J.B. Books, the fictional gunfighter that the late, great John Wayne portrayed in his last movie, The Shootist, is riding across the plains when an armed highwayman attempts to rob him. “You hold it right there,” says the robber, “just throw me your wallet.”

Books reaches into his inside left coat pocket with his right hand, replying, “Yes sir!” Drawing a derringer with the wallet and tossing the wallet aside, he says, “A little something extra.” He fires one shot into the bad guy’s gut, ending the robbery attempt. A little something extra is what all armed citizens are comforted by when carrying concealed. And, when it comes to packing a lot of power into a little package, it is tough to beat a Bond Arms derringer.

Recently I had the chance to meet Bond Arms’ owner, Gordon Bond, and Amy, the Bond Arms Girl, at a media event. My time there did not allow for a full gun test and evaluation, so I later contacted Gordon Bond, who sent me a few representative Bond Arms guns for a proper hands-on examination.

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Fit and finish were well executed on all of the samples received. Grips are pleasing to the eye and properly fit the hand. Ergonomics are sound, with the ability to smoothly cock and fire. (It should be noted that the Bond Arms derringers are not designed or meant to be “cocked and locked” and then carried in a holster.) The crossbolt safety adds another level of security to prevent unintentional discharges and can be engaged if the gun has been cocked but not shot and used to safely “lower the hammer.” The barrels on the Bond Arms guns can be easily swapped out for others. For instance, you can order the Ranger in .410/.45 Colt and, with an Allen wrench, easily swap in another barrel in typically less than a minute.

Reloading is a relatively straightforward process, with the Bonds’ break-open design. The Bond design hinges at the top with a very secure knurled release on the left side of the frame. The hammer will still fall if the safety is pushed to the left, or to the “on” position, but is blocked from impacting the firing pin. Once you get used to rotating the handle to keep the cartridges in their chambers after loading, it is a non-issue. Most Bond Arms guns have triggerguards, which increases safety and reduces the risk of unintentional discharges. This is aided by the well-designed crossbolt safety on the frame, right under the thumb for right-handed shooters.

Derringers On Deck

Bond Arms Ranger II, bond arms, bond arms derringer
Bond Arms Ranger II

I had the opportunity to put some rounds downrange and even carry a Bond Ranger II (.410/.45 Colt), a Bond Mini (.38 Special/.357), a Bond Backup (9mm/.45) and a Cowboy Defender (.410/.45 Colt). All shooting was at relatively close range (5 yards and in). I could manipulate and fire the Bond derringers equally well with one hand as with two. This kind of surprised me, as did the lack of recoil while firing one-handed. Truth be told, firing the Backup in .45 ACP one-handed was the most pleasant shooting I did with all of the guns, and it had the setup I would choose if I were to carry a Bond Arms gun for backup.

RELATED STORY: Ultra-Concealable Derringers From Bond Arms

In order to fire, place the safety in the “off” position (press from left to right), cock the external hammer and then press the trigger. If a second shot is needed, repeat the process. Shooting the Bond Arms derringers from low ready, I was able to cock the hammer as I presented the handgun to target, fire one shot, then cock and fire the second in about two seconds.

Seconds & Thirds

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Bonds Arms Mini

Some may say that two shots are not enough for a concealed handgun. And I would usually agree with that when we’re talking about a primary handgun. Snub revolvers, compact 9mms and .380 ACPs are not my preferred guns to carry as primaries. But clothing and the occasion sometimes require you to carry a smaller handgun. When I do, I prefer to carry a second or third gun, which just adds to my family’s safety.

As someone who teaches guns and tactics for a living, I understand rule #1: Have at least one gun. Following this rule has kept me safe for years.

RELATED STORY: Bond Arms Derringers – A Natural For Close-Quarters Defense

As a citizen carrying concealed, you don’t have all the options that law enforcement officers have. Do you carry a second gun? Do you understand that you must “hold the line” until law enforcement gets there? How about arming a trained and unarmed friend or significant other with a concealed Backup or Defender from Bond Arms? What happens if your main concealed handgun malfunctions, is taken from you, or runs dry with no reloads in sight? When I carried the Bond Arms Backup in my right front pants pocket during a large family activity, it was comfortable and comforting, and backed up by the 1911 pistol on my hip.

In preparation to defend yourself against a violent attack, along with proper mindset and practice, it’s nice to have a little something extra. A Bond Arms derringer is just that, and in a serious caliber it may even qualify as a lot of something extra.

For more information, visit or call 817-573-4445.

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