Hand-Picked Daily GUN DEALS, and Exclusive Coupons Codes >>>
We review products independently. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission to help support our testing. Learn more.

NAA Black Widow & Pug Review: Best Mini Revolver?

NAA-Mini-Revolvers
We review products independently. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission to help support our testing. Learn more.
JUMP TO SECTION Jump To:

    North American Arms, out of Provo, Utah, has made quite a name for itself.

    Not only do they make a couple of old-school DAO steel pocket semi-autos in .32 ACP and .380, but they also produce revolvers.

    You might be asking, OK – so what? A bunch of companies make revolvers; what’s the deal?

    You can hold these in your palm and still have some extra hand left over. If you are looking for the ultimate hideout pocket gun, these might be your ticket.

    I received two of their revolvers for review, the Black Widow and the Pug, so let’s take a look!

    Table of Contents

    Loading…

    NAA Mini-Revolvers Review at Glance

    Pros

    • Extremely small
    • Two cylinders for each gun (.22 LR and .22 Magnum)
    • Positive lock-up with safety notches between the chambers
    • Great sights
    • Tons of accessories available
    • Great customer service and a lifetime warranty for the original owner
    • Locking metal case included

    Cons

    • 5-shot cylinders instead of 6
    • Cylinder and pin replacement can be a touch dicey after takedown until you catch on
    • Reliability can be an issue with certain ammo
    NAA-Mini-Revolvers-and-cylinders
    Revolvers plus spare cylinders

    The Bottom Line

    The NAA revolver line is designed for one basic purpose: they are backup guns for deep concealment.

    Chambered in .22 (Short, LR, and Magnum), the Pug and Black Widow are made of stainless steel. Fit, finish, and build quality are top-notch. They are affordable and have a plethora of aftermarket accessories available and excellent customer service.

    The models reviewed included both .22 LR and .22 Magnum cylinders, but cheaper options that only include a single cylinder are available.

    Specs & Features of the NAA Pug & Black Widow

    Specs (Pug)

    • Caliber: .22 LR/.22 Magnum
    • Trigger Pull Weight: 6 lbs., 6 oz.
    • Width: 1.06”
    • Length: 4.56”
    • Barrel Length: 1.0”
    • Height: 2.81”
    • Weight: 6.4 oz.
    • Capacity: 5

    Specs (Black Widow)

    • Caliber: .22 LR/.22 Magnum
    • Trigger Pull Weight: 4 lbs., 7 oz.
    • Width: 1.0”
    • Length: 5.88”
    • Barrel Length: 2”
    • Height: 3.69”
    • Weight: 8.4 oz.
    • Capacity: 5

    Features

    • Single-action, 5-shot revolvers
    • Includes both LR and Magnum cylinders
    • Pug features XS White Dot front sight; Black Widow features 3-dot sights; night sight available
    • Safety notch between chambers allows the gun to be carried fully loaded
    • Grips: Pug, black pebble rubber; BW, three-finger smooth rubber (well, two-and-a-half anyway)
    • Lockable hard case included for each gun

    Source: NAA Firearms

    $387
    at GrabAGun

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons
    Available Coupons

    NAA History

    North American Arms was founded in 1972, originally as Rocky Mountain Arms. Two years later, the company was sold to new owners who renamed it North American Manufacturing and, later, North American Arms.

    NAA-Black-Widow-Field-Strip
    NAA Black Widow, field stripped

    Having bought the design for mini-revolvers from Freedom Arms in 1990, they further enhanced the little guns by re-designing the cylinders to include a safety notch between the chambers. This allowed the guns to be safely carried with all five chambers loaded.

    In 1997, NAA branched out and started producing their Guardian line of semi-auto pistols.
    These guns are chambered in .32 ACP and .380 ACP. Like their revolvers, the Guardians are made of stainless steel.

    NAA Guardian .380 ACP (Photo: Guns and Ammo)

    The company is big into manufacturing, producing a dizzying amount of models and trims when it comes to their revolver lineup.

