The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm ~ Gun Review

by Mike Searson

Bond Arms Backup Derringer Review

The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm
The Bond Arms Backup in 9mm
Mike Searson
Mike Searson

USA -( Recently we tested the Bond Arms Ranger II derringer in 45 Colt/ 410 Shotgun and earlier this year we profiled the author’s personally owned Cowboy 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

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, and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

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Joe Banish

I got my 45 Backup in a raffle so the price was right. When I took it out to shoot I had problems with certain ammunition. Hornady Critical Defense would not chamber nor would my reloads. Winchester did work. Also had a problem with some Blazers. Still a great gun to shoot.


These can be had on Gunbroker for $109!


I have a Bond with a 22 Mag barrel. Great gun but the misfire rate runs from 25 – 50% every time I take it to the range.
I have searched to see if others have published similar info, I can’t find any??

Jerry R Davis

Dude,made in Texas,support our economy,especially if you are a native Texan.

larry keck

STOP bitching about price, made in the USA not overseas.


I think it’s a great gun but the price is way too much… I would say around $350 as a decent price…. Remember one very important thing” you have to buy extra Barrels for this gun… and at around $160-$260 per barrel” it does add up on the price… That’s why I’m hesitant in buying it….

Nevin Hvarre

WELL PEOPLE , …. I have had my Bond Arms derringer for almost 9 months now . All I can say , … is I am exceedingly well pleased with this quality tool , … the fun factor at the indoor range can be measured by the people that crowd around me . At no other time in my many years have I ever seen such an accurate short barreled firearm , .. Either I have a very , very special individual tool here or I am a better shot than I was a few yrs. ba k , …… Read more »

Nevin M Hvarre

I went to the range today to try out my “Snake Slayer” with the 4 1/4 in barrel. I wanted to see how I would do with center mass shots at 8yds to 9 yards. WOW ,…! ! ! What a GREAT EXPERIENCE ! ! ! The range master even said , YOU DID THAT WITH A DERRINGER ? ? ? I just smiled. This is the best investment in safety I’ve ever made! ! ! ! I was shooting 45 Colt ammo today , Winchester Super X 250 GRAIN. Lead Flat Nose rounds. You get what you pay for… Read more »




Agree it is a bit expensive, I’ll go for the Ruger or the Beretta Nano.

Mark Tims

Very nice ! Just too expensive for a two shot back up.



Clyde Verdine

I’ve got a Glock 19 and a Ranger II. Have to admit that the Glock has only been out of the safe a couple of times in five years. I do miss the high cap. magazine but I use the 000 buckshot in the Ranger. They have five balls of shot in each shell. The Ranger is always close by, or on my belt.


Interesting that you compare the Bond suggested retail to the LCP lowest available street price. Not really a fair comparison, but interesting.


I always liked bond arms products, but never bought one yet, but, I probably will this one. I already have a great collection of glocks, so I’m used to buying over priced guns, but I really like them, kinda like buying your first Harley, it just feels right, like it was made with all Harley gods built in its soul. As the article states, I won’t carry it as a go to concealed carry, but for a back up, or novelty is fine. I like the idea of the .45acp round, as you have the horsepower of my Glock21, but… Read more »

Steve K

I LOVE Bond Arms quality, but WHY must they RUIN what could be a beautiful satin stainless finish with THAT finish? To each his own, not for me.


I have the Snake Slayer IV and I love it.


I agree with Max, 490.00 for a derringer is a little out of line as far as I’m concerned. It’s nice and well made but I really think a 250.00 price is more in line. So sorry as much as I’d like to own it I’ll pass. I can get a Ruger lcp that shoots six times and is less than 260.00 bucks.


$490? For that?! You must be joking.