It's tiny and it's cute. While not words usually associated with guns the Freedom Arm Mini .22 Revolver is exactly that - tiny and cute. This gun belongs to a co-worker of mine and she was kind enough to let me take it out and run a few rounds through it.
I've seen these before, this and the North American Arms version, and I've always wanted to shoot one. They look practical but only marginally useful. I would say having this is better than nothing but anything less would be nothing.
The gun is very small. In the next photo you can see it compared to a Taurus Ultra Lite .38 Special. The Taurus itself is small and the Mini looks like a toy next to it.
As "cute" as the gun is, it's definitely no toy. The .22 LR might be might be a small round that many people deem unsuitable for defense carry, but used at close range and aimed at critical organs, it's lethal.
The downside is actually employing the firearm. The gun is so tiny, that fishing it out of your pocket isn't all that easy. Once you get your hand on it, you'll find it upside down (I tried several times to carry it in my pocket right side up but the shape and top weight always let it flip over). Pull it out of your pocket and you need to flip it over, grab the tiny grip, pull back the hammer and pull the trigger.
Just for the heck of it, Sunday afternoon I donned some boot cut jeans, strapped on my ankle holster (and unloaded .38 snubbie) and dropped the unloaded Mini in my front left pocket. Then I tried to get each gun in firing position quickly and smoothly. On the fifth try, I finally was able to get the Mini ready faster than the .38. Even then it took an extra second or two to get a firm grip on the Mini.
Neither draw would be considered fast but since the draws were pretty close, I'd take my chances with a snub nosed .38 Special loaded with +P over the .22 LR round.
On the range, the first 10 rounds were very fun to shoot. A guy shooting with his family next to us even came over to see what we were shooting.
You have to have a very firm grip on the glossy grips or the thing flips up with every shot. Even with a good grip, I found that I had to regrip the gun between every shot. This wasn't a big deal since you have to cock it every time which forces hand movement. After 20 rounds the novelty was gone and the fun started to diminish.
Every few shots you will feel the slight sting of burning powder on you hands. Enough to be bothersome but not painful. In a fight, you wouldn't even notice. One thing is certain, when fired, this "little cricket" makes a "crack" that's disproportionate to it's size.
After four cylinders, another shooter named Dale walked over and gave me a very helpful tip. He suggested that I adjust my grip so that I used one hand to hang on and the other to pull the trigger. See the next photo.
It worked. The gun stayed stayed put and I cocked the gun with the thumb on my non-holding, trigger hand with ease.
As a small pocket gun that would be better than poking a bad guy with a sharp stick or throwing a rock at him, the Freedom Arms Mini .22 would work well. But I've seen this gun for sale between $200 - $500 ($200 for the NAA Version) and for that price, I'd rather have a Kel-Tec .380 that's about the same size but has more punch and a more substantial grip.
After shooting it, I can say that as a last line of defense of a necessity carry (due to clothing), it would give me a limited feeling of security.
As a novelty, it's a blast. If you have money to burn or a large collection of "real" guns and are looking for something fun and different, this gun is something you might want to own.
Video of Doug Shooting the Mini .22
Doug's Dad's Story:
My friend Doug's dad, Al, owned one of these guns. While entering his house, Al ran into a guy burglarizing his home. He immediately reached into his pocket and started fishing for his Mini .22. The burglar ran toward him, weaved his way through the house then crashed through the back sliding glass door before Al could even get the gun aimed and cocked. Al was in a panic and the little gun was just too hard to put into service in those conditions. The very next day Al sold the gun.
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