A wise credo to live by might be “Simple is as simple does.” The emphasis on simplicity in defensive weapons and tactics has been around for a lot longer than that old saying. Remember the acronym “K.I.S.S.” (Keep It Simple Stupid)? This certainly does not mean people should arm themselves with a rock or a club; just seek the level of weapon sophistication their training and ability makes feasible. Over the years I have steered many folks to revolvers, including my parents. My folks mastered the wheelgun’s manual of arms with some effort and practice. With a pump-action shotgun in their closet for around 50 years, they (and I) also felt comfortable with the slide action as an option.

Familiarity has to extend beyond just knowing how to point and shoot a firearm. It also has to include the mechanics of loading and unloading (which includes checking its status). Even the simple revolver requires a few “must know” steps to accomplish this. Here’s where I’ll step on a few toes.

Assuming your only interest is protecting yourself at home, I do not feel spending a lot of time mastering malfunction drills is necessary for firearms bought and kept solely at home. If you fire one or more shots and the weapon fails, retreating to your “safe room” is the only reasonable option. (And a good time to acquire any backup firearm stored there.) If you also carry out in the world, making retreating to a safe room impractical, then by all means learn to get your firearm back up and running.

Perhaps one of the easiest weapons to learn to manipulate is the old break-top single-shot shotgun from my childhood. Pop it open, drop a shell in, latch it closed, ear back the exposed hammer, and fire. Repeat as needed. From kids to grandmas, the operation was picked up fast. Pots were filled, and pests of all sizes dispatched or persuaded to find other areas to haunt.

Which brings us to a handgun utilizing essentially the same manual of arms as that old standby shotgun: the derringer—specifically the derringer as produced by Bond Arms of Granbury, Texas. Solid, top-quality firearms, Bond derringers combine simplicity and effectiveness in a package small enough to encourage people to have it with them when needed.

As important as all of those factors mentioned in the preceding sentence are, I believe “have it with them when needed” tops the list. When things go south, you almost never get a chance for a quick timeout to run home and get a gun! Similarly, if you decide to investigate a bump in the night unarmed, what are the odds you’ll make it back to the safe room to retrieve your weapon after discovering someone, not the cat, caused the bump.

Derringers are sized to make them easily portable. Flat, with few snag points, Bond’s derringers ride nicely in hand or pocket holster, as well as in the belt holsters Bond offers. When drawing from the pocket, snagging is easily prevented by draping the thumb over the hammer during the draw, which places it perfectly for earing back the hammer when needed.

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  • Kace

    I need one of those little ladies!

  • Gunnut

    Only problem is there’s little to no resale value on them. Had to practically give my Ranger II away last week…couldn’t find any interested buyers!

  • I just want to add that the Federal 9- pellet .410 load mentioned in the article is not ‘000’ but is instead #4 Buckshot the 2-1’2 inch ‘000’ carries 4 and the 3-inch ‘000’ load has 5 .

  • Brandi

    I received a Bond “Bond Girl” derringer last year for Christmas and I love it. The only downfall is they are heavy, as heavy as a full size handgun but that helps a lot to tame recoil, which is far less than you would think from such a small gun shooting a magnum cartridge. You aren’t going to be able to carry in your shorts pocket unless the shorts have a belt because the weight will pull them right down lol.

    Im not sure why one poster said they don’t hold their value, every Bond derringer I’ve seen resell was at a very respectable price. These are specialty guns and have a smaller customer base so a resale might take awhile but the only reason for “practically giving away” one of these is if you can’t or don’t want to wait for your price.

    I love how so many guys have been too scared to shoot my little .357 magnum derringer! I’ve guys see me shoot it and say “geez, you are one tough chick” lol, I don’t tell them the recoil isn’t nearly as bad as they think it is.

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