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The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm ~ Gun Review

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Article first appeared at Ammoland.com

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Ammoland – Recently we tested theBond Arms Ranger II derringer in 45 Colt/ 410 Shotgun and earlier this year we profiled the author’s personally ownedCowboy Derringer.

These modern derringers are made by Bond Arms with the best in modern materials and manufacturing methods in Granbury, Texas.

However they still evoke that “Old West” look and for some that fact alone makes them more of a “Sunday-go-to-meeting” carry piece or one that only goes from the safe to the range and back.

What if there was a more utilitarian design that didn’t pack the horsepower of the 45 Colt/410 round and relied on a more commonly carried and affordable brand of ammunition?

Enter the Bond Arms Backup.

The Bond Arms Backup has a three-inch barrel, a bead blasted stainless barrel and a black textured subdued frame with soft rubber grips. All the same modern materials and custom craftsmanship can now be had in a more modern looking or dare we say “tactical” package.

The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm - open
The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm – open

This particular model was chambered in 9mm and we could not wait to get it out to the range to put it through its paces.

Bond Arms Backup – The Good

Recoil was surprisingly non-existent. This is due to the lower recoil impulse of the 9mm round coupled with an 18 ounce weight and the rubber grips act as shock absorbers. The derringer sits very low in the hand with the second barrel emanating from the shooter’s palm. We found this to aid in the accuracy department.

Bond Arms Backup – The Bad

It is still a derringer with only two shots. This should by no means be a primary carry gun, but would serve the shooter well as a backup or hideout piece. Sure, you can probably tote a pocket 380, 5-shot revolver or single stack 9mm in the same weight class with more rounds, but the derringer has a very flat profile from side to side.

There are no extractors for the rimless cartridges, either. Hopefully you will not need a tactical reload and run into a stuck or bulged case with the Bond Arms Backup. Again we caution the use of this piece as more of a “last ditch” firearm or one that is used to put down a wounded animal on the side of the road as opposed to whipping out a “truck gun”.

Bond Arms Backup
Bond Arms Backup

Bond Arms Backup – The Reality

If the old time styling of the over/under derringer fascinate you, yet you do not want to carry around a piece that looks like it belongs in a museum this may be up your alley.

Bond Arms builds an incredibly safe pistol with a cross bolt safety and it fires in single action mode, meaning that you have to cock the hammer manually every time you want to fire. Although we always recommend the use of a holster, this could safely be carried in an outer jacket pocket or even dropped into a bath robe pocket when there is an unexpected sound in the middle of the night and you do not have the time to roll out in full kit with an AR and a full sized handgun.

The fact that it is available in a more commonly found pistol round should appeal to those of us who choose to restrict themselves to a limited number of calibers.

The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm - open
The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm – open


  • Caliber: 9mm or 45 ACP
  • Barrel: 2.5″
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Sights: Front blade, fixed rear
  • Overall length: 4.5″
  • Weight: 18.5oz
  • MSRP: $490

You can find more info on the Bond Arms Backup online at http://bondarms.com/bond-arms-handguns/backup/

About Mike Searson:

Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.

Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

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