By Roy Huntington, American Handgunner
You’re likely familiar with North American Arms, the makers of the near-legendary tiny stainless steel single-action .22 caliber revolvers. Thousands ride in cops’ pockets as back-up guns, in hunters’ coats as snake guns, some are used for concealed carry and some are even handy for plinking and targeting. In the past, it’s been necessary to actually take the cylinder out of the frame of the little revolvers to load or unload them. You remove the cylinder base pin, drop the cylinder into your hand, use the base pin to knock out empties, reload then basically “reassemble” your gun. That’s fine if you only need four or five shots!
Hot off the presses at North American Arms is their newest design, the Sidewinder. By simply pulling the ejector rod forward a tiny bit, the cylinder actually swings out, just like a “real” double-action revolver. While the Sidewinder is still single action, the new model also has a genuine ejector rod and ejector star, which will push the empties out all at once, at least far enough you can pluck ’em with a fingernail. It’s definitely easier to load/unload than the other designs.
NAA’s new Sidewinder .22 Mag/.22 LR mini-revolver has a true,
swing-out DA-type cylinder/ejection system!
The Sidewinder has the same, clean lines of the standard models,
with the added feature of the swing-out cylinder.
It reminds me of the old Sedgley conversions for single-action Colts in the 1930s. He’d convert a Colt SAA so the cylinder was easily removeable by pulling the ejector rod out (looked like a DA ejector rod). The cylinder came out and you could punch out all the empties with one stroke. But, the cylinder wasn’t attached with a crane, like it is on the Sidewinder.
Barrel length is 15/8″ but they’re working to get it a tad shorter. The initial runs have a .22 Magnum cylinder only, but a .22 LR version will be offered about by the time you read this. It’s around $350 at full retail.
Thanks to American Handgunner for this contribution. Click here to visit them – click here to get American Handgunner delivered to your door for $9.95 a year.