American Rifleman: Bond releases its smallest big-bore derringers yet, and gives the Defender a patriotic twist.

By B. Gil Horman

In the late 19th Century, American gunsmith Henry Deringer invented and became famous for some of the most commercially successful pocket guns of all time. His products did so well that his name, eventually misspelled as “derringer,” became synonymous with any pocket-size single- or double-barrel pistol. Perhaps the most famous double-barrel cartridge loading pistol to receive the derringer moniker is the Remington Model 95.

Remington’s compact two-shot over-under pistol was available from 1866 to 1935. It’s the same little gun that’s so often seen jumping out of boots and vest pockets when cowboys and card sharks just can’t get along at saloon card tables in the classic Old West movies. Bond Arms of Granbury, Texas, has taken this venerable 19th century pistol and redesigned it for 21st century concealed carry, resulting in one of the most compact and powerful pocket pistols available….

At the Range
For this shooting session, three new guns from the Bond Arms 2012 catalogue were tested. The first two are the new Mini models. Both pistols use the cowboy-style frame with no trigger guard and the brand new 2 1/2-inch Mini barrels. The Mini features a .45 Colt only barrel and an engraved rosewood grip. The Bond Girl Mini is fitted with a .38 Spl./.357 Mag. barrel and a Bond Girl pink synthetic pearl grip. The third pistol in the test set is the new USA Defender featuring a 3-inch .45 Colt/.410 barrel, a removable trigger guard and an engraved extended rosewood grip. All three guns showed an excellent level of fit and finish, and they all fired a variety of ammunition without any malfunctions….

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  1. Chuck says

    I have a Bond Arms Snake Slayer and a 40 cal. barrell to fit it, but don’t shoot it much because the trigger is hard to pull and I pull of the target trying to pull the trigger. So I’m not all that pleased with the Bond Arms Snake Slayer.

    • admin says


      Im sorry to hear you seem to be having problems. Please give us a call Monday – Friday 9am-5pm (CST) 1-817-573-4445 so that we can help you.

      • Rick says

        I have a snake slayer as Chuck does and it has a very hard trigger pull as well. I thought it might go away after break in but after 500 rounds its still the same.

    • Lee says

      Be sure to call… the trigger pulls easily if you are holding the Snake Slayer properly. It’s a GREAT gun.

    • says

      We do have a comp spring that helps with the trigger pull issue.
      Call and talk to Charlie at the office about it and he can help you out.
      We are working on a new hammer and trigger design that should ease
      that up some, which should be available by May.

      On the current trigger, it does go down and back instead of straight back
      and you have to make sure the web of your thumb isn’t pressing against the
      cocked hammer because that will add about 10 lbs of pull.

    • Frank says

      Triggers can be adjusted. I bought a Cowboy Defender in 45 colt/410. It retired my new Springfield XDM .40 S&W. Why? Conceals better! It is very accuarate if you know how to properly hold it and squeeze the trigger properly. Practice is key.

  2. Eric Deitz says

    I own the Century 2000. Very well built pistol. Easy to shoot, and conceal. All I need is a holster. I am hoping and waiting for your company to put some on special, and give a deal I can’t refuse. If you want a great small pistol, you can’t go wrong with any pistol from Bond Arms!!!

  3. Guy Johnstone says

    I have yet to buy a Bond firearm. Everything I have read and seen has made me want to own the Texas Defender. It will be my 1st but not my last My wife wants the The Bond Girl Mini fitted with a .38 Spl./.357 Mag. barrel or the Bond Girl Pink…I like most is that they are made in the USA…

  4. Jim Wisecarver says

    I have owned a Century 2000 for several years and constantly have it in my pocket. I like the feel and build. Can’t beat it. I have the 45/410 and 357 mag barrels and they shoot great. If I did not already own one I would buy one, (maybe I need a pair) I can already see this this is going to get me in trouble with the Mrs.

