North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver Review

By Mike Searson
North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver, review and test.

S&W 500 Revolver vs the North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver
S&W 500 Revolver vs the North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

United States -( One of our favorite carry guns is the Pug-T Mini Revolver made by North American Arms. This is one of the smallest handguns on the market in the form of a solid frame 5-shot rimfire revolver chambered in 22 Magnum.

Built entirely from stainless steel, the Pug use a single action “spur” trigger and offers an extremely discrete option for CCW. We do not advocate the Pug as the primary handgun for concealed carry, but more of a backup piece.

The North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver Review differs from the main line of NAA revolvers and is squared off at certain points. Perhaps its biggest difference is an extra-large tritium front sight and a rounded one-piece rubber grip.

At this point, this choice may seem rather unusual for a self-defense piece as the caliber is small, but there is much more to these little guns than meets the eye.

North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver The Good

These revolvers utilize a proprietary safety notch on the cylinder, allowing the user to safely carry all five rounds loaded in the cylinder without the hammer resting on a rim of a loaded round. As a result, these mini revolvers can be carried safely and discretely in a pocket holster.  Some people have been known to carry one in the watch pocket of their jeans.

Stainless steel construction makes these little revolvers highly resistant to rust.

That big tritium dot makes all the difference in the world when it comes to aiming at and hitting your target. The rubber grip aids in this manner, too. A version without the tritium is available with a large white front sight dot of a similar size.

Pug by NAA & Spyderco Cricket
Pug by NAA & Spyderco Cricket

A number of companies including DeSantis holsters, manufactures special pocket holsters and belt holsters for these revolvers, some allow for carry of spare cylinders preloaded with ammunition.

In a rare move among firearms manufacturers, North American Arms actively takes the input that they receive from their customers. In essence they produce the guns that people want to see happen. When shooters asked for a swing-out version, NAA unveiled the Sidewinder. Later this year, the company plans to release a top break model.

North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver The Bad

Perhaps the main fault with the NAA Pug is the fact that you almost have to disassemble the revolver to load and unload it. You literally have to remove the cylinder from the revolver, manually push out the empty cases and insert fresh rounds, one at a time.

North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver
North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver

This does not make for a speedy tactical reload and some shooters have adapted to this by carrying spare cylinders with them.

North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver The Reality

Some detractors point to the 22 Magnum as being inadequate for self-defense. They may have a point, but the strength of the mini revolver lies in their small size. When a larger more appropriate defensive handgun may be left in the safe or the car, these smaller sized guns seem to have a way of being carried more often.

By the same token, many shooters complain about not being able to shoot one of these revolvers accurately. The fact is, with a proper grip on the revolver, admirable groups can be had within 50 feet of the target, especially with the Pug.

These mini revolvers have a place in a personal self-defense battery as a holdout or hideout piece.

Hornady’s Critical Defense Load is optimized to work in these short barrels launching a 45-grain FTX bullet at 1000 fps from the muzzle.

North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver Right Profile
North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver Right Profile

North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver Product Specs:

  • Barrel:  1″
  • Caliber: 22
  • Weight:  0.4 lbs
  • Overall Length:  4.5″
  • Trigger: Single action
  • Finish: Stainless steel
  • Grip: Rubber
  • Sights: Tritium front
  • MSRP: $347
Pug by NAA in a Desantis Holster
Pug by NAA in a Desantis Holster

North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver Resources

Mike Searson
Mike Searson

About Mike Searson:

Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.

Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

  • 11 thoughts on “North American Arms Pug-T Mini Revolver Review

    1. I’ve carried one of these for years, mainly as a BUG to my EDC which itself is a “mouse gun”, Kel Tec P32, or any number of .380’s. For me, I live by the philosophy of; the human body does not like foreign objects being introduced into it. Put that object in a good spot and it will cause serious damage to said body. That being said; any round that can reach the vitals will do the job all day long. Just because it’s a .22 or .22 mag does not mean that it is any less lethal than any of the larger caliber’s. In the BUG role this little gun shines. It’s weight and size make it one of the best, if not the best BUG one can carry. IMO, the revolver action make it much better than the .25 ACP for reliability sake. I do like the .25 for the center fire round factor, but the ammo these days is so reliable that, that is almost a moot point. Anyway, these little revolvers are awesome little gems and I’m very proud to own the couple that I have and carry.

