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In the world of production firearms, there aren’t many smaller than the offerings from North American Arms. Its Guardian series is about as petite as semi-automatic pistols come, and I believe its Mini-Revolvers may be the smallest production revolvers in the world. There really aren’t many clothing choices — at least ones you can legally get away with in public — that would prevent carrying a gun this small. As I’ve owned an NAA Mini in .22 LR for about 5 years now, I think it’s high time I officially reviewed it . . .

Overview:

NAA’s Mini-Revolvers are available in eight or nine basic variations with multiple styles and finishes and sometimes various caliber choices for each. There are too many barrel length, barrel style, cylinder style, frame style, sight, grip, and finish choices to list them here, so you’ll have to spend some time browsing NAA’s website to learn about all of them. Calibers on the menu are .22 Short (a small cylinder w/ matching frame that accepts only Shorts), .22 LR (you can also shoot .22 Shorts), .22 WMR aka .22 Magnum (can be had with a second cylinder for .22 LR/Short), and .22 cap and ball. Even the biggest of the Minis is still pretty darn mini, though.

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In addition to their lilliputian dimensions, there are other commonalities across the line. Most notably, the Mini-Revolvers are all single action only — you must manually cock the hammer all the way back for each and every shot. They also all have a 5-shot capacity and are made entirely of stainless steel (excepting grip panels and, in some cases, sights).

I own one in the .22 LR flavor with a 1-1/8″ barrel (part number NAA-22LR), so we’re just going to concentrate on that. Here are its specs:

  • Length: 4″
  • Height: 2-3/8″
  • Width: 13/16″  (at the widest part of the cylinder diameter)
  • Weight: 4.5 Ounces

P1000451

In The Wild:

It goes without saying that this thing is easy to carry and conceal. Heck, NAA makes (or made) a neck chain holster, key chain holster, and even a belt buckle holster. I have a little belt clip holster for it, but rarely use it. For a long time I’ve been a big fan of “5th pocket knives,” and the Mini-Revolver makes a great 5th pocket gun.

NAA 5th Pocket

Actually, it may be the only 5th pocket gun. Ordinarily I’m a huge stickler for holsters that completely cover the trigger guard. However, the Mini gets a pass when carried in an appropriately-holster-sized pocket primarily because it’s single action only and the act of cocking the hammer to ready it for firing takes concerted effort — the mainspring is quite heavy to reliably ignite rimfire primers. Plus, it obviously still requires a subsequent trigger pull to fire. So a standard jeans 5th pocket makes for a good holster where the revolver is reliably retained by the hammer, trigger spur and edge of the cylinder while remaining easy to draw.

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I’ve had it in the pocket of my board shorts while swimming during camping trips and such. It has probably spent 12 or more hours actually under water in various lakes and rivers with zero signs of rust whatsoever anywhere, including under the grip panels on the trigger spring or mainspring.

If you’re going to swim with yours, make sure you’re using quality .22 ammo with cases that are crimped onto the bullets. Some of the cheap bulk stuff is so loose that you can easily spin the bullet around in the case. Obviously if water gets to the powder you’re out of business. I’ve had no issues with some of the nicer CCI stuff, like Stingers.

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North American Arms uses a unique method to render the revolver safe while still loading the cylinder to full capacity. In single action revolvers of old, our heroes of the West would almost always leave one cylinder empty and would rest the hammer there. You see, if the hammer was resting on a live round and then was bumped, the gun could fire. Many modern versions of single action revolvers use a moving piece of metal to either block the hammer or firing pin or to act as a contact surface that must be in place for the hammer to contact the firing pin.

NAA went a simpler but just as effective route by machining a safety notch into the cylinder between each chamber. The hammer locks into these notches, preventing the cylinder from moving and keeping the hammer away from the live rounds. While NAA suggests lowering the hammer (which requires pulling the trigger) into a notch, I do not. You can easily and reliably insert the cylinder into the frame and line it up properly right off the bat:

While I doubt anybody would recommend a .22 for defensive use if one has the option of larger, centerfire calibers, there are scenarios in which a larger firearm simply cannot be concealed or carried. The NAA Mini probably can be. Obviously it can also act as a backup gun, or as a BUG to your BUG.

Velocity takes a hit from that really short barrel, and you can expect to average 750 to 790 fps from CCI Stingers through the shortest .22 LR barrel size. In .22 Magnum, Hornady’s Critical Defense will do ~945 fps through the same 1.125″ barrel. Before we get too derisive in the comments, let’s go completely out of the theoretical and point to multiple instances in which a .22 LR NAA Mini Revolver has ended an attack and resulted in attackers assuming ambient temperature.

I’ve seen multiple instances of Minis used in home defense come through “The Armed Citizen,” and NAA used to list DGUs on the website but no longer does or I can’t find it. There is a “stories” section on their forum, though, with plenty of anecdotes like this one.

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The Minis are also ridiculously loud. Even if you miss, in .22 Mag it’ll deafen anyone on the business end and, for good measure, blind them with muzzle flash. My LR is crazy loud as well. Even primer-only rounds that aren’t much louder than dry firing in a rifle are loud enough to hurt your ears out of the NAA. It may not have a ton of bite — assuming we discount those stories above — but it sure has the bark to deter if bark is going to deter.

This is all just to say that while of course I wouldn’t recommend a .22 as a first choice for personal defense, I also don’t discount it as only a novelty. This is a real firearm. It’s deadly. It’s a legit deterrent. I’ve seen NAA Minis referred to as “nasal spray from hell.” This is both for caliber and accuracy reasons, though…

On The Range:

These things are actually a lot of fun to shoot. They may only be .22s, but due to the tiny size and light weight they’re pretty lively. Mine kicks and snaps a little and often rotates slightly in my grip. There’s noise, blast, and usually some fireball from the muzzle. Various grip options can make your Mini much easier to plink with, but I have fun shooting with the little wood grips and certainly appreciate their concealment factor.

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Now, a few versions of the Mini-Revolvers have legitimate front and rear sights. Mine, though, does not. Although there’s a notch at the rear that’s apparently supposed to be the rear sight, the hammer blocks your view of it even when cocked. Basically you’re left with only a top strap and a front sight, just like a [key chain-sized] shotgun. That, then, is how I shoot it — sight right down the top strap (if you see the top strap your eye is too high and if the back of the frame starts blocking the front sight then your eye is too low), put the front sight on the target, and pull the trigger.

While the gun (based on other tests I’ve seen) is actually mechanically accurate to a higher degree than you’d likely expect, in practice it’s really hard to line it up consistently for each shot. Obviously the lack of a rear sight is a contributing factor, but so are the extremely short sight radius and the teeny grip. Again, other models address all of these things if you want to do some target shooting, and NAA even sells a clamp-on laser. As I don’t have the laser I didn’t do official accuracy testing. I simply have no good way to consistently line up the gun for every shot. Sorry. [EDIT: NAA came to the rescue and mailed me a laser sight! Results of the testing are here.]

If the comments section proves a legit desire to see accuracy groups from various brands of .22 LR, I’ll buy the $99 laser and get that done. But you better click the ads on the ensuing YouTube video haha. In the video at top, you can see I have no problems whatsoever reliably hitting a smaller-than-real torso target at 5 to 7 yards in what counts as rapid fire. I actually shot 3, 5-shot strings from there and only missed once.

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The trigger pull feels heavy, but I think that’s due to its size and rounded (convex, rather than your typical concave) shape. Mine measures very consistently right at 3 lbs. There is zero pretravel/slack and no creep. A clean break with no real overtravel to speak of. The serrations on the trigger face actually make it part of your grip for controlling recoil.

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As for the rest of your grip…well…don’t expect to hold it the same way you hold any other gun. If you haven’t noticed, it’s really freaking tiny. I basically wrap my middle finger around the lower part of the grip and then squeeze it on the side with my thumb. That and your index finger on the trigger are about the extent of it. It’s possible to do a 2-handed grip, but don’t expect to make any contact with your second hand anywhere on the gun. However, you could accidently stick a finger out in front of the muzzle so just be aware of how short it actually is and don’t shoot your dang self.

Even if you have no intentions of carrying a Mini-Revolver, they’re fun to own and shoot and the build is solid for a long life of plinking. The materials quality, machining, and fit and finish are all quite good. Again, not just a novelty. NAA doesn’t restrict the power level of the ammo you feed these things, specifically stating that “hyper velocity” ammo is okay as well as shot shell loads. The only ammo warning is to not use any PMC brand whatsoever.

