TFBTV: Bond Arms, This Much Fun is Somehow Legal

We here at TFB are big fans of Bond Arms. I first met Gordon Bond at a media event in Florida, and there he invited me to take a factory tour back home in Texas to see what his company is all about. What I saw was nothing short of amazing; Modern machining technology combined with meticulous quality control yields the world’s finest derringers (which have been used by Cowboy Action Champions for the last 15 years to take home the big prize).

I have also seen first hand what they can take in the way of abuse and beyond any shadow of a doubt these things are incredibly stout. I can tell you it is very surreal to see a gun-maker forcefully slamming his wares down on solid concrete to prove how much abuse they can take!

And of course my close proximity to the good people at Bond Arms allowed me to tag along when they teamed up with none other than Richard Petty to get a gun donated to a museum (this was one of my favorite moments in all the time I have been writing for TFB).

But enough of that. How do they shoot and how much fun do they provide the user? Well, check out our latest video and let us know what you think!

Also, hit that subscribe button if you don’t mind. I hate to be as pushy as a timeshare salesperson, but it really would help us out!

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The transcription of the video is below:

You’ve probably seen these in the counter of your local sporting goods store and thought, “Hey, what do I need one of those for?” Or, if you’re from a snake infested part of the world like I am, then you looked at them and said, “Hey, I know exactly “what I need one of those for.” But aside from annihilating snakes, and, of course, unfortunately, burglars, these guns are just a ton of fun.

Bond Arms offers over 20 calibers and they sent me three different pistols with five different barrels.

You can see here the smorgasbord that I was able to test in these guns.

And each one was a little different.

Changing calibers is easy, firing them all was fun, and the guns are just built like tanks.

What you see here is what’s called the Bond Arms Flip.

These guns are very durable and when I was told when I was at the factory is that on the customer service hotline, in the background they’ll hear customers flipping their gun open and closing it just like this.

I must admit, I had a lot of fun doing it as well.

So when it was time to hit the range, the first thing I got around to was the .45 Colt and some shotgun shells.

I feel that that’s a logical place to start.

This is a load here that you’d use for snakes.

And this was just two and a half inch.410.

Also, I threw it in a nifty cross-draw holster that I would use tote around the lease, in case I come across an unfortunate rattlesnake.

Here I wanted to demonstrate the recoil of the gun with.45 Colt.

Ah,.45 Colt’s not a high pressure cartridge, but nonetheless, it doesn’t kick at all in this gun really.

I mean, the recoil’s directed straight back in your hand.

As you can see, it’s really no big deal to shoot .45 Colt in these guns.

Here again, I did it again without gloves.

And you can see it really doesn’t buck too much.

All in all, it was very impressive, the recoil mitigation of the gun.

Of course they’re big, heavy, and made out of steel, so I’m sure that helps.

Also here, I tried to get my cowboy action shooting on and try to reload the gun quickly and get back on target and shoot again.

Which kind of worked.

Being said, I’ve never actually done that before with one of these guns.

However, my friend Patrick, who’s never shot one of these guns in his life, was able to throw a can up in the air and nail it with some shot, which was pretty cool.

Demonstrated here is how you change the barrel on one of these guns and it’s actually no big deal at all.

You just pop the barrel up by pressing the release lever, use the included allen, or excuse me, hex key, remove one screw with that, pull the barrel off, put the new barrel right on there, which is, eh, sometimes a little tricky to line up, push the screw back in once you get it lined up, I struggled with it a little bit here, but I’ve seen Amy Graves, a Bond Arms employee, do this in seconds.

Once it’s lined up, tighten it back in.

This is changing from.410.45 to.357/38 Special.

And there you go, you essentially have a new gun.

So after that, it was time to try and get some more quick draw action in and hone our cowboy action shooting abilities a little more.

Here I am with some.45 Colt, I believe.

I just reholstered it.

My friend and cameraman, Patrick, tried it.

This is his first try.

You can see he had a little trouble getting it out of the holster.

But nonetheless, it was not too bad.

And of course, on subsequent tries, he really got the hang of it and even got the speed reload down okay.

You can see here, he’s pulling some shotgun shells out, putting some new ones in there, and getting right back to it.

Of course I couldn’t let that go unanswered, so I had to practice as well.

Because you know once you get two young men with pistols like this together, there is inevitably some sort of competition.

We both were, more or less, on equal footing as we had never done this before, or any cowboy action shooting with derringers or anything like this, even cross drawing was new to me.

So, this all precipitated in kind of a makeshift duel here, where we both use cross-draw holsters to try and out do each other on a target down range.

Of course one try wasn’t enough and a rematch was in order.

And I have to say this was a lot of fun and kind of inspired me to get into a cowboy action match here coming up.

Right here, I wanted to demonstrate the big Magnum buckshot, that’s nine pellets of number four.

The recoil you can see is not that bad.

I was able to manage it okay.

And to really show how it works, I wanted to do it one handed.

