The North American Arms Sidewinder is a revolutionary mini revolver
For some reason, of which I can not make sense of, in the world of handguns I favor very small or very big firearms. North American Arms being the primer maker of mini revolvers is a no brainer for me in my search for small firearms. I have several. I gave one to my son and one to a very good friend who lost all he had in one of our Oklahoma Mega tornadoes. As far as large handguns, two I own are a Smith and Wesson Governor and a Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley in the manly .480 Ruger round. I very much prefer the Ruger over the Smith and Wesson in any caliber.
North American Arms (NAA) makes many variations of their mini revolvers from .22 short to .22 Win. Mag. I like the fact ever so often NAA comes out with a new revolver. The Ranger II is a prime example. I know NAA took several years to perfect the Ranger II. I have one of the Ranger II and love the little deadly thing. So, it was a natural choice for me to explore the NAA Sidewinder revolver. This revolver is unique in the fact when you go to load this weapon all you have to do is pull the ejection rod forward and swing out the cylinder. Once the cylinder is out you load the five .22 rounds, close and be ready for action. Because the Sidewinder is a mini revolver, the ejection rod is mini too. So, when you go to remove the fired cartridges, the ejection rod is long enough to give you a grip on pulling them on out. Depending on the ammunition, you can have good success in just holding the Sidewinder upside down and push the ejection rod. At this time a little shake would be in order.
Makes A Great Hideaway Gun
As in all my writing be it gun and or knife magazines, digital articles or this website, I will make the statement, “Guns are tools. You must have the right gun for the job ahead.” This means, you would not take the NAA Sidewinder into combat as your primary weapon. The Sidewinder is not a combat handgun. An AR platform rifle would be a good tool choice for a combat situation. For a combat handgun in a double stacked semi auto would be a good choice. Now if the job would require a good deadly hideaway firearm, the NAA Sidewinder would be my top choice. I mean a hideaway firearm which stands a good chance of being missed in a situation of a hostile pat down.
The Sidewinder Has Great Concealability
There is no doubt the concealability of the Sidewinder is accomplished very easily. I have a very good friend who is a retired Deputy Sheriff from New Mexico. He has carried a NAA mini revolver in his right front pocket for the past twenty years. Every morning when he gets up, he puts his wallet in his back pocket, his pocket knife in his left front pocket and his NAA .22 LR in his right front pocket. There is no place he goes without the NAA .22 LR revolver. Most all of the NAA revolvers are highly concealable, with the exception of the Mini Master and the NAA-1860-6 HOGLEG which has a six-inch barrel. NAA also makes excellent semi-auto pistols of which I have reviewed one, the NAA 380 Guardian. The Guardian is small and very easily concealed. It is also an excellent firearm.
Of the NAA mini revolvers, many can be purchased with an optional .22 LR cylinder. I recommend this option. I like using mine with .22 LR so as to have the fun of shooting the mini revolver with less expensive ammo. After the shoot and subsequent cleaning, I return the .22 Win. Mag. Cylinder for carry.
NAA also makes a .22 short (NAA 22S) mini, and I mean mini, revolver. All I can say the .22 short is nothing but cute.
NAA Sidewinder Test & Evaluation
For T&E of the NAA Sidewinder, I fired 100 .22 Win. Mag and about 50 Winchester .22 LR. I did this over a span of two visits to the Oklahoma City Gun Range. The ammunition I used in this testing is the Winchester Supreme 30 grain hollow-point Mag. and Winchester 36 gr. Long Rifle. These are excellent products and very deadly rounds. I highly recommend this ammunition. At no time did the NAA Sidewinder fail to function nor did the Winchester .22 mag. or LR fail to fire. In other words, the Sidewinder and Winchester ammo work together flawlessly. I found the trigger pull crisp with no creep. I found the longer barrel easier to aim due to the longer sight radius. The longer barrel will give additional rotation, however so slight, on the projectile causing it to fly truer.
For pocket pistols and revolvers, I do most of my shooting between 12 to 10 feet. Ninety percent of most gun fights or encounters take place within this distance. Many times, three feet or less. For the Sidewinder I was sent the GRW-M palm swell laminated Rosewood grips. These grips enhance the control and ease of use when fitted on the Sidewinder. The best thing is how great the oversized grip feels in my hand.
With the oversized grip you have better control. Concealability with the oversized grips is not compromised. In fact, when I reached into my front jean pocket my hand naturally traveled over the grip and enhanced my ability to draw this weapon. This equates to a better grip, better draw, better control and better accuracy. With some practice on the range, a proud owner of the NAA Sidewinder can build confidence in its use. You as an owner, can build the confidence and muscle memory. You can accomplish this to the point wherein under extreme stress it will be second nature to draw and fire one or more deadly shots.
Remember this. Ninety percent of fighting, physical or with a weapon, is mental. If you are mentally set for when hostilities break out, you have a much better chance to come out on top. No matter how much you train, no matter how many times you do live fire practice, if you are not mentally trained you have a 90 percent chance of coming out on bottom. All predators, including human predators, look for the weak. They do this by watching their movement and body language. Predators are not honorable. Predators are not brave and strong in sprit. Predators at heart are cowards. If you are very confident in your ability to protect yourself and the ones around you, this will be projected to others. You will become a man among men.
With proper practice with any firearm you can defend yourself against an attacker. You don’t need a large caliber handgun to accomplish this. Well-placed close-range shots from smaller calibers, .25 auto excluded, will be sufficient for self-defense including the Sidewinder .22 Win. Mag. Yes, I know now there will be much gnashing of teeth and spilling of coffee. Over the years I have worked over two hundred shootings and many of a victim, good and bad, died from a .22 LR or .22 magnum round. Remember shot placement.
I found the NAA Sidewinder all stainless-steel revolver to be an excellent firearm. The Sidewinder’s quality is equal to my other NAA revolvers and semi-auto pistol. Over the years the quality of the NAA Brand has not changed. My NAA 22M revolver, which I have had for the better part of 20 years, exhibits the same quality as this new NAA Sidewinder. This mini revolver functioned flawlessly. There were no misfires, hang-ups or problems. In this revolver the Winchester .22 Mag. 30 gr. round as well as the Winchester 36 gr. Long Rifle worked perfectly. Without question, I highly recommend the North American Arms Sidewinder (NAA-SWC-250).
NAA Sidewinder Specs
- Model: NAA Sidewinder NAA-SWC-250 Revolver
- Caliber: .22 Magnum / .22 Long Rifle
- Capacity: 5
- Barrel: 2.5 inches of Stainless-Steel
- Length: 6.31 inches
- Height: 2.88 inches
- Width: 1.06 inches
- Weight: 7.7 ounces
- Frame: Stainless-Steel
- Cylinders: 5 Shot made of Stainless-Steel
- Sights: Stainless Post Sight
- Action: Single Action
- Grips: Rosewood Bird’s Head
NAA Sidewinder Price
Can Be Found For: $400.00
North American Arms
NAA Side Winder 2.5-inch barrel
Champion NRA Law Enforcement Targets
Winchester Ammunition / .22 Win Mag, 30 grain
- Rosewood Grips
- Natural Palm Swell
- Finger Positioning
- Fits All Magnum Models