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The actual practice of shooting isn’t entirely speedy. In order to reload, you must push the detent on the front of the cylinder retaining pin and then pull the pin out the front. This allows the cylinder to drop out of the frame. At this point you will likely need to use the same retaining pin to push the empty brass out of the cylinder, as the expansion from firing typically sticks them in there just hard enough that they won’t all fall out with only a shake. Then you insert 5 new rounds, put the cylinder back in the frame as per the above video, and shoot some more. On the plus side, it makes your stash of .22 LR last a lot longer! On the minus side, there will not be any reloading during a DGU.

Conclusion:

I’ve had plenty of pistols go in and out of my collection over the past decade. Only a few have remained in the stable long-term, and my NAA Mini is one of them. I will not be selling it (although I considered doing so in order to upgrade to the color case hardened version). It’s well-made and a lot of fun to shoot, and it’s always a hit at the range. I haven’t carried it as much with the Nano and the TCP being so concealable themselves, but it still has its place and finds its way into my “wardrobe” occasionally.

Specifications: (For my specific model. Again, check out the NAA website for other versions and relevant stats)

Caliber:  .22 LR
Action:  Single action revolver
Barrel: 1.125 inches
Weight: 4.5 ounces unloaded
Length:  4 inches
Height: 2.375 inches
Capacity: 5 rounds
MSRP:  $209

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy: * *
Again, this is for my specific version. Whether or not it’s mechanically accurate, it doesn’t provide the shooter with the means to really line it up the same every time and it takes practice to shoot it accurately with any consistency.

Ergonomics: * *
It’s really small. Gripping it means basically pinching it between two fingers. A lot of folks who shoot it for the first time end up pressing a finger against the back of the cylinder, and that smarts a bit when you fire.

Reliability: * * * * *
It’s reliable. Strong primer strikes, good mechanicals. Rust-resistant stainless steel construction.

Customize This: * * * *
Lots of grip options, tons of holster options, lasers and other accessories, different cylinders and custom shop finishes, etc.

Concealed Carry: * * * * *
Tiny and light.

Overall: * * * *
It’s fun, it’s reliable, it’s built well, it can be concealed in a dang belt buckle. I could see swapping for a Pug and giving it a full five stars thanks to usable sights. But the Pug isn’t quite as small and light. Don’t even give me crap about a four star review in the comments because it isn’t a .45. Within the limitations of what you can accomplish from the tiniest .22 LR possible, the NAA Mini-Revolver pretty much nails it. This is a rating of the gun itself, not of the caliber’s suitability for self defense.

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164 Responses to Gun Review: NAA Mini Revolver

  1. Am I the only one who went, “D’aww” when I saw the baby revolver sitting on top of the big daddy revolver?
    Please tell me I’m not.

        • Yeah craziest thing. I bought that .500 S&W Mag first and when I took it out of the box to check it out, the NAA mini just fell out from inside of the grip. I said, “It’s a boy!” and put it in my safe.

          😉

        • Which brings up the question. If your .500 smith was the mama who’s the baby daddy?

          Some deadbeat model 29 needs to be sending you a case of food for junior every month.

        • Thanks for making me laugh out loud, doesn’t happen that often.

          Can’t understand how you forget guns. I mean you are checking out the box for your .500 then a .22 pops out. I heard similar stories involving people cleaning closets and finding shotguns/rifles and going all: “I didn’t even know I had this one”.

          I mean, don’t you guys keep track? Keep guns somewhat organized? Does this also apply to children (“I had this one too?!”)?

        • jwm — hahahaha. I don’t have a 29 but I do have a Ruger Super Blackhawk that was in the safe next to the .500 while I owned that. Hmmmmm

          Lolinski — I was completely and totally joking. The .500 I owned in 2012 for like 4 months. The NAA I’ve had for much longer. Despite its size, it has never gone missing or been forgotten about 😉

    • Here we see the mini revolver practicing shooting with its father. As a cub, it will spend much time learning these vital skills as it progress into J-Framehood…

    • thugs laugh at our never ending blogs on penetration, hollows, capacity, gel tests, stopping power. Thugs know that a bullet, any bullet, can put a bloody tunnel in them…a 14″ or 4″ deep tunnel is all the same. At the 1st sight of a store clerk showing a gun, those mutts scatter like cockroaches out the door. I put my NA Arms derringer’s .22LR clean through a 3/4 ” plywood at 6′. Is that good enough? I fought a few times but now being older I don’t care to get beat up so I consider my little derringer to be my “stop hitting me” enforcer. Remember what George Zimmerman said, “there’s a lawyer attached to every bullet” . Do you want to explain to a jury why your conceal carry piece, with 17 rounds and a laser, was one of the most powerful handguns ever made?

  2. I would carry one of these NAA revolvers over one of those new Taurus “break and see” cut away revolvers.

      • On the plus side, after you shoot all 5 rounds you could put it in a slingshot and do some real damage using the entire Mini as the 6th round 🙂

        • It’s louder than any rape whistle. Besides, put it against the rapist’s crotch, pull the trigger, and the rapin’ apparatus ain’t gonna be useful for a long while (if ever again). It’s an effective snake gun. 😉

      • Gunfights are for hollywood. With this thing you better shove it up under his chin and start firing. Get ear wax on the cylinder pin.

        • No way, I don’t wan’t to ruin my clothes.

          I have already ruined a shirt and a pair of pants by bleeding a good deal on them. Seriously, has anyone tried to wash blood out of clothes? That is an uphill battle.

        • Don’t worry about your clothes, lolinsky. The cops will be taking the gun and the clothes as evidence,

        • And they’ll be taking your anal virginity.

          That won’t be during the evidence gathering part though, that’ll come during the trail, or in jail, or both.

        • “And they’ll be taking your anal virginity.”

          Well if they try, they’ll find the muzzle end of my BUG-BUG-BUG Mini-Revolver waiting. 😉

        • But I am a religious person, I save myself for marriage, I even have a chastity ring. O_O. Will they at least keep their promise to call me afterwards?

          Besides, I am a rural person, I always expected it to be a case of shovel, carpet, bleach amd STFU. Do they (the 5-0) help you get rid of the stiff guy? Luckily I am not in the US where I have to be afraid of the po-po or worry about stuff like this.

          Gotta ask, why do many type my online name with a “Y” instead of an “I”? I mean, it isn’t that hard to remember. If you are confused about which letter to end the name with – think strippers. That’l help you remember the “I”.

    • Yeah, but you won’t get the trigger finger workout that you would with that 20lb trigger pull on the Nagant. (flexes trigger finger)

      • Say what you will about the Nagant but it is accurate. Just do some work on the trigger (ThenNagantMan has good vids on this, just google him),haethe technique right and be patient.

    • My 1851 Confederate style revolver lol it’s a bitch to load. My 5″ barrel is good for balance, carry and seems optimal when loading 40 grn of powder and 1/5 oz slugs. Calculated stopping power similar to .38Spc from a snubby when loaded like that. Nagant might be about as powerful as a typical .32ACP pistol but it’s better than my revolver overall in a defensive situation because it can be fired in DA. Speed is more important than caliber and the Nagant can be fired faster with one hand than an 1851 Navy. Basically, the 1851 style revolver was easier to buy. I’m getting a 12″ barrel, birdshot for the 1st chamber and 255 grain bullets for the other 5 chambers later so speed, precision and stopping power can be increased slightly.

  3. I’d like to see ballistics from the 22short, as well as noise levels. Excessively loud guns really bother me.

    Come to think of it, I wonder how small one could get away with making an effective can for a tiny round like 22short.

    • I’d be happy to run some .22 shorts over the chrony for you. I’ll keep an eye out next time I’m at the couple local gun shops I frequent to see if there are any in stock. I haven’t actually purchased shorts for quite a few years.

      Can’t help you on noise level. A dB meter capable of recording gun shot volume accurately is WAY out of my budget. My description of the volume level of the gun in the write-up may be misleading, which I realize now. I don’t really mean to say that it’s significantly louder than a 9mm pistol or a revolver chambered in a legit centerfire cartridge, etc. It’s just WAY louder than any other .22 LR I’ve shot. If you were a BG on the business end of it and only heard the thing, you’d assume it was a full sized powerful firearm, not a little .22 pea shooter. So to be clearer here, expect volume level in line with a “real” caliber and not the typical quieter volume of a .22 LR round. It’s still higher pitched (less bass than a large pistol caliber) but it’s got the volume for sure.

