Concealed Carry

Review: Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun .22 WMR Revolver

Hand for comparison to show the size of the Standard Manufacturing revolver

Revolvers have their place. I own several and a couple play into my home defense plan. None of the revolvers are go-to guns, but a Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum (a la Dirty Harry) provides plenty of power for a last-ditch emergency gun. For long drives, and occasions when I carry a backup, a 5 or 6-shot revolver with a 1 5/8-inch barrel in a cross-draw holster does the trick. In a jacket or vest pocket, a hammerless .38 Special makes for a snag-free draw. It also provides the comfort of knowing I can shoot more than one shot without the action catching on some material and not going into battery.

Although all these options are great, there are occasions when something smaller is called for. I looked at a two-shot derringer, but it was too heavy. There are several small-caliber automatics, but the safeties are normally junk and the reliability questionable. I want it for an emergency. I do not want it to go off in my pocket and cause me to be the emergency. That lead me to revolvers.

Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun in the open and folded positions
The Switch deploys easily with a press of a button.

I’ve played with a NAA revolver. It’s tiny and even though I have medium hands, the controls were hard to reach. It just wasn’t something I could trust that I would not fumble in a high-stress situation. A friend suggested the LifeCard. It looked cool, but upon further research, it is a single shot, has small levels to open it and you must grip it between two fingers to cock it. The capacity was too low, and in an emergency, one-handed manipulation is impossible. Back to the drawing board.

Then, I came across the Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun. The barrel and frame were CNC machined from stainless steel. The little revolver packs five rounds of .22 Mag and tips the scales at a mere nine ounces loaded.

Switch-Gun Features

The revolver folds into the polymer grip. Folded, it is slightly fatter than most cellphones, but smaller in other dimensions. It would be hard for anyone to detect it riding in your pants pocket, purse, or even the breast pocket of a suit.

When folded, the grip completely covers the trigger and minimizes the profile. As for safety, unless you are vying for a Darwin Award by employing a special kind of stupid, there is not much chance of a pocket discharge with a single-action.

Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun .22 Mag revolver, unfolded left profile
Unfolded, the Switch has plenty of hand purchase and can be operated one-handed.

To deploy the Switch-gun, there is a button (switch) that pops the grip open. The feel is something akin to a traditional switchblade knife. Being that it is a single-action, it has a hammer that must be cocked before firing. In an emergency, if wounded, the little pocket pistol can be deployed, cocked, and fired one-handed.

Like most, I feel less comfort as the caliber decreases, particularly when it drops below 9mm. As I previously stated, this is not a primary carry gun. It is a micro gun that can be concealed in places and ways that most other guns can’t.

Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun Specs

Caliber: .22 Magnum
Frame and Barrel:
 CNC-machined stainless steel
Action: Single-action folding revolver
Barrel Length: .88 inches
Grip: Polymer
Weight: 9 ounces, loaded
Dimensions: 2.125” x 3.75” x .75” folded
MSRP: $499.00 — Click to see the CTD Price

At the Range

As for range and accuracy testing, the Switch has two main functions. One is deterrence. Anything pointed at a bad guy is going to give him something to consider. I have known more than a couple true badasses — SEALs, Deltas, street fighters, etc. I never met one that would stand still and let someone sling .22 lead at them.

The Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun features a barrel that tapes just under .9 inches. A buddy asked for my thoughts regarding the Switch. I replied, “It’s a belly gun.” He asked, “You mean that’s where you would hide it, in your waistband?” “No,” I replied. It’s accurate from the end of the barrel to the belly I would shove it in before pulling the trigger.” Anyone considering it for much past that, should consider another gun.

Front view of the Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun .22 WMR revolver
Not as imposing as some, but when pointed in anger, all barrels look like cannons.

While I said that a bit tongue-in-cheek, my point was this. The Switch is the emergency gun for after you have expended the payload in your primary and backup guns or for situations where carrying a larger platform is not an option. You’ll use it when absolutely pressed. Ideally, a miss would make the assailant retreat to reconsider his or her life choices (mission accomplished). A hit (or 5) would eliminate the danger.

