Notes: Groups the product of 5 Shots at 7 yards. Chronograph screens set at 6' from muzzle.

Notes: Groups the product of 5 Shots at 7 yards. Chronograph screens set at 6' from muzzle.

Taffin has chosen Winchester's new 28-grain Lead Free .22 Magnum round for carry in Earl.

call practical carry in a boot, however NAA has now come up with what may just be the perfect boot gun. It is called the Earl, so named for the designer, or Model 1860-4. Life is full of trade-offs and coming up with the perfect boot gun we may also preclude its being carried in a shirt pocket. The Earl has two things normally not found on Mini-Revolvers. The barrel length is 4" and instead of the very small rounded grip it has a larger boot-style grip. Both of these of course add to the size of Earl, which is just under 8" in length. Does this keep it from being carried in a shirt pocket? Maybe not.

I buy most of my shirts at Cabela's. I like their selection, quality, and price, and they are available in long sleeves with double pockets — actually six pockets. There is a small pocket on each sleeve and the main pockets consist of a large pocket with a zipper closure and in front of this pocket is a slightly smaller pocket with buttons. The separate compartment is just large enough diagonally to accommodate the 4" Earl, and the zipper provides extra security. There is no way Earl will fall out from any activity. Also the front pocket, even when empty, helps prevent Earl from printing and revealing the presence of a concealed weapon.

The basic Earl is a 5-shot .22 Magnum, single-action, spur-triggered, 4"-barreled revolver. There is no transfer bar, however it is safe to carry fully loaded. Most percussion revolvers from the 19th century had a slot milled into the cylinder between chambers. When the cylinder was fully loaded it was then carried with the hammer down in one of the slots instead of dangerously resting aA

The Earl (above) is a 5-shot .22 Magnum with a 4" barrel. An extra .22 Long Rifle cylinder is available as an option. The cylinder of the Earl is removed (below) for loading and unloading. The cylinder pin is used to punch out the empties.

on a percussion cap. When percussion revolvers were replaced by single action sixguns using fixed ammunition such as the Colt Single Action the cylinder still had six chambers, however it could only be carried safely with the hammer down on an empty chamber. Earl reverts back to the percussion revolver method and it is safe to carry fully loaded with the hammer resting in one of the slots between the chambers.

There is one other difference besides grip size and barrel length when comparing the standard Mini-Revolver to Earl. The former are mostly point shooters, that is the sights are very difficult to see and use (at least for me). Not so with Earl. The fixed sights are more than adequate. The front sight is reminiscent of sights found on the Remington percussion revolvers being a round post which tapers at the top. The rear sight is a square slot cut into a raised portion on the top of the frame. Trying to shoot 2-handed indoors where the light is not the best results in a somewhat fuzzy sight picture, for me, however, outdoors shooting 1-handed in bright light gives me an exceptionally clear sight picture. Combined with the barrel length, the sights actually allowed me to plink with this 8-ounce sixgun. I can't shoot aspirin tablets or quarters, but no pop can is safe at 25 yards. Try that with any other Mini-Revolver! According to my RCBS High-Range Trigger Tension Scale the spur trigger registers 4 pounds.

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