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Jeff Cooper’s credited with saying that the first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun. And you’ve probably read a thousand times that the best carry gun is the one you have with you. Or something trite like that. One of the best features of North American Arms’ little mini revolvers is they remove any excuse you might have for not carrying a firearm.

These little gems are so light and compact that anyone can carry one no matter what they’re wearing or where they’re headed (legal considerations aside).

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about them until I actually got my hands one. This little pocket rocket is NAA’s Pug-T, a five shot .22 Magnum revolver with a Hogue rubber grip and XS Big Dot tritium night sights. There’s also a version (the Pug-D) with a standard white dot front sight.

One of the first surprising things about the diminutive Pug is that it ships from NAA with a metal lockbox, the kind lots of gun owners buy for their car to store their carry gun when they have to enter a gun-free zone. It’s a nice touch.

The next thing that impresses is the pistol’s build quality. The Pug feels like a solid chunk of stainless steel. It’s beautifully made with a level of fit and finish you expect to see in much more expensive firearms.

Like other NAA Minis, the Pug is single action only. You’ll have to cock it each time you want to fire it. Both the hammer spur and the rudimentary trigger are serrated and provide solid contact when cocking and firing.

The Pug’s dovetailed Big Dot sights are an ideal choice for this little gun.

When taking a precision shot — you actually can do that, despite the tiny sight radius — just put the front sight on the rear notch. In a self-defense situation, that big front sight stands out sufficiently that it’s easy to instinctively put it on your target and fire.

Given the Pug’s size it necessarily operates a little differently than larger revolvers. There’s just no room for a cylinder release button. Instead, NAA’s engineers have devised a unique method for loading and dropping empties.

The barrel has a sprung underlug that pulls down and rotates. Once you turn it, you then pull it and the attached cylinder pin forward and out of the gun to release the cylinder.

It’s a fiddly process that takes a little practice to get used to. Three or four times and you’ll have it down. Just know that you won’t be doing any tactical reloads with the Pug. This is pretty much a five-shots-and-you’re-done gun.

The cylinder pin doubles as a tool to help you clear empty casings. And you’ll need it as there are always one or two cases that expand enough that they don’t drop free after firing.

One caution…it’s easy to put a finger in line with the muzzle when loading or unloading. Don’t do that.

There’s another safety consideration to keep in mind. Like old school single action revolvers, you don’t want to carry it with the hammer down on a round. The firing pin — or blade, in this case — can rest directly on a round. Drop the gun and it could very well go bang.

That’s why NAA has designed “safety slots” between each cylinder position.

It takes a little practice, but in order to carry the Pug safely, simply park the hammer in one of the safety slots between rounds. That way it’s impossible to touch one off accidentally. Just be sure to keep it pointed in a safe direction while doing that.

The Pug has a one-inch barrel and a two-inch sight radius. How accurate can it possibly be?

As I found, that depends on finding the right ammo for it. I tested the gun with two hollow point rounds, Hornady’s Critical Defense 45gr FTX and CCI’s 30gr Maxi-Mags.

I tested the rounds at ten feet, a typical self defense distance. Recoil was noticeable, but very manageable thanks to the very comfortable Hogue rubber grip.

There was a clear difference between the two rounds’ performance. Both of the above sequences were shot hand-held. I shot a number of similar strings and the Pug consistently sprayed the Critical Defense rounds much more than the Maxi-Mags.

This group was shot while braced, again at ten feet. That group is under two inches. The Pug has a clear preference for the lighter, hotter load. Shooting the CCIs, I was easily able to keep all five rounds on target at center mass even out to thirty feet.

But the biggest selling point for the Pug is, of course, it’s compactness and concealability. Here it is in a DeSantis pocket holster that’s designed to carry an extra five rounds along with the revolver.

But the gun’s tiny form makes it perfectly packable in a jeans watch pocket.

While .22 Magnum isn’t an insignificant round, most people who carry a gun understandably choose to carry something with more punch. That makes perfect sense. But the Pug is designed for times when that’s not possible. Or for people who simply won’t carry anything larger. The Pug revolver also makes a very viable backup gun.

In the end, the Pug-T is an impressively well-made, surprisingly accurate little pistol that lets you always slip it in your pocket and have an option should the worst happen. In that role, it truly excels.

