by B. Gil Horman - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
North American Arms' mini revolvers have long been a favorite for individuals in need of the most concealable handguns available. These ultra-compact, single-action wheel guns are available with a variety of barrel lengths, sight systems and grip sizes, but most of them have one feature in common. The cylinder pin has to be pulled free of the frame and the cylinder removed from the revolver in order to reload.
The new single-action Sidewinder Mini Revolver, scheduled for introduction at NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, features a swing-out cylinder connected to a frame-mounted crane arm. The cylinder falls to the right side of the revolver when the cylinder pin is pulled forward to release it from the frame. With the cylinder to the side, the cylinder pin actuates an ejector star to eject spent cartridges. The addition of these new features to the Sidewinder has increased the weight of the revolver by only a fraction of an ounce in comparison to the standard .22 Mag. mini, but reloading will be a much faster and simpler process.
The first Sidewinders off the line will be chambered for .22 Mag. only, but .22 Long Rifle conversion cylinder assemblies will not be far behind. The pre-production model shown here is fitted with a 1 5/8-inch barrel, but the development team is working to make a shorter barrel available. Other features include a stainless-steel frame, laminated rosewood grips, a bead front sight and a newly developed cylinder shroud for an estimated MSRP of $349 Look for the Sidewinder to arrive on your dealer's shelves mid-summer of 2012.
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