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Bond Arms Derringer

This is a discussion on Bond Arms Derringer within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Everything I've seen and read about the Bond Arms line of pistols has been favorable. With numerous interchangeable barrel and caliber combinations, it seems like ...

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Old May 18th, 2016, 06:19 AM   #1
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Bond Arms Derringer

Everything I've seen and read about the Bond Arms line of pistols has been favorable. With numerous interchangeable barrel and caliber combinations, it seems like a good backup or deep concealment carry option.
Anyone out there have one or experience with one? Opinions, good, bad, indifferent?

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Old May 18th, 2016, 07:09 AM   #2
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John, I have had a Snake Slayer in the standard .410/.45 for about five years, now. It also has the 3.5" barrel. They like to describe it as a "tank," and I'd have to agree with that. I usually just drop it in my front Wranglers' pocket, and generally forget it is there. I also use a Remora IWB soft holster, or another IWB leather clip-on, occasionally. It is a little difficult to draw in pocket-carry, but it is always there.

I think the little gun is a little heavier than it needs to be, but not obtrusively. It shoots very well up to about 12', which is what it is designed to do. I paid too much, but bought it on first-sight because I had wanted one for more than 8 years. The customer service is very good, and very personal.

I haven't yet bought other calibers, but do intend to go .38/.357 before too long.

This gun isn't "bad"; it's just "different." The grip-style is very different from, say, an LCR. I guess, if I had a real gripe, it would center around the trigger break. It is quite heavy, and difficult to stay on POA without a lot of practice. I am told that an alternate spring combination is available. With arthritic, aging fingers, mine needs that, too!

I actually love the gun. It is absolute quality, and fun. And, after all, I'm trusting it for life's "situations." I would suggest finding one to shoot, before spending the big bucks. I think you'll like it, and I've never heard of anyone willing to part with theirs. Let us hear from you on this. I'm interested.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 09:22 AM   #3
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Personally I like the American Derringer much better, the one I have is double action and the barrels are parallel (regulated) which causes the rounds to hit where aimed out to 10 yards using the .38 Special kind of like the colon mark : within 2" of each other. I've never cared for the Bond because the arm is "tank like" and very difficult to conceal, just too big to be considered a true derringer.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 12:09 PM   #4
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Never heard of anyone who's owned one complain about problems. They seem reliable and probably the most versatile gun I know of, with all the different caliber and barrel lengths offered.

I saw on their website that they're now making a 9mm subcompact pistol. Very cool. I wonder why they haven't ever made a traditional double or single action revolver? It seems like they have all the equipment to make everything in house, so why not?
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Old May 18th, 2016, 12:12 PM   #5
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hello johnb, i have two with trigger guards and one without, and barrels in 410/45lc, 45lc, 45acp, 357/38, 9mm and 22lr. bond arms are expensive niche pieces, but oh what a nice niche. i wanted something that is utterly indestructible and safe. my unborn grandchildren will enjoy them. they are back up, not combat pieces. they are not the first handguns that one should get but they are not gimmicks. all of mine are the new models, with the improved action (you can tell by the indented trigger and wider hammer spur). two are with extended rubber grips and one with a regular rubber grip. i carry the 410/45lc loaded with winchester pdx1 410 and hornady critical defense 185gr 45lc in a speedstrip when driving, or if hiking up a nearby mountain, if i take a tumble i will likely be worse off than the b.a. if im near more people than i carry the 9mm. i view the 410 as a six shooter, i.e 2x3 balls, that only needs pointing/not aiming at a danger-close threat that i cannot evade. i hit reliably at center mass out to 12'. i got the 22lr as a manual of arms practice barrel, but dont use it as 9mm out of a b.a. is a very soft, accurate and fun shooter. 38 is ok, 357 is no fun, and 410 (handgun rounds only) and 45s are ok too. "4" calibers need the larger grips. the single action triggers are a tad on the heavy side, which lessens the chance an "oops" discharge. it does not print like most handguns when ccw. if starting out i would get a 3.5" 410/45lc and an extra barrel in whatever caliber matches your daily carry, i.e. 45acp, 357/38 or 9mm. if you dont care about the b.a. being a backup to your edc, then get just a 9mm extra barrel. i hope that this helps.

