LaserLyte Mighty Mouse Laser for NAA .22 Magnum Mini Revolvers
By Chuck Hawks
Having previously reviewed LaserLyte (http://www.laserlyte.com) products, I was intrigued when I received a press release concerning their new for 2015 laser grip for all North American Arms .22 WMR Mini Revolvers. The more familiar I have become with laser sights, the more convinced I have become that they are the fastest and most accurate handgun sighting system for use in dim light social encounters. Since many self-defense encounters occur at night, indoors or in other dimly lit conditions, a laser sight is a big advantage on any concealed carry handgun.
I regard the NAA .22 Magnum mini revolvers as the minimum practical deep concealment handguns, meaning the smallest firearm with the lightest cartridge I would bother to carry for self-defense. Even the slightly larger (two inch, "heavy barrel") Black Widow model is an excellent vest pocket pistol (literally), so you can get by carrying a Black Widow when a three piece suit is appropriate attire.
It can be awkward to wear even a sub-compact (G26 size) pistol with semi-formal attire throughout an evening, so a vest pocket size mini revolver may be the best available solution. It sure beats having no gun at all.
Almost everyone familiar with the .22 WMR cartridge has considerable respect for its lethality. CCI/Speer even pioneered a .22 WMR short barrel specific Speer Gold Dot Personal Protection load for NAA mini revolvers. It uses a 40 grain Gold Dot Hollow Point (GDHP) bullet designed for proper expansion at the cartridge's muzzle velocity of 1050 fps from a 1.9 inch barrel. I certainly would not like to be shot with a .22 Magnum Black Widow!
The NAA Black Widow Convertible I reviewed for G&S Online proved to be a highly accurate and reliable deep concealment pistol. Unlike most tiny pistols, Black Widows come standard with Patridge type iron sights, either fixed or adjustable. These blued sights are fine for use in daylight conditions, but hard to see at night.
Enter the LaserLyte Mighty Mouse laser grip. This black polymer, two piece grip is designed to mount, without modification and using only the (included) hex wrench, on any NAA Magnum frame revolver. It is just what the doctor ordered to make a mini revolver a capable weapon at night or in dim light, greatly increasing the little gun's usefulness.
I mounted the Mighty Mouse two-piece laser grips on a Black Widow mini revolver. The Mighty Mouse comes with a hex key for mounting and a tiny hex key to adjust the projected laser's windage and elevation.
Initial sighting-in was merely a matter of aligning the laser dot with the revolver's iron sights (known to be correctly regulated) at 15 yards (45 feet). That is as far as I would ordinarily expect to use any deep concealment handgun. Unlike most mouse guns, the Black Widow can shoot decent groups at 15 yards, but it would seldom be required to do so in action.
The instruction sheet explains which way to turn the tiny hex head windage and elevation adjustment screws, which are located on back and right side of the laser's riser. The laser's beam is projected just to the right and slightly below the Black Widow's rear sight. I measured the laser beam as offset only 5/16" from the axis of the Black Widow's bore, at about the 2-o'clock position, so there is very little parallax to worry about and it would be inconsequential in any close range self-defense scenario.
Like the other grip laser systems I have used, the Mighty Mouse is activated by the middle finger of the strong hand depressing a nearly flush mounted button switch in the front strap of the grip. Just grip the revolver normally and the laser is turned-on. As long as you hold the button down, the laser stays on and it turns off when pressure is released. Unlike some laser grips, there is no positive OFF switch to shut down the laser when using the iron sights. A set of batteries come with the Mighty Mouse and, in fact, a second (spare) set was also included with our test sample.
The battery case is accessed via a coin-slot cap in the left grip panel. The cap is black anodized aluminum and the battery case is threaded brass. These metals are self-lubricating, so there is little chance of the cap sticking or stripping the threads, as might occur with a plastic battery cover. On the other hand, the spring inside the battery cap seems much stronger than necessary, making it difficult to get the cap started. Once you do, finger tight with a dime or penny is all you need and you are good to go.
The NAA Black Widow (two inch barrel) and Mini Master (four inch barrel) .22 Magnum revolvers come with black rubber grips that are larger and much easier to comfortably grasp than the bird's head grips supplied on the smaller NAA .22 WMR (1.5 inch barrel) models. Since LaserLyte designed the Mighty Mouse laser for use on all NAA .22 Magnum models, they went with the bird's head grip shape to keep bulk to a minimum.
Essentially the same size as the OEM bird's head grips they replace on the smaller NAA Magnums, the Mighty Mouse grip is a definite step backwards in ergonomics from the standard Black Widow grips. It is smaller, harder to hold, squirms in the hand under recoil and considerably decreases trigger control. Too bad LaserLyte did not model the Mighty Mouse grips on the stock Black Widow grips, which also fit all other NAA Magnum framed mini revolvers and would be a definite upgrade for the other models.
Incidentally, the Mighty Mouse grips are compatible with all NAA Magnum holsters. You can use your existing holster; you will not need to buy a laser specific holster.
Indoors, the red laser dot was easy to see in a brightly lit room at 45 feet, which is the longest distance available in my home. Outdoors on a typical overcast Oregon Spring day, the dot was acceptably easy to see at about 15 yards against medium reflective targets (ivory, gray and tan T-shirts). Any farther, or in full sunlight at 15 yards, you would probably default to the little revolver's iron sights. This seems like reasonable and typical performance for a projected laser aiming system.
While the deluxe NAA mini revolvers (Black Widow, Mini Master, Pug) come with decent iron sights, the standard NAA Magnum models just have a small front blade without any rear sight at all. Hitting anything beyond contact range is thus problematical. On these guns the LaserLyte Mighty Mouse laser grip would be a huge upgrade in practical accuracy and the only way to really know where your bullet is going when you pull the trigger. Don't carry your .22 Magnum mini revolver without it.
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.