      You could definitely make a teeny tiny can to suppress .22 Short. But you can’t suppress a revolver (exception: M1895 Nagant since the cylinder seals up against the forcing cone) as a huge portion of the noise would continue to get out between the cylinder and barrel.

      • Modern .22 shorts are pretty nearly the same velocity (and presumably noise) as long rifles. Remember they were both invented for black powder…. you can do a lot more these days with a smaller case. Which would lead me to the conclusion that buying the short version of this is best since it’s even smaller.

        I can vouch for the noise, my father had the LR version. I was always shooting my 6″ Iver Johnson without ear protection back then, but the NAA knocked my socks off the one time he fired it out the window of the truck.

      • With respect to measuring noise level, I’ve been wanting to try this myself for a while. I’ve been thinking about procedures to at least provide relative results. I’ve been thinking about this I think since Tyler Kee posting something about using his smartphone to measure sound levels.

        Obviously, there’s no way to baseline the dB level from any given noise. However, you can look up the specs on the phone’s mic and fire several test shots and place the phone at a distance where the microphone just starts to read below the upper level dB spec. Ideally, the “baseline” noise would be louder than the noise being tested. Then testing would proceed for the load in question. Since sound volume varies with the inverse square of distance (I think) you could extrapolate and approximate dB at the shooter’s ear.

        Just my two cents as a makeshift solution.

        • Yes except most folks agree that you need very expensive equipment to actually capture the extremely short peak pressure impulse of a gunshot. The high pressure point happens so fast that most dB meters and things like phones and video cameras, etc, can’t catch it. So your results are skewed low. It’s possible that two calibers/guns/etc meter the same in this manner but actually vary in a large way on peak pressure. Which can do hearing damage and such even as brief as it is.

        • If you’re shooting inside anything more live than an anechoic chamber, regular sound meters should give you an idea of differences in relative loudness. You’ll likely need a way to muffle the pickup mike, unless you have access to a very large room. While you’ll theoretically be measuring average sound pressure rather than absolute short time peak; so does your ear drum, which is also mass limited enough to clip very short peak pressures. And realistically, the shooting situations where loudness is the most bothersome, is inside anyway; leading me to believe total sound energy including reverberations, is a more relevant measure than just the peak pressure.

        • You may be right. However, Layne may also be correct about the lack of a perceivable difference between LR and Shorts anyway. Either way, you’re going to require hearing protection for sure.

      • I silenced my 1851 Navy by about 30%, so it is possible to silence a revolver, just not by much. The same silencer I made for my 1851 Navy would probably work at least twice as well on a Nagant. Of course, depending on your State’s laws and the model year of the Nagant, you might have to deal with some NFA red tape. The way my State laws and Federal laws are written, especially the parts about silencers being defined as any device that reduces the report of a firearm, definitions of “antique firearm” VS “firearm” combined with the fact that neither the feds or my State considers antique firearms to be firearms and the fact that NFA only applies to firearms and maybe some firearm parts, means I’m not silencing a firearm when I silence my 1851 Navy.

        • Depends how the chain fire happens, when it happens and if the gun is strong enough to handle the extra strain caused by chain firing. Plus, I’m not sure most shooters would be able to stay on target with what might basically be a 5 round burst at high ROF, from a very light weight revolver, light even when compared to other pistols and revolvers in that caliber, that doesn’t even allow for a full and proper grip with 1 hand, let alone 2.

      • JIO – thanks for the link. The NAA warning was from 2004. I then I looked on PMC’s site, there were no .22 offerings listed. Doing an InterWeb search for “.22lr pmc”, all I found were really old reports.

  4. I’ve carried the 22WMR Black Widow daily in my boot for years now. It goes places where my normal sidearm can’t go, and the Black Widow has slightly better ballistics results due to the high-twist 2″ barrel. Not the perfect BUG, but still better than a poke in the eye, and great for up close and personal encounters. Don’t expect to win any target matches with it though.

    • I bought the 22mag pug but did not expect much out of it. After putting the gun through the paces I was very impressed with what it was capable of. I usually carry a 40sw or a 357mag but I always carry my pug. I say this is the gun I carry when I am not carrying. I feel confident that if needed I can make lethal hits with it. Check out my pug video.

  5. Did anybody else check the date of this article to see if it was posted April 1st? That’s a TINY weapon.

    • A very long time. Freedom Arms created the original design and sold the rights to North American Arms a really long time ago. I think 20-30 years.

      Edit: Wiki says Freedom Arms sold the rights to NAA in 1990. The Freedom Arms page suggests FA’s mini revolver, which they called the “Patriot,” was first made in 1978.

  6. Take your thumb of your weak hand and place it on the back of the grip ( leave it connected to your hand, don’t cut it off or anything), then wrap your strong hand around both it and the grip.
    Much better control of this diminutive revolver this way

    • I’ll try that. Sounds like it could get in the way of cocking the hammer but obviously not if it’s down low enough on the grip. I’ve always enjoyed just shooting it single handed and shoot it fairly accurately within 10 yards. But I’ve never thought of putting [still-connected] parts of my weak hand underneath my shooting hand so I’ll give that a shot next time.

  7. I love my NAA Pug, it goes with me everywhere and fulfills that first rule of gun fighting without having to always lug 2-3lbs of G26 or G19 on my person. Good review Jeremy. I enjoyed it.

  8. The NAA Mini has been my primary carry gun for the last 4 years. It is the most comfortable gun to carry for a person who “does not expect to need it” but like to assert the right to carry. I carry inside the waistband. I have also done a substantial amount of penetration testing through various medium with a .22mag load and I am satisfied with the results.

    My #1 recommendation is to get the “boot Grips”. These are the larger grips found on the NAA Earl. Very easy to install and will increase your accuracy a great deal. I can consistently hit cans within 15 to 20 feet. Mine has no rear sight, so I had to get use to aiming without it. They do now offer a version with a rear sight.

    NAA now also offers the Sidewinder which has a swing out cylinder. Very high on my list of guns to get. I thought the price was a bit high when they introduced the Sidewinder, I will have to check again.

  9. I recently bought one of their “Sidewinders” in 22WMR. It has a swing-out cylinder, and the frame is a bit larger in the hinged area, but otherwise is the same size as their regular 22WMR. I put the “boot grips” from NAA on mine, which gives me a bit better hold with the 22WMR. Built like a fine watch – very precise fitting and surprisingly accurate for what it is. Admittedly, it is not a 1911 or .357, but it surely beats praying, when you can’t pack something larger. It would make a great runners’ carry gun – strap it to your arm with one of those bands intended to carry an MP3 or cell phone.

  10. And they said my Glock 42 looked underpowered…

    I jest. But honestly, I don’t see the point in this…. gun? Even in the ream of rimfire self defense guns, this is lacking in any qualities that make it worth four stars. I mean… sure it’s concealable, but so is a Beretta Bobcat, and at least the Bobcat is close to something resembling a firearm. I’d love to know the situation where this is the only firearm that you can actually conceal…”Zaptal carry” comes to mind…

    A 4 star concealed carry/self gun should not have the ergonomics of a toothpick (and this gun is clearly marketed and sold as a concealed carry/SD gun). If I’m going to be using a gun for self-defense, it should be large enough and simple enough that I can reliably find it, get my hand in the proper position, and draw it without too much of a struggle. I don’t see that happening with the mini-revolver. It probably also shouldn’t be a single action revolver. If it were a .357, I could forgive the single action. If it were double action, I could forgive the .22LR. But… a .22LR single action revolver for self-defense is stupid.

    To quote Eric from Iraqveteran8888, “A .22 will kill the crap out of you.” I believe that. Have people been killed with the NAA Mini-Revolver? Probably, but people have also been killed with rolled-up newspapers, and I’m not betting my life on one of those.

    I’d rather put that $209 towards ammunition and range time with a more practical handgun.

    As a “Because I can!” gun, this looks like it’s fine. But…. really?

    • If the rating was solely in regard to how good this gun is in a self defense role vs. all other options, it would get zero stars. But the rating really isn’t comparative against every other firearm out there and it’s about way more factors than efficacy when firing it in self defense. Maybe I should rate it on how easy it is to smuggle into jail inside of an apple. Five stars!

      It’s a single action, .22 LR, teeny tiny revolver. How good is it at being that? Solid 4 stars.

