December 31, 2020
Collectors are always looking for something different or unique. Collectibles can be quite expensive, but there are bargains out there for shooters looking for something a little special. That is where the limited-edition Anti-Venom revolvers from North American Arms come in. Chambered for the .22 Magnum, they are not only handsome but also worthy of consideration as a carry gun—at a very affordable price.
Originally the Rocky Mountain Arms in 1972, the company was sold and renamed North American Arms in 1974. Its revolvers are five-shot, single-action rimfire guns, and they are available in a number of configurations in .22 Long Rifle, Short and Magnum.
The Anti-Venoms are available in two barrel lengths with an attractive snake head engraved by Black Ice Coatings in Spanish Fork, Utah, on the left side of the frame. With a longer barrel of 15/8 inches, the Magnum model ($250) comes with a snakeskin-themed boot-style grip. The Magnum Snub ($240) checks in with a 11/8-inch barrel and a bird’s-head grip. It has the same snakeskin pattern on the grip and snake head engraving on the frame.
My two samples exhibited quality fitting. The topstrap, frame and barrel are matte stainless, as are the cylinder’s flutes, while the rest of the cylinder body is polished for a nice contrast.
The hammer is easy to grasp, thanks to its moderate size and serrations on the spur. The hammer has a half-cock position, which aids in loading and unloading the gun. To load, pull the hammer to the half- cock position. Grasp the cylinder pin, push in the release and pull out the pin. Load the five cylinders and reinstall the cylinder.
These revolvers have hammer safety slots in between the cartridge chambers to prevent an accidental discharge if the gun is dropped. Manually rotate the cylinder to one of these notches and lower the hammer. When you draw back the hammer, the cylinder rotates to the next chamber.
The Anti-Venom sights feature a groove-or gutter-type rear combined with a standard round half-moon- type blade out front. The grips are small but fine for this handgun. I particularly like the Magnum Snub gun with the bird’s-head rounded grip, as it seems to fit my hand better. The small trigger is serrated and broke at four pounds.
North American Arms revolvers—especially the .22 WMR models, in my opinion—are handy to have around. The Anti-Venom versions, which are available through Bill Hicks & Company, take the looks of these guns to the next level.