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“This Sidewinder Has A Great Bite”

By J. David Truby

The bulky, big, plastic/metal pistols command a utilitarian following. The classic Kalashnikov boasts military aficionados. But great things also come in small, aesthetically pleasing packages. That’s why I class the Sidewinder as a sub-subcompact or miniature pistol. It’s one of the smallest concealable backup handguns available.

It’s a gun you can carry when and where you can’t carry a gun.

When you Google the .22 Sidewinder, manufactured by North American Arms, you can almost hear the virtual happy verbal applause of fans from various online forums.

“I think that the Sidewinder is the best NAA mini-revolver platform yet, offering more convenience with few negatives,” Randy Wakeman, Guns and Shooting Online senior editor wrote, “...If you are looking for maximum convenience in an extremely small, well-crafted package, the Sidewinder will delight you.”

“I want the Sidewinder like you wouldn’t believe,” online commenter D.J. raved. “NAA made a great revolver and it will retire my Wasp to a show piece.”

Even though it’s not much bigger than a box of 50 .22 cartridges, its name is inspiring. “Sidewinder” is the demarcation for two species of venomous reptiles, at least two military aircraft, a short-range surface-to-air-missile, a baseball pitcher, Dodge and Kia concept cars, three roller coasters, and a handful of diverse musical groups and songs of varying quality. But the design of this pistol is simply unmatched for shooters needing this specific genre of pistol.

The basic specs for the Sidewinder are that it is a five-shot, .22 (both LR and Magnum cylinders available), with a one and a half inch barrel and five inches overall. The height is just less than three inches, width is just over an inch and the unloaded weight is 6.7 ounces. Trigger pull data are in the five to six pound range and most shooters describe the recoil as surprisingly moderate.

The revolver features marbled wood grips and clean lines. But besides being a pretty piece of hardware, why do people like the Sidewinder so much? That’s easy, it is both plain, simple, plus it’s easy to load and unload the five-shot revolver. The “swing-out”...


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