by dashby | Posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2015 original article here

Some guns are just fun to shoot. Speaking of fun guns, I just got a Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV derringer, which can shoot .45 Long Colts and 2-3/4 and 3-inch .410s. It is a blast to shoot. I guess it was made to carry as a concealed self-protection gun. But I want to use it as a snake gun.

Nearly every time my daughter Kolby and I run over to Oregon to go fishing, we’ll see a rattlesnake. In fact, one year I heard her scream when a snake jumped in the boat with us.

Then what about flyfishing on the Boise River? One afternoon I saw six rattlesnakes. Another time I was out waistdeep flyfishing and one came floating by me in the fast water about three feet away. He was at least 3 to 4 feet long and coiled up. That would have caused panic at the disco if he tried to crawl up on the driest thing around — my head!

In town, I’ll probably carry it loaded with .45 Long Colts, but I’m not sure. I shot it with .410s at 10 and 15 feet and it is devastating with them as well. And I don’t imagine a .410 slug would feel too good either.

I just got my derringer this week and went out shooting it. I shot it at 10 and 15 feet and I got a 2-1/2 inch group. I don’t know yet how it will shoot at 20 to 25 feet. I have a handful of deadlines approaching, but I’m going out shooting again a little later to get better with my new gun.


I’m shooting Hornady 185-grain Critical Defense ammo in it. That will be more than enough to stop a bad guy even if he is drugged up to the max. That’s a big bullet.

Like I said above, my main usage with this gun will be to shoot snakes, but self-defense is a close second. After shooting a .410 with six shots, though, it has a wicked pattern. I’m not real sure that it wouldn’t more than suffice for a self-protection load as well. But I noticed at the SHOT Show that Winchester has a PDX-1 shell that has four disc and 16 BB-sized shot that would be a better load.

I went out shooting all day not long ago. In the morning, Robert Martin and I shot some new guns, sighted in rifles and then went ground squirrel hunting. Robert had to leave about noon and my daughter Kolby caught up with me a little later.

I set up a target to show her how the derringer worked. Then a ground squirrel ran out. I had in a 2-3/4-inch 6-shot shell and killed him at 20 feet. Wow! This is going to be a deadly little gun.

Ammo Options

  • Winchester’s PDX-1 shell, which has four disc and 16 BB-sized shot for home defense. I hear these kick pretty hard.
  • .410 6-shot. I will carry this for snakes.
  • .410 slug. I don’t know how these would shoot.
  • And then, of course, .45 Long Colt. I’m using Hornady ammo.

Bond makes a variety of calibers and styles, but I decided to go with the Snake Slayer IV. It has a 4-1/4-inch barrel. The smaller versions would be easier to conceal, but I figured with the longer barrel it would be a little more accurate and have less recoil.

The cool thing about these guns is that they are designed so that you can interchange 20 barrels (25 calibers) with your one base unit. That has to make them one of the most versatile guns on the market.

It is a heavy duty-designed pistol made to last for generations to come.

I also love that it has a heavy duty leather holster that is form-fitted for the derringer, plus it has a latch which will hold it very secure. It is a nice looking, well designed gun. I love it.

And if you asked if it is made in the U.S., co-owner Gordon Bond will say no, it’s made in Texas!

Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana. He also writes for various outdoors magazines and teaches outdoors seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop.

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