Derringers - For Serious Personal Defense


March 17, 2007, 02:51 AM
Not a lot has been written on these diminutive little powerhouses. There is a lot of mis-information and bad press due to some low quality Derringers on the market. There are several manufacturers who produce products of questionable reliability and accuracy. I am a big fan of a QUALITY Derringer for personal defense. Properly built on CNC machinery, and the use of quality materials make this an excellent hide out gun when utilizing the correct caliber. My personal choice is the Bond Arms Deringer in .38 Special (preferred) or .45 Long Colt only (don't buy the .45/.410 bbl it has very little rifling, buy the .45 LC only, the larger magnum calibers are to heavy for most people and the smaller ones may not effect one shot stops. Bond makes a quality Derringer that is built like a tank, and is accurate at it intended ranges. Most personal defense situations take place at under 10 feet so this small pistol in a powerful round makes an excellent choice for close range combat. A lot of people can't hit a target even a close range b/c they use the wrong grip. A two handed hold using the grip hand finger to pull the trigger, and the wrap around hand to aim. You have to practice with what works for you. Try and shoot no more than 10 rounds of .38 in a session to keep from getting sore. This is not a target gun. It is a defensive piece you carry when you can't or don't want to pack a full size pistol. The Bond is the best when it comes to safety and reliability and you can count on it to go bang EVERY time. Small semi autos can malfunction, and so can revolvers. I had a model 60 lock up tighter than a drum. My Bond Derringer has never failed to fire. I have put over 500 rounds through it as a firearms instructor. The deterrant factor is great. Looking down those double barrels is enough to end most attackers interest in continuing. Consider the Bond Derringer for you CCW hideout gun. There are many good holster choices on the website.
A VERY close second is the American Derringer Model 1. It smaller like the original Remington pattern and would be my second choice if I didn't want the larger size of the bond. Lady Derringer (American) makes a well built Derringer. Forget any of the other manufacturers, you are wasting your money.

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Nomad, 2nd
March 17, 2007, 03:07 AM
Bond .38: 20oz.

Smith & Wesson .38: 15oz

I'll admit I've never had a Bond arms, but I have not been impressed with others (As you pointed out I'll admit).
And I am not impressed with Bond's size and weight...
And, 5 beats 2.

But hey, all guns are good.

March 17, 2007, 03:38 AM
It's two shots.


March 17, 2007, 03:43 AM
Der, welcome to THR.
Great place.
We are pretty opinionated, however.
Ask a question, we will offer our opinionated answers.
Bond .38: 20oz.

Smith & Wesson .38: 15oz
Wow. The Bond is 20 oz?

My 642 is one of those SW 15 oz revolvers.

And, it carries 5 instead of 2.

Slightly larger, maybe,
but for 3 extra,
I'll find the extra space.

March 17, 2007, 04:09 AM
Welcome th THR...

I too like the quality of the American Derringer products but I also like the Derringers offered by Cobra. If you had a chance to really take a good look at them you might change your mind. They also cost a lot less at under $150.

March 17, 2007, 04:56 PM

While a derringer will get the job done, there are better choices today than a heavy, awkward, two shot, not reloadable without taking cover sidearm.

The derringer design is one of the few handgun designs that is geniunely obsolete for personal defense, or even as a BUG.

March 17, 2007, 05:13 PM
Nice hideout gun in the 19th Century but not today. If that's your thing and you're proficient with it, more power to you. I'd rather carry a J-frame...point and squeeze, 5 shots. However, as an enthusiast I think it'd be a cool gun to own just to have.

March 17, 2007, 05:22 PM
I had a .38spl 2-shot derringer for a while that did just fine at the range and fit nicely in my pocket. eventually moved up to a 7 shot .380 when the funds became available. wish I still had that little derringer, but I say that about ALL the guns I sell:D

March 17, 2007, 05:41 PM
However, as an enthusiast I think it'd be a cool gun to own just to have.Now that I agree with.

They are cool guns. A little bit of history.
Very much worthy of collection for those into such things.

