Looking for a Bond Arms derringer review? Watch and read our full review of the Bond Arms Ranger II here.
The Gun Doctor
Bond Arms Stinger Derringer
What do you think of when you see a Derringer? Small gun, pocket gun, or cheap gun?
Well for me I always think back to the tv series from the late 1950s called Yancy Derringer.
Yancy Derringer was a gentleman gambler whose weapon of choice was a four-barrel Sharps pepperbox derringer, but you also had to look out for hidden sword in the cane he carried.
So when I read an article in The American Rifleman about Bond Arms new Stinger Derringer I was immediately intrigued and could easily see adding this Derringer to my collection.
Double-barrel derringers in more recent history have been considered pistols of ill repute. ‘Saturday Night Special’-grade clones of the single-action, over-under Remington Model 95 derringer were being cranked out at bargain basement prices by less reputable companies. Because they were small, lightweight and inexpensive, these pot-metal plinkers seemed like a good choice for pocket carry. However, they were often poorly constructed out of low-grade materials, they lacked modern day safety features and they garnered a reputation for being less than reliable.
Bond set out to reform this double-barrel pistol design and boost its performance potential. Mostly responding to customer requests for a reduced weight double-barrel pistol with a slimmer profile for more comfortable carry, Gordon Bond, of Bond Arms, took it to heart. Knowing that the ‘junk-gun’ reputation for mixed-metals derringers is still in circulation around the U.S. shooting community, he and his team have spent several years developing what has been dubbed the Stinger pistol, which will initially be available chambered in 9 mm and .380 ACP.
The Stinger will be familiar to those who have handled other Bond pistols. Like its predecessors, the Stinger is an over/under pistol with a tip-up stainless-steel barrel. The one-piece barrel has an integral front sight blade and hinge port. Secured to the frame via a removable hinge pin, the top of the hinge has been milled to form a rear sight notch.
The Stinger is built around the company’s fifth iteration of a slim aluminum frame. Just like top-notch AR-15 receivers, its precision milled aluminum is treated with a matte black hard-coat anodized finish. The generously sized trigger guard is integral to the frame. Swinging open the barrel reveals a stainless-steel firing pin block, set into the aluminum frame. The release lever assembly, cross-bolt safety, hammer, and trigger are also stainless steel. This means the pistol has a steel-on-steel lock-up for added durability.
Like other Bond pistols, the Stinger is a traditional single action, which means the exposed hammer must be manually cocked for each shot fired. The cross-bolt safety button is laser engraved with the words ‘Push for Fire’ on the left side of the frame and ‘Push for Safe’ on the right. The access port for this button’s locking screw is located in between the firing pin ports. The screw can be tightened to lock the cross-bolt safety in either the Safe or Fire position.
The Stingers also have 3″ barrels with the same overall height and length profile and tip the scales at just 11.5-oz. The Stingers will ship with two sets of grip panels. However, the textured black Zytel composite polymer panels provide the slimmest profile. Installing the rubber grip panels will thicken the grip but provide more purchase for managing felt recoil.
The .380 ACP and 9 mm versions both use the same frame, which is designed to handle hotter 9 mm ammunition. Pre-production test frames were subjected to 2,500-round ammunition testing using standard pressure 9 mm loads.
The 9 mm Stinger pistol is not for the fainthearted or the inexperienced enthusiast. The series got its name from the snappy recoil the 9 mm version produces. The pistol is most controllable with a full set of rubber grips installed. Load selection will be important. The .380 ACP version of this pistol provides a more enjoyable shooting experience. It was noticeably less aggressive in the recoil department and can be reasonably comfortable to work with using the slim textured polymer grip panels.
As with past Bond Arms product launches, the first run of Stingers will be relatively small. Production will ramp up based on demand. Initially, this model will only be available as complete pistols chambered in either 9 mm or .380 ACP. But it seems likely that caliber-conversion barrels will be available at some point in the future. Bond Arms pistols are wholly American made and constructed from stainless steel.
The Stinger has a suggested retail price of $379, which is about $100 more than a Rough Series model but around $150 less than a similar high-polish model.
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For the Gun Doctor I’m Tim Bivins