By Michelle Cerino, Women’s Outdoor News
Henry Deringer (note, only 1 letter r in his name,) developed the Derringer in the 19th century, and it has been attributed as the original “pocket pistol.” also It also is known as the gun that John Wilkes Booth used to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. You don’t need to search the Web to find out that the Derringer is popular because of its small size, allowing a person to carry concealed in the summer. The gun fits inside a cowboy boot, too. Sometimes considered as a backup gun, it also is known as a “belly gun” because its short barrel makes it convenient to shoot at close quarters.
Bond Arms, Inc., is an American company located in Granbury, Texas. The Bond Arms Derringer is made of machined stainless steel and performs just as well as it looks. Bond Arms has created its own twist to this truly historic Remington Model 95 over-under Derringer by adding modern-safety features, not found on original models. A unique aspect of the Bond Arms Derringer is interchangeable barrels that allow the user to customize the caliber based on ammunition availability or specific use.
I had the opportunity to use the Bond Arms USA Defender and 3 different barrels. With a .22 Long Rifle (LR,) .22 Winchester Mag Rifle (WMR) and .45 Long Colt/.410 to shoot, I had an exciting day ahead. I put on the .22 LR barrel to start, and it was super easy. Using a 1/8 inch Allen wrench, I unscrewed the hinge screw, took the existing barrel off and replaced it with the .22 LR barrel. Now, to the range!
First, I had to figure out how to grip and manipulate the gun. This small gun is best shot one-handed; although, with this model, I needed to use 2 hands — 1 to pull the hammer back and 1 to maintain a solid grip. This gun is intended for close-range shooting, so, I set my target at 15 feet.
The .22 LR barrel did not impress me, accuracy wise. It would, however,be acceptable in a self-defense situation. The .22 LR would not be my choice for self-defense, but it makes for an inexpensive training caliber. I familiarized myself with the ergonomics and function of the Derringer with an inexpensive, low-recoiling round. Later, when using the Bond Arms for self-defense, I can easily change to a larger, more appropriate caliber barrel.
After getting comfortable using the .22 LR, I switched to the .22 WMR barrel. The .22 WMR is easy to use and by far the most accurate of the 3 barrels I tested. The .22 WMR is an acceptable self-defense round.
Finally, I tried the .45 Long Colt. I’m generally not a fan of large, heavy recoiling calibers, but surprisingly, the Bond Arms in .45 Colt proved truly manageable. Again, the accuracy wasn’t what I am used to with other large-frame, semi-automatic pistols. For 1-handed, up-close-and-personal defensive use, the Bond Arms Derringer would pack a wallop. Even more so is the Bond Arms paired with the Lehigh Defense .45 caliber multiple-projectile, personal-defense ammo. At 15 feet and closer, the round did exactly what it was supposed to. That’s how I’ll be carrying mine.
There are many ways to carry a Bond Arms gun. On the range I use a leather BAD Driving Holster by Bond Arms. Although it is a cross-draw concealment holster, I wore it as a strong-side holster. It works well for either with its easy-to-use thumb break. Flashbang makes the other concealed-carry holsters I tried. The Bettyis designed to wear inside-the-waistband, but offers many other options. It can be clipped into a purse or gym bag for easy access. The original Flashbang sits horizontally tucked under the bra band and is drawn by pulling straight down. Choosing which type of holster to carry depends greatly on your body composition and personal preference.
The Bond Arms USA Defender with rosewood grips retails for $504. The interchangeable 3-inch barrels, that come in a variety of calibers, cost $139 each. If you want to customize your Bond Arms, you can choose from more than 30 grip styles that range from $30 to $300 (ivory grips). To complete the set, for $80 you can purchase the BAD Driving Holster. Visit Bond Arms for more information.
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