Specifications: NAA Pug-T Mini Revolver

Caliber: .22 Magnum
Capacity: 5 rounds
Length: 4.56″
Height: 2.81″
Width: 1.06″
Weight: 6.4 oz.
Barrel Length: 1″
Sights: XS Tritium Dot
MSRP: $347.00

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style: * * * * 
The NAA Pug-T is a beautiful little revolver that’s ingeniously designed and impressively finished.

Ergonomics: * * *
It’s small. Very small. If you have small hands, it’s very useable and capable of good results. If you have big man hands, the Pug’s size could be a problem.

Reliability: * * * * *
Bang. Every time.

Accuracy * * * * *
This was truly surprising. Pick the right ammo and the Pug-T is capable of very good results, particularly for such a short sight radius.

Overall * * * * *
I was truly impressed by the little NAA Pug. It’s a great little gun for its designed role and surprisingly fun to shoot.

 

This post was originally published in 2018. 

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83 COMMENTS

  1. Bug man hands? Maybe bugs are bigger in Texas, like everything else. Except their NAA mini-revolvers that is. I notice that they keep improving that tiny little revolver. Yeah, it’s growing bigger and bigger, but it just wasn’t pleasant or really usable in the early versions the size of a doll’s gun.

    Five Stars overall? Damn, you must have really liked it!

      • buddy of mine shot himself with one of these little suckers…easy to do…he was back at work in a couple of days and endured a lot of teasing…

    • I installed the larger grips that are on the Black Widow ( which is just a Pug with a longer barrel). I wear a size large glove and the grips fill up the palm of my hand. It makes the gun much easier to cock aim and shoot. they’re great to have for any kind of ” get the f’k off me” situation!

      • I actually bought a Black Widow instead of a Pug after much internal debate. I had full intentions of swapping to a smaller pug grip because I wanted the longer barrel of the BW but I really liked the smaller footprint of the Pug.

        By the time I made it home from the gun store I decided to keep the BW grip. It felt like I had squeezed a handful of clay, handed it to NAA, and they had made a grip from the clay mold for me.

        8” plates at 25 yards are a breeze with the Black Widow. And it’s always with me.

      • used to be a lot cheaper..price has gone up considerably…bought two a while ago for what this one costs…easy to carry around though…always have one with me….

    • I am a single person 60 years of age and do not live in a very good neighborhood I need some protection that I can handle myself where can I purchase this device my email is [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you

  2. Stripped down self defense. No bells. No whistles. Just American made quality in a package that could well save your life.

    Whats not to like?

      • Dan, if you want to brag about how small the Pug is, please include a picture of it next to an LCP/P3AT/TCP. Is it SUBSTANTIALLY smaller than those guns?

        I’ll take my LCP o r P3AT over these guns any day of the week (and I like revolvers, preferring my 642 to the micro .380s).

        The micro .380s are still fairly functional guns.

        • I have a TCP and a black widow which is bigger than this. A picture doesn’t do justice to how much smaller it actually is. Also, My BW is 25% lighter than my TCP and the Pug weighs even less. I’d bet the Pug weighs around 7oz. Loaded (Think iPhone inside a sturdy case.)

          A micro .380 is a much better self defense pistol. Reloading under duress is actually feasible and the bullets way almost 3x as much as a .22 mag. That doesn’t mean these guns don’t have a place. 😉

        • Thanks Joel,
          I just can’t think of a time when I couldn’t carry an LCP, but would carry the Pug. Swimming??

          For me, they are just a novelty, but I’m cool with other people liking them.😎

        • As a guy that has a thing for tiny guns, I can say, yes, it is appreciably smaller. There is more of a difference between a NAA and a p3at (or seecamp) than there is between the aforementioned guns and a j-frame. Further more, from my experience, pocket autos have terrible reliability. If you want something that goes bang Everytime, you need a revolver. Pocket lint and small autos don’t work well together.

        • FYI. Revolvers are more susceptible to failure from dirt than semiautos. Try one of those Glock’n goop tests on a revolver and see what happens.