  5. ron case says

    gentlemen in 2011 I receaved a list of prices on merchendise of your gun ,barrels and holesters the gamett, I would like to know if your prices have increased this year. or new merchendise.Oh I do have a gun dealer. Jims gun shop raleigh north carolina. your reply is appreciated thankyou..

  6. liz goos says

    Bond Arms is truly one of the best handgun manufacturers today. I always carry my century 2000 and always feel safe! They create a complete a complete safety package, from the unmistakable quality to perfect fitting holsters for concealed carry and for the car. Bond Arms is how handguns are meant to be. Simple, safe, and extremely effective. I’m proud to be a Bond Arms Girl!

  7. Ed says

    The gun is great but the case it comes in is a cheap piece of plastic. I wish they made a nice case like Springfield does for thier XDM with real hinges.

    • admin says


      We really appreciate your comments and suggestions. I would encourage you to write to our customer support people by going to the page or You can also contact us by phone, Monday – Friday 9am-5pm (CST) 1-817-573-4445 and letting us know of any problems you have had. They will take great care of you.

    • says

      Hi Ed,

      We started using the plastic cases with the handles to allow customers to easily carry
      and protect their guns about a year ago. (before that, we like Ruger and many other USA mfg’s used cardboard boxes to ship our guns in)
      We didn’t want to go to the higher dollar cases because we are trying to keep the quality
      in the gun, not the carrying case, which helps keep your cost more affordable.

      Remember, Springfield’s gun are made overseas by cheaper labor and can probably afford the more expensive carrying cases.

      Gordon Bond

      • thedanc says

        Hmm. When I bought the Cowboy defender, used, it came with a disappointing cardboard box. When I bought the Texas Defender, I was thrilled with the plastic case. I guess it is all a matter of perspective. That case even has foam in it and can hold both guns. I do see that there are nice display boxes available on the bond website, but I only use my case when I store the gun in the safe or am schlepping it to the shooting range. My Rugers came with similar plastic cases.

  8. Bob says

    I haven’t read the AR article but probably don’t need to since I consider myself a member of the Bond Arms choir. However, I am interested in getting a 2-1/2 inch mini barrel mentioned above and will check at website to see when it becomes available. Kudos to Bond gunsmiths for continuing to develope new products. Over the years I’ve submitted many suggestions regarding the Bond derringer for niche markets and I have found out that all of my suggestions have been implemented! Unfortunately, by Heizer and not Bond.

  9. David L. Campbell says

    I have the Snake Slayer and my wife; Karen, has the Texas Definder. We both love our derringers. I have a Taurus Judge but it is a back up gun for the Snake Slayer. Karen is wanting to get the Bond Girl Pink Grips for her Texas definder. My question is, do I have to buy the gun to get the grips or can I buy just the Pink grips for her?

      • Jacki Losinski says

        Hello Gordon,
        I was wondering the same thing. I have not been able to find the grips nor the pink zebra holster on the site. Do you have a direct link? I would love to have them for my TX Defender. Also are the pink grips available in the extended version? Thank you.

        • says

          Just call and talk to Wally and he’ll get you set up with the pink grips and holsters. No extended pink grips at this time, but maybe in the near future. 817-573-1790

  10. 10sc Dust says

    We have a Texas Defender in .45/.410. The wife just loves it. We have since ordered the .22 LR barrel. Very nice gun, indeed!

  11. nelson miller says

    i just bought the snake slayer 45/410 and i like it very much it shoots great and is very easy to carry as a conceald gun i am ordering the 44 special barrel for it also and the mini girl for my wife in the 38/357 thanks for making such a great gun keep up the great work

  12. Tony Wilbanks says

    I have a snake slayer in the .45/410 and love it.The folks at Bond Arms are the greatest.If you ever have a problem with your derringer,Call and they will take care of you.