March 17, 2007, 05:51 PM
Hey Derringer, Thanks for a good thread. I've been shooting a Thompson Contender for many years with many diffrent calibers and I just picked up a Bond derringer in the 45lc/410 and have been on the hunt for a second barrel. So I just bought a 40 S&W barrel for my derringer.......I don't know I guess that I just like the fact that you can change calibers on the same frame that you get used to. I had trouble on deciding on what barrel to buy. I wanted a caliber that would operate at close to full potential out of a 3 inch barrel. I think that a derringer is alot of fun and is a challege to master shooting and hey now I've got two shots instead of one! :D

March 17, 2007, 06:33 PM
It satisfies rule number one "Have a Gun". I'd rather have a derringer than nothing at all.

March 17, 2007, 06:46 PM
Is it just me or does this first post by 'Derringer' seem more like an ad from the Bond Arms Inc. marketing dept. than a normal post? :confused:

Go to this weblink for 'American Derringer' and look at the "customer" in this photo and see if part of his face is not a carbon copy of the right thumb nail photo of the guy with the Bond Derringer in the original post about this gun.

Nomad, 2nd
March 17, 2007, 06:54 PM
Even heckling him, I wouldn't care if it was.

March 17, 2007, 07:02 PM
How about a Bond in 45/410 loaded w/ 410 w/ #1 buck shot. That is a little hand full of crowd pleaser.

Vern Humphrey
March 17, 2007, 07:06 PM
I'd rather have a derringer than nothing at all.

But who's forcing you to choose between a derringer or nothing at all?

When I look in my gun safe, I see plenty of better choices than a derringer, and I ask, "Why limit myself to a derringer? Is a mugging a game, where I need a handicap?"

March 17, 2007, 07:14 PM
Is it just me or does this first post by 'Derringer' seem more like an ad from the Bond Arms Inc. marketing dept. than a normal post?

Yup, I re-read the original post and I think you're right. It does read like a marketing spiel, replete with links and photos. Derringer, are you affiliated with Bond Arms?

March 17, 2007, 07:49 PM
Go to this weblink for 'American Derringer' and look at the "customer" in this photo and see if part of his face is not a carbon copy of the right thumb nail photo of the guy with the Bond Derringer in the original post about this gun.

It could just be a picture that he saved and then uploaded. He doesn't say that is a picture of himself. We shouldn't jump to conclusions like this guys... sure there are better choices out there, and I would like to hear Derringer's argument on why a 20oz 2-shot is better than a 15oz 5-shot.

He likes derringers.. no need to rip him apart.

And I think if it were meant to be an advertisement he would've not used such short and choppy sentences. He probably would've made it into three paragraphs as well, instead of just jumbling several thought paths into one paragraph.

March 17, 2007, 07:59 PM
Well, the .45 Colt is cool. If you're going to trust just 2 shots, they'd better big BIG ones. :D I'll keep my .38 and my 14 ounce, 11 shot Kel Tec, though. I think the Derringer has seen its day, but some prefer tradition. I'm an old fart, but I ain't THAT old!:D I mean, they invented the DA revolver well before I was born.

I'm one of those guys that would like to have one, especially in .45 Colt, just to own one. :D I may pick one up someday. I'd find SOMEthing to use it for.

March 17, 2007, 08:02 PM
He likes derringers.. no need to rip him apart

It is a fair question to point out that this first post reads like a poorly constructed advertisement. People are looking for free ad space for their products all the time.

Think about all the first posts that you have read on THR. Isn't this post a bit odd. Reread it and then tell me that it is typical of a first post in general.

And "Derringer", if I am wrong, I apologize for my misreading of your intent.

March 17, 2007, 08:04 PM
If he don't come back to straighten you guys out, I reckon it's probably a spam. :D

March 17, 2007, 09:49 PM
Yep is Spam.

But I like my derringer.

And it is better than no gun at all.

And shot shells in the .410 caliber are no good. For $1000 I will rent you my derringer and you can bring all the shotshells you want in any type (including slugs) and you can shoot at me for an hour at 25 yards with it. I feel 100% safe collecting my money uninjured.

Now the .45LC on the other hand...

March 17, 2007, 10:04 PM
Vern- nobody is limiting me, that's why I have more than a derringer. :D

I was just saying if it's all you've got it's still better than the old "Pointy Stick" often referred to. I know lots of folks who have them from old family members or what not as the only gun they own and in that case it is indeed "Better than nothing"

By all means anybody looking for a first defensive handgun- buy something better.

March 17, 2007, 11:29 PM
I used to want one of those DA derringers in .40 as a backup, because of how small they seem on paper. But in real life, the size difference between a derringer and one of the better pocket autos in an equivalent caliber is negligible.