      If you think it deserves a lower rating for being single action, then does every revolver deserve a lower rating for not being a semi-auto? Does every semi-auto that requires the slide to cycle to reset the firing mechanism deserve lower ratings than one with true double action capability? If I’m going to review a Ruger Super Blackhawk, I’m not knocking it for being a single action revolver. It was designed from the ground up to be a freakin’ single action revolver. If you don’t like single action revolvers then don’t buy one. The question is if it’s a good single action revolver or not; not whether it’s as good as a Glock.

      • I honestly think you’re looking in too small a pool for your comparative rating. That isn’t to say you can look at every gun as an ultra-small CCW piece. A Remington 870 Marine Magnum would get no stars if it were being rated as a concealed carry gun.

        That said, you’re basically saying, “Within this ultra-small hyper specific category, this is great!” Anything in a small enough category is going to be the best, or really really good. But there are better .22LR carry guns out there.

        Now, I never compared this to a Glock. I understand that it isn’t fair to compare this too a Glock. So I didn’t compare it too a Glock. But, compared to other guns that can reasonably considered a part of its class (small .22LR CCW guns), the gun has serious limitations by design. I’m sure the gun is built with the utmost mechanical precision. I’ll bet it fires well. Hell, it’s probably pretty accurate too. But by design, a .22LR single action gun of this size is extremely limited. It doesn’t matter if the design is well executed if the design itself is flawed or obsolete.

        I also have nothing against single actions. I like single actions revolvers. My favorite gun growing up was my dad’s single action .357 magnum. My gripe is about the fact that it’s a single action .22 designed for concealed carry that lacks all ergonomic graces. How quickly do you really think you could work the hammer on that thing under stress?

        I could see the four star review if “Gripping it means basically pinching it between two fingers” wasn’t a concern, which would help overcome the whole single action .22LR thing because at least then it would start to approach a practical firearm.

        And please tell me, what possible situation would make this practical? I guess in a hyper-specific situation where you had to hide a gun in your crotch because you wanted to smuggle a firearm somewhere, this would excel. But even then, metal detectors limit THAT role.

        All in all, this thing looks like it’s worth maybe 3 stars, because of the quality and the fact that some people might enjoy this kind of gun. But as a CCW gun, it is limited to the point of being impractical. As a target gun, it’s limited to the point of being impractical. As a range toy, it’s still pretty damn impractical, and that’s what it seems to do the best at.

        That said, if anybody wants to let me shoot their mini-revolver, I’d LOVE to have my mind changed.

        • Also, while I’m at it, is there even another gun that this competes with in the “Ultra-small, single action .22LR Revolver” category?

        • Fine. I rescind my rating and on your subjective measurements instead of my subjective measurements it is now 3 stars.

          The Truth — which is what we’re all about here, right? — is that the ratings ARE subjective. I might agree with your points entirely but it still doesn’t change my subjective impressions of the gun or its performance in a particular category or the way that I personally weigh one factor over another factor. If easy-to-shoot is really important to you then you’d probably give it a lower overall rating than I would, since I weigh fun-to-shoot more heavily.

          I definitely see a lot of comments in various gun reviews relating ONLY to utility for self defense. I reject that premise and firearms to me are for much more than that. I own guns that have no other purpose whatsoever than for target shooting, fun plinking (range toys), or collector interest. Those are legitimate uses and when you say things like “But there are better .22LR carry guns out there.” I think “so what?” This isn’t a .22 LR carry gun. It’s a .22 LR gun. Whether you carry it or not is up to you, not me. Is it a good gun? Four stars. Is it a good carry gun compared to a Bobcat in .22 LR? That’s not what this write-up is about.

          Also, the fact that this gun is SO easy to carry — perhaps the easiest there is — makes it a good carry gun regardless of any other factors whatsoever. We all know that the VAST majority (90%+) of DGU’s involve precisely zero shots being fired. There are hundreds of anecdotes on NAA’s forum of people using them to defend themselves, and there are a couple in this very comment thread here by regular TTAG commenters. By default of many positive real-life defensive uses of NAA Mini-Revolvers, I think it’s demonstrably a good carry gun. The resounding factor connecting nearly all of those incidents is that the gun was on the person at the time. Lots of those people carry “real” guns much of the time, but when they were surprised with a self defense encounter it was the Mini they had on them and the Mini that saved their skin.

    • Because it’s something that can be carried anywhere in any outfit.

      It’s exceedingly small and can handle being underwater, it weighs almost nothing. Loaded it’s 6 ounces? And it’s using ammo you already have.

      There are situations where even small firearms just won’t conceal, and you have to head into the realm of tiny.

    • Ok, let’s compare. NAA VS Bobcat. NAA is $209. Bobcat is $410. NAA is a revolver. Bobcat is a pistol. NAA is SAO. Bobcat is DA/SA. NAA holds 5 rounds. Bobcat holds 7. NAA has a shorter but fixed barrel but the Bobcat has a longer but movable barrel, so I’d say the accuracy and power level would be about even except for one detail. Blowback operated guns use more energy on blowback, case ejection and chambering than revolvers waste through cylinder gaps. That means more energy from the cartridge is used to power the projectile in SA and DA revolvers than in auto-loading pistols. More energy used to power the projectile means more range and penetration which usually means more stopping power. Good thing the Bobcat has a longer barrel, because if it had the same length barrel as the NAA it’d be less powerful than the NAA. A couple more rounds in the Bobcat’s magazine helps, but isn’t a huge improvement over revolver capacity. Similar size, weight and stopping power, but the Bobcat is nearly twice as fast to shoot, which would make it better than the NAA except it also costs nearly twice as much as the NAA. I think that for a conceal carry gun on a budget around $200, the NAA is better. Not everyone can afford to blow $400 on a gun anyway. If you have the money to afford it, by all means, get yourself a Bobcat if you want to. Trying to say one is better than the other or to compare the 2 to see if 1 is better seems like a waste of time, as you might’ve noticed. It’s like trying to compare Glock to Hi-Point, Honda to MC, Sony to Coby, NAA to SAA or an alley-cat to a bobcat. It’s not the same and comparison doesn’t do much except make that point abundantly clear.

  11. Nice review! I’ve seen a couple of these in display cases, but never handled one. You have disspelled my notion that these were cheaply made “toy” type guns, so the next time I see one, I’ll have to check one out in person. I have gorilla sized mitts, so I’m not sure I could even hold the smallest version.

    • Yeah big mitts don’t help, but the boot grip gives you more real estate to grab onto and the larger rubber grips certainly do as well. If you cock the hammer and check out the action and give it a close look, you’ll find that it’s a high quality piece with tight tolerances and solid mechanicals.

  12. I’ve had my mini mag for 20+ years.
    Somehow, someway, in the last year, I misplaced the cylinder.
    Brings a tear to my eye. I love that little piece.

    • I believe NAA only charges ~$50 for a cylinder. The frame has to be sent to them, though, so they can time the cylinder properly and such. You could get a magnum and a LR cylinder made at the same time 😉

    • Hi Kenny,

      Thanks for contacting here and via e-mail, and I think the offer to borrow a laser sight so I can follow up with a full-on accuracy test is awesome! That will allow for very consistent point of aim so we can see how mechanically accurate a 1-1/8″ bbl NAA Mini really is. I e-mailed my shipping address a few minutes ago.

      TTAGers, expect a follow-up in two weeks with official accuracy testing. I’ll probably do 5-shot groups for maybe 6 to 8 different loads spanning the weight and power level spectrum. I even have some CCI shotshells in my ammo closet somewhere. This will probably be done at my local indoor range at exactly 7 yards.

      Jeremy

      • Jeremy, have you ever had your NAA rotate off the “notch” in your pocket to over a live round? I have had it happen more times than I care to chance. I know I had it in the “notch” when I started, but it still perplexed me… I investigated and if you try yours you will see… Put your hammer in the “notch” and SLIGHTLY pull the hammer back (just a fraction!) you will find the cylinder rotates VERY easily to a loaded position. As I stated earlier, this has happened to me in a true pocket carry. Scary. So I always, ALWAYS carry on an empty chamber.

        That said, I still love the little tyke and it finds itself with me more often than its bigger brothers. Thanks for the review and will be looking for more!

        • No, this has never happened to me. You’re right that you don’t have to move the hammer very far to get it out of a safety notch. The hammer only barely pokes through the frame so it’s not like it’s deep into a notch. But the hammer spring is pretty stiff and it takes a solid push to move mine far enough to clear the notch. It has never happened accidently.

