Formed originally in Salt Lake City around 1971 as the Rocky Mountain Arms Corp, the company that today is North American Arms was founded by Richard J. Casull, who was also the father of the .454 Casull cartridge.
A gunsmith gifted with both exceptional intellectual ability and creative productivity, Casull was the holder of more than 20 patents including several filed in the 70s for small, single-action revolvers with a floating firing pin and an improved cylinder lock system.
I’ve owned a ton of little 22 Mini Revolvers over the years, and they are nice to have in your pocket while hunting or fishing.
Rocky Mountain eventually changed its name to North American Arms around 1975 while Casull later went on to found Freedom Arms in Wyoming, with NAA concentrating their efforts on mini-revolvers while the newer FA went on to produce more full-sized guns.
For most of its modern existence, or at least the past 30 years of it, NAA has been owned by a top-shelf gentleman by the name of Sandy Chisholm.
Well, Sandy, looking to spend more of his time in Florida than Utah, has eschewed offers to sell out his mini-revolver biz to other players in the firearms industry– a move that would have likely seen it shift production to a Big Factory somewhere to save costs, leaving most of its current rank-and-file behind to look for another job– and instead has transferred ownership to a trust to make it employee-owned.
Did you know that Dick Casull– as in the father of the big ole thumping .454 Casull cartridge– also invented the modern mini-revolver in the 1970s?
They actually have a pretty interesting story and have grown in popularity over the course of the past five decades.
More in my column at Guns.com.
One Fabbrica d’Armi Pietro Beretta-made Model 21A Bobcat coupled with a North American Arms Mini-Revolver (short-barrel variant) and the nicest 50-cent pumpkin my local co-op had for sale.
Both handguns are in .22LR, with 7+1 and 5-shot capacities, respectively. The Beretta, with ammo, magazine and natty wood grips, weighs in at just under 13-ounces. The NAA, 5.5.
For those curious, the smooth holiday squash weighs slightly more than either but will make a much cuter Jack-o-Lantern.
Guns come in all shapes and sizes from behemoth Dirty Harry hog legs down to pipsqueak pinfires. On the small end of things is the North American Arms Mini Revolver, but don’t let its size fool you into thinking it’s unloved. These minis are plenty popular, plenty powerful and plenty useful.
Wayne Baker and Dick Casull started Freedom Arms in Wyoming in 1978. It may seem strange, but Casull, famous for super-high powered handgun rounds like the notable .454 Casull, also had an affinity for tiny guns. Freedom Arms began selling a small, single-action revolver that fired .22-rimfire ammunition. While this wasn’t new, heck Bill Ruger had been selling his Single-Six for 20 years before then, what was innovative was the size.
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com.