03 November 2012

An Intro to North American Arms

North American Arms belt buckle .22 LR
          Like many, my first introduction to North American Arms (NAA) came in the form of one of their diminutive .22LR mini-revolvers. It was many years ago, probably in a random shop or gun show… I don’t recall exactly. At the time, I definitely remember thinking, “That’s pretty neat. I’ll have to pick one of those up some day, just for fun.” I also remember seeing the famous belt buckle version, wherein an actual, fully functional NAA mini-revolver resides in a large western-style buckle you can actually wear. Like many, I thought the sole purpose of these little guns was pure novelty. The price point was relatively low, and I filed the idea in the back of my mind as some-day purchase, just for novelty reasons.

North American Arms Wasp in .22 Magnum
          Fast forward to late fall, 2012. A local customer of mine asks me to handle an FFL transfer from his buddy who is in town from out of state. They tell me it’s a handgun that the buddy wants to sell to my customer, and they’d like me to run the usual paperwork. When they both arrive to complete the transfer, the seller produces a North American Arms Wasp, chambered in .22 Magnum. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this particular model, and I’m instantly fascinated. I simply can’t get over the size and I’m surprised to learn it’s not a .22LR but a much more potent .22 Magnum. I’m immediately taken with its quality. It is beautifully well made, the frame and barrel seemingly cut from a single block of steel. It’s truly a miniature version of its larger cousins, complete with a ventilated rib, skeletonized hammer, bead sight and rubber grips. The cylinder’s flutes are nicely blackened, as are the decorative yet functional grooves on the locking pin. It’s a nice accent to the brushed stainless steel finish, and I’m instantly impressed. The seller tells me about how he owns several variations and loves them all—and not just for fun. His wife carries one regularly, in spite of struggling to conceal something larger. At the end of the transaction, the new owner proudly stands up, shakes my hand, and slips the little revolver into his front jeans pocket, where it disappears completely. I’m thoroughly intrigued.

North American Arms Pug
          I started doing research immediately and was impressed by countless enthusiastic reviews both in print and online, all singing praise for NAA’s mini-revolvers and the niche they fill so well. Moreover, I learned that NAA has a loyal following of customers who put these little arms to regular work as concealed carry weapons. To be honest, I’d never considered the thought of carrying something so small in caliber or size. As more and more information turned up in my research, I learned that whether as a police officer’s backup weapon, or as the average citizen’s go-to carry gun when something larger just isn’t practical, NAA mini-revolvers have a definite place in the concealed carry spectrum. They're growing in popularity and I can see why. Who wouldn't like to have five rounds available in a package the size of a smart phone? Moreover, several major manufacturers have recently begun churning out high-performance self defense ammunition designed expressly for short-barreled .22 Magnums, making these little revolvers a more potent self defense option then they ever were before. So while the famed “Rules for a Gunfight” might say not to bring a handgun the caliber of which starts with anything smaller than “4,” the most critical rule, rule #1—is to bring a gun. One of these minis might not be much. It might not be ideal at all... but something is better than nothing. The .45 ACP you left in the safe will do you no good if it isn’t with you when you need it most.
          NAA truly makes it possible to carry at all times, in just about every circumstance and situation. Regardless of the weather, your wardrobe, body type or build, physical activity, etc., you can always carry an North American Arms mini. In the near future, I’ll be talking more about these great little firearms in an effort to help share what I’ve learned about them and how they might just be the perfect deep cover firearm for you, too. Visit beckertactical.com to purchase your NAA today.

Big thanks to Jim Davis for his photographic contributions to this article!

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