Derringers 101

Over the past 12 years Bond Arms has redefined what what a derringer is and perfected the art of pocket pistol design, but do you know the history of this legendary gun?

Bond Arms Derringer

Bond Arms Special Edition Derringer

What is a Derringer?

The term derringer is a generalized misspelling of the last name of Henry Derringer, a famous 19th-century maker of small pocket pistols. Many copies of the original Philadelphia Derringer pistol were made by other gun makers worldwide, and the name was often misspelled; this misspelling soon became an alternate generic term for any pocket pistol, along with the generic phrase palm pistol Derringer’s competitors invented and used in their advertising. The original Derringer pistol was a single-shot muzzle loading pistol; with the advent of cartridge firearms, pistols began to be produced in the modern form still known as a derringer. (source:

Who Makes Derringers?

There are about a dozen companies around the work that still make the much loved Derringer pistols.  If your on this site you probably realize Bond Arms has perfected the art of the Derringer gun and has created a firearm with amazing reliability, stopping power to put down anything in your way and offer you a lifetime warranty if anything breaks on your gun.

Where to find a Bond Arms Derringer for Sale?

You can find our guns for sale at any Bond Arms dealer.  You can find derringers for sale by our dealers here.

Where Can I get Derringer Accessories?

While most of our dealers carry accessories for our guns you can also order them in the Bond Arms online Store.

Also, make sure to check out our Bond Arms Coupons and Specials.

Why Choose a Bond Arms Derringer?

Bond Arms Models:

Texas Defender

Texas Defender

The trigger guard aids in the control
of the pistol when shooting the larger
calibers. All Bond derringers are […]


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Bond Ranger

Bond Ranger

Includes black custom driving/concealed
leather holster and padded carry bag.



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Snake Slayer IV

Snake Slayer IV

The Snake Slayer IV has a
4 1/4” long barrel (versus 3 1/2” barrel).
This longer barreled Snake Slayer
provides tighter shot patterns, […]


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Snake Slayer

Snake Slayer

This is the original Snake
Slayer which is the ultimate
concealable .410 shotshell/.45Colt pistol
for people that need a larger […]


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Cowboy Defender

The Cowboy Defender was designed for
Cowboy Action or the Most Compact Carry
Concealed .410 shotshell protection available.
The overall appearance is […]


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Century 2000

Century 2000

The Century 2000 was designed
to handle the 3” or shorter .410
shot shells and will also shoot
the .45 Colt. The […]


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Now that you know all the details make sure you check here to pick out your very own derringer.

  • Joel

    Purchased the SS for my wife, it is perfect for MY hand and the ease of cocking the hammer for me, the tip of the hammer fits perfectly in my thumb joint for leverage BUT with my wife’s small hand and SHORT thumb the SS hammer does NOT work well with my wife’s short thumb. I suggest for women to SEE if they can leverage the cocking of the SS BEFORE buying. I also suggest Bond designing a short thumb friendly hammer.

  • Will

    Why bother to advertise in California when it is illegal to sell this weapon in California.

    • admin

      We don’t have control over where the magazines are shipped with our advertising in them and some do
      end up in CA and if it’s an internet ad, we don’t have a lot of control who sees those ads either.

      • sout ath

        any update on being available in California??

        • Gunsmith1

          Certain Derringer pistols are legal in CA. For example, I bought my daughter a pink on with the pearl grips, chambered in 22lr. .38 derringers are also legal in CA. I do not think that the .32 ones are legal.

          Wonderfully overcontrolling CA has a ‘drop list’ of legal guns in the state. If the gun is on this list its legal. Basically the weapon has to pass a bunch of tests to make it onto this list.

  • Alan

    I like this derringer very much. Its a great addition to my collection of quality firearms. Keep up the good work.

  • Keith Herman

    you should make a navy blue shirt,with the “Texas Ranger” 200 commerative edition with a yellow 5 point star in a circle,and the Texas Ranger Derringer on the shirt!