Do you have a last-ditch gun to your backup or an ultra-compact hideaway? What’s your top choice? How does it compare to the Standard Manufacturing Switch-Gun? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • Standard Manufacturing Switch .22 WMR revolver, folded
  • Quartering to view of the Standard Manufacturing Switch .22 Magnum revolver, folded
  • Front view of the Standard Manufacturing Switch .22 WMR revolver
  • Standard Manufacturing Switch .22 Mag revolver, unfolded rightprofile
  • Standard Manufacturing Switch .22 Mag revolver, unfolded left profile
  • Standard Manufacturing Switch in the open and folded positions
  • Hand for comparison to show the size of the Standard Manufacturing revolver
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Comments (23)

  1. We own a NAA .22lr, bought long before the switchgun came out…the gun has it’s good/bad points, and is very rarely carried…the switchgun seems to also have good/bad points…these are not gunfighting guns, rather pull at last second aim into nostril guns…there are zero gaurentees, whether .22 or .44 magnum…we’ll keep our NAA, pray it is never needed, just like with other guns…anecdotal and hard evidence doesn’t overly affect our gun buying choices because each and every one of us is in a very specific personal situation, and mindset…rule #1, have a gun, applies…so don’t discourage anyone who thinks the switch gun is their ideal answer, as it might just be that (although at $500 I’d shop around quite a bit more)…

  2. In my previous post, I mentioned about the difficulty people have in acquiring their sights when involved in a shooting for the first few times. I just read an article about an off-duty Vermont sheriff’s deputy who was in a firefight with several armed men firing 7 or 8 shots between them. The shooting was heard by several Saratoga Springs Police Officers, who responded and ordered the Deputy to put down his weapon multiple times. He did not, even after being ordered to do so at least 8 times, according to body-cam footage. They then fired on the Deputy striking him 10 times. The deputy was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    Major lesson here for those who think they know what it will be like if they ever draw on another person. Most likely the deputy could not hear what they were saying AND/OR he was still in the Fight or Flight Response and it meant nothing to him. I am thinking that because of the recent firefight his ears were ringing so badly that he could not hear any of the commands and he still had so much adrenaline and cortisol in his system that he could not interpret what he was hearing. I fully understand that.

    Another thing to note was that he was struck 10 times and had non-life threatening injuries as a result. The report went on to state that prior to this incident no on duty officer on the Saratoga Springs Department had drawn a weapon and fired on someone in 26 years. It is harder than you think to shoot at another human being. The deputy should be grateful that the officers who fired on him were not seasoned veterans of a firefight because it takes more than one time to get your “sea legs” as the Navy calls them when it comes to firefights. Had any on the officers been seasoned, the deputy may well have been DRT (Medical parlance for Dead Right There.) I would say ask any vet but asking them may trigger their PTSD, so don’t, besides, most of them will not talk about it. I never mention specifics when the subject comes up and I usually try to tell people what Hell they will go through if they ever do shoot someone. I have been out of the Army well more than 45 years, and every now and then, I will have dream where I am back in. They are not good dreams.

  3. @OT Weapons Enthusiast. Listen to Sgt Davis on this one. I am having a hard time believing you have walked the path of drawing a weapon against another person for real.

    Let me give you my background. I am 71 (for another month) and 50 or so years ago, I was an Army Medic on a team that did SAR as well as Recon. We would go out into the boonies for 7-10 days at a time checking out the scenery. For SAR, we would go out to find our guys after their aircraft had unfortunate collisions with high velocity chunks of metal that were sent up to ruin the day of the occupants of said aircraft. I have been on the receiving end of incoming rounds more than once and none of us ever whizzed ourselves as a result. I have drawn weapons to return fire more than once. My hearing is shot as a result.

    After I got out of the Army, I spent more than 30 years working as a nurse, in busy metro ERs until I retired from ER in 2008. During my time in ER, I worked more shootings than I can count, but it would be in the high 3 digits, maybe even 4. I saw innumerable cases where a shooter fired at a shootee and the shootee was not injured enough to be stopped dead in his tracks but killed the shooter. Many times the shootee was injured just badly enough to require care, so we saved him and he became a guest of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the remainder of his life for homicide. Many times the shootee was on drugs and never really felt much until quite some time passed after he was shot.

