The Bond Arms Texas Defender is a single-action pocket pistol chambered in 14 different cartridges. Bond Arms branched out of Texas Armory in 1995 and is now a premier manufacturer of Derringers.
Bond Arms’ Derringer’s have a flat, over-under 2-barrel design and are hammer fired. The hammer alternates between barrels every time it’s cocked back. Load the Derringer by unlocking the barrels, flipping them up and around, and then inserting cartridges into the empty barrels.
What makes the Texas Defender different from the Cowboy Defender is that the it has a trigger guard.
Features include removable barrels, so the caliber can be changed, a rebounding hammer where, Bond Arms says, the hammer automatically rebounds to a blocked position, off of the firing pins, and the trigger sets off the action with a 6- to 7.5-pound pull.
Bond Arms recommends the Texas Defender for concealed carry.
.32 H&R Mag.
|Grip:||Laminated black ash|
|Sights:||Fixed rear sight and blade front sight|
|Features:||Interchangeable barrels; automatic extractor; rebounding hammer; retracting firing pins; crossbolt safety; trigger guard; and spring loaded cammed locking lever|
|Trigger Pull:||6 to 7.5 pounds|
Is there anything more classically American than a derringer?
Yeah, sure there is. Sam Colt’s revolver, JMB’s M1911, the lever-action repeating rifle—the list goes on. We’ve got a long and admirable history in firearms design, but derringers remain one of the most easily identifiable and storied handguns even among those who know very little about firearms. Anyone who has seen any Western has probably seen a derringer of one sort or another and recognized it as such.
So it’s unsurprising that there remains a pretty solid interest in derringers, even in this day and age of smaller and lighter handguns that are arguably “better” for the role that derringers originally filled as a pocket/backup gun.
Since the mid 1990s Bond Arms has been producing fine-quality derringers based on the original nineteenth century iconic Remington design. I own a Bond C2K model chambered in .410/45 Colt. The 3.5" barrel will handle up to 3" long .410 shotgun shells, or the .45 Colt ammunition of your choice. In addition, I’ve had the good fortune to shoot just about every other barrel configuration that Bond makes for this firearm (because the barrels are interchangeable). My C2K has the standard sized Rosewood grips - though they can be swapped out for extended grips with very little difficulty.
It is a very well made and attractive little gun. The fit and finish are excellent. The brushed stainless steel finish wears well and is resistant to marring. Modern design tweaks include a trigger guard and a crossbolt safety, but both of these are well integrated with the overall appearance. There is sufficient weight to moderate the recoil of even the most powerful loads. I like the gun—a lot—for what it is: something of a novelty item suitable for certain tasks.
Well, having a bit of fun, mostly, and with the appropriate .410 load it’d make a decent gun for snakes. That’s about it - I’m one of those who think that it isn’t very well suited for concealed-carry purposes given the weight and the two-shot capacity.
There are some things I really like. It is smaller than a J-frame sized revolver, is very comparable to any of the common “micro .380" guns in overall size, and can pack a much more powerful cartridge depending on your barrel choice.
However, there are also a few things I don’t much care for with this gun. Trigger pull can be very erratic from one gun to the next - some I have shot are very easy and smooth, but the one I have is so hard that my wife could not fire it reliably. I haven’t taken the time to investigate what would be involved in easing and smoothing out the trigger pull, but this is something that shouldn’t be necessary for the owner to have to fuss with.
Accuracy isn’t great, even considering what it was meant to be. This is more of a problem with my particular model since there is only 0.5" of rifling at the end of the barrel, in order to accommodate a 3" shot shell. If I wanted to use this gun for, say, SASS competition, I’d probably get a .38 special/.357 magnum barrel for it and be much happier with the accuracy.
So, there you go. If you shoot Cowboy Action, this’d be a fun little gun to include in your set-up. If you’re worried about snakes while out fishing or hiking, a Bond derringer would be a good solution. Or, if you just want to have a dependable version of a classic American novelty item, this is a great option.