  • Joe Perkins

    What an awesome product. American made and I’ve purchased the SS IV .410/.45 and it’s my back up of choice. Also have purchased a few from sellers who didn’t appreciate the finer things in life. Keep up the good work…………..Joe

  • Jason

    This is a great gun,I have the snake slayer 410/45LC. You don’t need a backup with this gun loaded with the 410 shell 5 can def. use it for riot control!10 shot’s 2 pull’s.

  • Jose J De Luna

    I am a life member of the NRA and have been interested in your Bond Arms pistols. I live in California and want to know if your pistols can be purchased in this state. If so please let me know and the location of an authorized dealer. Thank you.

    Jose J De Luna

    • admin


      Not at this time, however we are working on something that will be available in CA in the future.

      • alex

        also from California. would love to own one and hope bond arms make it to cali soon.

        • kevin

          The sooner the better!!!

  • Clarence Poore

    I intend to buyone two of your guns..My question is how acurate are they and at what range or distsnce

  • Jimmy Brown

    can the 8 1/2 lb trigger be changed to about 4.4 lb pull? Can a gun smith do that or can bond arms do it? I have arthritus in my hand and i need a 4.4 lb pull .

    • Chris

      A friend of mine tells me his gunsmith buddy can smith it to anything you like. He made his shoot both barrels at once. I’m sure the key word here is GOOD smith.

  • whh

    What is the safest way to carry this gun?

  • Glenmo

    I think bond arms should Make a Crossbolt safety that moves to fire when hammer is pulled back (Like American Derringers) In the Moment of Truth & you Need to get Derringer in to action You have to Cock Hammer & flip safety off !

  • Steve

    My son gave me one for Xmas last year and I love it. I wouldn’t trade it or sell it for any amount in the world. It is actually a pleasure to shoot. Dropped hint for this Xmas for another barrel.

  • fernando craveiro

    Dear Sirs

    I am living in Portugal(Europe) and own two revolvers, S&W and Taurus .32 caliber. I am very found of guns and Derringer are my favorite as well. I also know that it is very difficult or even prohibited to send guns by mail .
    In Portugal and Europe I do not know any legal dealer for such brand and my simple question is:- Is there any difficulty to buy the pistol by pieces ? and in this case the problem may not exist.
    By the way:- I use those guns for my personal defense and they are duly licensed by our police departments.

    Looking to hearing from you soon, please accept my best regards

    • admin

      You would have to check with your local gun dealers on acquiring something out of country. You can always contact our customer service for assistance.

  • Cat

    I have a Texas Defender. I got it because it’s small and light, but it is still a .357 Magnum and I can carry my favorite Golden Sabers in it, tuck it in a purse or whatever, and it is there to protect me if I need it. It’s safer to carry than most-you have to cock it before it will fire. It might be silly to worry about that but I do. I’d like to see it a little easier to cock the hammer, but it’s not a big thing. I like .38s in it best, you can shoot those all day and it doesn’t hurt. And my Golden Sabers are fine too, but of course, are stouter. But you just try full house UMC 158 grain soft-points! It kicks out a two foot flame and man does it ever pack a wallop on your hand! I like the idea of being able to change barrels and carry it in .40 or 9mm, or .44 Special, I like the build quality, and all the holsters available. I think thie first thing I’ll get, though is the rubber grip!

  • William c Gonzalez

    Love your guns been looking for something thing like this for years please rush me info A.S.A.P. thank
    You for your hard work and attention to detail. God Bless You brother.

  • Michael M.

    I have BIG hands! What is the best model for me?

    • admin


      You actually have a lot to choose from, almost any of the guns will work fine, even with big hands! Some of the models like the snake slayers or the rangers come with extended grips. However the great thing is we have a jumbo grip you can get here in our online store that is nice and big so you don’t have to worry even with large hands.

  • james

    Why can’t I buy a snakeslayer in California?

