A very long time ago, I use to hold an FFL. There were specific reasons that I held that License and not just to save a couple of dollars on gun purchases. I had tutored alongside a few machinists as well as a couple of them being gunsmiths. I was shown the ropes early on in my life. And that later turned into a “Pay for Itself” hobby of mine where I’d be asked by folks in my department to work on their personal guns. PPC was hot and heavy then and made up much of my work as well as shotgun bore and choke work (days prior to screw in chokes, think Poly-Choke). So with the FFL any new interesting gun that came along I wouldn’t have to personally buy since a customer most likely would and it saved me thousands of dollars not buying every new gun introduction ever produced.
Those days are long gone and then there was a new gun introduction that I desperately did want to own by a new company called Bond Arms. Trouble was, the gun was not available in California. When Death Wish #? came out and Charles Bronson said “This gun fires a shotgun shell and will take a guy’s head off” The CA legislature certainly didn’t want guns that could take heads off in the State and made the 45/410 chambering a “Shotgun” even though the Federal Government had already said that it could stay a pistol if it had rifling. Then the Safety List Roster took even regular derringers off the list. During this time I started after seeing the very first ad, writing Bond Arms expressing my delight in their design and wanting one so bad I could taste it, but was in CA and I’d always get the same response “We’d absolutely love to be able to send your dealer one of our guns for you, but…..” and then reference to the CA Government. Well that didn’t stop me. I wrote my legislators so many times I lost count as well as the occasional reminder to Bond Arms that there is a market (if only me) in California.
Then much to my surprise I was in my local dealers shop signing up for and making a deposit on a semi-auto. As always I took a gander around and out of the corner of my eye I spied what looked like a derringer. Figuring it was a used American Derringer, I took a look anyway. Well I was taken aback when I realized that it was a Bond Arms and they had two of them. One was two toned and the other all stainless steel. It did not matter what caliber it was I was going to be it’s new owner. I immediately discussed making it my third handgun or 90 days of wait to purchase all three guns. Well I figured that the Bond Arms Brown Bear (as I found out the model was) was most definitely worth the wait. It’s lock up was tight and the fit and finish was better than the best American Derringer I’d ever owned. It also had a nice heft to it unlike the AD and immediately knew that recoil would be much more manageable. The fancy engraved, extended grips fit my hand perfectly and will also aid in recoil distribution. To top it all off, it was chambered in 45LC (my caliber for SASS shooting). I was a little short on the normal deposit required on layaway guns, but my dealer knew I was good for it so my name went on the gun that day. Being paid off, I’m only waiting on the 30 day periods to get my hands on it a fire off a few rounds. My wife even understood this purchase after having to hear my constant groaning about not being able to get one in the State, but now the Brown Bears are loose in the State once again for all of us Californian’s to enjoy. Now we’re just waiting on the next CA introduction to fill our safes with. Thank you Bond Arms for getting it worked out with this silly State so us residents can now enjoy what the rest of the country has been enjoying for a number of years.
Kevin D Williams