  13. Ron Ellis says

    I have the Texas Defender and have only shot it a few times. At first the trigger pull was a problem but after watching the video on the web site I found that the way to hold it has a lot to do with the trigger pull and have tried it and found it easier but still still. I have ordered the sholder rig for it as I am a large person and a waiste holster for a small gun does not work. I intend to check into a lighter trigger spring as I have heard the company has one. Very well built gun and easy to keep hidden. I will purchas other barrels for this in several of the calibers.

  14. Dr Hires says

    The Snake Slayer 45/410 is a 10. You can shoot it all day (once youi read the booklet and pay attention to the proper way to hold it) without wearing-out you hand. WOW! WOW! WOW! Doc

  15. Dr Hires says

    The Snake Slayer 45/410 is a 10. You can shoot it all day (once youi read the booklet and pay attention to the proper way to hold it) without wearing-out your hand. WOW! WOW! WOW! Doc

  16. John Waldie says

    I recently purchased the Cowboy 3″ .45/.410. It is great. No shock to the hand. I have never fired a large frame hand gun that felt any more natural to shoot especially with the large caliber. It is a great looking pistol. I also purchased the over sized grips with silver star and tan leather holster. Bond arms makes a solid shooting, good looking pistol and on top of that, It is Made in Texas by Texans!
    John Waldie
    Henderson, Texas

  17. says

    How long after placing a order on the website does one get confirmation that the order has been processes, I have two orders that were sent via website 5 days ago. Got a order number immediatly after placing them. Thanks

  18. Ted Bunch says

    I bought the USA Defender with the 3 in 410/45 LC barrel. I had the Judge in one hand and the Bond in the other. The difference in quality made me go with Bond in spite of the difference in capacity (5 shots vs 2). This is my new favorite gun. I have other guns but this what I prefer to carry for self defense. I found the recoil to be mild and have no problem shooting one handed.

    I adjusted my grip per the video and still find the trigger pull far stiffer than what I like. I get the argument that this is a pocket pistol and that the trigger should be stiffer as to avoid accidental discharge however with the existing trigger I give it 4 stars.

    If the trigger were lighter I would give it 5 stars across the board.

    If I go to the range or go shooting with friends this gun catches everyone’s eye and I get asked about it. When I hand it over with the action broke open I tell then to close the action slowly to get and idea of how finely made and machined this gun is.

  19. Mike says

    I have the Snake Slayer 4 in .45/.410 and I carry it in a leather Blackhawk CCC holster, origionally made for a 1911-A1. It conceals perfectly under my sweat shirt or vest. I keep a 3″ .410 Winchester PDX defense load in the bottom barrel, and a Hornady Critical Defense 185 gr. 45 Colt load in the top. I will say this… I HAVE had to pull this gun in self defense to stop an attack. The police came just in time and I did not have to fire, but the ONLY reason was because of the heavy trigger pull. I had started to squeeze the trigger, but in “panic mode” I tried to squeeze the trigger in the same manner one would do in a regular firearm, and the gun didn’t fire. I didn’t pull hard enough. This saved the life of my attacker, who is in jail now instead of the morgue, but the heavy trigger pull of this gun is a scary. If you remove the trigger guard and pull DOWN instead of BACK on the trigger, it fires OK, but you are going to need LOTS of practice for the moment when your life is on the line.

  20. Phil Forrest says

    I was planning on purchasing the Defender in the next two days but now I am more than a little concerned about the trigger pull. What do you suggest? Thanks, I’ve really been looking forward to getting this.

    • admin says

      If you have any concerns you can always contact us by phone, Monday – Friday 9am-5pm (CST) 1-817-573-4445

  21. Del Sealock says


    I just saw that you are working on a new hammer and trigger design for the derringers. Will that be something that can be retrofitted to older model Bond Arms derringers, or will it be on new models? If I see a Bond derringer at a gun show, how will I know if it has the new trigger?



    • admin says


      Im not certain of the answer for this,
      Please feel free to contact us by phone, Monday – Friday 9am-5pm (CST) 1-817-573-4445 and they can help you.

