Bond Arms' Derringers Deliver a Classic One-Two Punch

Bond Arms take on a 19th Century compact self-defense firearm, the Derringer, makes this two shot defender 21st Century capable.

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It may seem a bit out of place as a self-defense tool, what with high capacity semi-automatic pistols dominating the marketplace, but Bond Arms take on a 19th Century compact self-defense firearm, the Derringer, makes this two shot defender 21st Century capable.

Think of Bond Derringers, which are made in Texas, as the old .41 Rimfire Remington two-shooter on steroids, with the advantage of having interchangeable barrels.

I have owned the Bond USA Defender version for two years now. Constructed of satin polished stainless steel with exquisite attention to detail and quality, the USA Defender features laser engraved rosewood grips that, like other Bond Derringers in the series, effectively fills the hand to control recoil.

Other features of all Bond Derringers include a removable trigger guard (in case you want to use the Bond in Cowboy Action Shooting), a crossbolt manual safety, rebounding hammer with retracting firing pins (both are automatic safety features), an easily operated opening lever, and an automatic extractor for all rimmed cartridge chamberings. Rimless cartridge chambers require manual removal with a thumb or fingernail. The external hammer must be manually cocked for each shot. Barrels select/cycle automatically. Depending on models, barrel lengths are 2.5 inches, 3 inches, and 4.25 inches. The front sight is also stainless and integral to the barrel. Weight is 19 ounces.

Two shot handguns are not for everyone, nor are they the best choice in every situation. I don't carry one as a primary weapon because it simply does not have enough rounds on board for intervening in LAW ENFORCEMENT situations. However in civilian defensive situations-one on one, interpersonal, touching distance situations-a Bond two shot Derringer might be more than sufficient to get the job done. A Bond Derringer could also supplement or back up a primary handgun.

One advantage that Bond Derringers possess over other guns is double barrel intimidation. The company slogan is "Think Twice" and I am sure that a bad guy who faced the business end of a Bond would certainly second thoughts coursing through their head.

The .45 Colt/.410 Barrel option is the caliber I recommend you purchase first for a Bond Derringer. With this one barrel you can shoot any .45 Colt load suitable for a Colt Single Action Army revolver. No souped-up hunting loads, or .45 Casull ammo, should be shot through this barrel. Stick to the many good standard pressure .45 Colt loads available, or even .45 Colt cowboy action loads. While the .45 Colt is a very effective round in its own right, the real defensive capabilities of the Bond fully shine when firing .410 shotgun rounds.

The .45 Colt/.410 combination is not a shotgun barrel, and thus not illegal, since it is rifled. Even with rifling, the USA Defender three inch barrel patterns quite well. Only 2.5 inch .410s will run from the 3 inch barrel. The 4.25 inch barrel allows the use of 3 inch .410s.

The best .410 load I have tested to date is Hornady's Critical Defense, .410 Triple Defense 2.5 inch round. Each shell contains two .35 caliber round balls topped by a .41 caliber FTX slug. Since the end of the shell sits a mere ½ inch from the end of the barrel, the sight of the red tipped FTX slug from the "bad guy view" is pretty ominous. Velocity is rated at 750 fps, with a corresponding muzzle energy of 394 foot pounds. Live fire testing into a 25 lb. block of soft modeling clay shows a devastating wound pattern, and leaves no doubt in my mind as to effectiveness of this round. Amazingly, from a distance of 20 feet, I was able to keep the three projectiles well centered in the silhouette target, with a spread of only eight inches. I don't recommend using the Bond beyond that distance.

Bond Arms has a number of different holsters available for carrying their excellent guns. One particularly fine variant, the "BAD Driving Holster" is excellent for positioning your Bond for defense against carjacking. Spare rounds of .45 Colt and .410 can be held in Tuff Products QuickStrips for reloading. Carry standard .410 Shotshell rounds, and you have an excellent snake defender while walking the back country. Stoke it with rounds like Winchesters .45 Colt .225 grain Defender for tighter shooting, hard hitting personal defense. MSRP on the various Bond models is in the $500 range. Additional barrels run $119 and up, depending on caliber and length.