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Bond Arm Stinger RS .22LR Pistol, A Modern-Day Derringer

Tiny, lightweight and extremely concealable, the Bond Arms Stinger RS in .22LR is a unique carry option for those who like the idea of a modern-day Derringer.

Bond Arm Stinger RS .22LR Pistol, A Modern-Day Derringer

The easy-to-carry Bond Arms Stinger RS .22LR, a modern-day Derringer. 

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The American Derringer will forever remain one of the most sought-after collectibles for firearms enthusiast. These double-barrel designs are deeply connected with the Old West and served as pocket defenders for gamblers, ladies of the night, and virtually anybody who wanted to keep two shots at the ready. The one thing history doesn’t tell is that the originals were pure garbage. If you are fortunate enough to find one, the odds are that you aren’t going to fire it. In fact, most of them are better suited for the wall than the shooting range. Fast forward to 1995, when Gordon Bond reimagined this fabled pistol and built one that could safely fire modern ammunition. These guns quickly found their way into the single-action shooting society and immediately became a symbol of the serious Derringer competitor. Bond’s double-barrels would go on to become conversation pieces at barbeques and would gather crowds at the gun club.

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Some would argue that these guns are “too pretty,” and I wouldn’t disagree. Bond made a small mistake in his initial design, and that was neglecting one of the main reasons somebody buys a Derringer: its utility. To that end, Bond Arms set out to build another product, and just like the original, the design revolved around quality. Using the same steel and manufacturing processes that made the brand so successful, the Rough Series (RS) was born. This unpolished addition features the same solid composure as its predecessor and dramatically cuts down the MSRP. Taking it a step further, the design reached a heightened level of value and usability in its Stinger incarnation, which represents the company’s thinnest offering and was originally released in 9mm, .380 ACP, and .38 Special. Versions of this pistol were also available with aluminum frames, but with the lighter metal comes a nudge in price.

With MSRPs dramatically slashed, Bond had a winning formula for a working defensive two-shooter. However, there wasn’t an option for training or pest control. Sure, 9mm is fun to shoot out of a semiauto, but it sucks out of a tiny double-barrel. At the same time, it’s a little much for backyard critters that are getting into your garden or burrowing under your barn. Therefore, in 2023, Bond rounded out the line with the Stinger RS 22LR, an all-steel rimfire defender that comes in at a paltry $269. I first came face to face with this little number at the NASGW Showcase at the end of 2022. At that time, the gun was still under embargo and held behind the curtain as production was ramping up. In place of the high polishing, a simpler bead blasting process was utilized, which looks stellar. It gives it a Cerakote-like appearance that cannot be scratched or rubbed off. This “rough” finish also adds grip to these areas.

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Loading and unloading the Stinger RS 22LR is accomplished by hinging the barrels upwards.

As Gordon himself took me through the new pistol, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. However, that time never came, as all of the critical features were retained. Bond’s signature rebounding hammer was alive in this rendition, springing back to the half-cock position as he dry-fired it during his demo. Curiously, I asked, “Hey, is it OK to do that?” He replied, “You can dry-fire any rimfire that’s built right.” Here would be a great place to mention that the hammer-blocking, cross-bolt safety is also carried over to the RS 22LR, and one can engage it during dry-fire to sidestep the debate altogether. Laying the gun on its side confirmed that a corner wasn’t cut by eliminating the extractor, and the barrel release was exactly as I would expect. I looked back at Bond and asked, “You really trimmed all that off the price just by eliminating metal where people don’t want it anyway and skipping the polish?” He smiled and said, “We’ll get one out to you.” As promised, one showed up a few weeks later, and it was time to test the claim.

The RS 22LR can fit a lot of different roles from pajama gun to pest control, so I packed accordingly. CCI does a great job of bookending the velocity spectrum with its Quiet-22 and Mini-Mag hollowpoint products, so I made sure those were in the mix. The pair would handle situations where I needed a stealthy dispatch or maximum energy, respectively. Additionally, something like this is bound to spend time at the shooting range, so I also threw a brick of Remington Thunderbolt in my bag to cover plinking fodder. When considering a test distance, I decided to keep it realistic. Sure, the .22LR cartridge can be pushed several hundred yards, but the RS 22LR is best inside bad breath distance. Realistically, I was more concerned with the point of impact than I was with group size, so 7 yards it was.

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The Bond Arms Stinger RS 22LR is a steal at just $269. The savings are due to the bead-blasted instead of polished finish.

Starting with the Mini-Mags, I fired five five-shot groups. I will say that when you are trying to keep a perfect sight picture, the trigger feels heavier than the 5 pounds, 3 ounces it measured. However, at the same time, it was smooth, much like that of a high-quality, double-action revolver. Groups with this ammo hovered around an inch, which is far more accurate than I would ever need, so I was happy. Things opened up a tad with the CCI Quiet-22, but boy were they a joy to shoot. These would be my go-to for dispatching something that made its way into my garage and wasn’t interested in leaving peacefully. Lastly, the Thunderbolt served its purpose well and made for ideal fuel for pinging tin cans or smoking steel targets in the name of practice.

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Impacts were between 3- and 4-inches low depending on the ammo used, but one could file the front sight if they wanted to dial-in the center of the group. Given that this is the Rough Series, it wouldn’t look half bad if you went that route, either. Alternately, you can just hold a little high, but then you lose out on the fun of playing backyard gunsmith. After close to 200 rounds, I feel that I can validate the Bond claim that the RS 22LR is built to the same quality as the other guns in its lineup. However, I can’t validate that it gets that way through a loss of aesthetics. I dig the rough finish and believe it complements the entire package, giving it a “tactical grey” appearance. I also love the idea that I don’t have to take great care of it, as the more beat up the finish gets, the better. People pay extra for “battle worn” these days, whereas I can make it for free by letting this roll around in my toolbox. The Bond Arms Stinger RS 22LR brings the fun of Derringer ownership to the table at a cost that makes sense for this platform. The .22LR chambering is ideal for practice, small game, and just plain fun. Bond Arms nailed it with this one, as there is now a double-barrel out there that is built with the spirit of the Old West and, as a fun bonus, doesn’t stand a chance of blowing up in your hands.

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With few parts and simple operation, Bond Arms Derringers are clever, reliable firearms for discrete carry.

Bond Arms Stinger RS Specs

  • Type: Break-barrel, Derringer
  • Cartridge: .22LR 
  • Capacity: 2 rds. 
  • Barrel: 3 in. 
  • Overall Length: 5 in. 
  • Weight: 18 oz. 
  • Frame: Stainless steel, unpolished
  • Trigger: Single-action
  • Sights: Fixed front, fixed rear
  • MSRP: $269
  • Manufacturer: Bond Arms 



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