          Another thing is that I only pocket carry it sans holster in a snug pocket that doesn’t allow the thing to move around and then maybe get squeezed and whatnot if I bend or sit or bump into something. I think I said in the write-up, “an appropriately-holster-sized pocket.” One that fits the size of the Mini pretty well. I’ve found that in standard-sized jeans 5th pockets, those interior “key” pockets in suit jackets, etc. If I’m tossing it into a front pocket or a cargo pocket or something like that, it’s in a holster.

          I don’t see this as a negative, because every other gun I own has to be in a holster no matter what. Additionally, the design is that the lowered hammer locks the cylinder in place. You have to make sure that your method of carry doesn’t affect that lowered hammer. Whether it’s in a safety notch or on an empty chamber, if the hammer is being pulled while you’re carrying the thing then you aren’t carrying it safely.

        • @HalfCocked: Is it possible that your hammer is getting pulled back to the half-cock position? It is also possible that you have a very weak spring. I’ve never, ever had what you describe happen to me unintentionally, The amount of force required to pull the hammer back should be too great for that to happen unintentionally. Also, if the cylinder is rotating freely then just having the one chamber empty would not be a guarantee as it could rotate even beyond the empty chamber to a loaded one. If the hammer moves back far enough to jump the notch once, it could do it again and jump the empty chamber. On the bigger single action shooting irons, an empty chamber helps prevent the hammer from striking a primer under the hammer. But, if cylinder rotation were also an issue then all bets would be off.

          I would recommend returning your’s to NAA for a check and possible warranty work (if covered).

          (Safety Nazis please ignore the following…)
          The spring should be more than strong enough to keep the hammer in a safety notch. So strong, in fact, that my mini’s hammer was, on occasion in the past, used to slice open tape on shipping boxes in a pinch. (Yes, I know, I’m gun idiot of the day.) Properly functioning, your hammer should not be moving that easily.

        • John&Jeremy, thanks for your reply. I hope my hastily chosen user name didn’t imply my NAA goes to half cock. The situation I’m referring to is the notch that NAA says is safe, is not as safe as it seems. Please try it on your own piece. It takes just a fraction of movement of the hammer (far far from half cocked) to release the cylinder.

          Jeremy, I would like to find a holster I like, but this isn’t a glock, it’s a pocket pistol, and NAA markets it just as that, AND the ‘notches’ are also heavily advertised as a solution to safety issues. The hammer resting over an empty chamber is far harder to release the cylinder, try it! The aforementioned heavy hammer spring does a fine job, especially when hammer down on an empty, but the “notch” position is released with minimal force. I hope this clarifies my post. I love that little gun and wouldn’t think of getting rid of it (or using it to cut packing tape! Lol)

        • @HalfCocked: I just emptied my normal EDC .22LR NAA Mini and I see what you mean about it the cylinder not rotating when over an empty chamber. That is because the rotation is then locked by the mechanism. I was incorrect about that.

          However, during my test the hammer did not easily move out of the safety notch. It took a substantial amount of effort to pull the hammer back enough for the firing pin to come out of the notch enough to allow the cylinder to turn. Again, I strongly recommend that you contact North American Arms about the issue. Mine does not exhibit the behavior that you describe.

        • @John in Ohio,
          I know mine isn’t defective, or I should say EVERY one of the NAAs I’ve handled has this quirk. I think this may be an issue of relativity, meaning your substantial force, and my easiness are one in the same. Please don’t focus on the amount of strength required to cock the hammer, it really is irrelevant to my issue (or non issue! Lol) please watch the overall AMOUNT of travel of the hammer needed to release the cylinder from the notch. This “safety” is overcome by an astounding minuscule fraction of hammer movement. Please try on yours, they ALL do it. My point is, don’t rely on this “safety notch” as it gives a false sense of security where upmost diligence is due. I would be mortified to have a negligent discharge possibly harming an innocent bystander, let alone the proximity to my favorite appendenge! I settle for four shots and a clean conscience.

        • @HalfCocked

          I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m going to be curt / terse for clarity:

          I went to my safe and tried it myself before I responded to you. John just posted about how he tried it.

          Nothing I said was meant to refute your assertion that only a small amount of hammer travel is required to pull it out of the notch. In fact, I specifically corroborated what you said and reiterated that the hammer blade barely sticks through the frame and is only shallowly in a notch.

          Nothing you have said subsequently changes my mind on any part of my reply and my opinion aligns more closely with John’s.

          1) I find the level of effort to move the hammer backwards and out of the safety notch to be sufficiently safe.

          2) If your hammer is moving backwards and out of the safety notch while you are carrying the gun, you are carrying it wrong. Use a holster, use a different pocket (location and/or size), etc. Sorry, but you have to carry appropriately based on firearm design. A Glock WILL fire if the trigger is pulled. If you stuff it into a pocket and your car key pushes the trigger and it fires, that is not a problem with the gun. You need a holster that fully covers the trigger guard. The NAA’s safety feature is a hammer lowered into the safety notch, and it works. You need to carry it in such a manner that your movement and your clothing, etc, aren’t pulling on the dang hammer.

          3) even with the hammer sitting directly on a live round, this isn’t the equivalent of a Single Action Army doing the same. Single Action revolvers of old have pointed firing pins and centerfire primers can be really soft. It does not take much of a bump to ignite a primer under this circumstance. With a rimfire, it’s quite a bit harder. The brass is much harder and the firing pin is often blunt in comparison, and a harder strike is needed to ignite it. Obviously I’m NOT saying it’s safe to carry w/ the hammer on a live round or anything, just saying… well… not sure what I’m saying haha. Maybe just that the chances of it going off in this slipped hammer scenario may be lower than you’d expect. A lot of centerfire pistols don’t even have enough hammer / spring strength to ignite rimfire rounds — for instance, when you do a .22 LR conversion on some pistols you have to install a stronger hammer spring. Could be a 100% reliable gun like a Sig that still needs 25% more spring strength to set off rimfire ammo. Just an FYI, I guess, in case anyone cares but didn’t realize.

        • @HalfCocked: I just unloaded my EDC Mini again and checked the distance required. The distance is well more than the thickness of two rims of a .22LR. This amount of distance is huge compared to the movement distance required to trip a sear in a fire control group of modern firearms (just for comparison’s sake). Given the relatively large distance required and a properly functioning tight spring, I don’t find it to be an issue. However, we each must choose the amount of acceptable risk that we are willing to take. You are correct in carrying on an empty chamber as you have evaluated the situation and perceived risk and made your decision. Perhaps mine is unique? (Doubtful, as I’ve not noticed this issue on any other NAA that I’ve owned or handled… however, I only have the one EDC at my disposal at this time.) Thank you for describing your experiences and concern so that others have the opportunity to examine the situation and make their own choices accordingly. As for me, I will continue to comfortably carry on the safety notch as it is a non-issue in my opinion.

        • Correction: I overstated the distance; don’t know what I was thinking or why it looked that way to me. However, the distance is still sufficiently large, IMHO, so I stand by my comment.

        • “Thank you for describing your experiences and concern so that others have the opportunity to examine the situation and make their own choices accordingly. ” — John In Ohio

          Ditto.

          My opinion contradicts yours, HalfCocked, but we can still both be correct. What you decide is unsafe doesn’t have to be the same thing I do. (I still do suggest you try increasing safety through the use of a holster, rather than by reducing capacity by a round, but that’s only a suggestion and another personal opinion & preference of mine)

        • I absolutely agree with you and always carry my Pug with the hammer resting on an empty cylinder for the reason you stated.

  13. “Actually, it may be the only 5th pocket gun.”

    My Sig P938 fits in there on my wrangler jeans (hammer decocked). I think the pocket is a little bigger than what’s pictured there. I guess lefties would be up a creek if they wanted to 5th pocket carry. 🙂

  14. Some people recommend placing your weak hand’s thumb along the back strap and wrapping your firing hand around it and the grip. It’s said to help with recoil and give to more to hold on to.

  15. Why don’t they make a top-break version? Would be easy to suppress since you could shroud the cylinder without making latches for opening/closing a cylinder cover.

    Would also be just as fast to load.

    • AFAIK, they made some top break revolvers but don’t any more. If memory serves, Boge Quinn has a fine specimen of such. 🙂 If NAA made them again, I’d have to buy one.

        • Now I am dissappointed in you guys. How long has this been made and nobody had yet thought of suppressing one? I really hope I am not the only one who tought of suppressing one.