Here's a Kahr MK40 (6 shots of .40, 3.08" barrel) compared to an old High Standard DA derringer, which is about the same length and height as the big bore DA derringers. For 4 extra shots, the increase in size and weight is negligible.

M2 Carbine
March 17, 2007, 11:33 PM

Is it just me or does this first post by 'Derringer' seem more like an ad from the Bond Arms Inc. marketing dept. than a normal post?

Go to this weblink for 'American Derringer' and look at the "customer" in this photo and see if part of his face is not a carbon copy of the right thumb nail photo of the guy with the Bond Derringer in the original post about this gun.

That picture is me. I've posted it probably a half dozen times on THR and Glock Talk.

"Derringer" probably just copied it from one of my posts.

And I don't have any connection with Bond Arms except I own the one in the picture, 45ACP.

But if Bond Arms wants to use that picture we could probably make a deal.:D

Another picture I usually post in these derringer threads is this one, when the talk gets around to how inaccurate the derringer is.

March 18, 2007, 12:12 AM
The ultimate derringer, the COP. Why settle for 2 when you can have 4?

March 18, 2007, 12:17 AM
The ultimate derringer, the COP (

"Weight: 1.75 lbs (0.8 kg) empty."

SW 642 (
Weight: 15 oz. (15/16th lbs)

Why settle for 2 when you can have 4?Why settle for 4 when you can have 5?

March 18, 2007, 12:25 AM
Bond .38: 20oz.

Smith & Wesson .38: 15oz

Keltec P3AT: 8.3oz

March 18, 2007, 12:31 AM
Bond .38: 20oz.

Smith & Wesson .38: 15oz

Keltec P3AT: 8.3oz

SOG Seal Pup Elite: 5.4 oz (


(Only kidding. ;)
I think we made our point.)

March 18, 2007, 10:45 AM
NAA .22 mini 5.0 ounces and five shot!:neener:

March 19, 2007, 12:54 AM
I like derringers. My first backup gun was a High Standard in 22Mag. Back in the 70's you could hardly find a cop without one. I read a story about a guy who thwarted a kidnaping by killing his two attackers with one! So I guess it does what it was designed to do. I still have mine and shoot it a coupla times a year. I wouldn't be afraid to carry it today. While it might look like it's the same size as a Kahr Mk40, it's actually much thinner and lighter, easy to conceal and a delight to carry.

I had a Bond Arms in 40S&W. It has a rebounding hammer and a crossbolt safety and is very accurate, after you figure out the trick to shooting one. (Pull the trigger DOWN and back, not just straight back) It was almost the same size and weight as a Kahr Mk40. The Bond is a well built, quality gun. I never got a set of 45/410 barrels for it, but one set up so would be a dandy fishin' gun. (I traded it for a Remington 7600 '06 Carbine. If it had been the 45/410 I probably wouldn't have.)

I lucked on to an American Derringer DA38 a while back and it's a nice little gun. Built along the lines of the High Standard, but has a much nicer trigger pull. It even has a thumb safety that easily flicks off and on in the manner of the 1911. A little thicker than the High Standard but with it's aluminum frame it's light and conceals easily.

The American Derringer M1 in 45/410 is just a hoot to play with. Yeah, you have to remember to put the safety on before you load it, since it doesn't have a rebounding hammer, and yeah, the 45 Colt bullets keyhole. But at 10 feet who cares? It never was a target pistol. And shooting shotshells out of it...well, it's minute-of-snake, not a skeet gun.

Derringers have their place if you're willing to train with 'em.

March 19, 2007, 01:20 AM
My little toy. High Standard DM-101 .22 Magnum derringer that I inherited from my dad, vintage 1962. Can't hit the broadside of a barn with it, but the fireball that comes out of that little barrel is a hoot! Only two shots, but it was only intended to shoot the cheat on the other side of the poker table. ;)

Double Naught Spy
March 19, 2007, 09:06 AM
It satisfies rule number one "Have a Gun". I'd rather have a derringer than nothing at all.

Yes, a derringer is better than nothing when it comes to self defense. So is bad body odor. "Nothing" is an easy standard to beat. In fact, it is the first level above something being detrimental for self defense and yet the first level below being something positive for self defense. It is just that, nothing. For most of us, the choice isn't between a boat anchor derringer like a Bond Arms and nothing, but between some other firearm.

