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.
First and foremost, Bond pistols are strong. Unlike some modern derringers, with frames made of an unidentifiable lightweight alloy, Bond frames and barrels are built like Army tanks from nothing but sturdy stainless steel. The sight system consists of a fixed-blade front sight, and a notched rear sight. The trigger is single-action only, meaning that the hammer has to be manually cocked for each shot. The grip is a rounded bird’s head shape providing a two-finger grip when fitted with standard grip panels. The pistol frames are available with or without a removable trigger guard. The swing-up barrels for these pistols are fitted with a shell ejector for rimmed cartridges or a notched chamber opening for rimless semi-auto cartridges.
An important part of the Bond re-design is the incorporation of modern safety features. The original Remington 95 had no safeties, except for a half-cock position for the hammer. The Bond firing mechanism features a rebounding hammer design. Each time the gun is fired, the hammer rebounds and locks in a half-cock position away from the frame. This means the hammer never rests against the firing pins. A push-button, cross-bolt safety, commonly found on rifle and shotgun triggers, can block the hammer from striking the firing pins even if the pistol is fully cocked and the trigger is pressed. The third safety to note is, simply stated, a hook on the trigger that locks the barrel release lever into the closed position as the pistol is fired. This prevents the barrel release lever, if accidentally bumped by the shooter’s thumb as the pistol recoils, from popping the barrels open as the pistol fires. This is a patented safety feature not available on other Remington 95-based handguns.
Bond Arms pistols were modular before modular guns became all the rage. All Bond barrels, pistol frames and grip panels are interchangeable. This allows any frame to switch caliber, barrel length or grip size. The turn of a screw will change the grip panels from the standard two-finger grip to a three-finger extended grip or even a hand-filling jumbo grip. With the use of an Allen wrench, the barrel hinge pin can be quickly removed to install barrels in assorted lengths and calibers. Among the most popular barrels are the .45 Colt/.410 Defender and Snake Slayer models that allow the use of 2 1/2 or 3-inch .410 shot shells. However, a variety of calibers are available—from rimfire rounds like the .22 Long Rifle and .22 Mag., to popular semi-auto loads like the 9 mm and .40 S&W and potent pistol cartridges like the 10 mm, .357 Mag. and .45 Colt…