  22. sammy says

    I own a bond arms snake slayer and I love it! It goes with me everywhere I go prolly got over a 1000 rounds through it with 0 problems. I myself have no problems w the trigger pull but some people ive let shoot it strugle a little with the trigger. I will own my snake slayer til the day i die love this gun.

  23. Roy Isakson says

    I have a Cowboy Defender and i have to say that I’m really impressed with the quality and workmanship. However, I would like to see the hammer and trigger modified to ease the heavy cocking and heavy trigger pull. The versatility is great with the variety of barrels (calibers) offered,however I too would like to see a.44 mag available. Great product. Note: for close up self defense it truly fills the bill.

  24. Daniel says

    I bought my Snake Slayer used with a holster for $325, never fired, I love it! But I also was having a horrible time with the trigger pull, it was sooooo stiff that it wasn’t fun to shoot, but after reading this blog and learning how to pull the trigger correctly, mostly down rather than straight back makes a huge difference. I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one having this problem and I will tell anyone, just fix the way you pull the trigger, mostly a downward pull rather than straight back and you will no longer have any complaints.

    • admin says

      Trigger pull is not a problem and never has been, there is a very specific way to pull the trigger on this gun. You may want to read through some of the other comments on the actual gun pages.

  25. william Sanders says

    I saw a youtube of some one shooting this gun in 454 casull . is it still made ? Any future projects for a 50 , like my 50 GI ?

  26. Douglas draper says

    I really like the bonds derringers. I just don’t like the time it takes to get one. Hopefully this will change in the future. I have several different types of derringers by different manufacturers and none of them even come close to a bonds derringer. I really like the 4-1/4 inch barrel but the are only made in 2 different sizes. Hopefully bonds will increase this barrel range in the future. When u get calibers other than 45/410 and 38/357, the barrels are only 3 inches in length, but they work good with all of their guns. I really like the ranger II and the snake slayer IV. I carry the bond derringers most of the time due to the protection they provide and the high calibers u can shoot without a large amount of recoil. If u ever try one u will never go back to some of the other guns that u carry because of the design, the weight, the quality, and the accuracy. U get what u pay for when u purchase a bonds derringer, but it is not a toy like some of the other derringers. It is amazing the low recoil with the long barrel and the high caliber shells that u can shoot. If someone knows u carry one, they won’t mess with u. I really like some of the other products that bonds sells like their high quality holsters, their buck knives, their hats and shirts. Their hat is cut and made in the US which is hard to find today. The quality of the hats really shows. So far, I haven’t found anything that bonds sells that I dislike. Go to a gun shop and look at their derringers to see what I am telling u. The only problem at this time is these bonds guns sell as fast as the dealers receive them. Any of the other products can be purchased directly from bonds, but the guns have to go through a ffl licensed dealer. Keep up the good work bonds company and maybe in the future your guns can be increased in the large selection of new types. By the way u can change your bonds derringer to a different barrel and caliber in less than a minute with one set screw. How many other guns can the barrels be changed without having the barrels matched to the gun.

    • admin says

      Douglas, thanks for the kind words, we know there is a bit of a wait right now, we have been in the process of moving to our new factory for the last few months and everyone should see our delivery times to dealers increase. If you are having trouble getting something have your DEALER call us… we want to make sure we do our best to meet the demand of our loyal customers.

  27. Linda Clifton says

    Thank you! I love all I have read/heard about the Bond Arms derringers. I prefer the Snake Slayer. A friend has one and we are to go shooting soon. This is the handgun I will purchase as soon as I can…along with perhaps the drive holster….carry on drive/ride, wherever I may go.

  28. says

    I would like to thank everyone at Bond Arms. The customer service is second to none! They say “You get what you paid for” and with Bond Arms you get Quality Products And Quality Service! Which is almost unheard of nowadays. Thanks for the exchange! Adris, Florida!