    Many cases involved what I consider to be inadequate weaponry on the part of the shooter, usually in choosing something like a .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP, et al., which only pissed off the shootee, who was, as I said, frequently on drugs, and because nothing vital was hit the shootee went on to kill the shooter. Those calibers were referred to as the last bad choice of dead people everywhere by members of the local constabulary for just that reason. It is extremely naïve and foolhardy to assume that just because one has a gun, the assailant will turn tail and exit. Saying that indicates limited life experience in these matters. There is no fact in your statement about presenting a firearm being a deterrent most of the time. That is an opinion presented by those who want to believe it. It can happen but not with sufficient regularity to bet your life on it. You will have a better chance of seeing a unicorn.

    Another sign of naivete is saying that shot placement is all that matters. Having been there, I can attest that it is much more difficult than anyone who has never been there can imagine. Anyone who says not so demonstrates an inability to accept what has been documented time and again by more agencies than I can count.

    The sympathetic nervous system kicks in, (remember “fight or flight?) causing physiologic responses humans cannot control. Some of those responses involve vision, making it difficult to apprehend the sights on one’s weapon. Heart and respiratory rates pick up causing an imperceptible (to the shooter) raising and lowering of the weapon. This happens even to experienced shooters the first time they engage another person for real. The only people who are not affected by this are either dead or living in a fantasy world where they see unicorns. Studies have shown that even experienced shooters will generally miss the target far more times than they hit it. One such study showed a mean hit ratio by LEOs of 13% over an 11 year span. Many police shootings result in NO injuries on either side.

    I have known cops who were on the pistol team who, in their first live fire with a suspect, at a distance of less than 10 feet, hit the suspect with fewer than half the rounds fired and of those hits, less than a third were even mortal wounds. This was using high cap magazines, and more than one officer shooting. It changed their world.

    I am relating real world situations, not theory, or what I have seen on the big screen. I get little enjoyment from war movies or shoot-em-ups. I have seen too many real dead people to be entertained by watching it on a screen. I have picked up body parts in the aftermath of some unpleasant situations and was not entertained.

  4. The point is, there are better choices for half the price. This gun wins the gimmick award, but every other aspect of it has better options. including it’s size, which is the one aspect that is supposed to be it’s most favorable positive.

  5. Yes its small. Yes its not a primary gun. Maybe it would be clumsy to pull, but any gun that one has not trained with is going to be clumsy in stressed situation. If you practice with this little guy it will surprise you. Maybe don’t take it to war, but that was never it’s purpose. This is a great design to keep in a boot or small purse and would absolutely scare the average idiot criminal.

    Its all about how and what you practice.

  6. @Overtime Weapons Enthusiast… Yeah buddy, okay, I’ll say this, in no way would I ever concider this thing a primary and about 99% sure I wouldn’t even concider it for a back up piece either. Those 3 extra rounds mean jack squat compared to a two shot Derringer when you have to spend a good extra 5-10 seconds and using two hands under stress fumbling with this transformer trying to deploy it. If you’ve managed to get yourself into a situation where you’re having to deploy your back up or deep concealed piece then you’re probably up close and personal and needing it quick and dirty. A two shot Derringer of centerfire size is going to be a whole lot more effective, immediate, and useful. You talked about your friend who couldn’t even manage to deploy a regular sidearm from a distance of 20 feet what makes you think the average person who more or less has no and does no kind of defensive training would be able get out, unfold, and make ready this $500 joke? Yes, he should’ve been on alert and taken a defensive posture with hand on sidearm and at the ready draw position as soon as the demonstration “situation” started to feel as though it could escalate but he didn’t and now he’s been “stabbed to death”. So again, what makes you think the average person is going to make use of something like this? Not to mention this thing has a barrel of less than 1 inch and chambered in .22 WMR… virtually no velocity or accuracy is going to be had so why hide close by, take the time to deploy this thing, and run the risk of having to use it at any distance other than in the belly because it’s not going to be effective at any distance much more than that. I was shot at one night on duty with a .40 compact at a distance of 8 feet, they got off one shot, missed, I covered that 8 feet in one step in under a second and disarmed them and I most assuradly did not whiz my britches at the sight or sound of it… although I did suffer a ruptured ear drum and was slightly disoriented from the muzzle blast.

