North American Arms Revamps Sidewinder .22 Magnum
California has some of the most zealous anti-gun activists and the state also happens to be a lucrative market for firearms manufacturer North American Arms.
Unfortunately, North American Arms’ Sidewinder .22 Magnum Mini Revolver was one of the casualties of the state’s “California Compliant” gun control legislation because the gun didn’t measure up to the barrel length requirement as author Scott W. Wagner points out in his article “NAA Sidewinder: California-Compliant .22 Magnum Mini-Revolver” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“In fact, the NAA Sidewinder that I previously tested is illegal for new sale in California because even though it’s a single- action revolver, its barrel is too short. All single-action handguns must have at least a 4-inch barrel in order to pass muster.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Luckily, North American was able to make the adjustment fairly quickly at their production facility in Provo, Utah and the result is an impressive modern firearm with the look and feel of the Old West. Standard features of the street legal California Sidewinder include a stainless steel frame, laminated rosewood grips, and an updated cylinder shroud.
The newly refurbished single-action Sidewinder has a few other modifications as well. It’s slightly heavier, up to 8 ounces from the original 6.7 and with the longer barrel, the sight radius naturally increased. This feature makes the modern Sidewinder easier to use than the short-barrel version. When the ejector rod is pulled slightly forward, the cylinder swings out, utilizing a crane action. This affords access to an ejector rod and ejector star, which will push the empty cartridges out all at once; a definite improvement in the reloading process.
During range testing, the Sidewinder .22 Magnum easily produced tight groupings from 30 feet. However, recoil on this gun does get your attention. Even with the extra weight of the longer barrel, the Sidewinder still produced a very noticeable kickback when firing with .22 LR Hyper Velocity Yellow Jacket 33-grain hollow point ammo.
The revamped North American Arms Sidewinder .22 Magnum makes an excellent concealed carry firearm for California residents. For revolver fans, this gun can be a primary carry, backup, or home defense option. The Sidewinder sells for about $400 online, but get yours soon; they are quickly becoming a high-demand collectible gun.