    2. Ok we all have had the talk about caliber and power etc. but I like that old saying “it’s not about the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog”. Simple truth, any caliber, any gun, is great or lousy depending on if the person behind it can put the pill where it’s most desperately needed.

    3. I carry a NAA in .22 mag when clothing does not adequately conceal a larger handgun. This is the loudest pistol I own. It is accurate at the distance it would be used and the report should be loud enough to at least allow a safe retreat from danger on my part. It’s like an American Express card, don’t leave home without it!

    4. Would someone please tell me Why the H you’d worry about a ‘tactical reload’. with this? If I had a thought of being in a firefight it wouldn’t be with this. Sadly I’m pretty sure this little thing isn’t permitted by our all knowing officials in Kommieforniastan, I could be wrong but I’m too lazy to check. I carry my SR22, I’m good with it out to 25 yards, a spare mag and good shoes. As with the previous poster I’m too darn old to run or to fight.

      1. You are a lot like me, too old to fight or run. That is why I love my lil North American. Even if I were carrying a full sized 1911, the little revolver would be in my right pocket. It’s no bigger than a pocketknife and in a sudden assault, like the new popular knock-out game, it will perform…quickly. Up close and personal.

    5. I’ve carried one of these little jewels since they first appeared on the market back in the mid-90’s. Mine is the original .22 mag with the rosewood grip, and it’s nearing 23 years old now. It lives in my right pocket, and I never leave home without it. It’s nearly invisible in my pocket and I’ve never been questioned about it being there. I own 20 firearms and am a certified NRA shooting sports instructor. Having this little revolver in my pocket is pure insurance were ever I go. I carry a 7.62×25 CZ52 in my vehicle, and have a 1911 .45 on my bedside table. The little North American is still my favored carry because like my favorite old Kershaw pocket knife, it’s always in my pocket and there if i need it. In most self defense situations, any shooting is usually done within feet, not meters. The .22 mag is a proven round that is a real killer closeup, and meters out if fired from a rifle. Some of my friends routinely kill deer with this round, it is lethal. Remember, it’s not what caliber you shoot, it’s about bullet placement. I recommend that all who carry for self defense to take the time to study a human anatomy chart, and learn where all the vital organs are. If you ever have to defend yourself make the first shot count. Head, heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, lastly lungs. Know where the femoral artery is in a leg,and the bracheral artery is in an upper arm. A .22 shot into any of these arteries is a sure kill. This stealthy little 5 shot revolver is a real man stopper, if used properly.

    6. I have been carrying a North American .22 mag revolver since they first appeared on the market. It goes everywhere I go, If i’m wearing pants. I have only had to “show” it once in a situation that involved a drunk threatening to assault me. His truck was blocking the right of way, and I asked him to move it so I could go past. He got very angry and aggressive, stating he was going to beat my old ass to a pulp. I had my hand in my pocket when he came at me, when I realized he was a threat I brought it out, not pointing it at him, but I just made a statement that, “Today is a good day to die”. He took the hint and seeing the little revolver in my hand, he retreated.
      That is the only time since my last tour in Vietnam in 1967, I felt I needed to resort to the use of a weapon. I am 72 years old and am too old to fight or take shit from an aggressive 40 year old 250 pound drunk. My little revolver is only one of many that I own, but it is my best friend and I never leave home without it. I carry it without a holster in my right pocket, I have never been concerned about an accidental discharge. One must deliberately thumb back the hammer to arm it. The stainless steel construction demands very little maintenance. I’ve only cleaned and oiled it a few times in the nearly twenty years I’ve carried it. I change the bullets every year, just in case, since rimfires are notorious for the primer material in the rim to occasionally separate from the brass, and shift, causing an occasional misfire.

    7. COOL !
      I could be interested in this little protector. I have a revolver for my 22 magnum ammo and it definitely
      is a good round. Of course if you can’t hit what you aim at, then maybe you need a mini shot gun.
      The small grip is a concern for larger hands and I did not see any type of safety.

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