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Old May 18th, 2016, 01:57 PM   #6
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I would handle one and fire one first if possible I have a Snake Slayer 45lc/410 and 9mm.
It is not for beginners hard to shoot trigger is easier with a slight downward pressure as you pull back have not run enough rnds to be accurate seem to do better with top barrel
the quality is outstanding as is their customer service.
Not sold on the gun yet the 410 2 3/4" defense loads are brutal and a waste of money IMHO stick with good old buck shot myself not a big fan of shot for defense in most situations too much chance of collateral damage from such a short barrel on the other hand birdshot is perfect for snakes and sometimes I carry it at work surveying.
It is not a derringer in any sense of the word other than shape and function, a brick would be easier to carry in your pocket. Have a Bond clip on holster that's well made and works ok , the crossdraw might be better as long as the " roof over your tools" doesn't hang out too far .
My wife bought it to carry in her car but its not for her , it shoots unlike anything else I have tried . My hands are not large so new rubber small grips were installed a couple of days ago and I just shot it before this post it is an improvement.Ill post more after some more rounds. Have been asked several times it I would buy another one and still not sure. My kids and friends love to shoot it and if you look down the barrel and see two 45 slugs peeking at you its intimidating no doubt about that. Its a cool piece just to look at and admire and if nothing else its a conversation starter. With practice not a bad backup gun I will probably put it in my truck it should last for a lifetime and then some.

I want add the gun is damn near indestructable and having said the above I still love it. As someone else has said " its just different".

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Old May 18th, 2016, 02:53 PM   #7
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Had two, and gave one to my son. The Bond Arms are a strong well made two shots with many options of calibers. Shreading a car jackers face and throat with a 6 shot 410 shell will stop the threat. But as a deep cover back up; a small 9mm or 380 will have more shots and you will not have to pause to cock the single action derringer.

Personally I would get one, but, weight, round count and single action may not make them your first choice in back up... That in mind, I would fill my pants if I had to stare one down.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 04:59 PM   #8
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I want one soon.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 09:13 PM   #9
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If you want a well designed, and built firearm (forget the derringer part for a moment), then you can do no finer than anything made and built at Bond Arms. I've been a bit of a "And then there's _______ type of firearm" guy always looking for the interesting action or caliber or mechanism. Derringers filled that role quite perfectly and thus a very long relationship with American Derringer Co. and others in a lesser capacity. (you only need to buy one Cobra, or other similar type of firearm to know that you won't be buying a second).

With American Derringer I've owned the standard model, the double action (first sold as the BTJ derringer until American bought that company out), their single shot underlug model, a four incher with scalloped sides and a four incher with slab sides (there was a reason for the last), so I know a few things about the modern derringer and which to buy and not buy. But living in California meant that just about time that Bond was coming into production, there would be no more derringers to be had in CA. That darn Death Wish series of movies where in one the star pulled out an American Derringer and said that it chambered a shotgun round and would "take you head clean off". Whether true or not, our CA DOJ had a new enemy and the split chambering was no more in CA. There was already a Contender Skeet league around the country where the game was shot with 410 hulls all as single targets of course, but no more and those that were here although grandfathered in, where no longer legal to possess with 410 ammo near by.

Largest caliber I've owned in the American Derringer was 45/70 and it was a handful. That had to be the "slab sided" model since the bores were cut off center to allow the two shells to chamber at the same time. Even so, you had to file off some of the rim of one of the two cases for both to fit. First shot, lower barrel hurt like the dickens and the gun ended up about 60 degrees off the horizon. The second was the upper barrel and it came full circle and I had the nastiest puncture wound in the web of my hand due to the hammer spur poking a hole there and bleeding like a stuck pig. That's a good reminder, if you are new to derringers or are trying a larger than normal chambering, PLEASE load and shoot it with only one round in the gun, total. And when you go for it, shoot that one round from the lower barrel first as that barrel has an easier, more inline recoil and is easier to manage. After you have the lower barrel figured out, then advance to the upper barrel and only then after mastering both barrels would you ever load it up with both rounds in the gun. No it shouldn't double, but some less reputable makes have. I can't even imagine shooting an eight ounce gun when two 45/70's went off? Something would be broken for sure.

