Nestled in the mountain valley of Provo, Utah, North American Arms is busily producing some of the smallest defensive handguns available for concealed carry. Since 1971, this company has been taking the “American” in their name seriously. The parts and processes that go into their products are generated here in the United States, many of them right in-house. The guns they sell fall into two general categories: Mini-Revolvers and Guardian semi-auto pistols.

.22 Minis

Two NAA Mini-Revolvers get the gold star for being among the smallest handguns available. They push the limits of how compact a handgun can be while maintaining the ergonomics needed to successfully run it. After examining the NAA .22 Short revolver, almost no other handgun seems to deserve the title of “tiny.” As the smallest of all the NAA revolvers, the .22 Short has a 1.13-inch-long barrel, an overall length of just 3.63 inches, and weighs in at an astounding 4 ounces. This truly tiny gun is small enough to hide under a standard-sized Post-It note.

If you want to take advantage of the plentiful and affordable supply of its namesake ammunition, the .22 Long Rifle frame is available. Making room for the slightly longer .22 LR cartridge only adds a half-ounce of weight and 0.38 inches of length when compared to the .22 Short. Unlike some of the .22 LR pocket autos on the market, this revolver boasts a very low level of ammo sensitivity. The .22 LR Mini will reliably ignite a wide variety of .22 fodder, including low-velocity loads, practice-grade ammo, shotshells, .22 Short, and .22 Long rounds. This model is available with either a 1.13- or 1.63-inch barrel.

Magnum Minis

If you want to boost the stopping power of the Mini without much of an increase in size, take a look at the revolvers chambered in .22 Magnum. NAA’s standard Magnum-frame revolvers have 1.13-inch barrels, an overall length of 4.75 inches, and weigh in at 5.9 ounces. NAA also makes 1.63-inch barrels available for these models as well.

Two recent additions to this line include the Ported and Wasp models. You might think that ports on the barrel of such a small gun, with modest recoil, would be purely decorative. However, when firing full-power .22 Magnum loads, the ports will reduce felt recoil by 30 to 40 percent.

The Wasp is a slick NAA revolver offering a full set of custom features without a significant increase in the revolver’s price. Features include a vented barrel rib, bead sight, skeletonized hammer, rubber grip, and black-enameled engraving on the cylinder and cylinder pin. The result is a classy and functional little gun.

It should be noted here that because of the dimensional differences in the cartridges, .22 Long Rifle should not be fired in NAA .22 Magnum cylinders. Instead, North American Arms offers .22 Long Rifle conversion cylinders for all .22 Magnum frames. If the model you are interested in doesn’t come with this second cylinder, you can order a new gun with the cylinder included or send your Magnum to the factory to be fitted with one.

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