The Bond doesn't have great sights, isn't terribly fun to shoot, isn't quick to reload. Sure, it is better than nothing. Of the folks I know that own Bond Arms guns, the Bond is NOT a first choice carry gun, is not a gun used for much range time, and instead seems to be a novelty item. That isn't to say that a Bond won't work, only that most folks realize that there are other better choices.

I do applaud M2 Carbine's shooting with his Bond. That is a very good 10 yard target for a Bond gun. Of course, it use 4 reloads to accomplish the feat.

M2 Carbine
March 19, 2007, 11:11 AM
5 reloads:D

Personally I never have resolved the two big bullets or seven small bullets thing.

It all comes down to what actually happens, which you have no control over.

If I was facing one BG close up I think I'd rather have the 45 ACP Derringer.
If two BG's I probably would want more rounds, even low power ones.

For a quick trip to Wal Mart I feel well armed with the 45 Derringer or ARMA laser equipped P3AT.

If I actually had to use a defensive hand gun I hope I have my 45 Kimber with me but everything is a trade off, so mostly I just carry the P3AT.

March 19, 2007, 12:24 PM
I'll keep my little Kel-Tec P3AT with 7+1 in 380 thank you very much.

March 19, 2007, 02:05 PM
Anybody know if American Derringer is still in business. I read how they were sued out of business but never saw followup.

The web site is unchanged for years and I haven't seen new guns at shows in years also.

March 19, 2007, 03:12 PM
Anybody know if American Derringer is still in business. I read how they were sued out of business but never saw followup.

The web site is unchanged for years and I haven't seen new guns at shows in years also.

They're still in business. If you shoot them an e-mail, they'll snail mail you a brochure and price list. Prices have gone way up, though.

March 19, 2007, 07:23 PM
I'll keep my little Kel-Tec P3AT with 7+1 in 380 thank you very much.
Isn't the P-3AT a 6+1 round pistol?
I know the P-32 is 7+1 but the P-3AT is 6+1.

March 19, 2007, 11:52 PM
About 15 years ago I had an American Derringer .357. After about 2 years of ownership I finally got around to shooting it. Shot it 4 times with full house rounds, found out what my recoil tolerance level was and promptly sold it.

I much prefer my 642 now as a BUG, or always gun.

March 20, 2007, 12:21 AM
i have to fess cobra 9mm...cute, fun to shoot, some times back up....out dated for primary carry...gpr

March 20, 2007, 08:52 AM
With the +1 extension the P3AT is 7+1.
I love the nostalgia and history of the derringer and that alone will probably make me buy one one day but it would never be my carry piece.

March 20, 2007, 11:52 AM
I think of my Seecamps as self-loading derringers.

Just wondering,is there any other place outside of Western NC that insists on calling them Dillingers? I used to hear that all the time and it drove me nuts!

M2 Carbine
March 20, 2007, 01:23 PM
OK, lets see your age.

Anyone remember a TV show called "Yancy Derringer"?:)

March 20, 2007, 04:23 PM
Maybe one of those 45LC derringers or the one's chambered in 410 gauge. But besides that, no. Two bullets ain't gonna cut it.(but in truth something is better then nothing)
Now a days with Hi-cap mags and machine pistols readily available also a new breed of pocket pistol, Derringers are more a status thing then a self defense thing.

March 20, 2007, 05:08 PM
I loved Yancy Derringer. He carried 4 barrel Sharps in his sleeves, vest and hat plus a sword cane. Back up was his buddy - Wolf who stands in Water - forgot the name with a double barreled shotgun.

I've always wanted a 4 barrel Sharps but never can afford an old one. I missed getting the HJS replicas.

March 20, 2007, 05:58 PM
Aside from being heavy, the COP just didn't work reliably, which is why it is rare.

Claude Clay
March 20, 2007, 06:00 PM
had one....could hit the broad side of a barn
IF i was inside it
ps H S 2 x 22mag in a wallet holester~may not be legal now~ is the only alternativer to a KTp3at

James T Thomas
March 20, 2007, 08:56 PM

Who could forget "Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah?" Played by X Brands.
Now, he had a novel hidden carry method for his double barrel.

Or the memorable Miss Mai Ling played by Lisa Lu for that matter.

