Bond Arms Snake Slayer, first impressions

Bond Arms Snake Slayer

with Winchester PDX1 .410 ammo

It's big. It's stainless. It's heavy and it's made in the USA, Texas, specifically.

Those were the first impressions.

Mine is the newer model with the improved trigger and broader hammer spur. It has the new style grips as well, with "checkering" in the form of snake scales and a carving of a mean looking rattler on them. They are somewhat larger in swell and sweep, giving a good, solid grip.

I have to say that in the hand, this pistol looks intimidating, especially if one is looking down those .45 caliber barrels.

I find the trigger to be crisp and positive, with sufficient pull as befits a concealed carry gun, but not at all heavy. I suspect the instances I have read in which people, usually internet posters (take that for what it's worth) complain about the heavy trigger. As far as I can tell, the trigger has always been fine. It's not the same kind of trigger as one finds on semi-autos, for example, because it swings back and down in a short arc. If the shooter keeps his or her hand from jamming underneath the cocked hammer and puts their finger properly on the trigger, it's just fine. Trigger problems are self-induced for the most part.

One aspect some people will have to get used to is the force and leverage necessary to cock the gun. If one has a proper shooting grip, cocking with the thumb of the shooting hand is not particularly easy. If the thumb is placed more forward on the hammer spur, greater leverage is gained, and it becomes easier. Still very firm, but it can be cocked this way. If a person has strong hands and grip, of course, it becomes easier. For many people though, women especially, cocking the pistol should be done and practiced differently. I suggest two methods that work well for concealed carry if one-hand cocking is an issue.

One: When drawing from concealment, the off hand will be used to pull the covering garment away for the draw. As the pistol comes out of the holster and starts toward the presentation position, use the off side hand, which will be right next to the gun at this point anyway, to fan the hammer back to the cocked position as the off hand hand rotates to assume the support position. If it is necessary to fire quickly, with one hand right after the gun leaves the holster, using the off hand to cock the weapon will have it instantly ready to fire, with the added advantage that the off hand will not be in front of the muzzle.

Two: Draw, present the gun in a two hand stance, then cock the hammer with the off hand's thumb. Very easy and quick, and the advantage that you can wait, if necessary, before putting the gun into "battery", or in this case, cocked and unlocked.

I have a .410 belt shell holder on order from Bond Arms, and Gordon Bond has offered to supply a holster or two for evaluation for concealed carry purposes. I'm looking into the D.M. Bullard cross draw holster for sitting and driving, and possibly an IWB from them as well, but I haven't heard back from Bullard.

Today is a trip to the "city" for errands, so I'll be toting the Snake Slayer as the main and the LCP as a BUG.

The testing goes on.