To carry or not to carry – Luke Clayton, North Texas E-News

I’ve never been very interested in carrying or shooting handguns. Not that I haven’t been exposed to them most of my life. My firearms instructors in the Marines gave me some good firearms instructions at a very early age. I just never thought I had need for a handgun later in life.

I have more rifles and shotguns that I shoot on a regular basis and even several muzzleloaders that I enjoy shooting but a handgun? Well, I’ve took a long, hard look at my situation and made the decision to purchase a handgun for protection of my family and myself when traveling. I have another reason for considering carrying a light weight, easy to handle firearm: protection from wild critters while I’m hunting.  

On an almost daily basis, I am in some very thick cover infested with wild hogs. To date, I’ve never had what I consider to be a real ‘show down’ with a boar but I’ve come close. I have plenty of friends that have their horror stories about wild hogs. I guide elk hunters each fall in the Rockies and the past couple years and especially last fall, bear numbers have greatly increased in the area we hunt. Our group of hunters all left camp last years with plenty of tales of their close encounters. I had a big boar that stalked within about 15 yards of me (I was setting on the ground in some oak brush, calling elk for my hunter). 

The bear looked me in the eye for a long 30 seconds or so before slowly walking away. I also encountered a sow with two cubs on the same hunt. This encounter also became intense enough for me to wish I had some protection. I was guiding bow hunters and wasn’t even packing a bow. THEY were doing the hunting.

I’ve been looking at the two-barrel handguns made by Bond Arms for some time, especially the model called the Snake Slayer IV.  When visiting with the Bond Arms head honcho Gordon Bond a couple weeks ago, he asked if I would like him to set up a shooting session with Amy Graves, better known as the Bond Arms Girl. I’d watched Amy’s videos and knew she was a storehouse of knowledge about all the handguns offered by her company.


Amy Graves, the Bond Arms Girl, is the official spokesperson for Bond Arms. Here she poses for a picture with some of her company’s very popular handguns. photo by Luke Clayton


I readily accepted the offer and in a telephone conservation with Amy learned that she would bring many of the different models for me to shoot so that I could decide upon which model best suited my needs. I was already leaning heavily toward the Snake Slayer IV…

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    After trying numerous pistols and revolvers in nearly every major caliber I decided to give Bond Arms Derringers a look. At first I was not so impressed until I did some research and took another look. I put a Snake Slayer in layaway until after the holidays, but I found a Texas Defender at a local gun shop. I traded my S&W Shield 9 for it plus a little cash. I am not taking anything away from S&W because they make a great gun. I was impressed with the quality, workmanship, and simplicity of the Texas Defender as I was with the Snake Slayer. Yes its ‘only’ 2 shots, but with 000 Buckshot in the 3″ barrel its 2 quadrupal taps on the target. At 7 yds those 38 cal pellets hit within a 5″ area and the neurological shock to the target would be instantly disruptive. Its about stopping power and with this size weapon, it doesn’t get better than that. Needless to say the Texas Defender has become my primary carry gun since it conceals better than the Shield and the choice of caliber is the game maker.