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Little Big Shot: Bond Arms Backup Review

by G&A Staff   |  February 17th, 2015 3

bond_arms_backup_FThe word “derringer” tends to evoke images of a Wild West saloon where, at the card table, one gambler hastily draws his hidden pocket-size handgun to settle a dispute with the utmost finality. Derringers have always epitomized the last-ditch self-defense firearm. However, their dimensions, caliber and capacity have relegated them to virtual novelty status in today’s society, where bigger is so often believed to be better. The question is, does the low-tech, minimalist derringer deserve consideration as a modern concealed carry gun? One company, Texas-based Bond Arms, certainly thinks so.

Incorporated in 1995, Bond Arms was founded on the premise that a modernized version of the infamous Remington model 95 over/under single-action derringer would have mass appeal. Judging by the fact that the company is still around 20 years later, it’s safe to assume that America continues to have an affinity for derringers. Of course, Americans also value quality, affordability and innovation.

At a glance, a Bond Arms derringer may look like any other. When you more closely examine and actually handle one, however, it’s apparent that it bears little resemblance to the derringers of yesteryear. The company’s latest release in its extensive line of sturdily built, high-quality derringers is the Backup.

Developed at the behest of current and former law enforcement officers, the Backup sports black rubber grip panels that help mitigate the recoil inherent in firing legitimate defensive loads through such a small handgun. The grip does more than reduce recoil; it adds to the Backup’s covert appearance.

Unlike other Bond Arms derringers, the Backup’s stainless steel frame wears a black crinkle powdercoat and the barrel is bead blasted, the rationale being that a concealed carry gun should have a nonreflective surface in order to avoid drawing undue attention.

The Backup comes standard with a .45 ACP barrel. As an alternative, the derringer can be purchased with a 9mm barrel and will soon be available with a .40 S&W barrel. Like all but the two California-complaint models (the Big Bear and the Brown Bear), which have fixed barrels, all Bond Arms derringers accept all interchangeable barrels.

CNC machining enables Bond Arms to maintain tolerances about one-third the thickness of a human hair, which ensures that interchangeable barrels fit precisely to the frame. In all, there are 14 barrels that facilitate a total of 24 different cartridges, ranging from .22-caliber bullets to .410 shotshells. Best of all, changing barrels requires nothing more than a few turns of the supplied 1/8-inch Allen wrench. Talk about versatility.

Bond Arms Backup Review Continued After Photo Gallery:

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