Big Little Gun

By Russ Thurman

Chambered in .22 Mag., the Black Widow (NAA-BWM-PVD) has a heavy vent 2″ barrel, five-round bull cylinder, oversized black rubber grips and is topped with Marble Arms’ sights.

In the crowded concealed-carry market, North American Arms (NAA) is a giant. The modest-sized company based in Provo, Utah, posts impressive sales in the smallest gun segment in the United States. Driving those sales is NAA’s position as the second-largest producer of .22-caliber revolvers in the nation. This will likely surprise many in and out of the industry.

“There are no working firearms that shoot commercially available ammunition smaller than ours,” said Sandy Chisholm, NAA owner and president, noting the company’s most popular model is the PUG, measuring 4.56″ in length. “We stand almost alone in our little corner of the world, which is very deep, undercover, personal protection. It’s our niche and we enjoy it.”

During the past five years, according to the ATF’s 2013–2017 U.S. firearms production data, NAA manufactured 276,945 .22-caliber revolvers and 2,923 pistols. For the same period, the company’s revolver production challenged the combined .22 production of the nation’s top revolver makers: Ruger (233,693) and Smith & Wesson (52,506). A noteworthy nod goes to Heritage Manufacturing, the largest U.S. producer of .22 revolvers (2013–2017: 761,110).

NAA’s success is directly related to the ability to actually carry concealed, according to Chisholm.

“You find people who start off with concealed carry, say with a 9mm, soon learn it’s not comfortable or it’s not really concealable in all dress. Then they find us. They recognize the value of something small, easy to stick in your pocket, very easy to operate, very reliable and very effective at the task,” Chisholm said.

“If You’ve Got Them, 

You’ll Sell Them.”

Dealers who offer the NAA line are not surprised at the attraction of the company’s firearms. 

“NAA has a very unique niche in the marketplace — offering high-quality, easily concealable firearms. The ‘wow factor’ has a lot to do with it,” said Justin Anderson, director of marketing at Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, N.C. “Customers are amazed at the amount of firepower they get in such a small package.”

At Hyatt Guns — “America’s Largest Gun Shop” — NAA Mini Revolvers are the best sellers, “by far,” according to Anderson.

“Our customers love the ability to have a deep-cover or last-chance firearm that’s so easy to conceal. NAAs sell themselves.”

Justin Anderson Director of Marketing Hyatt Guns, Charlotte, N.C.

“The conversion models (Long Rifle/Magnum) are also especially relevant,” he added. “Our customers love the ability to have a deep-cover or last-chance firearm that’s so easy to conceal. NAAs sell themselves. We feature them prominently in our counter, as well as on our web store, and they just sell.”

At Porter’s Sporting Goods in Flint, Texas, the NAA-22M — .22 Magnum revolver with 1.625″ barrel — outsells all other brands. 

“We carry probably 700 different handguns. In total volume sales per SKU, the NAA-22M is my number-one selling handgun,” said Greg Porter, owner and president. “Now I also sell the NAA .22 Magnum with folding grip, the PUG, the Sidewinder, the break-barrel (Ranger II) and the Ported Magnums, but what I sell the most is the .22M.”

Porter’s sales technique is simple.

“If you’ve got them, you’ll sell them. If you shoot one and put it to the test, you’ll love selling them because you’ll love carrying them,” he shared. 

Overcoming the “firepower issue” is key, according to Porter. 

“Customers, when they first look at them often say, ‘That’s not going to do any damage.’ The .22 is probably one of the most underrated calibers. The .22 ballistic tip will tear up a bunch of stuff. I explain what the gun will do and then pull one out of my back pocket and tell them I’ve been carrying one for 34 years and why. It makes the sale,” he said.

The diminutive NAA PUG .22 Magnum attracts a lot of customer attention, creating impulse sales.

Capitalize On Widespread Appeal

For dealers interested in capturing NAA sales, Chisholm recommends what Hyatt and Porter’s do: stock and display the firearms. 

“In many instances our guns tend to be an impulse purchase. Customers see them — catching their attention — and for $200, $250, it’s a pretty affordable purchase,” Chisholm said. “As inexpensive as they are for the customer, they’re similarly inexpensive for dealers to inventory. Four pieces will cost dealers under $1,000. The recommendation is to purchase them and stick them into your display case and let the results speak for themselves.”

The North American Arms 22M is the top-selling handgun at Porter’s Sporting Goods in Flint, Texas. The .22 Magnum has a 1.63″ barrel and measures 5.13″ overall. (Pictured: High Polished Royal Blue color option.)

While personal protection/concealed carry is the biggest market for NAA firearms, the company also attracts a notable number of collectors, plinkers and causal shooters. The company also offers numerous accessories and provides links on its website to other manufacturers, who produce an extensive variety of accessories for NAA firearms. And the company backs its products with “enviable” customers service. 

“We work desperately hard to put out as high-quality guns as we possibly can for a whole variety of reasons, not the least of which is the better we’re able to make the gun, the less issues we have with it after the fact,” Chisholm said. “We warrant these products forever. We think that’s attractive. The reputation we enjoy for good customer service is enviable. So, we make good products and we take very good care of our customers. It’s served us pretty well.”

For more information on selling NAA firearms, visit, or call (800) 821-5783. 

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