Sitting in any vehicle qualifies you as a target for carjacking. The unfortunate fact is that many who practice concealed carry are challenged by coming up with a means to quickly access a firearm.
One has to consider how to draw a handgun carried on your person while wearing a seatbelt, and the ability to respond may depend on factors such as what seat you’re sitting in and which side is your strong side. Law enforcement officers are faced with this every day and train to overcome such obstacles.
The Ranger II is one of several double-barrel derringer pistols made by Bond Arms in Granbury, Texas, and its silver star certainly conjures thoughts of Texas Rangers. (As an aside, Bond Arms was chosen to mark the 200th anniversary of this prestigious outfit. The Texas Ranger Stars were handmade by Texas inmates of the Texas Department of Corrections.) It should be no surprise then when I tell you that many within the Department of Public Safety count on a Bond Arms derringer for backup protection.
In addition to concealable hand cannons, Bond Arms also offers a variety of model-specific holsters cut, formed and stitched from premium leather. The Bond Arms Driving (BAD) holster was specifically designed to protect against the hijacking of an automobile, and it is handfitted to 10 models featuring barrel lengths ranging from 21/2 inches to 41/4.
A unique strap stitched to the back of the holster wraps around the inside of a belt, over the top of the holster body and is then secured to the outside-facing part of the holster by high-strength Velcro. When removing it from a belt, simply lift up on this strap with one hand, and pull down on the holster with the other.
The Ranger II can be ordered chambered in virtually everything from .22LR to .45 ACP. (Bond Arms even offers barrels in .45 GAP and .44-40 Win.) I recently ordered one that could accept .410 and .45 Colt with a 41/4-inch stainless steel barrel and wore it faithfully in crossdraw fashion.
Though the BAD holster arrived at no additional charge with the Ranger II, I added a matching slide-shell belt holder for $29 that has four loops to carry a couple of reloads. I selected a holder attached by means of a steel clip, but one with a belt loop is also available.
While mated to a belt, the holster orients the pistol horizontally and comfortably, which justifies its popularity as a crossdraw concealment option, particularly when sitting. A quick-release thumb-break button unsnaps intuitively, and the underside cut of the holster doesn’t impede the user from getting a grip.
The holster draws fast, but presenting a handgun to a target in front of you from a crossdraw holster means sweeping unintended targets left to right, which may or may not be something you’re comfortable with.
That said, with the crossbolt safety disengaged, the hammer spur must be cocked with a bit of intentional effort before the trigger can be pulled to fire. It takes that long to orient the muzzle in the direction of a target or threat. When sitting, as in a car, the ability of a shooter to unholster and present the derringer toward a target is actually sped up as long as a lap belt isn’t covering or hanging on the grip.
The time it took me to draw and place an aimed shot into the A-zone of a target placed at 21 feet averaged 3.88 seconds. In addition to its capacity, for this reason G&A cannot recommend this pistol as a primary or sole defensive sidearm for everyday carry. However, it is a legitimate and high-quality backup.
The BAD holster is extremely forgiving in regard to what belt you wear, but the smaller the belt, the more the weight of a loaded derringer holstered (1.76 pounds) pulls the grip down toward the groin, which can elevate the muzzle slightly. Readjusting the Velcro strap to tighten its grip on a belt smaller than 11/4 inches wide will usually help to minimize this movement.
As are Bond Arms’ derringers, these holsters are exceptionally crafted, American-made products. I’d feel safe in saying that it’s the finest quality holster I’ve seen included with the purchase of any new-in-the-box handgun. I wouldn’t hesitate continuing to wear this driving holster, which is available in black or tan, and the optional spare shell carrier for backup.
I would only beg of Gordon Bond that he begin to offer a stitched gun belt and holsters for popular full-size pistols to complete these carry rigs.