        • Years ago I was looking to buy the smallest possible gun to carry when it’s not practical to carry a “real gun.” I looked closely at NAA 22 mag revolvers, and would still love to have one. They are very cool. But for me a Kel tech P32 ended up being a better choice. Just about the same weight (unloaded) as the NAA reviewed here, just as easy to deep conceal, but with more rounds on tap, for me easier to control, and much quicker follow-up shots than a baby single action revolver. Add the possibility to carry a spare mag, and the awkward re-loading procedure of the NAA. Granted, I could have gone just a few ounces heavier to get a significant power increase in .380, and that was a consideration, but the goal was to go as small as possible.

          Still would like to have an NAA mini some day.

        • The LCP’s are really the ticket for deep concealed carry that will actually provide enough fire power. Six + 1 & a 7 reload trumps these things. I actually like them, but for me they are just a novelty item.

        • No way in hell would I carry a Keltec over an NAA . Couldn’t pay me to own a keltec again. I have owned 3 NAA, and they put the quality of a keltec to shame. Never known anyone that owned a keltec including me that didn’t have to send it back to the factory for one reason or another. Swore I would never own one. Saw the Sub-2000, and thought what the hell, a good truck gun that I don’t have to worry about if it gets stolen. Had it a week, and it was recalled for a bad barrel. Sold it as soon as I got it back, and Use my Baretta storm for my trunk gun.

  3. Alas, my California CCW doesn’t allow anything less the .25 cal even though I’m sure the mini mag 22 packs a bigger punch.

    • out of a 1″ barrel? They both carry about the same amount of energy.

      The main difference being the .25 is centerfire – which means it reliably pops off every time.

      I wouldn’t rely on either round to get the job done.

  4. NAA makes great little guns. They also back them with a great little lifetime warranty. I returned a 25 year-old Mini .22lr that had locked-up action. They couldn’t fix it and sent a new replacement at no charge. Fine folks.

    • I sent one back 3 times and finally gave up. It’s the .22 mag with the spare 22 long rifle cylinder. Using the .22lr cylinder I can get a few that aren’t fliers but with the magnum all shots tumble. They crowned it, checked the timing and such but never did fix what I showed them pictures of. No rifling, it looks like scratches from a bore brush inside the barrel. I’ve seen a few that actually have rifling so they do know how to do it. Just don’t seem to understand why I would want it in mine I guess.
      When folks show interest in them I show them mine and the paperwork. Figure I’ve saved a few people from making the same mistake I did.
      I’ve tried several types of ammo including CCI.

      • did have the first one I bought years ago finally stopped working…been meaning to send it back…just haven’t got around to it…

  5. This is the first NAA revolver I’m really interested in. Now ditch the stainless, blue the cylinder and the cylinder release, case-harden the frame and put nice some wood grips on it. Charge me $1,000 and I couldn’t pay you fast enough.

    • … does it have a lanyard loop so I can use it as a key fob?

      Darn it, I almost spit out my drink!

      That was funny.

        • I really have thought about that. It would look great at the other end of my antique pocket watch and dress vest. Maybe the standard in .22 lr and gold plated with pearl grips or even smaller, in .22 short!

    • So, I used to have a Freedom Arms one (they invented it, and later NAA bought the patent and made a lot of improvements) and it did have a lanyard loop. I put a key ring on it and used it as a pinky loop to get a better grip. Worked pretty well, really.

  6. i have the standard version. one of these and one in short would make nice bookends.
    i own no other jewelry. had a watch, but cell phone.

  7. Often overlooked with NAA’s in .22WinMag; they are flamethrowers in low light.

    All that burning powder out of the barrel (and cylinder gap) after the bullet has left the barrel is a big yellow mushroom. They are also LOUD.

    Clemenza: “Yeah, I left it noisy. That way it scares any pain-in-the-ass innocent bystanders away. All right, you shot them both, now what do you do? “

  8. The ONLY dependable self-defense application for mini-revolvers is contact shots. And for that application, mini-revolvers shine.

    Of course larger calibers with longer barrels will almost always physically incapacitate an attacker faster than a mini-revolver in .22 WMR. Nevertheless, a contact shot with these little gems will provide a LOT of incentive for an attacker to back-off post-haste. And if you will not carry a larger caliber and form factor, these mini-revolvers are far better than nothing.

