Not That Bad

Via Insty (thankee Squire), I see that our favorite shooting rag has a piece about a new Bond Arms Derringer:

Speaking personally, I think it’s pig-ugly;  but no doubt someone will soon be telling me how matte is the new black, or something, and all the cool kids are carrying it.  Whatever.  I like ’em shiny (and without that sissy trigger guard):

But anyway, it was Insty’s comment which got my attention:


That has not been my experience (remember that I am an infamous recoil wussy).  I’ve had two of these beauties in my time — in .45 Long Colt /.410ga, and in .38 Spec/.357 Mag — and I didn’t find the recoil in any of the four chamberings to be too unpleasant.  Here’s why.

I think that the teeny lil’ barrel helps.  Basically, it seems to me that before the burning powder can get up to full oomph in the chamber, the boolet has already left the building, so to speak.  Even .410 slugs were stout, but quite manageable — especially when you remember that Derringers are “halitosis-range” guns, in that even if the scumbag doesn’t immediately die from the boolet, the muzzle flash should set his fucking clothes on fire to complete the carnage.  And forget the loss of muzzle velocity from the tiny barrel — at 4″ distance from the target, it’s very much a moot point.

I wouldn’t want to let off hundreds of rounds of serious centerfire ammo in a single session at the range with a Bond Arms Derringer, mind — half a dozen would do just fine, thank you — but frankly, even a dozen-odd rounds of .45 ACP wouldn’t be too much of an imposition on one’s shooting hand.

What I’ve always liked about the Bond Arms guns is that they are heavy, baby — which means if you hold it in your hand and give someone a swift smack on the side of the head with it, he is going to go down.

Manly guns.  I love ’em.


  1. When I started with the Sheriff about 30 years ago we still had a couple of old timers who carried Hi Standard over and under .22 magnums as hide out guns. I shot one a few times and remember that it had the heaviest trigger pull of any gun I’ve ever fired. Not a bad idea I guess if you don’t have a trigger guard. I carried a Model 21 Beretta in .25 auto as my back up – remember this was before all of the cool polymer .380s and mini 9s – but I thought that the .22 mag had a little more authority. At least it was louder and had more muzzle flash.

    A few years later somebody gave me a pot metal over and under deringer that was chambered in .32 auto and two dozen rounds of ammo. I fired four rounds out of it and it didn’t blow up. I put it in the safe and 25 years later it’s still collecting dust.

    I’d like to find a Hi Standard to add to the collection for nostalgia. As for the Bond Arms I’ll take one in .357 without the trigger guard and finished in satin stainless steel – to help cure this morning’s attack of acute nostalgia.

    1. The trigger pull and cocking mechanism on all these guns are ultra-heavy, to guard against accidental discharges. You REALLY have to mean business to get the thing to fire.

  2. The main thing I remember from when you let me shoot your derringers was not only how heavy the trigger was, but also the weird direction. It was more like you had to shove the trigger diagonally up into the frame, rather than pull it straight back to get it to fire.

    1. Geeky, I think that’s a feature of the tiny grip — you pretty much have to hold the gun with the cocked hammer touching your hand, hence the “upward” pull of the trigger finger.

  3. I have the Bond Arms Snake Slayer 4, with a variety of barrels (410/45lc, .357, 327 Federal Magnum, and .22).
    Shooting the .357 is like having a paving brick blow up in your hand. Not fun.
    The 327 Federal Magnum is manageable, and reliably on target, if only to 21 feet or so.
    As it was a Navy retirement gift from my fellow naval officers, I changed out the stock grips for some (legal) walrus ivory ones and had the .327 barrel engraved with a Scrimshaw nautical theme ( “prepare to repel boarders!“) and a cutlass. Sold off the other barrels and will likely Go to the grave with it.

    With the 4.25” barrel it does make a formidable club.

    1. Frankly, shooting the .357 Mag out of any gun without a substantial frame and a heavy 6″ barrel feels pretty much as you describe.

  4. The last time I picked up a derringer, I could only get one finger around the grip and one on the trigger.

    I wouldn’t mind something more exotic, like one of those goofy “palm pistols,” but with more than one shot.

  5. Never had the opportunity to fire a Bond derringer, but handled them a lot when I worked for a big-box gun store. They are beautiful, beautifully machined, solid, confidence-enhancing pieces.

    However, did you see the Bond BullPup 9? The old Boberg? 7+1 of the Despised 9 must be bettah. But, for $1100, well…

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