North American Arms has a wide array of mini-revolvers chambered in .22 Short, .22 Long Rifle, and .22 Magnum. The designs are minimalist and classic. They feature a single-action and exposed trigger reminiscent of the Colt Model 1 and “vest pocket” derringers of the Old West, but with the added capacity of a revolver. These mini revolvers can be as small as 3.63 inches in overall length, but the NAA Earl Hogleg takes things in a different direction.
NAA Earl Hogleg Details
I got my first look at the NAA Earl at the 2020 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous. Named appropriately for styling that reminds us of old 1860 revolvers, the Hogleg gets its shape from a faux loading lever that contains the center pin. That pin is removable to permit cylinder removal for loading and unloading. It also doubles as a tool to knock any stuck cases free.
Another obvious difference is the Earl’s barrel length of 6 inches—it’s anything but mini. The heavy barrel adds extra charm with an octagonal shape and polished sides to match the frame. It also features a matte finish on top and bottom to reduce glare. In an old-world style, the handgun’s fit and finish are impeccable with joints and screws ground and polished flush so nicely that they are hard to discern without careful study.
In hand, the little Hogleg takes some getting used to. The handsome rosewood grips are too small for some hands to wrap around, leaving the gun to move a bit under recoil. Fortunately there’s not much recoil and so a little jab is all one feels.
The action is smooth, but the trigger is heavier than most single-action revolvers. However, it doesn’t impact accuracy. Stacking hits on target isn’t difficult thanks to a long sight radius. The sights are much more generous than one would expect from such a small handgun.
Shooting the Hogleg
Curious what a 6-inch .22 Magnum revolver might produce as far as muzzle energy, we tested four commercial loads by chronographing them seven yards from the muzzle to see how hard the 30gr and 40gr pills hit.
|Load||Projectile Weight||Measured Velocity||Calculated Energy|
|CCI V-Max Polymer Tip||30gr||1,459 fps||142 ft/lbs|
|Speer Gold Dot GDHP-SB||40gr||1,350 fps||162 ft/lbs|
|Winchester Super X FMJ||40gr||1,255 fps||140 ft/lbs|
|Winchester Varmint HV JHP||30gr||1,350 fps||121 ft/lbs|
Weighing less than 10 ounces and measuring less than 1-inch wide, the Earl carries comfortably just about anywhere the 9.75-inch overall length fits. That is where the curiosity of energy on target began. A handgun this portable gives little excuse to not bring a gun at times when a conventional pistol might be uncomfortable or logistically challenging, such as hiking in anti-gun areas or during ranch work. Both occasions coincidentally also offer instances where a firearm would be handy to dispatch small pests or hostile wildlife.
Believe it or not, the Earl’s energy test results matched or beat the energy from a 4-inch .32 ACP—the likes of which were used in both military and law enforcement in the early 20th century throughout Europe. If that energy can suffice for close-quarter military and law enforcement work, it’ll likely suffice for the applications mentioned above.
So why do the Earl and family of North American Arms mini revolvers exist? Are they collectibles, novelties, backup guns, or specialty tools? In our experience, the answer is “yes” to all of the above. For more information, alternate grips, and holsters, please visit NorthAmericanArms.com.
NAA Earl Hogleg Specs
- Caliber: .22 Magnum
- Capacity: 5
- Overall Length: 9.75 inches
- Height: 3.13 inches
- Width: 0.94 inches
- Weight: 9.7 ounces
- Barrel Length: 6 inches
- Sights: Stainless Post Sight
- Action: Single Action
- Grips: Rosewood Boot Grip
- MSRP: $308
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