          C’mon, I know some of you have more disposable income, time and legality to do this.

        • It has tight tolerances but there’s still a gap between the cylinder and the forcing cone/barrel. You’d have plenty of noise and pressure escaping through there and I doubt suppressing it would be all that effective. Trying to “shroud” it somehow is a little bit ridiculous, IMHO, and still may not be effective. No matter what, you aren’t going to be able to fully seal that gap because the cylinder needs to spin. You can’t make contact with it.

          The M1895 Nagant revolver can be suppressed because the cylinder moves forwards and presses against the forcing cone as the hammer cocks. I don’t know of another revolver that does this and creates a seal there.

        • Was thinking a suppressor+cylinder shroud combo. the cylinder would rotate because of a cut along the cylinder where the shroud could go maybe one one fifth of a millimeter towards the cylinder so as to block all noise from the gap.

          Or the shroud could go all the way and end a bit past the rear end of the cylinder.

          Was thinking an integral build. I don’t dabble much with detachable cans.

  16. Yeah! Made right by me in Orem, UT. Keep meaning to see if they’d let me tour the place of something. 🙂

  17. I own three of the NAA mini’s, a 22 LR, a magnum, and an “Earl” magnum, with 4″ barrel. I also have the LR cylinder for the Earl, and use it most of the time, because of the ammo cost.

    I use the smaller 1 1/8″ barreled magnum for a back up, and sometimes as my only carry weapon. It’s a strictly ” in you facer” weapon, not meant for anything other than extremely close range. As I’ve mentioned before, even if you do not bring your assailant down with your first shot, the noise will scare the hell out of him, and the muzzle flash will probably burn all of his hair off!

    The Earl is really fun to plink with. I often bring a couple of cans to our small self regulated range, and set them out after I do my precision shooting.

    These are really neat little guns, check out their website, you won’t regret owning one, or two, or three or four or more of them. Some folks have several dozen.

  18. I carried an NAA .22 Mag for years as a Realtor in a semi-rural/rural area & during the summer I’d load the first 2 chambers with CCI shotshells for rattlers. Used it twice on them, the first time the couple got back in their car & took off, never heard from them again (some people think they want to live in the country until they find out what it’s really like) 🙂 The second time the guy asked to see it & liked it so much he bought one before we closed.

    • Fred,

      Is the .22 mini revolver crazy loud with shotshells? I just want one for snakes like you were saying. Thanks

      Scott

  19. I carry an NAA PUG .22mag daily and it is a fine pocket firearm.
    I have the cylinder loaded with Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel .22 mag ammunition.

  20. Thanks for the excellent review. I’ve owned them for years and carry one (smallest .22LR) all of the time. Although, I too wouldn’t recommend them as a primary, they are the perfect BUG for your BUG. I couldn’t imagine being without it. I’ve added a lanyard stud and the little pistol on the right length chain completely disappears under a T-shirt. If you have small hands, the empty revolver acts as a self-defense aid when your fist is wrapped around it (butt up). Years ago, I used that .22LR Mini to back down two drug heads. I’d say it saved my life that day as the NAA mini was all I had on me at the time.

    • There are tons and tons of DGU stories like that w/ the NAA Minis. Goes to further prove that “the gun you have is better than the one you don’t” maxim. It’s dang easy to have a Mini on you no matter the circumstance/activity/attire (given it’s legal).

  21. I’ve had a NAA Black Widow for several years that has interchangable .22 LR & .22 WMR cylindars and I absolutely love that little pistol. I can practice/plink with .22 lr and carry .22 WMR. And what really made it a very cool gun was adding the Grip Holster which makes it one of the best CC’s I own.

    If you have been on the fence, I would say jump off and go get one with interchangable cylindars ASAP!

  22. My favorite is their 22 Mag black powder revolver. All kinds of fun. Well, until you get home and have to clean it…

      • Buddy took the grips off his stainless Ruger cap and ball and ran it thru the dishwasher. Gritty black stuff got every where. Wife was less than pleased.

        No doubt he deposited lead residue in the washer also. Once in a while wives are right to get pissed.

  23. I just got an NAA Black Widow with both 22LR and 22WMR cylinders and a brick of Gold Dot short barrel 22WMR. The laser sounds like a great idea but in execution has too many drawbacks (one extra step vs. automatic and it won’t work with the folding pocket holster).

  24. Although diminutive anyone who mocks the lethality of .22LR is ignorant. Yes, I just called a lot of the readers of TTAG ignorant. Ignorant like those people who think H&K is the best gun ever because it is in all the cool video games. Ignorant like… I am sure others can keep this analogy going. Get my point.

    • Reagan nearly expired due to 22LR because they didn’t realize he’d been shot and was bleeding internally.

  25. Thanks, Jeremy. That was a really excellent, thorough review – and I think realistically captures the value – and limitations – of this weapon.

    I own an NAA Pug and I have to say I absolutely love it. It is of course by far the easiest gun to carry ever. It certainly has limitations in range/accuracy and stopping power, but the old axiom applies: The best caliber is the one that you have on you. And this thing means there is no excuse for not being protected at all times. I think of it almost like a knife.

    They really are made very well, not like I thought when I first saw them. Built almost like a swiss-watch.

    Not my EDC, and I realize the limitations of .22 WMR as a defensive round… but certainly better than going out ‘naked’.

    Anyway, great review. thanks again

    VF77

    • Years ago I saw a write up on the lethality of the .22 mag. It’s not used often in dgu’s. But according to that article in the rare instance it’s used it’s fatal way more than not. For whatever reason it punches way out of it’s class.

      • Makes me want to do some searching… I’d love to see some data on 22 mag as a defensive round.

        Just some days it’s not advantageous to bring the EDC. But never an excuse not to slip this into my pocket… or wherever. It fits almost anywhere. I also have a necklace holster for it too.

        I wouldn’t say this is a great gun for people who aren’t familiar or comfortable with guns however (like my Dad’s wife, for example). You do have to be careful with the thing when loading, putting into safe, and shooting – as Jeremy called out. Not really for ‘beginners’, IMO….

        • If I was going to use one of these as a carry gun, even sparingly, I think I would load it with solids. Penetration would be my biggest concern.

          Agree with the opinion about beginners too. This gun would require an attention to detail and confidence that comes with experience.

  26. Question: Why do they put a front sight on it? There is no back sight, so you can’t really aim it with the sights. And the barrel is so short that it doesn’t have any accuracy in the “sighting in” range. This is a close quarters point-and-shoot gun.

    • Jeremy beat me to it, I’ve been working on a review of the exact same little pistol. Guess I’ll post it to my YouTube channel instead, but to address this…

      The front sight works in connection with a notch in the rear, that’s revealed when you cock the hammer. If you practice with it, and learn the right angle to set the front post down into the rear slot, you can actually get surprisingly good accuracy with the micro-pistol. In my review I’ll show a 5-yard 12×18 “dirty bird” silhouette with all five shots firmly in the 10-ring, a 2″ group. I was surprised and thrilled to get accuracy like that. I’m sure a lot more practice would bring the group size down even smaller, but I was happy with that kind of performance.

      But it’s not easy, the little micro pistol takes a lot of work to shoot well.

      • It’s possible if you leave the top of the front sight way higher than the top of the rear “sight,” thereby allowing left/right alignment by filling the notch w/ front sight but not really allowing repeatable up/down alignment. I suppose it’s possible that yours is different due to year of manufacture or something, but it’s physically impossible for me to align the top of the front sight with the top of the rear sight as the hammer is too tall and completely obscures your view of the rear sight well before that alignment can happen. Additionally, the notch is too narrow for the width of my front sight — it fills it completely and then some. So even left/right alignment can’t be done as precisely as you can when you get a teeny bit of light on either side.

        Regardless, due to the precision one must take when attempting to use the rear notch as a sight or just as an alignment point, it would be totally impossible to do in any sort of defensive scenario. At least on my Mini. As you can see in the video, hitting the FBI Q target (the steel mini silhouette) and that 5x5x5″ chunk of wood, a more rapid method of sighting down the top strap can be effective. Especially if your desired outcome is minute-of-BG.

        I’d LOVE to see a take 2 review, though, and maybe I can learn a better sighting method for target shooting. Definitely excited to see your ballistics testing results so I can choose the ideal round for this thing when I do carry it!!! I hope you’re testing those segmented hollow points along with some hyper velocity solids, HPs, etc. I have a ton of the Aguila SSS (Sniper Sub Sonic) 60 grain ammo if you’d like me to mail you a box.