March 20, 2007, 09:42 PM
Pause for thought here... a revolver in .454 Casull can chamber .45 Colt. Could a derringer in .45 Colt take 'em, too? Then you'd have the ultimate power in a deep-concealment gun... for dealing with rogue elephants or whales.

March 21, 2007, 10:53 PM
Pause for thought here... a revolver in .454 Casull can chamber .45 Colt. Could a derringer in .45 Colt take 'em, too? Then you'd have the ultimate power in a deep-concealment gun... for dealing with rogue elephants or whales.

Well, you've got the first one right, but the second part is backwards.

Plus, they make derringers in .45-70, anyway. That blows away .454 Casull by a fair margin.

March 22, 2007, 12:48 AM
I still crack up at the first "not spam" post. :D

March 22, 2007, 01:16 PM
The deterrant factor is great. Looking down those double barrels is enough to end most attackers interest in continuing.

I assume some sort of exhaustive scientific data backs this up?....Errrrrrr yeah

I had one but sold it when I realized I could take a fairly normal grip and have my fingers in front of the barrel. neat little guns but these days there are too many lighter, higher capacity, easier handling options to consider a derringer for SD.

March 23, 2007, 10:01 PM
I carry an American Derringer in .45 Colt / .410 quite often or a NAA Mini Magnum close to 24/7!

March 23, 2007, 10:41 PM
You take the Derringer, I'll take the Glock 26.

March 24, 2007, 02:26 AM
That's an impressive collection of Derringers and Mini Mags. For some reason I like small guns. I'm glad to see you have a J frame in there too, one of my all time favorite handguns.

Question.... How hard is it to hold on to your Derringer when you fire .410 rounds?

March 24, 2007, 02:55 AM
I had completely forgotten about the COP. What a concept. A bigger "pepperbox" looking pistol although I think the old riverboat pepperbox fired all barrels at once. I sold my two .22 derringers and eventually did the same with an assortment of .380's. There are just too many small reliable 9mm today. For some reason, though, the little 22's were great fun to shoot. A friend of mine shot a 44 cal. derringer Once. He said it was like putting his hand on an anvil and striking it hard with a ten pound hammer. Still, they certainly have their place in firearms history.

Cerca Trova
March 24, 2007, 10:43 AM
American Derringer 357/.38 as a virtually invisable to conceal, last resort, backup, SHTF, hand cannon, for 10 feet and under.

March 25, 2007, 09:57 PM
A derringer is not a 25 yard gun. It probably isn't even a 10 yard gun. If you can smell on his breath what the BG had for dinner, I would think a .45LC /.410 BUG would be better than that J-frame. I'm not saying that I wouldn't RATHER start defending myself at 25 yards with a J-frame/+P, but I believe that a derringer could, in rare cases, fill a void.

March 26, 2007, 03:24 AM
...but I believe that a derringer could, in rare cases, fill a void.

Or create one, as needed. ;)

March 26, 2007, 04:19 AM
I don't see Derringer chiming back in, I suspect the informercial angle as well. Regardless, neat firearms but not what I would choose for a pocket pistol personally.

I do have to appreciate the simplicity over an autoloader or a revolver though. But their weight to capacity ratio just isn't there in this day and age. I can get a Kahr PM40 for nearly the same price as a Bond derringer, carry 6+1, and still carry less weight.

March 26, 2007, 11:07 AM
My wife has informed me that since I have complained about her numerous pairs of shoes - perhaps I might consider the large number of gun magazines (paper) that have piled up.

Thus, I started through them. It is hysterical to read some old ones raving about this or that flopped gun.

I came across a Guns and Ammo special edition on 357/38s that I had. Forgot about it and started to read it. There was an article extolling the virtue of the new HJS Single Shot Sharps (but with one barrel) pattern derringer in 38 SW (not spl) as a hideout gun. Also the High Standard derringers as flatter than a J frame and thus better for concealment.

HJS is belly up now, I think. I think it would be neat, if not practical, if some replica company made an replica with modern materials of the 4 barrel Sharps in a 32 ACP or HR - just because I want it. :D

March 28, 2007, 10:07 AM
Bought this - in .45acp - years ago for grins & giggles. Based on personal experience, the maximum effective range seems to be under six inches.:eek: Never chron'd it, as the fireball out the front would probably incinerate the screens.

