Eyes On: NAA Sidewinder & the "Hot War" on Police

naa sidewinder review
October 24, 2016  
Categories: Musings

Eyes On: NAA Sidewinder & the “Hot War” on Police

David Reeder

There are some who don’t care for so-called “pocket pistols”. I’m not one of them. Call it a GOM (Get Off Me) gun, BUG (Back Up Gun), hideout or mousegun, these little pistols are often derided, usually because of caliber.

I would respond by pointing out that many a gangbanger, and more than one cop, has been incapacitated or killed by the lowly .25 or .22LR. Should one of those be your go-to caliber? Not by any means. Are they better for social work than foul language or a rape whistle? I would venture to say so, but I was brought up at a time in law enforcement where the saltiest officers, the ones near retirement, were avid Wambaugh readers. They could quote Commander Powers’ Hettinger Memorandum, about the notorious “Onion Field” murder of an abducted LAPD officer, by heart (though many took issue with the author), and believed that working the road without a secondary weapon should get you ridiculed or disciplined. Carrying a hideout in your vest, pocket or on your ankle remains a common practice, but failure to do so doesn’t seem to be as big an issue as it was thirty years ago.

I can’t decide if that’s a Good or a Bad Thing.

Regardless, I like a pocket gun and take no issue with anyone carrying one as a secondary whether they’re On The Job or a responsible armed citizen.

A pocket gun I’ve been spending some time with lately is one of the North American Arms Sidewinders, the NAA-SW. It’s a 5-shot .22 Magnum revolver with a 1.5 in. barrel, swing-out cylinder and the option to do a conversion to .22lr if you get the NAA-SWC cylinder. Though I wouldn’t leave it inside the driver’s side door the way we did “back in the day”, it does slip nicely into the interior front side pocket of the TD SYG Jeans I’ve also been trying out. Likewise it fits nicely down into one of the slots or in an ankle IFAK. You can always just drop it down into any pocket for that matter, but I’m not one to let any gun just ride loose, even with the hammer forward on the notch between cylinders.

I carried it in my pocket while riding the backcountry of the Dragoon Mountains during our Trails Found 16 excursion, I’ve confined it to a DAP Pouch and kept it in my Throwback and I’ve walked around with it in an LPG ankle rig. I like the way it rides so far; the real measure of it, of course, will be how it performs on the range. I haven’t shot it sufficiently to opine on that yet — so more to follow.

Learn about this particular model of Sidewinder right here.


The Hettinger Memorandum

John W. Powers, LAPD, 1963

“The police are engaged in a hot war. There are no truces, and there is no hope of an armistice. The enemy abides by no rules of civilized warfare.

“The individual officer, when taking his oath of office, enters a sacred trust to protect his community to the best of his ability, laying down his life if necessary.

“All men return to dust. The manner of a man’s living and dying is of paramount importance. Although some moderns have attempted to sap the strength and ideals of this nation by slogans such as ‘I’d rather be red than dead,’ there are situations more intolerable than death.”

More to follow in a few weeks.


This Post is part of our Trails Found Series. What is Trails Found? Members of BreachBangClear and some other badass media outlets assembled together this last September to train with one of the last of what has been called the “old Border Breed”, in the desert of Arizona. That man they were training with was no other than the legendary Jim Grasky. In 1965 Jim Grasky was a young Special Forces soldier in the early 60s. He helped chase down Che Guevara and recce some of the more remote areas of Central and South America. By 1970 he was a the squadleader for a team of smoke-jumpers parachuting in to fight remote wildfires, and somewhere during that timeframe may or may not have spent a lot of time with Air America over SE Asia. For about a quarter century after that he was a Border Patrolman, and literally named BORTAC. Though Grasky is a man of many talents, one of his specialties is man tracking–which is why he developed programs specifically for USSOCOM and has taught the world over. Through your various social media outlets you can track other articles and photos related to Trails Found by searching for #TrailsFound16 and #GoodGearMatters. The TF16 event was sponsored by Grey Ghost Precision and the “Grey Ghost Mafia“.

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Reeder Profile Picture 5About the Author: It might not be too surprising that David Reeder, who never met a $50 word he didn’t like, one of the “leaders” of the pedagogic and frequently obstreperous Breach Bang Clear team — insomuch as they have a leader (the terms orchestra conductor and rodeo clown are equally apropos). A former POG who tastes like chicken, Reeder cannot play the harmonica. He founded Breach-Bang-Clear quite accidentally at his young son’s behest several years ago. He is the Mad Duo’s Chief Wretched Flunky and Breach-Bang-Clear’s HMFIC. A LEO for many years and former AF Security Forces SNCO, he was an O/C at the National Homeland Security Training Center for many years and a longtime MOUT instructor at the Bold Lighting UWS. Reeder has appeared on Fox News Business and written for a number of publications, from US News & World Report and Military.com to RECOIL Magazine and Soldier Systems Daily. All of that sounds way cooler than it actually is. You can read more about him here. Follow his banality on Instagram, @davidreederwrites.

“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” T. S. Eliot

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin


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