  7. I have seen several videos showing casing this firearm and then I read this article which is completely true & accurate info coming from the writer. Let me explain a little of my background as being ex-military, ex-police officer, and literally grew up with a firearm in my hands. Yes, I truly mean grew up properly handling & shooting. I was about 5 or 6 years old when my parents would buy me boxes of .22 bird shot and give me my single shot youth model rifle and tell me to have fun going out back thru the woods and shoot birds & to be careful. With that being said I’m having a hard time reading these posts and then wondering what kind of person wrote them because they obviously aren’t coming from people who know about guns, self defense, or reading comprehension. The writer explained this weapon would be good as a backup or when needed to be concealed in about any situation so all of the posts go on & on about not being good as a primary weapon & other such comments. I think anyone considering a Derringer should be even happier with the 3 extra rounds. 1 comment was about taking too much time to unfold it so once again as a last resort you should not be worried about the time to unfold when you should already be hidden behind something because you obviously was already laying down lead and are out of ammo so you pull out the switch gun hoping that 5 more shots will save your life or the life of someone else. BTW it is a fact that when someone pulls out a firearm against an assailant, whether used or not, the barrel diameter of a .22 looks as big around as my Taurus Judge and if they start hearing *POW*-*POW*-*POW* they aren’t sticking around to find out the make/model/caliber of any size lead whizzing past them besides they probably already whizzed their pants anyways.
    I find the price of $500 pretty fair when it comes to the world of firearms & especially for new state of the art ideas such as the switch-gun because I mean a nice Derringer will go for $500 or close to it and anyone not willing to spend $500 for the protection of oneself or the life of another might as well just go ahead and spend $50 on a nice purse to hit the “bad guy” with!!!
    OT-Weapons Enthusiast

  8. I have seen several videos showing casing this firearm and then I read this article which is completely true & accurate info coming from the writer. Let me explain a little of my background as being ex-military, ex-police officer, and literally grew up with a firearm in my hands. Yes, I truly mean grew up properly handling & shooting. I was about 5 or 6 years old when my parents would buy me boxes of .22 bird shot and give me my single shot youth model rifle and tell me to have fun going out back thru the woods and shoot birds & to be careful. With that being said I’m having a hard time reading these posts and then wondering what kind of person wrote them because they obviously aren’t coming from people who know about guns, self defense, or reading comprehension. The writer explained this weapon would be good as a backup or when needed to be concealed in about any situation so all of the posts go on & on about not being good as a primary weapon & other such comments. I think anyone considering a Derringer should be even happier with the 3 extra rounds. 1 comment was about taking too much time to unfold it so once again as a last resort you should not be worried about the time to unfold when you should already be hidden behind something because you obviously was already laying down lead and are out of ammo so you pull out the switch gun hoping that 5 more shots will save your life or the life of someone else. BTW it is a fact that when someone pulls out a firearm against an assailant, whether used or not, the barrel diameter of a .22 looks as big around as my Taurus Judge and if they start hearing *POW*-*POW*-*POW* they aren’t sticking around to find out the make/model/caliber of any size lead whizzing past them besides they probably already whizzed their pants anyways.
    OT-Weapons Enthusiast