    My only question/concern: how realistic is it to expect that an average person with minimal training could draw this mini-revolver, cock the hammer, pull the trigger, and put a round into a vital area of an attacker during a life-and-death struggle at contact distance??? That is an honest concern of mine and I have no idea for an answer.

    • Right here at TTAG we have a number of reports of untrained, in at least one case the person had never fired a gun before, people that have prevailed against the bad guy. Some of them have been elderly.

      Mind set and attitude are more important than training and brand name.

      • Actually, it’s easier than that. IF YOU HAVE A GUN, your chances are better than if you don’t. Is that difficult to understand? Is it difficult to believe? Our opponents will tell you that being completely unarmed will grant you the best chance of survival against madmen armed with machine guns, and determined to kill you. If you believe that, there is no hope for you, FOAD.

      • we viewed a training video dashcam of a little…supposedly meek..black guy taking down a big, burly state trooper with one of these he missed on the frisk….shot him just under the armpit and above the vest…it incapacitated him immediately…and proved fatal….

        • Tragic. But the fact that he was black is irrelevant.

          Now if he had been mauve, you could have piqued my interest.

    • I’m asking this because I’m seeking understanding: are you assuming that ONLY untrained, inexperienced folks would carry one of these? I carry one constantly, even in my gym shorts. I have larger semi-auto that I also carry. I practice regularly with both. With my naa, I can hit a 12 gauge shell 5/5 inside of 20 ft. The question is not, can a .22lr or wmr kill a man, the question is; do I have to shoot you in the eyes ALL FIVE TIMES to get you to quit being a jackhole?

      • A 22 WMR is plenty lethal. The question is it it lethal fast enough to prevent your assailant from killing you before he croaks.

        • If you’re faced with a situation where someone is killing dozens of people while approaching your location, I strongly advise assassination. Your objection is what?

  9. Hey Mr. Zimmerman,

    If you have the holster I’m thinking about, the one with the velcro pouch for the rounds, do you think it’d be safe to fire it without taking it out of the holster?

  10. I thought the 1911 was too heavy at 39 oz so I got me a Glock 17 but found it was too heavy at 25 oz so I got a P365 at 17oz but I once again found it too heavy so I got me a little Taurus because it came in at 10oz. Then I discovered the NAA mini revolver and dumped the Taurus because that was now too heavy. You know, that extra 6 oz in my pocket annoys the hell out me so I not only go unarmed but I have decided to carry nothing in my pocket except my driver’s licence, two keys and and bills.

    As fun as these little revolvers are nobody who is serious about armed self defense is going to carry one of these novelty items. If you are down to carrying one because you are going somewhere that prevents you from carrying an effective pistol then perhaps you should reconsider the trip. If you are choosing deep concealment because security is extremely tight then you probably don’t need a gun. Sometimes you can rely on others to get the job done.

    • If you underestimate everything based solely on size, you may find yourself getting your a$$ beat by some crazy, drunk woman. Seriously, maybe you should ask the thousands of folks (and at least one polar bear) killed by a .22 if they are really dead. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe you’ve never been shot by any of the “superior” guns you’re referring to and would probably decline the opportunity to do a comparison. If you’ve read much at all, you’ll know that there are people who got hit in the pump with a .357 and kept fighting. There is NO perfect handgun. There is only shot placement with a round that can penetrate deeply enough (there is proof that these little pistols can do it), and only CNS hits have a high instance of 1 shot stoppages, but even then, not 100%. I could counter your entire argument and say (based on the evidence) that if you’re REALLY, REALLY SERIOUS about self defense, you’re only going to carry a 12 gauge with 3″ 00 buckshot. Of course, there are also those instances where a dude got cut 3 ways before he got off a shot. Self defense is a mind set, not a tool set. You don’t walk into a dwarf bar and order a short, unless you’re feeling suicidal…

    • I carry mine in a custom pocket holster,that keeps it perfectly upright in my front right pocket. No sharp edges, quick access.

  11. 25 pull trigger 8 empty cock pull trigger 1 cock pull trigger 5 empty handarm for pocket both

  12. The NAA revolvers require a bit of practice, but it soon becomes second nature. My wife carries the Pug and shoots it quite well. I prefer the larger grip and longer sight radius of the Black Widow. It fits my hand perfectly and points like my index finger. 5 shots and no reload but my little howitzer is ready to go to war at all times.