    • admin

      We will be working on a CA approved gun here in the near future, but due to their very strict guidelines we probably won’t be able to have a model with the interchangeable barrels that will take the .410. We will probably make a CA Special that will fill that gap. You can read more about this on our FAQ page here

  • FJ Hutch

    Hi Admin,
    I bought my SSIV a way back when they were first made available in Canada. Why the SSIV? In Canada we are not allowed a gun with a shorter barrel than 105.5mm long so the 4-1/4″ barrels fit the bill. Now since buying that gun, 45/410 I have bought the 45/45 and 38/357 barrels and put out want ads for .22/.22 9mm/9mm 45ACP/45ACP to Bond Arms back in 2010. I was told at that time you were going to be supplying these barrels in the near future. I forgot to ask how near. That little gun is a real peace of work and when I installed the new style trigger and hammer kit, it was even better.

  • Dave

    I never thought I’d be attracted to a derringer type pistol. I’ve had several and as you mention on your website, they’re mostly junk and cheap guns that you intend to toss away after one or two uses. I bought the Texas Defender on a spur of the moment deal out of curiosity. I hate to admit it, but now, I’m sold. We’re plumbers and need something discreet since we deal with the public all day. On the same note, we deal with the public all day and never know what’s around the corner. I mention that aspect after a man tried to force his way into one of my trucks about a year and a half ago while I sat there tied in the seat with nowhere to run. Two miles down the road, he finally had enough hanging on the side, but that could have gotten very ugly very fast. I never carried a pistol until after that even though I’ve had my license for several years and worked with guns my entire life.

    The short of the tale is I’m truly impressed with the Bond Texas Defender. I’m equally impressed with the whole 410 round made for handguns because you’re firing the equivalent of four shots at once with every pull of the trigger. At that rate, you should only need one-two at best to get a foot out the door and make your escape on even the heftiest opponent. The round may not meet the armchair commando’s standards as a useful round, but in the real world, it’s clearly a nasty combination that could save your life.

    Equally impressive is the ease with which the derringer style pistol cocks. On older models I’ve owned, cocking the hammer was as much of a challenge as pulling the trigger, which felt like a hundred pound trigger pull. On the Bond, it’s as easy as aiming the gun. When you look at the dynamics and size of the pistol, it follows the natural curve of drawing and aiming because you’re able to use the momentum in your motion to cock the hammer with a single click. The trigger guard and well made trigger group are as smooth as glass right up to the sharp click that drops the hammer. I also find the rebounding hammer most useful rather than having to shoot myself in the leg trying to put the gun on half cock only to find out there isn’t a half cock or kill everyone in the room fumbling around with the miserably designed safety found on the cheaper guns.

    I’m glad I made the buy. The gun is discreet, powerful enough to get you out of a bad situation with a single shot, and intimidating as hell looking down the barrel at the buckshot stuck inside the shell. If the bad guy has any sense at all, he’ll definitely think twice before getting tangled up. I also ordered a holster since I’m a left handed person trapped in a world full of backwards people. The holster was a little more than I anticipated, but once I saw the quality and realized that this is the only holster I will ever have to buy, I wish Bond made holsters for all of my guns. Like the gun, the holster was above top notch quality.

    I simply can’t find a single thing to complain about.

  • joel rausch

    I bought one of your early models way back when you were
    Working out of your garage. How do you read the serial number. This one is either#66 or #99. I bought it through a gun dealer in flagstaff Az around 1995. I had to wait about 2months after ordering it to get it but when it came I knew right away I had a winner . Im sure Mona was relieved when it finally shipped out and my twice weekly calls to check on when I would receive it mercifuly ended

  • Ervin W Schrader

    I like the Century 3 inch that I just received. It looks great with a great style. She’s a beaut.
    I have question, Is the safety feature really safe? Can it be reset by pulling the trigger? Will it stay on safety if it is dropped or jarred?.

  • Sonya

    I’m actually looking for some information about a 22 single shot I have. It looks to have been made in the early 1800’s