  • junk January 21, 2014, 8:50 am


  • Douglas Pope January 21, 2014, 8:47 am

    I want one. Great idea.

  • Ian P January 21, 2014, 8:47 am

    If nothing else I think this is an excellent piece to help push the boundaries of gov control back a bit. If this gets ATF approval I think it could really open some doors for further innovation in the market. I agree that this specific example has some pretty big drawbacks compared to what’s already on the market but I think it certainly has its own place. Like mentioned before, if they could work to lower the cost (no laser, sub different materials where appropriate?) and simplify the design a bit I think this could be a big hit with a larger market. I’d consider one for myself simply for the fact that it doesn’t LOOK anything like a traditional pistol. That certainly has its place and advantages (like carrying at work where it may be technically legal, but frowned upon).

  • John January 21, 2014, 8:29 am

    I will take a pass on this one. I still have all my fingers and would like to keep them.

  • jim January 21, 2014, 8:25 am

    Looks neat but too many steps to quickly deploy in a stressful situation. My little 380 subcompact semi-auto fits nicely in my pocket.

  • John G. January 21, 2014, 8:06 am

    Let me know how much and when to have the money ready. I’ll buy it!

  • Z January 21, 2014, 8:04 am

    Any idea of the projected price point? Thanks!

  • Mark B. January 21, 2014, 8:01 am

    While it certainly is innovative, as a self defense piece? I doubt it, way to many steps to get it into firing configuration. Having fired my own .380’s I can say that I would not want that thing going off in my hand. Is it innovative, sure, but I think this will be more of a novelty than any serious self defense weapon.

  • Skip Head January 21, 2014, 7:51 am

    Way to many moving parts and tricks to complete. Could be made so much simpler if thoughts stay out of the box where this item started.

  • david riggle January 21, 2014, 7:40 am

    I’d buy one, hope they go into production

  • Joe S. January 21, 2014, 6:53 am

    It looks, and acts, like a mid-80’s Transformer toy.
    Might cause concern for those with kids around, especially since it doesn’t look like a standard gun that would make a responsible kid “ask an adult first”…

    Of course, (since I’m the only “kid” in my house), when I buy one, I’ll have it ceracoated dark purple, black, and silver. Add a couple Decepticon decals and maybe a few model airplane “No Step” and “Caution” labels?

    PERFECT! 🙂

  • Rg January 21, 2014, 6:28 am

    Definitely a novelty gun. I can effectively conceal a subcompact .40 that holds 7 rounds. Why would you need something like this? Takes too long to deploy. That being said I’d shoot one if given the opportunity.

  • Randy January 21, 2014, 6:03 am

    I will buy one of these when I get back home. Believe this is an excellent idea and would be a secondary/tiertiary backup for situations where speed of deployment is not an issue or a case where you may have been disarmed by an assailant. May be missed by an amateur body search.

  • Phil January 21, 2014, 5:57 am

    its a novelty, more fore james bond gadget fans than real self defense

  • Tjitro January 21, 2014, 5:49 am

    It has too many parts. The front piece looks like a “key ring gun”.
    What will it cost and and will it be called a legal gun? It should be (easier) modified.
    I like to have one!

  • C. Wombles January 21, 2014, 5:26 am

    I will be buying one when they come to a gun shop near me…. Very innovative and I think they are on to something here!!! Even as a collectors piece…no pun intended!!! .38 cal would be awesome ..of course a light load though!!

  • Steelheart January 21, 2014, 4:33 am

    Considering the price point I’ve heard previously I feel that the slow deployment speed isn’t worth the tiny size. Now if they could eliminate or combine (possibly with some spring loaded additions) some of the steps then it MIGHT be worth it. Right now a micro 380 in a pocket or even a tucked holster would be much faster and less expensive (including the holster) than this gun.

    It is a neat idea and if you’re looking for something that legally is a firearm but doesn’t look like one this fits the bill. Especially with it’s mostly to all metal construction there can’t really be any accusations of it being able to slip through a metal detector.


    • Les Lovett January 21, 2014, 8:47 am

      I agree. Though it is an interesting piece of machinery, I can’t imagine why I’d choose this over a conventional micro 380 such as North American Arms, Seecamp or a host of others.

  • dick karr January 21, 2014, 2:32 am

    I want one

    • TH January 21, 2014, 3:57 pm


  • dick karr January 21, 2014, 2:30 am

    I want one

    • Jimmy's mama January 21, 2014, 9:54 am

      you can say that again!

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