    Who Is It For?

    NAA guns (both semi-autos and revolvers) are geared toward self-defense.

    Who might carry one? Anyone who has a spare pocket or room in a purse…men, women, LEOs, medical personnel, realtors, farmers, hunter — practically anyone.

    NAA-Black-Widow-basket-weave-holster
    Black Widow

    The shorter-barrelled models easily fit in a pocket and take little effort to bring along.

    Even though some will say that all NAA guns are “mouse guns,” I have always contended that the gun with you, regardless of caliber, is better than the gun you left at home.

    .22LR Round
    Some would argue this is better than nothing.

    Some folks are more likely to carry if they can quickly stash a gun in their pocket rather than strapping a larger holster on.

    Living in the boonies, I could also see taking something like the Black Widow outside with me when I’m checking our chickens or wood boiler.

    Mini Revolvers Fit & Feel

    This category is so subjective I almost hesitate to write about it, but here goes.

    These guns are so tiny that normal descriptions of fit and feel don’t apply.

    NAA-Black-Widow
    Black Widow

    Let’s just say that the Black Widow, with its longer two-and-a-half finger grip, was more comfortable to shoot.

    I had the Pug almost jump out of my one-finger grip when shooting magnums, but that’s probably just me.

    Pug

    For what they are, they handle fine once you get a grip on how to do it (sorry, pun intended).

    How Do They Shoot?

    I shot both guns at my backyard range, at 7 yards.

    Let’s face it — these are tiny backup guns meant for bad-breath distances, so trying it any further is not necessary.

    The Pug is barely longer than the ammo box.

    I shot two CCI loads, .22 LR 36-grain HP MiniMag and .22 Magum 40-grain MaxiMag. I also fired Winchester 36-grain HP, some Aguila, and a few Norma rounds. They all shot fairly well.

    It should be stated that NAA has a few suggestions about ammo, so consult the owner’s manual before stocking up.

    I shot CCI loads in both guns since that was the only .22 Magnum ammo I had, and I bought the LR specifically to try in these little guys.

    Black Widow: LR at 7 yards. The magnum loads grouped the same but came back a bit harder in my hand.

    I had a few failures to fire. I was not concerned about that, as I only tried a few brands of ammo, but I had to list this as a “con” above, even though rimfire can be notoriously finicky.

    If I were to carry this revolver seriously, I would experiment with several loads to determine which was the most reliable and accurate.

    The Pug exhibited a tendency to keyhole some shots, but accuracy was very good overall — it was similar to the Black Widow target above.

    I talked to a company representative about the keyholing, and she said that it happens from time to time due to the very short 1-inch barrel.

    A .22 bullet going almost 1,000 fps will still get a bad guy’s attention, even if it hits sideways.

    Experimentation with other types of ammo would likely yield results that would undoubtedly be different than mine.

    The 1-inch barrel of the Pug made it a bit more difficult to shoot accurately, and there’s only so much grip to grab hold of. But once you get used to holding it, you might like it.

    Just make darn sure that you keep all body parts behind the muzzle, as it’s easy to have a finger or thumb next to it. You will likely have to modify your grip if you use a “thumbs forward” style.

    Mini Revolver Ballistics

    I imagine you are wondering about the velocity on a .22 with a 1 or 2-inch barrel. Luckily, NAA has a full set of ballistic tables for various models.

    For the Black Widow (2-inch-barrel) CCI Mini-Mag LR. (Photo: NAA)

    The LR load averages 865 FPS between two guns. That’s about 60 ft/lbs of energy, which compares very closely with the .25 ACP and is about half the energy of a .32 ACP.

    In terms of the magnum load, we see that it produces 988 fps between two guns. That equals 87 ft/lbs of muzzle energy, matching that of the .32 S&W.

    If you own one of these revolvers, you might consider finding a magnum load that works reliably and shoots close to point of aim. You can always slip the LR cylinder in for some cheaper practice.