  13. Easy to carry on a motorbike in case some assholes tries to run you off the road then smash your head against the wall.

  14. I routinely carried a .22 short and a .22LR as backups for years. I now carry a Sidewinder which is quicker to reload and have a Ranger II on order. (Not that I expect to reload any of these during a serious social situation.)

    Understand my primary is, and has always been a .45ACP semi auto. I have no illusions about the stopping power of these guns, but I also have no illusions about all the things that could happen where these guns are all that is available.

    What else are you going to carry in your swim suit?

    • Step one in any gun fight, put a hole in the mofo. .17, .22, .25, whatever. Without drugs or patriotic devotion, a hole ends the game, ends the threat. Step two, if it comes to that, repeat step one until no longer necessary. A lot of silly shit flies around here, but bleeding tends to make you wish for an emergency room. Shoot the mofo. Argue about caliber later.

  15. I was lucky enough to have the Master Leather Cratfsman at Concealment Holster Solutions make me a fine leather pocket holster for my Pug before he stopped taking orders. While i wouldnt get in a running gun battle with the thing, it sure as hell is enough to get someone the F off me if i’m already engaged and fighting for my life. Beats the hell out of my G19 sitting at home in the safe.

  16. This tale is unfortunate and a bit gruesome, but it is useful info on these shorty 22mag pistols to share. I lent my black widow to my niebhor, who wanted to get one for himself but try shooting one to see how he like it. Long story short a buddy of his Was staying over for a few days used my pistol to commit suicide. Used 40 grain CCI game points. Shot himself upside his head, slug went out the other side and we found it lodged in a pine dresser draw just peeking out the other side of the wood. Not much expansion but a lot of deformity, no fragmentation or jacket seperation. Other interesting observation, my niebhor found him bled totally bled out and the exit hole was so small he could barely tell it was there but for a tiny line of blood from bleeding out.

    I bought one originally because a fellow I was in the service with put two 22 mag rounds in the gut of one of two guys trying to rob him one night. Said the dude he wounded went down on the second round. Didn’t die but it fucked him up pretty good. No charges due to clear self defense.

    • the only real risk with these is when you point one at somebody he may just laugh and keep coming…until you put one past his ear…they are loud…honestly you shouldn’t really consider a shot at anything over 6ft…strictly a close quarter weapon….

      • Nobody wants to get shot if they can avoid it is probably 99% of everybody.
        Like you say, the muzzle blast the 22mag produces from the shooters end is wicked, it must be hair racing on the muzzle end.

        I’m digging the BW, but this Pug, it’s got the right stuff. Looks alone it is 1st class in my book. I glad the author did his write up, excellent piece, sold me on the Pug.
        I tried my BW without ear protection so to know what to expect in a real life self defense situation. Worse than any gun I’ve owned excep a colt Trooper in .357, and a Lew Horton special model 29 with a 2inch bbl. then again I built an AR pistol with a 7.5 barrel and it close to blew my hat and glasses off from the ball of unburnt powder going off around the muzzle. Or a quad .50, but I’m digressing for the fun of it.
        These little pea shooters are serious weapons for sure.
        I’d like to get me one of those Keltec PMR 22mag pistols with 30rd mags. I think it would make a dandy carry weapon. Light as a feather, like a potatoe chip unloaded, super slim, excellent grip. Think it will be my next procurement.
        But maybe a Pug…
        So many great choices.

  17. I like big caliber SAs and big caliber Semi-autos! Bond Arms derringers are in rotation too! But…I also proudly own and carry two of my six NAAs most days..and always at least one! The rotation includes an original Mini, a Black Widow, a Sidewinder, a Pug, a Ranger II, and just this week, a Color Case Hardened Mini…all in 22 Mag. The original Mini also has the 22 lr conversion cylinder. The Color Case Hardened Mini is due to wear Engraved Boot Grips in exchange for the faux stag that is on it now.
    Shot placement is everything, right after situational awareness and mindset!
    Unkei

  18. Say what you want about these Naa’s I dropped a 6 foot rattlesnake with mine one shot CCI snake shot glad I had it with me. Snake came out of no where while fishing. Truly glad hade the Ranger with me.

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