When looking at the diverse selection of defensive handguns available on the market today, shooters tend to divide the playing field into “good” guns and “bad” guns. The good ones are reliable, shoot well and fill the buyer’s needs. The bad ones are inaccurate, dysfunctional or just don’t fit the shooter’s requirements. But in between these sweeping categorizations we find a variety of handguns that, while often rejected by the masses or shooting experts, have managed to earn a loyal following. These guns may be stars that lost their shine, chambered in controversial calibers or just plain weird to look at, but for one reason or another, the folks that own them would never give them up without a fight. Take a look and see which one of these underdogs you have tucked away in your safe.
- In the late 19th Century, American gunsmith Henry Deringer became famous for his innovative pocket pistols. His name, eventually misspelled as “derringer,” became synonymous with any pocket-sized single or double barrel pistol. These days, the derringer label is usually treated as a derogatory denunciation of a pistol’s quality. This is because several companies over the years have produced sub-standard replicas of the famous Remington Model 95, resulting in over-under double barrel pistols getting a reputation for being cheap, unreliable, and even dangerous to use.
Bond Arms, on the other hand, has taken the original Model 95 concept and redesigned it to be a powerful, reliable, modern defensive handgun. Unlike some derringers, with frames made of an unidentifiable light-weight alloy, the Bond frames and barrels are built from nothing but sturdy stainless steel. The Bond's safety features include a rebounding hammer, a push button cross-bolt safety and a mechanism to lock the barrel release lever into the closed position as the pistol is fired.
The primary weakness of the derringer platform is its low ammunition capacity of just two rounds. Bond strives to make up for that restriction by offering interchangeable barrels to fire a variety of big bore cartridges, including the .45 Colt, .44 Special, .357 Magnum and .410 shotgun shells. The folks at Bond Arms will be the first to admit that their derringers aren't for everyone, but the company maintains a strong and loyal fan base because of their high standards for quality, excellent customer service and their double-barrel pistol's reliability.