    What Sets NAA Revolvers Apart?

    The NAA mini-revolver line is unique in the industry.

    I did a search for .22 mini-revolvers, and every hit that came back was NAA. They have literally zero competition that I could find for a 5-shot revolver that fits in a belt buckle.

    Want to put it in a belt buckle…yeah you can do that…

    The only thing I could think of that was even close was the Bond Arms line of two-shot “derringers” (perenially misspelled).

    They are larger than the NAAs and weigh more, but they still make for solid pocket pistols.

    By the Numbers

    Reliability: 3/5

    The guns failed to fire a few times, and the Pug had some issues with keyholing.

    Ergonomics: 5/5

    These guns fit well in the hand for their size, especially the Black Widow.

    Accuracy: 4.5/5

    For what they are, they have really good accuracy.

    Customization: 3.5/5

    There are a ton of grips, holsters, and accessories out there.

    Value: 4/5

    For a street price of around $350 each, you can have a revolver that fits in a pocket (or even two of ‘em).

    Overall: 3/5

    .22LR Ammo In Stock

    Deal
    Grain
    Cost Per Round
    Notes
    40gr
    $0.06
    Free Ship $149+
    36gr
    $0.08
    40gr
    $0.07
    Free Ship $149+
    40gr
    $0.10
    40gr
    $0.07
    Free Ship $149+
    36gr
    $0.09

    Upgrades

    If you want to pack your NAA mini, there are options from DeSantis.

    I was impressed by the quality of all three holsters — these are not cheap knock-offs; they are the real deal.

    Black Widow Pocket Holster

    DeSantis pocket holster for the NAA Black Widow.

    The DeSantis Pocket Pug Holster works well and does what it’s supposed to — keeping the gun upright and safe.

    There’s a loop to go over the hammer if you desire (a feature also on the basket weave model). Not bad for under $35.

    $33
    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Pug IWB Holster

    This IWB holster, combined with the shorter Pug, makes for a very concealable package.

    If you are the IWB person, here’s a holster right up your alley. It’s made for the Pug and comes complete with a belt clip.

    $38
    at OpticsPlanet

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Final Thoughts

    Are you one who gets a bit tired of strapping on a holster every day? Ever want a minimalist gun that wouldn’t be out of place when you’re running or wearing shorts?

    NAA-Holsters

    I understand that a .22 rimfire is not ideal for a concealed-carry caliber, but if you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you might want to try one of these guys.

    $387
    at GrabAGun

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    They would not be my go-to for concealed carry, but as a pocket backup to my Hellcat or Ruger LCP Max, they make a lot of sense. They also work if you have to go outside and do chores but want a little something with you.

    Available Coupons

    What do you think of the NAA mini-revolvers? Let us know in the comments below. Like .22 LR pistols, but want something a tad bigger? Check out our guide to the Best .22 LR Pistols & Revolvers for Pocket Carry!

    The Best Gun Deals, Coupons and Finds

    Subscribe to Pew Pew Tactical's sales and deals email.

    8 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      JD

      Anotger option for pocket carry, although a bit larger, is the Switchgun, from Standard Manufactuting.

      March 5, 2023 8:12 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Paul

      I’ve had a Pug for years, and rarely leave home without it. It fits perfectly in the little pocket of my five-pocket pants. Now, I hate to be a nit-picker, but the article emphasizes the “plethora” of available aftermarket accessories (“Tons of accessories available”), but aside from a couple of holsters I didn’t see anything of the kind mentioned. I would really like to have seen some of the available accessories reviewed, or at least mentioned along with the author’s take on them. But overall a very good and (typically) thorough review…

      March 4, 2023 10:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ed

      Have the Pug myself. Accurate review- it's great for what it's meant to do, but of course slow reloading time and not going to punch Xs past 3 yards (for me). Still, I feel MUCH better having it than having nothing at all. I drop it in my pocket when I don't feel like grabbing my Walther PPQ for short stints-like walking to the mailbox or taking out the trash. It's a good gun for dress clothes too like at weddings, funerals, etc. Again, better a 22mag than nothing!!