      • I get that. Sometimes a pistol is more convenient to carry than a rifle and when used with skill, pistols can be used at long range almost as accurately as rifles. People who think pistols are significantly less accurate than rifles have never seen or heard of a revolver or pistol with a scope. Aiming is more the job for the shooter than a job for the gun unless you have one of those self-aiming guns from a video game lol

    • I have a magnium with 1 5/8 barrel the trick is ignore the front sight and look straight down the top of the gun so the front sight will be kinda covering the target instead of under it. This will put you close I can bust a pop can at 30to 40 ft every time. Also either the Black widow or the Pug have a rear sight maybe both its been a bit since I held one. I use to sell them. They are in my top 5 carry gun. I bet I carry that NAA mag more than 60% of the time

  27. As much as I love my NAA mini’s, there is on feature about them that you must be careful about, but only if you get a “hang fire”, or misfire” The problem is that most of these guns do not have a recoil shield, on the sides, behind the cylinder.
    A couple of years ago I read about (on the NAA forum) and saw photos of what happens when a hang fire round decides to go off right after you re-cock the gun, and the unfired round is over to the right, past the protection of the back strap.
    The guy’s hand was really messed up, SO, if you have a hang fire, or misfire, WAIT, at least 30 seconds to a minute, before re-cocking the gun.

  28. Cool little gun!

    I liked the review, and thought 4 stars was legit. Its a fun little piece, and there aren’t many other guns in its class. There are people on TTAG who hate everything. So it puts out 40 foot-pounds. Oh, well. It fits in a coin pocket!

    I’d love to shoot one, and I couldn’t burn up my .22 LR stash with a single action. Besides, the small size leaves plenty of space for a more serious gun.

  29. I bought the NAA “The Earl” And it’s fun to shoot, though I only took it to the range once so far and put 100 rnds through it. Only downside was by the end I was getting hand cramps from it.

    • That’s coming. As said in another comment, I’ve been working on my own review of this exact same pistol, and as part of that, I’ve been trying to find how ammo performs from it. Found some real stinkers, some good choices, and some surprisingly powerful options. So, stay tuned, I should have it up on my channel in the next week or two…

  30. I have carried a 22 magnum NAA mini for at least 10 years or more its not much bigger than a pocket knife so easily concealable. I am getting older now and have arthritis so the small size is a little hard to handle but a little practice every now and then helps. I have other guns but I still like this one for a carry gun. I keep 22 magnum hollow points in it when I can find them.

    • I have the same problem. I made some larger grips, they are actually a little thinner than the stock grips, but I made them so they extend a bit farther down, and back, so the fill the hand a little better. You can buy after market grips.

  31. I just love the people bashing this that haven’t shot it. And how the diminutive .22 is worthless. Several articles have been published on this site and other analyzing all the self defense shooting over the last 10 years. Several articles have been published on the effectiveness of the .22. For self defense nothing beat the 12G shotgun, next was the .357, then the .22 in one article.

    No one is going to argue the effectiveness of a .22 vs a .44Mag. But the .22 does penetrate well enough to kill. In fact when you measure kinetic energy the math formula is 1/2 mass times velocity squared. That means that how fast the bullet is going means much more than how big it is when just measuring energy. .22Mag out of a pistol is around 1400fps, and the .45 is around 850fps, a little more than half.

    I have one, Black Widow Mag version. Using Gold Dot self defense ammo, my wife can make a 6″ group at 21′. She is a good shot. We shoot at an indoor range, and every time people ask about it. It is loud. And the fireball that comes out the barrel would burn the eyebrows off an attacker if you missed inside of a couple feet. Mag ammo designed for rifles expels quite a bit of unburned powder that makes the bang/fireball.

    Point is, it is effective. Sure going to the store on a motorcycle has limitations compared to the Expedition. But if all you need is enough to fit in the saddlebags…

    If you are wearing jeans, leather belt, and a loose shirt/hoodie, sure the .45 1911 is perfect. But I have a hot wife who likes to wear tight cute outfits. Nothing conceals very well, including a firearm. The NA .22 is the tool for a specific job. The author talks about board shorts and surfing. A XD would depants him and the gun would be at the bottom of the ocean.

  32. I’ve had a small fascination with these little guys for a while now and I suppose it’s on my list, but there are so many other things I want to buy first. That being said, seeing that super sexy case hardened model has definitely jumped it near the top. Now if they would just release a case hardened sidewinder!

    • The CCH is crazy sexy, right? Love it. I believe much of their custom shop is made-to-order. My guess is that you could call them up and have them make a CCH Sidewinder for you.

  33. Excellent review! I’ve wanted one of these in 22LR for a couple years. As soon as I got my CCW, I realized I had to buy an LCP or else I just didn’t carry in the summer.

    Now, I’m going to get one of these as a back-up to the LCP. Again, great review!

  34. My son-in-law and I took the small (1-1/8 in barrel) 22magnum out to shoot. He changed the grips to larger ones.
    We took 5 or 6 different manufacturers bullets out to shoot. One we tried was the 22 mag Hornady Self Defense.

    We target practiced then fired the ammo into a 2×4. The only one that went through was the Hornady, it was the only one that blew the back out of the 2×4.

    The noise level makes it sound like a much larger caliber. The finish on the firearm is exceptionally good.

    I’m thinking of getting one myself.

  35. Jeremy S. thanks for this review. I saw some in a case at the LGS and thought this has to be a joke. Now I know it is a real gun. I already have some .22 guns in my collection and this would make a great addition as a ultra mini. Now I will see what the LGS is selling them for and maybe get one. It helps that I prefer revolvers as well. I have shot a friends Beretta Bobcat in .22LR and did not like that all that much but this looks to be much more easily carried/concealed.
    For those that were saying they would prefer the Bobcat remember it is semi auto (think more maintenance), costs about 100-200 dollars more, is expensive for replacement mags, has about the same size effective barrel, and only holds 7 rounds or 8 with one in the chamber.

  36. Had one of those many years ago, looked exactly the same.

    Cool novelty, but the 22 LR bullets keyholed 6 ft out of the barrel.

  37. Yes folks, this is a for real gun. I have and carry a .22 mag, and sometimes forget is in my front pocket. I used to get paranoid when I first started carrying, but now going anywhere (bank, post office, store, restaurant, etc.) is just routine, anymore. And, yes, I have a CCP.

  38. I got one of these about eight months ago, the 22LR version, after being intrigued with them for years. I don’t have huge hands, but after trying out different techniques, I’ve found that “point shooting” (aka instinctive shooting) it one-handed works best for me. You just sort of have to throw out everything you’ve ever learned about conventional handgun techniques and practice with it. These are great little revolvers, and I believe they have a legitimate role in the world of concealed carry. Just be aware of their limitations, and thoroughly familiarize yourself with it.

  39. About 25 of us bought the 22 LR back in 1969 or so as a backup to our service S&W 38 Spec and our backup S&W 38 Model 60 Chief. I still carry #! and #3 to this day since I retired and am a 99% er biker. I never leave home w/o them and also carry a 1911 Sig. It is a dangerous world out there folks and it is better to have and not need than the oter way around.

    When I saw the 22 mag gor $200 bucks ……that is what I now carry. To the micro gun experts be advised, I worked in LA for 30 years and I am still here 20 years later with no bullet holes or knife wounds and have put several AH under, Be safe boys and girls. .

  40. The way I have used a NAA Mini revolver .22 LR is pocket carry in addition to an EDC such as a full size Glock, in some situations, you will not be able to draw from your regular holster without giving away your draw, so drawing from a pocket, will be less conspicuous, a wallet holster is a plus, the range you will shoot from is less than 5 feet, or you can draw that Glock 19 for any other type of encounter. This gun is true perfection for Me.