    • admin says

      Check our dealer page and if you are having any problems you can always give us a call, our phone number is on the website.

  29. Hank dykstra says

    Received my new snake slayer 45/410. Great gun took to my gun club everyone wanted shoot gun. All loved some put in orders to buy. Shot well with 45 cal. Used 410 , found difficult to eject. Maby needs to wear in. Would like to buy holster stag grips. Tried to but no response. Mabey because from Australia !. Great gun thanks. Hank.

    • admin says


      You can either call us or email us using the email address on the website if you are having problems. We will get you taken care of.

  30. JohnnyLoco says

    I shot a 454 in one and had hand surgery three days later at Wilford Hall Hospital on Lackland AFB…my bad fer sure.

    The dang gun held together though.

    I’ve got a 44 mag barrel too.

  31. Fred Raney says

    I love my Snake Slayer! Trigger pull has not been a problem since learning the proper action, but I have an issue with the BAD holster tilting downward at the grip when standing. I have read from other owners about this same thing. Has there been a redesigned holster to address this problem and cant the grip upward?

    • Steve Ertzberger says

      To redesign would be a great idea,maybe the new design that I give it will make me some money if I give BA the idea:).Love the gun I got a special way I carry and guilty of even sleeping with it in a bellyband up high with the gun under my right arm,lays flat and Id hate to wake up with a bad guy that just woke me up! :) I got to find a way to use the leather for the driving holster though,for more than just driving.

  32. Tommy Church says

    I just purchased my first Bonds Arms product… The Ranger II in 45/410 – took it to the range today with 50/rounds of 45 long Colt – 25 rounds of Fereral 000 and 10 rounds of the new 3″ PDX 1 — The 45 long colt was great to shoot, at 25/ft it did pretty good about 3 to 5 inch grouping – Not bad for the first time out. Then came the 3 inch PDX knuckle busters… OMG… this load was a monster, and I’m 6’4″ and 275lbs… i got through 8 of the 10 rounds and my hand couldn’t take it any more… So, i had to switch to the federal 000 2 1/2″ – which was a pretty easy round to handle. At about 20 to 25/ft the PDX covered the whole 10″ black center of the target – The federal was a little bit tighter, maybe 6 to 8 inches. I dont think i will be shooting the 3″ anymore… although, winchester PDX also makes a 2 1/2″ that i will have to try, but so far the 45 L/C and the fereral 000 get my vote. This “little big” Gun is great, Bond has done an outstanding job on this little beast, it fits my big mits (hands) very well and i’m planning to use this as my day to day carry gun. I’m also going to purchase the 10mm barrel, wish they had it in 4 1/4″ length – hint hint… I also love the cross draw holster, I have noticed that it get a bit droopy at the grip end, I talked to Bob at “Leather, Guns, Etc — The company that makes Bonds Holsters — he can make the cross draw with a clip that loops up over your belt at the grip end to prevent the grip sag. Although if you wear a wider belt, 1 1/2″ and snug up the holster it won’t sag. Outstanding Job Bond Arms. Just a side note…. have you ever thought of a “007” pistol?? i’m sure you only heard that one about 1000 times???


  33. Wayne Brantley says

    First I’d like to say I’m very impressed with the quality of the Bond Arms derringer!

    What I’d like to see is other calibers offered in the 4 1/4″ barrel length… .44 spl, .357 mag, etc.
    This would have about the same weight, size, handling, and holster fix as the 4 1/4″ .44/410 barrel.
    Maybe on a “special order”? I believe this would be a real plus to the Bond Arms line.


  34. Steve Ertzberger says

    I agree with Fred Raney if you get out of your seat and stand up it turns over enough that every one can see a huge suspicious lump,that a jacket could still conceal but if you exit your vechicle say at a gas station. Unless it is meant to be used just for driving only which leaves the holster to be a little price-y,also you would have to arm and disarm often.which is a plus, the velcro on the holster is a good quick exit for the holster.A little harder to get back on your belt if folks are around. A inside the pants holster would be a thought,crossdraw style.