This is not as difficult as you might think.

I would say that the.357 Magnum actually kicks more than the buck.

And here I patterned it, so you can see that from about 15 yards away it makes a pretty good wide-spread pattern.

And of course, if you just want to annihilate soda cans or watermelons, you can do that as well.

Now what you’re seeing here is the Backup, that’s their new model, that’s got a really cool coated frame on it.

It’s got a 9mm barrel on it in this picture, or excuse me, this video.

And we had a lot of fun with that.

9mm doesn’t recoil at all in these guns.

I mean, it’s absolutely nothing.

But being as how it is rimless, you do have to use your fingernail to extract the cartridge, which isn’t a big deal at all.

So as for my final thoughts on Bond Arms guns, if you haven’t shot one, why not give one a try? You probably won’t find one for rent at your local range, but they’ve been making them for, well, quite a long time.

I’m sure you’ll find someone that has one.

Especially if you live in a, like I said, snake infested area.

They really are cool and, with the calibers out there, they can really accomplish a lot more than you’d think.

While I probably personally wouldn’t use one as a defensive gun, I have been told that even police officers are reaching towards the Backup as a holdout piece.

I can see why.

It’s really compact and it’s not gonna fail.

It’s very cool, it’s very well balanced, and of course you’ve got those 20 plus calibers that you can throw on one frame.

Barrels are affordable, you can use Rimfire, and, again, I would recommend these to anybody who just wants something in their collection that’s either a snake annihilator, or just to bring a smile to their face.

This is Alex C. with firearmblog.com, and thank you again for watching our videos.

Please hit that subscribe button and it would really help us out.

We appreciate you guys following us here.

And for more information, of course, check out thefirearmblog.com.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Don Ward

    I like derringers just fine when they’re chambered in reasonable calibers. And I suppose it gives something for the guys who dress up like Hopalong Cassidy something to do.
    But can we draw a moratorium on ridiculous derringers chambered in rifle calibers? I think this is something we can all agree on as reasonable gun hobbyists.
    Reasonable…

    • supply and demand 😉

      But I personally agree … I hate these firecrackers … including ultralight carry guns with high pressure rounds such as the .375 Sig … maybe easier to carry but unpleasant at the range.

  • Waffe

    Nice sales pitch!

    • Cheese_McQueen

      Nice passive aggressive comment!

  • Alucard

    Derringers are pretty neat but in this day and age why would anyone choose a two shot derringer over a compact 6 shot .380 like a Ruger LCP,P3AT,CW380,Glock 42 ect….

    • Huge calibers in small guns?

      • Alucard

        Whats the point if you only have two shots?
        I’m pretty accurate with a handgun but I wouldn’t bet my life on two shots of any caliber,I’d rather have 6 or 7 shots in a .380 or micro compact 9mm,which by the way will also weigh less than a derringer.

    • GaryOlson

      I never thought of a derringer as an either/or decision. Compact 9mm and derringer in .45 ACP.

    • Bob

      Hide it in your boot heel ?

      • Alucard

        Micro .380 or micro 9mm will fit in the same places and be thinner and lighter.

    • dan citizen

      We used to have one of these on a ranch for euthanizing animals. the larger caliber was nice when putting down larger critters. Also the 410 birdshot was good for snakes.

      I don’t think a .380 would be better for horses or snakes.

      • Very cool. I have found that people in rural areas are much quicker to own a Bond Arms gun by nature of the design and its niche capabilities. It is understandable that people in heavily urbanized areas may not see a use for one.

  • J-

    I might have to actually shoot one. I’ve only handled one and remember the trigger pull feeling like it was 20 lbs.

  • Alucard

    And what does it do that a micro .380 or micro 9mm can’t do better?

    • asdffdsa

      Directly from my post:
      You could get a gun that weighed only a few ounces, was about 3.5″ long,
      about 1/2″ wide, and could be concealed practically anywhere as a
      backup.

      A well thought out design could be made smaller and much lighter than the old micro .25 ACP pistols like the Baby Browning and much smaller and lighter than a modern micro .380.

  • Fruitbat44

    My feelings, as an armchair gunslinger, it’s well made, reliable, accurate (within it’s limits.) firearm and, if this matters to you, made in the USA as well.
    But at the end of the day it’s still a derringer . . .

  • iksnilol

    I like the whole concept of a Derringer (small gun that you can always have with you) but with todays modern technology and materials we could make something more effective even smaller. Something like a .32 acp pistol that is smaller than the small pistols that are currently available (like the Beretta Tomcat).

    Also, high pressure cartridges + short barrels = not fun/comfortable. If you need something powerful out of a short barrel go with something low pressure like .45 acp.

  • dan citizen

    Reading the comments I’m guessing most readers here have not tried to shoot a snake with a pocket auto.

    Really nice video.

  • Amanofdragons

    I love derringers. Great snake medicine. Pride of my pocket pistols is my American derringer m4 Alaskan. 45-70 over .410.