  41. I’ve had the .22lr for a couple of years now. Maybe 100 rnds through it. Flawless performance. Very “watch like”. Nice review! It is what it is. Perfect little firearm when you can’t carry a firearm! I often wear Highland attire for my business. It fits right in my sporran! No excuse not to be legally armed at all times. I wouldn’t want to be shot with it! Holster grip is neat too. Takes minutes to swap out stock grips depending how one wants to carry that day. Stoner Holsters makes an outstanding pocket holster for it. Holds 10 spare rounds too. Nice gun, every CC/gun enthusiast should at least own one. Peace. M

  42. Update on 22 LR, still great little firearm. I’m right handed so right front pocket spoken for with car keys. Left front empty except for challenge coin. Holstergrip puts firearm at top of pocket. Looks like a small pocket knife. Works great as a bug or a working around house CC without a shirt. These reviews are all great but, the NAA 22 LR is a real gun and is a viable choice for some of us. Can’t always pack the ol’ 1911. It is what it is and I like it. Never have to be unarmed. Peace

  43. Update on NAA 22 LR. Just received a Stellar Rigs neck holster in Kydex. Very nice! Three days from phone call to delivery! Just another option to always carry something. 22 mag NAA in an IWB & 22lr around neck. Frees up pockets for all the other stuff we have to carry. 10 rounds, two guns. Nice. Great firearms, both. Very nice review, Jeremy. Peace, Mike

  44. I know this is a dated article but thought I would comment anyway. I have one of the 22 mag models for over 30 years and the original freedom arms 22lr models that have been discontinued. The freedom arms one will keyhole at more than 10ft, but the NAA mini mag will put many bigger guns to shame. I have won more than a few bucks betting with my gun friends that I can hit a beer can at 10 yards and outshoot many short barrel guns that should do much better. In fact I won and sweet little S&W model 36 in a shooting contest. This article is dead on accurate though. It is not a fast gun to shoot. It is well made. My wife has washed and dried it 2 times in my jeans pocket and it still fired. 22 mag is much better built ammo than 22lr. Mine does chrono at 1100 fps with cci mini mag. I have killed many copper heads with snake shot (always my first round) and run off more stray dogs than I can remember. I carry it every single day. NNA service is second to none. Mine was a pre-safety model and they converted it to the safety notch model for free and made me a 22lr cylinder while they had it. I have polished it to a mirror finish that shines like a new nickel python. While this would not be my choice in a gun fight, it is my always carry gun and a backup when I carry something else. I have heard many stories of Judges and Politicians that carry these in places that normally you cant sneak a gun into. Before 911 I actually carried mine through a metal detector at an airport (by mistake) and it did not pick it up. Today I cant make it through with my belt on so I doubt it would make it today. It is a wonder conversation piece.

  45. I’ve owned a Mini Master for many years and can consistently hit targets at 40 yards. These guns are no joke.

  46. Just received the boot grips for my 22 magnum. The fit & finish is outstanding. Changed the whole look & feel of the gun for the better. The boot grips allow for two full fingers & that extra 3/4s of grip seems to assist keeping the gun upright better in a holster in pocket. It was worth the 35 bucks. Still have original birds head grips on 22lr for bare minimum size in neck holster. Six day delivery from NAA on boot grips. Peace, Mike

    • There is a grip size smaller than original. Before my dear gunsmith friend passed away, he made a set of stainless steel flush fit grip panels to my specifications. They only serve as covers for the frame and not really grips. I have small hands so it works great for me. Some with larger hands can’t even shoot it; which could be a plus if an attacker got hold of it. Sure, it looks like a toilet flush handle but, being a 22LR model, it hides like none other. 🙂

      • ETA: He also added a lanyard swivel on the lowest end of the frame. If I really want to conceal it, I just put it directly on a chain. With the proper length chain, it completely hides under a T shirt or between a T shirt and outer shirt.

  47. I’ve had the NAA Black Widow for many years. It is a superb carry weapon. The rubber grip fits my hand perfectly and allows full control. The adjustable Millet sights work well. The smaller mini revolvers were hard for my fat fingers to use, but the Black Widow is the perfect size.

  48. I commented at length on the other NAA Mini review, so I won’t bother here. But I would encourage those who carry one to look into the folding holster grips if you’re having trouble with accuracy or with the outline printing. For me at 5+ yards it was the difference between “I hit the paper… I think…” and something resembling actual groups. Plus it looks less obvious in my pocket.

  49. I love mine and carry it more than any other gun. In fact one day I went to the socal security office and totaly forgot to take of. It was tucked in my pocket with a clip on the grip going over the out side of my pocket and about a inch of handle showing and also a knife. The officer at the front door comes up to me and said sir I need you too take your kives to the car. I was like yes my “knives” I thought damn that was close gov building but its so small know one will ever think its a gun. I have a magnum with both cylnders so it can shot LR or mag it has the 15/8barrel. It is a tad bigger as the mag round is a bit longer and also the handle is just a touch longer and I think It helps a lot. My gun also has a folding handle it is a black handle that folds down over the gun covering the trigger as for the size with it folded it doesnt go below the bottom of handle and just fills in that open spot under the chamber. It also has a clip on it. Everyone things I am carrying a knife in my pocket. Its easy to use grag the grip and open it by hand or you can flip and it will open real easy but the best part is it gives you a full grip with lots of control. It will not flip or slip in your hand. they sell them for both guns mag and LR about 30bucks or you can buy a gun with it alread on it. And to anyone who thinks you cant hit aything with them I can hit a pop can at 30ft every shot. That and 22mag is no joke it has some felt recoil and will blow through a two by four. unlike the LR but it is loud louder than a AR15 shooting 5.56. If you look at one check out the mag gun and see how much easier it is to hold and remember if you are not looking for a mag you can get it with the extra chamber for 22lr. I like it this way as if I am at rang wasting ammo I shoot LR but I carry magnium in my gun for the extra stopping power

  50. I love mine and carry it more than any other gun. In fact one day I went to the socal security office and totaly forgot to take of. It was tucked in my pocket with a clip on the grip going over the out side of my pocket and about a inch of handle showing and also a knife. The officer at the front door comes up to me and said sir I need you too take your kives to the car. I was like yes my “knives” I thought damn that was close gov building but its so small know one will ever think its a gun. I have a magnum with both cylnders so it can shot LR or mag it has the 15/8barrel. It is a tad bigger as the mag round is a bit longer and also the handle is just a touch longer and I think It helps a lot. My gun also has a folding handle it is a black handle that folds down over the gun covering the trigger as for the size with it folded it doesnt go below the bottom of handle and just fills in that open spot under the chamber. It also has a clip on it. Everyone things I am carrying a knife in my pocket. Its easy to use grag the grip and open it by hand or you can flip and it will open real easy but the best part is it gives you a full grip with lots of control. It will not flip or slip in your hand. they sell them for both guns mag and LR about 30bucks or you can buy a gun with it alread on it. And to anyone who thinks you cant hit aything with them I can hit a pop can at 30ft every shot. That and 22mag is no joke it has some felt recoil and will blow through a two by four. unlike the LR but it is loud louder than a AR15 shooting 5.56. If you look at one check out the mag gun and see how much easier it is to hold and remember if you are not looking for a mag you can get it with the extra chamber for 22lr. I like it this way as if I am at rang wasting ammo I shoot LR but I carry magnium in my gun for the extra stopping power

  51. I have the 22 mag also, and carry it everywhere. I have also added the laser grip. I finally got a chance to shoot it recently. I have it loaded with personal defense ammo, and they key-holed on the target ! Accuracy was decent at 5 steps. When I cleaned the gun, I looked at the rifling and found “NONE”. Is this common, or a defect ?

    • Mine is rifled. I use to work for a gun store that sold about 3 miliion a year in guns and i know a S and W came in one time we sold it the customer had brought it back with a target and beside being in accurate the rounds was tumbling and hitting flat. Upon review of the gun it had no rifling we sent it back and it was fixed free of charge. NAA is a wonderful company and when you call you get a real pearson. I would call and tell them what is up and they will send you a shipping label and call tag. They stand behind those guns. we had a guy wash his in a washer and dryer it messed it up good. Now thats not even a manufacture default they fixed it and polished it up to look like new gun even replaced the grips. It cost him $10 to ship it. If it is under 2 yrs old they cover the shipping if it is over two yrs old it is normally on the customer and runs 10 bucks. But that is the most it will ever cost you. I wish all gun companies or all companies period was as stand up as them. Good luck I am sure they will take care f it for you. I have a 1 5/8 in and at 25ft I can hit a pop can every shot. they will suprise you.

  52. Just for information purposes I have a friend who is a police officer in a rather large city. While a .22 may not be as impressive as a centerfire. A fair percentage of the gun deaths in their records are from the lowly .22. At most self defense range encounters it will send the bad guys running and a head shot? well the .22 lr or Mag tends to go in ant rattle around causing instant incapacitation. So as a concealed emergency carry the NAA is serviceable.

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