Mixing it Up: New Bond Arms, Revolvers, and a Chronograph

In the last couple of months, it’s been my good fortune to test rimfire versions of the Stinger Fireball and Honey B models. These new(ish) guns reflect Bond Arms’ responsiveness to customer requests for both chambering and grip design. Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to shoot both of these little guns and found them enjoyable.


The Honey-B is built on Bond Arms’ slim Stinger frame with their Rough Series (unpolished) steel finish. These features are great for practical use as the gun fits easily in a pocket or other small space, and smudges never show. But the Honey B takes practicality a bit further as it employs a relatively new grip from Bond Arms. It’s extended but still compact, offering a lot more control and, for most shooters, eliminating that annoying dangling pinky finger issue. Checking out the new grip, the inspiration for its name is obvious:  the B6 resin pattern resembles a honeycomb. Especially as one moves up in caliber size with a Bond gun, a better grip is a real advantage. In this test, using the Honey B in .22LR is more of a convenience than a need. But I like it in comparison to the shorter grips normally associated with the brand.

Bond Arms
The Honey-B, chambered in 22LR.

At 17.5 ounces, the Honey B is palpably heavier than the Stinger Fireball in this test, though they have nearly identical profiles, being 5.5 inches long and 4.19 inches high overall. The Honey-B is offered in .22LR, .22 WMR, 9mm, and .38 Special. As of this writing, the price is $320 before the currently offered rebates.

Stinger Fireball

Second is the Stinger “Fireball” model. It’s offered in .22 Winchester Magnum and .327 Federal Magnum. It sports tough 7075 aluminum construction, anodized to a black finish that contrasts the gray stainless steel three-inch barrel and stainless controls. It makes for a striking appearance and facilitates easy carry, even in deep concealment. Its 14.4 ounces felt just right in the hand and handled great in .22 WMR. It’s also available in .327 Federal Magnum for those who want a little more punch on target.

Bond Arms
Stinger “Fireball” in 22WMR.

The Fireball also employs the same resin grip as the Honey B. I feel the bit of added bulk is well worth the trade-off for improved handling.

Where did the name “Fireball” come from? As I was first delighted to discover at a gun writers’ conference in which Bond Arms was a participant, 22 Mag is the little cartridge that makes a big muzzle blast when fired from a short barrel. It’s another way in which this gun is just a lot of fun. With the same dimensions named above for the Honey B, the Stinger Fireball is priced at $389. Its elegant black finish with white lettering makes it look more expensive than its Honey B stablemate.

Chronograph and Performance Notes

I’m one of dozens of writers who tested these new Bonds, and that’s good since it serves as inspiration to do something new for a review. My chronograph wasn’t doing anything last Saturday, so I decided to give it a job. With the help of generous friends who loaned fairly comparable guns, I paired mini-revolvers in the same chambering as each Bond to get an idea of how much, if any, bullet performance is changed by moving to a slightly smaller handgun. In general, the stats are about what one would expect. But there were a few performance curiosities noted. Here are the results:

Bond Arms
Taurus 94 versus Bond Arms Honey-B in 22LR.

Bond Arms Honey-B vs. Taurus 94

Ammunition:  CCI Mini-Mag 22LR 36-grain copper-plated HP

Sample Size:  10 rounds per gun; all figures in feet per second (FPS)

Velocity                                  Bond Arms Honey-B              Taurus Model 94        Difference      

Minimum/Maximum             877-973                                   933-976                       56-3

Range                                      96                                            43                                53

Average                                  919.9                                       950.6                           30.7

Median                                   908.5                                       945                              36.5

Standard Deviation               34.63604                                 15.614808                   19.02123

What a difference a little less powder makes in comparison with the velocities seen in the 22WMR test. Both guns obviously produced less variation in bullet velocity. In fact, my friend’s little nine-round capacity Taurus produced surprisingly tight ranges.

Bond Arms
A little RemOil helped the Honey-B ejector.

The Honey-B performed well. It’s no secret that even the best 22 puts off a lot of carbon. By the time of this test, my partner and I had put about 100 rounds through this gun, and the ejector was getting hard to push. A couple of squirts of solvent and wipe-off resolved the problem. It’s a good reminder to always have a cleaning kit handy. With a Ruger LCR as the closest available comparison, here’s how it stacks up in terms of the ballistic data I measured:

Ruger LCR vs. Bond Arms Stinger “Fireball” in 22WMR.

Bond Arms Stinger Fireball vs. Ruger LCR

Ammunition:  Remington 22 Winchester Magnum 40 grain JHP

Sample Size:  10 rounds per gun; all figures in feet per second (FPS)

Velocity                      Bond Arms Stinger Fireball               Ruger LCR                   Difference      

Min./Max.                  1,009-1,141                                         1,097-1,268                 88-127

Range                          132                                                      171                              39

Average                      1,076.30                                              1,193.20                      116.90

Median                       1,078.0                                                1,195.5                        117.50

Standard Deviation   41.85437                                             45.28625                     3.43288

The average faster velocity from the longer barrel of the Ruger is to be expected. However, the greater velocity range and standard deviation of that gun likely reflect the precision machining of the Fireball.

It’s notoriously difficult to get reliable performance out of 22 WMR in a miniature gun. Bond Arms rules the derringer space for this cartridge; they’ve been at it a long time. However, I did experience some misfires, always with the bottom barrel. Oddly enough, these always happened when I was pressing the trigger slowly, attempting to maintain a perfect sight picture. When the trigger was pressed assertively, it never failed to fire. Nearly every 40-grain 22 WMR bullet “keyholed” on target, indicating a tumbling rather than spinning projectile, even at five yards from the muzzle. The rate of this issue decreased to about 20% when lighter 33-grain Remington Accu-Tip cartridges were used. In this test, only 40-grain JHP was used.


Although barrel lengths are the same with each gun used in this comparison, it’s significant that a portion of the barrel is taken up by the case itself in the Bond Arms guns in which, like a semi-auto, each barrel also serves as the chamber. So, the higher velocities from the revolvers, with the entire barrel available to stabilize and spin each bullet, are to be expected, even with the added room for gas to escape between the cylinder and barrel.

Ballistics aside, shot placement trumps all when it comes to defensive shooting or pest control. It could be argued that the “Swiss cheese” effect from an over-and-under design is more desirable than a single hole. All shots from the Bond guns landed well within the boundaries of both an eight-inch bullseye and what would be good hits on typical threats that might travel on four or two legs.

There is no pleasure quite like a rimfire plinking session. The Honey-B and Stinger Fireball offer enjoyment for anyone as well as being capable of light defensive/pest control work. In rimfire chamberings, play and practice are more accessible because of the price of ammunition. It’s a win/win. While I personally prefer the Stinger Fireball in hand for its good looks and classy texture, the Honey B in 22LR allowed me to just shoot and enjoy the time with even more economy where ammo is concerned. As with any gun, test various ammo brands and grain weights for reliable performance before relying on the gun for personal protection.

The unfinished stainless of Stinger Fireball and the frame/barrel of the Honey-B are more prone to rust in humid environments or with sweat exposure than finished metals. A written admonishment to keep the gun cleaned and oiled to protect against rust is included with each. Can’t be bothered with that bit of labor? Upgrade to a pricier Bond gun with finish work.

Eve Flanigan is a lifelong gun enthusiast and licensed concealed carry instructor based in the American Southwest. She is a working armed guard and licensed armed guard instructor and the author of Ready to Defend:  Tips for Living the Armed Lifestyle. She enjoys hiking, spending time with her animals, and baking.

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