      March 4, 2023 6:57 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Rex T. Dog

      We own the slightly smaller .22lr model...the gun has been reliable, sturdy, and very concealable...it is difficult to shoot well, uses a tiny bullet, and fast reload ain't happening...we think of the gun as that last second, pulled in surprise, and in the ear, nose, or throat derringer...these are not gunfighting guns, they are last chance guns...practice, practice, and more practice does make a difference with the gun...it is the tiniest of niches, the NAA fills it best...

      March 3, 2023 12:08 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      CP93

      BTW, there are even Western-style suspenders with an integral holster that will fit the NAA.

      March 3, 2023 10:59 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      LazrBeam

      Instead of the Pug or BW I’m more inclined to the NAA Ranger II and, subsequently, have one. It’s a top break .22 Mag. That means instead of disassembling the firearm to reload just break the action, pick out any hulls that aren’t ejected, reload, snap shut, and carry on. If I don’t have my P365 or Shield Plus on me the Ranger II is with me, maybe in addition to.

      March 3, 2023 1:12 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Chuck Cochran AKA Bemused Berserker

      Good review Mike. Years back, when my wife started a new job, carrying her S&W model 60 was problematic. The office she worked at required uniforms, and no matter what she tried, printing was an issue. As the office was located in a rougher section of town, she was very uncomfortable with being Unarmed, so on a whim I picked her up an NAA .22 Mag (with the .22LR cylinder). A little modification of an ankle holster kicking around the holster drawer, and boom, she was set.
      She absolutely loves the wee gun, and carries it more than her old model 60, and at 10 to 12' feet she can keep all 5 shots in the X ring. I can't, but my meathooks are huge compared to hers, so shooting that wee gun looks hilarious in my hand.
      After testing several ammo brands, we stuck with Hornady's .22 WMR Critical Defense. As of yet, it's never failed to fire.
      Federal has now introduced their .22LR PUNCH Ammo, and the ballistics as well as the Gel testing, are pretty impressive, so I'm watching or one of the LGSs to start carrying it. In the Gel test, it met the FBI 12" minimum out of a 2" barrel, and uses a solid flat point lead alloy projectile that expanded quite nicely.

      NAA makes a unique product, that fills a niche for when you need something that is small and easily concealed. Their Mini line of Revolvers are very well made right here in the USA, and fit and finish is first rate.
      A lot of us chuckled when they were first introduced, myself included, that they were just going to be a novelty. But I'm happy to admit I was wrong. NAA's not only survived, but thrived and expanded their line up, and still going strong.
      You're absolutely right that having a .22, is better than having nothing at all.

      March 2, 2023 7:52 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        SE

        Awesome personal story and review.. Better than the article..

        March 2, 2023 9:39 pm
    Join the community! Log in
    Please provide a valid email address.
    Password is required.
    or
    Register
    Please provide a valid display name.
    Please provide a valid email address.
    The password should contain at least 8 characters with at least one number or special character.
    Please accept in order to continue.
    By unsubscribing, you will not be able to access exclusive training courses in your profile. You will still be able to save and access your products and articles.
    or
    Trouble logging in?
    Type your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.
    Please provide a valid email.
    Password
    Type your new password and hit button below to confirm it.
    Field is required.
    Account already exists
    We already have an account registered for email address () which is linked to your Facebook account.
    To log in type your Pew Pew Meter password below.
    Field is required.
    Account already exists
    We noticed that you have previously logged in with your Account which is linked to the same email address () - we can link both of your accounts together.
    In order to link your accounts, hit button below and log in to your Account with the same email as above.

    Account in Pew Pew Tactical means more.

    Login or create a free account to get the following
    Access and save hundreds of reviews, gun guides, and articles!
    Find the best daily deals on guns, gear, and ammo
    Manage your newsletter subscriptions and comments