North American Arms .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver
Illustration courtesy of North American Arms
The tested NAA revolver is the .22 Winchester Magnum rimfire, 5 shot Magnum mini-revolver with oversized wood stocks that made the little revolver much easier for me to control rather than the frame-contoured standard grips. I believe that NAA calls these their new "boot grips." They fit my hand well and are attractive. NAA also offers a folding "holster grip" that I find both practical and intriguing. NAA does a very good job presenting ballistics for their mini-revolvers, and this information can be found at www.naaminis.com/magvel.html
My test revolver came with a 1-5/8 in. barrel. The basic specifications are as follows:
NAA has no illusions about what their short-barreled mini-revolvers are for. In no way can they possibly displace or replace longer barreled or larger caliber revolvers, and they are not supposed to. Those looking for long-range or more accurate mini-revolvers should move on to their 2 inch barreled "Black Widow" (reviewed elsewhere on this site), or their 4 inch barreled "Mini-Master." Both are available with adjustable sights. The choice between "deep concealment" and a longer firearm with better accuracy is a compromise the individual must decide for himself.
Going with a 4 in. barreled .22 LR Mini-Master can give you similar ballistics to a .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver, along with better accuracy. This is at the expense of concealability, length and weight, of course. There is no right or wrong to all of this; that is why NAA offers a broad range of configurations.
The NAA mini-revolvers are very well made little handguns. Built for extremely intimate high-stress use, expect reliability but no light target triggers. The .22 WMR mini-revolver I tested is also extremely loud; it is a little gun with a grown-up growl. And yes, these little NAA revolvers are extremely cute.
The majority of my shooting was done at 15 feet using Federal Premium .22 Win. Mag. ammo using 30 grain Speer TNT hollow points. Hitting within a 10 inch square at this range is really all that can be hoped for. Closer is far better, with 8-10 feet giving you sufficient accuracy to end a situation at what has been reported as typical "self-defense" ranges. The NAA mini is a "snag-free" system, with the only sight being the front blade.
You have five shots, and you can use them all. The NAA cylinders have a safety notch, meaning the revolver is designed to be carried hammer down locked in the safety notch located between the cylinders. You need not carry the revolver in "half-cock" position, nor lowered over an empty cylinder. Accidental discharge is positively mechanically defeated when you carry the revolver with its hammer down in a safety notch, and you have all five shots at your instant disposal; it is a good system.
The usefulness of these mini-revolvers is limited only by your imagination. They have been used by undercover officers for some spectacular drug busts, for example, when scant few other firearms could possibly have been employed. In fact, a NAA mini-revolver is used (in a somewhat indelicate presentation) by Val Kilmer in the feature film "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang." Kilmer’s demonstration was effective.
What I can say about the NAA mini-revolvers is that they are easy to operate and reliable. I experienced zero malfunctions of any kind.
Rather than make any recommendation as to specific model, I believe that you are better off evaluating them first hand to see what fits you and your needs the best. I’d consider the longest barrel length with which you are comfortable. Regardless of your choice, the build quality of NAA Mini-Revolver product is evident, meaning very, very good.
Copyright 2006, 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.