Now in the case of Bond, they only for a short while produced any in the 44 magnum class and decided that an unsuspecting customer may shy away from the gun and future purchases with such a chambering so they backed off and right now, 45LC is the beefiest load to be had in their derringers (not counting 410 rounds). About four different sized allen wrenches and any and all areas of the derringer can be serviced and it's the 1/8" allen that allows quick and easy barrel changes. I have three of their derringers, two in 45LC and one in 45ACP. They are all a pleasure to shoot with the shortest barrel being 2.5" and the longest being 4.25" Strong as a tank and absolute perfect fit and finish.

In fact they are so spot on with their finish and dimensional specifications that a customer that had bought one of their derringers 20 years back called and asked if he could buy a barrel to fit such an old derringer? When caliber and barrel length wishes were expressed, payment arrangements were met and a new barrel on it's way. The customer was quite surprised as its fit and ease of assembly was as if that barrel was what the gun originally came with. You can't say that about any other derringer maker (or gun maker for that matter) out there. Hands down, Bond is the only way to go and they stand by their products for life. Smithy.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 09:29 PM   #10
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As stated above good gun good people LOVE it (45/410)
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Old May 19th, 2016, 05:51 AM   #11
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I have the Snake Slayer in .45 Colt/.410 that I have used in cowboy action shooting side matches. I have also carried it on my ATV loaded with .410 shells for when I am out checking fences at the ranch:

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Old May 19th, 2016, 08:05 AM   #12
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Thank you all for your responses and opinions, I appreciate it. I am considering the Snake Slayer, 3.5" barrel, in 45 Colt/410. I like the idea that it is somewhat heavy, should help with the recoil. I always carry when doing chores around the ranch and this seems to be a good option.
Thanks again,
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Old May 19th, 2016, 08:20 AM   #13
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good choice john. since they are not shot much and built like a brick outhouse, a used b.a. can be a good value. be sure to get the updated model. the b.a. factory will upgrade an older model, but for $150. periodically b.a. offers a 50% sale on extra barrels. as i noted in my post, 9mm is a great range shooter in a b.a., 50 rounds is easy and fun practice. extended rubber grips are worthwhile, i found one set online at walm--t of all places for a cheap $45. enjoy and come back later to report your experience here or on b.a. website.
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Old May 19th, 2016, 10:48 AM   #14
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Many years ago I owned a High Standard Derringer in 38 Special .... a truly excellent pistol that I owned for many years but I got hard up and sold it. A few years later, I got a Davis Derringer in a trade .... a real piece of junk. I decided to invest in a high quality Derringer so I bought a new Bond (38 Special) ... thinking the interchangeable barrels was a good idea. After owning it for a couple years, seldom shooting it, and never considered buying another set of barrels, it ended up in gun swap .... leaving me without a Derringer. I decided to try an American Model 1 in 38 Special and like it better than all the previous ones. I load it with 38 Special LHBWCs .... it's actually quite accurate at 7 yards plus recoil is modest.

For those people with the Davis mindset .... Bond or American Derringers are very expensive. I think I paid north of $500 for my American and it is just the basic model.

Here's my American Model 1 (38 Special):

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Old May 19th, 2016, 06:02 PM   #15
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I had an American Derringer .410/.45LC years ago, but like a dummy, I traded it in on an impulse buy. I regret it ever since as it was really pretty...stainless with green laminate grips. I have been looking for another one like it, but ran into a Bond Cowboy .410/.45LC that came up for bid at a local auction. It looked unfired with the hard plastic case and all the paperwork. I ended up scoring it for $300. It's a well made and great shooting piece. The trigger feels better than my old American Derringer. I also have a Davis .22LR Derringer. It shoots pretty good and it's kind of a looker with the charcoal finish and the pearl grips, but just more of a novelty. Neither gun will win any Camp Perry matches, but they are fun to shoot and the Bond is great to throw in your pocket with .410 shotshells if you are hiking in snake country...

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