The national reaffirmation of our Second Amendment rights has been fantastic over the last few years. The most visible evidence of this wonderful development has been the tidal wave of CCW legislation in most of our states. Interestingly, many gun buyers and manufacturers have ignored years of advice from gun writers about the perils of leaving home with anything less than a .40-caliber pistol. It's understandable in that we gun writers have focused on the "W" in CCW, because weapons with large-diameter bullets are the proven way to end a fight quickly. The real world properly focused on the initial "C" in CCW, which dictates your weapon must first and foremost be concealed, and smaller guns are easier to conceal and carry (the other C) than larger guns.
North American Arms revisited the page of American history where small, single-shot derringers or mini-revolvers ruled the concealed-carry/pocket-pistol world of self-defense. This Utah-based company has made tiny revolvers for many years without their role in self-defense being fully appreciated. That's changed. Welcome the NAA Pug, a five-shot, derringer-size revolver that has been equipped with a very serious set of self-defense sights designed for deployment in low- to no-light situations with lightning rapidity. Measuring 4.5 inches long, 2.75 inches tall and 7/8 inch wide, this little powerhouse can be carried concealed by any size person. Made of 17-4 PH stainless steel and equipped with a 1-inch heavy barrel, the Pug will probably outlive your grandkids assuming you and I don't screw up and elect all the wrong people to political office.
Yes, the Pug must be fired single action, but it carries five rounds of .22 WMR ammunition (the same number of rounds as your dad's J-Frame), and the barrel is topped with a set of XS Sight Systems' tritium sights, which are as fast on target as any sights I've used. Additionally the tritium insert in the large front sight dot makes it visible in the minimal light conditions that frequently accompany a hostile situation. Although the .22 WMR will not stop a charging buffalo, five alternating rounds of jacketed hollow points and solids should produce the desired effect on any adversary.
One interesting attribute of the Pug is the number of very useful accessories available for it, direct from North American Arms. For openers, pocket holsters will keep the little revolver properly oriented in your pocket and hold an additional five rounds should they be needed. Admittedly the gun is slow to reload given that it must be partially disassembled to remove empties and reload fresh rounds, but having five additional rounds available is certainly reassuring. It becomes incumbent upon you to sufficiently solve your initial dilemma such that you can find time and create enough space to reload. Keep in mind, many confrontations involving a five-shot revolver don't involve a reload. To paraphrase a popular slogan, "five is better than none, and 10 is better than five!"
A great self-defense feature of the pocket pistol is the ability to have your hand on the gun with it partially drawn from the holster, but still concealed in your pocket before trouble starts. Brandishing your weapon is not allowed, but preparedness while maintaining concealment is smart and provides a great advantage. At a recent event at Gunsite Academy, I found getting a partially drawn pocket pistol into action was much faster than deploying a holstered gun concealed under a vest or jacket. As with every other skill acquired in life, practice is the key.
One huge advantage of the NAA Pug is a gun firing .22 WMR ammunition is much easier to master than one firing .38 Spl., and much less expensive to shoot. Buy an extra cylinder in .22 LR, and costs decrease even more. If you go camping or take day trips into the outback, you'll acquire skill much faster simply because you'll reach for the Pug whenever it's playtime.
How about that: CCW capabilities with a gun that's just fun to shoot! At a suggested retail price of $312, I believe it's called a bargain.