I have recovered the outrageously high cost via my standing offer: you get off two (2) shots inside 60 seconds and I pay you $10.00 You fail to beat the clock and you pay me $5.00. I even demonstrate the use of the "tacticle reloading tool" (not included in purchase of weapon) needed to extract/eject. Current favorite is the BIC stickpen that can be used to punch the round-key locks on RSC's.

If anybody happens to be in the Richmond VA area and wants to try earning a quick $10.00, let me know.:evil:

stay safe.


March 28, 2007, 06:09 PM
Here is a Cobra for 140$ bucks.

Carl N. Brown
March 28, 2007, 06:24 PM
High Standard .22 magnum in wallet holster is
considered by ATF to be an Any Other Weapon
if it can be fired while still in the wallet holster.

A wallet holster without the finger cutout is
apparently just a holster, if the gun must be
removed and exposed as a firearm before firing.

March 28, 2007, 11:45 PM
High Standard .22 magnum in wallet holster is considered by ATF to be an Any Other Weapon if it can be fired while still in the wallet holster.
I wouldn't mind owning one of those. The transfer tax is only $5 for an AOW.

March 29, 2007, 03:23 PM
Welcome to THR!

March 30, 2007, 06:09 PM
Just a follow up. My post was not an ad for Bond, I just like the company, and I'm happy to give praise when do. There probably is a bit of nostalgia, but I don't feel undergunned with my Bond. I also am not an LEO where I am in gunfights with multiple assailants. I have every reason to believe that if I EVER get into a defensive gunfight it will be at the statistical close range with a few shots fired or none at all. Yes the bond weighs more than a model 60, but I have no doubt if I drop it it will keep on working. It's flatter and shorter, but machined out of a heavy block of stainless. If I lived in the big city I would probably want something with more shots, but here there is not much going on. I feel comfortable with the solid little Bond in my pocket, and at 15' I can put two .357 rounds in a silver dollar size target. I don't pretend to rank the Bond up there with a kimber or S&W 686, thats not it's intended use.

March 31, 2007, 08:10 PM
Derringer's are novelty guns at best! Anyone serious about self defense should consider all the other options available.

No Quarter
April 6, 2007, 01:20 PM
I love derringers. I have a Bond Texas Defender in .45acp loaded up with two rounds of 450 Bond Super in my pocket right now. Why? Carries easy in the pocket and will put a big, messy hole in what I aim it at.

I am currently looking to add an ADC in .45 Colt or .44 Special. Ultraman's collection makes me drool every time he shows it.

I have shot a ton of rounds through them and feel comfortable with their limitations and capabilities. For a major caliber pocket gun, they are a nice alternative to the usual.

Anyway, Bond makes a great gun.


April 8, 2007, 12:21 PM
I have a Bond Derringer in 45Colt/410 and I love it. I had an American derringer Lady in 32 H&R Mag, a respectable caliber for SD. I also had an American Derringer in 9mm, also respectable. Once a long time ago I bought a Davis,now Cobra, derringer in 38 special. It was a piece of crap and I owned it for a week I think. The point I am making is that I really like derringers but, I would never consider carrying them for self defense, not even as a back-up. Would I use it for SD if it was the only thing on hand at the time,surebut then I would use a sharp stick if it were what I had. My first reason is the same as what the first guy said, I can carry my model 36 just as easily and it has 5 shots. If it comes down to buying an affordable gun for the same price as a derringer there are a lot of old 38 specials out there for less than the price of a new Bond or AD and, for that matter there are some for the same money as a used Derrringer. Simply put there is no GOOD reason to carry a derringer and a lot of good ones not to.

April 11, 2007, 07:52 PM
"Derringer's are novelty guns at best! Anyone serious about self defense should consider all the other options available.":rolleyes:

Anyone serious about self defense carries. And folks WHO CARRY know that sometimes a little something ( not like a .410 is little ) is better than nothing at all. Now for the folks out there who still rely on someone else to protect them, the folks out there who dont own a single handgun, this might not be easy to see. Ya just got to push the wool from in front of your eyes. I carry a derringer as a second most of the time. It fits in a front pocket much better than a small semi auto, I think thats due to the rounded and shorter butt. Just a half inch can make a big deal.

Tiny is not the best, but nothing is stupid.