  35. Randy Raines says

    I have a snake slayer I brought about a year ago I carry it every day great gun well built ,I love it the trigger is alright after a little practice .

  36. says

    I wear the Ranger 2, 410 load. I’m retired reinforcement and I either carry the Ranger 2 or my Colt .45 depending on attire for the day. With the 410 (4 slug)load I can wear it under a shirt.,very easy. The gun in well balanced and there is almost no recoil because of the weight. Great for close range 20′ and under.VERY nice pattern.A close friend is ordering a .38/357 this week. Bond Arms has done well and should be proud of their line

  37. james Greer says

    Do smaller caliber barrels also come in the longer barrel size? I have the longer 410/45lc and the shorter 357/38. thanks… about a pattern or kit for us leather toolers for the snake slayers….a leather pattern of the snake slayer on the holster would be cool…thanks..JIm

  38. John Scudder says

    I can’t wait to purchase an American defender. I’ve been looking for gun like this for a long time thank you very much for introducing it.

  39. says

    I liked the snake slayer 4 so much that I just ordered a Texas Defender as well. Have never had a trigger pull problem. The only problem with the S.S. 4 is I like it so much, I shoot to much, not a bad thing.

  40. says

    I bougt a snake slayer last year it is one of my bug gun for my khar pm40 carring those two is all you need. i carry 000buck in the snake slayer you the best of both thanks bond and keep the good work as coming from a toolmaker.

  41. Ken Lyssy says

    I have had my Snake Slayer about 6 months now. It has quickly become one of my favorite guns to shoot. I don’t get to shoot it as often as I like, but love every time I do. Everyone who is willing to try it likes it. Some folks shy away from the .410. It always turns heads. It is a good carry gun for personal protection and I also carry it when hunting, fishing, or out on the farm. Some folks don’t like the trigger pull, to me it is NOT hard, just a little different. No different than going from a single action to a double action. I would sorely recommend this gun, well built, TEXAS quality!

  42. Joe Dutton says

    I’m looking at purchasing 2 of them. 1 of the Texas Defender and 1 of the Bond Girl but like to have it in the Trigger Guard Frame. Both in 22MAG 3.0″ barrel. I would also like to know if your going to produce in the 25AUTO 3.0″ barrel.

  43. Carl A. Furrer says

    Just purchased the Snake Slayer 410-45. Beautiful stainless steel weapon aways wanted one been going to gun shows to find one finally found the Snake Slayer haven’t shot it yet but waiting for nice day to go shooting will be carrying it as protection. Again to say that this is a really nice piece to carry. Thank you Bond Arms.

  44. says

    I own a Bond Arms Snake Slayer 3.5″ barrel and purchached the extended grips in Buffalo Horn as well as the Texas Ranger holster and have shot .45 long colt as well as Federal and Winchester PDX .410 ga. 3″ shells through it with no problems nor any malfunctions and only have the best things to say about it’s performance. I have shot various targets at close range up to about 35 to 40 feet away at an indoor range and have made this well made gun one of 3 of my favorite concealed carry guns. The recoil is very much tamed compared to my Cimeron Arms Derringer in .38 speacial and .32 H&R mag which after shooting both barrels with that, it’s time to put it away. Thanks, Butch

    • admin says

      We are always trying to bring out new barrel calibers and lengths. Make sure you sign up for a free brochure and we will be sure to notify everyone when we have new accessories coming out!

  45. james hall says

    I just got home from the gun shop at Benton La. They were very helpful. I have to go to the drivers lic. in Springhill and get a card ang then the gun shop can order my Snake Slayer for me.I was born in Ft Worth 85 years ago and I wont change my dr. lic for a la. one after having it 69 years. I was a full time RVer till I came to la.8years ago. Looking forward to getting my new Bond Arms pocket cannon. Thank you very much. jim hall

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