April 11, 2007, 09:03 PM
Another derringer fan here.
I have owned a Cobra 38spl. for years and it is my favorite warm weather carry. It is light weight and you can put in places that even a J frame won`t go.
The first shot to the chest, then if he keeps coming, the next goes in the face.
I`m pretty sure it would be enough to let you escape an attack unless you are in a riot.

November 15, 2008, 09:52 AM
Just how safe is a Bond Arms Derringer .45? (for carrying) I am considering it...I will carry my SW 638 in an ankle holster and carry the derringer in front pocket. It has a slimmer profile than my j frame. but my question safe is it to carry with hammer down? (Safety off)
Can it accidentally discharge if dropped (when the safety is off)?

November 16, 2008, 12:27 AM
used to have a C O P . the trigger pull and length of travel was just awful. If you think it was bad with .357 rounds, we shot some Thompson Contender .357 hotshot rounds thru it , Lord those hurt.
The question just about everyone asked was"can it shoot all 4 barrel at once ? "

November 16, 2008, 02:11 PM
In my early LE days, I had a Hi Standard 22Mag deringer as a BUG- $29.95, I think, or not much more, brand new!

We had to qualify with anything carried when we had a badge or ID on our person, and IIRC I was allowed to qualify at 7 or 10 yds, with an appropriate time allowance. Six rds had to be loaded and fired and kept in the 7 or 8 ring, I believe, of the B27 target. This was a concession to those (like me) who deviated from the usual Chiefs' Special, Det Spl, etc. carried by most off-duty or as a BUG (which were not encouraged then!).

Wish I still had the HS Deringer- I occasionally see them used now for upwards of $150-200.

November 16, 2008, 08:22 PM
I have had a Model 1, American Derringer in .45LC/.410 for close to 20 years. It has its place. I spend a lot of time in the woods and the .410 with field shot makes a great snake charmer. American Derringer also sells a OOO Buck that is fairly comfortable to shoot and is awesome at close range. The .45 LC is the least pleasant to shoot out of the little gun. Considering all its pros and cons, it fills a neat place an a collection, and is quite a novelty. For serious CC/SD, I would go with something "easier" to shoot and more fire-power.

Mat, not doormat
November 17, 2008, 12:14 AM
Derringers as CCW? Has someone lost their mind? Yeah, the average gunfight goes for two or three rounds. But if it goes for two, you're empty. Three, you lost. Besides, people talk about how small derringers are. They aren't! The Bond Arms versions in particular. Egads, the kel-tec of your choice is smaller, and carries at least triple the ammunition.


November 18, 2008, 06:10 PM
I have a Bond Arms Snakeslayer. Since I live rural, I'm not concerned about thugs or urban zombies. :D But small rabid critters and copperheads are around and move faster than I can aim. That's where a cloud of #4 or #9 come in real handy. As of lately down in the valley I've been toting it in the compartment of my drivers door since car-jackings have gone up. My CCW is at 4 'o'clock where I can't get at it quick and unnoticed ( especially with the seatbelt ). But 2 rounds of 3" 00 buck will buy me the time. ;) If I even need it anymore! Who wants to bet this thread rises from the dead yet another year from now!:D

November 18, 2008, 07:07 PM
Why is your CCW where you can't get it?

I bought a friend of mine an American Derringer in 45-70 as a wedding present. (He's a gunsmith and collector, it's not what he has to carry for SD at all.) I don't know if he ever fired it, but we did decide, at 'under the poker table' range, it could probably permanently ruin someone's day. It's probably still in the box it came in.

November 18, 2008, 07:21 PM
would not have one

November 18, 2008, 10:06 PM
I would rather have a J-frame, a little Ruger LCP, or maybe a P32.

I did read a story about a guy using a two shot derringer in a barber shop hold up. There were two men, and he used one shot each and took care of business. I believe he hit one in the neck and one directly in the side of the head.

November 19, 2008, 03:22 AM
I acquired a Davis derringer in .22WMR from my mother some years back, after she bought a 'real' gun (a five-shot Taurus .38 revolver) for her CHL. Only fired it twice, once out of each barrel, found it to have abysmal accuracy at 10 yards. I would have probably done more damage to a perp from throwing it at him.

Not exactly my cup of tea, so I sold it on consignment at the local fun shop, used the proceeds to buy a DSA scope mount for the FAL (which is still backordered, apparently... :banghead: ).

November 19, 2008, 07:12 PM
I think they're great snake guns and small enough to take with you on the mower...sure an LCP or a P32 have more rounds, but try hitting a rattler with them without stopping the mower. lol...but as a CCW I pass. wow, this thread has been going for a while, huh?

November 21, 2008, 11:24 PM
Why is your CCW where you can't get it?

I can get it. But at 4 'o'clock carry, I just can't get it fast enough. Thus the mini-howitzer full of 00 buck in the door compartment.

November 22, 2008, 12:45 AM
I really like the Bond Derringer, and American Derringer too, except for the trollop photo on the website. Mostly they remind me of the cowboy shows on TV Friday night and Paladin carrying the little Remington as a backup.

I was intrigued with the 45 Colt/410 bore, long barrel.

But the Bond I priced was $550 -- which will get me a Springfield XD. And they're only slightly smaller than a Sub Compact 1911. Kel-Tec in 380 is much smaller, lighter, more capacity, less $$$.

Then Taurus came out with the Judge, which is five shot and less $$$.

The Bond is built like a brick privy, well finished, swapping barrels is a neat feature. But there's just too much out there that eclipses these guns on price, features, capacity, size, weight.

November 22, 2008, 02:59 AM

My Bond in 44/40 (44 WCF) was $359, I believe. Good purchase, really.

November 22, 2008, 08:11 AM
If I have to carry something small, its my keltec p32. 7+1 and another mag in my front pocket seems a bit more assuring to me. Derringers are novel and nostalgic, but for weight and compact factors you can do much better.

November 22, 2008, 10:51 AM
Tied in last place for me, with the NAA revolvers, and slightly below a .25 auto.

Try drawing from safe concealment and getting two very quick shots onto a notebook page at several feet in a couple of seconds.

And then what do you do?

November 25, 2008, 11:41 PM
I'd rather carry two loaded P3ATs and they would still be lighter than one loaded derringer. You could probably even throw in a crimson trace laser on each and still be lighter. Then you would have 14 rounds of .380 ACP available to you as fast as you can pull the triggers, instead of just two shots.

I'd like to get a derringer, but as a fun little range gun. They are really outdated for self defense, why choose a clumsy 2 shot weapon when you have better choices easily available to you.

November 25, 2008, 11:43 PM
A double shot pistol is probably fine for the right situation. Now if I could just learn about that situation beforehand...

November 30, 2008, 01:53 PM
I did a search on "ankle", as in I wanted to see what the group had to say about ankle holsters. (pretty sure I knew beforehand) That's where I carry my G26 due to my working wardrobe (surgical scrubs). Anyway, I had just read about Bond Arms as a feature in the NRA magazine that I read cover-to-cover each month.

So I enjoyed the heck out of reading this whole thread. I love this forum; it is so informative.

November 30, 2008, 03:09 PM
. . . you can find 5 pellets of 000 in .410, and that's what I keep in the Bond derringer as a bedside backup for my wife. She's not enough of a gunnie to be serious about practicing with a handgun, but that she can use the Bond to land 5 hits with a single shot at bad breath distance.

Carry one? Maybe for snake country. Not as a CCW. Thing's too big. But it is kinda fun to shoot.


November 30, 2008, 03:17 PM
My mom is very fond of derringers. I think for her though it's more of a nostalgia/ "oh it's so cute" thing. I wanted to get her one for Christmas, but my living in NH and her living in Taxachusetts made that too hard. So for her b'day or mother's day, I'm just going to drive down for a day, take her to get her FID, then take her to a gun shop, let her do all the paper work, and I'll pay for it. Then take her out to dinner. (I'd like to go form the store to the range, but I believe MA has a waiting period :barf:)

December 1, 2008, 09:13 AM
When you view the title of this thread, "Serious Personal Defense", it occurred to me that when I'm "serious", I'm expecting to have to use the gun. I'd never just bring a Derringer, not even sure I'd just bring a S&W J-frame if I expected to have to use it for protection. I'd have a regular 4" revolver (maybe 2) with shotgun or rifle close by.
The Derringer would be something I'd bring only if I was not expecting trouble, but wanted to bring a firearm anyway. I believe that's about how it was used in the old West years ago also. Nobody brought just a Derringer if they were expecting trouble, its only for back-up or where you weren't supposed to have a gun.

December 1, 2008, 08:28 PM
I like the .22 magnum North American Arms mini-Revolver. Small, powerful,5 shots.

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