  9. I have seen several videos showing casing this firearm and then I read this article which is completely true & accurate info coming from the writer. Let me explain a little of my background as being ex-military, ex-police officer, and literally grew up with a firearm in my hands. Yes, I truly mean grew up properly handling & shooting. I was about 5 or 6 years old when my parents would buy me boxes of .22 bird shot and give me my single shot youth model rifle and tell me to have fun going out back thru the woods and shoot birds & to be careful. With that being said I’m having a hard time reading these posts and then wondering what kind of person wrote them because they obviously aren’t coming from people who know about guns, self defense, or reading comprehension. The writer explained this weapon would be good as a backup or when needed to be concealed in about any situation so all of the posts go on & on about not being good as a primary weapon & other such comments. I think anyone considering a Derringer should be even happier with the 3 extra rounds. 1 comment was about taking too much time to unfold it so once again as a last resort you should not be worried about the time to unfold when you should already be hidden behind something because you obviously was already laying down lead and are out of ammo so you pull out the switch gun hoping that 5 more shots will save your life or the life of someone else. BTW it is a fact that when someone pulls out a firearm against an assailant, whether used or not, the barrel diameter of a .22 looks as big around as my Taurus Judge and if they start hearing *POW*-*POW*-*POW* they aren’t sticking around to find out the make/model/caliber of any size lead whizzing past them besides they probably already whizzed their pants anyways.
    OT-Weapons Enthusiast
    Daytona Beach

  10. Novelty item, not for actually saving your life.
    The extra time needed to pop it open after drawing, and then thumb the hammer? If you are within arms’ length of your assailant, it’s probably not going to go well for you.
    And then the bit about the “deterrent factor”? That can easily be misconstrued and get you charged with brandishing a weapon.

  11. IMHO, a Ruger LCP (DAO) in a sticky holster is a good choice for a front pocket carry gun. Simply retrieve and pull the double action trigger.

  12. IMHO, a Ruger LCP (DAO) in a sticky holster is a good choice for a front pocket carry gun. Simply retrieve and pull the double action trigger.

  13. IMHO, a Ruger LCP (DAO) in a sticky holster is a good choice for a front pocket carry gun. Simply retrieve and pull the double action trigger. I would prefer that over this multi-step gun.

  14. IMHO, a Ruger LCP (DAO) in a sticky holster is a good choice for a front pocket carry gun. Simply retrieve and pull the double action trigger. I would prefer that over this multi-step gun.

  15. I carry a Kahr CW380 as a backup. It’s a tiny gun. It’s got a great trigger, actual useable sights, and .380 which isn’t ideal but affective in a pinch. It can be finicky with ammo, but I’ve found hollow points that are reliable in mine.

  16. As I read this I thought hum, kinda cool, Don’t know that I would trust it for self deffence, but I wouldn’t mind owning one. Until I saw the MSRP. The Liberator was small and single shoot, but it was a .45 and only cost a few bucks to make. I have a Ruger LC9s. The grip doesn’t fold up, but other than that it’s about the same size. It has 6+1 rounds of 9mm and half the price tag. I also have a S&W Bodyguard. It’s even smaller than the Ruger. It carries 6+1 rounds of .380 and comes with a built in laser and is still over $100 less than this gadget. I guess somebody had to try, but I just don’t see it.

  17. KISS: Keep It Simple, S…., Having to fiddle with something in a stressful few seconds where your life may depend on your fiddling ability, doesn’t seem like a good process. The tricky things like this belong in a circus act. In fact the advice I give when asked about stuff like this is: If your life depends on it, you may want to stick with a brand name that carries a stellar reputation for dependability, that you feel confident with.

  18. Saw a number of articles on this revolver, but in truth it more of a toy than a real defensive firearm. The .22WMR in a revolver with such a short barrel is counterproductive. IF this was in a “normal” .22LR chambering, and a barrel closer to 2″ in length, then maybe that could be an effective combination. As an alternative, think of a similar revolver in .32ACP, with a shorter/scaled down frame, and a longer barrel. Note that the .32ACP is a Semi Rimmed cartridge, so a revolver could be easily made. .32ACP cartridges have also been successfully fired in a number of .32 H&R or .327 mag revolvers. No brainer???

  19. Well… umm… (scratches head)… yeah… pass. $500 for what seems to be more of a novelty than an actually useful piece seems a bit much. I will say though, for the same price range it does seem somewhat more user friendly compared to the NAA minis… sorta. I still think if I were going to carry something that concealable in that price range I’d still go for a two shot Derringer style pistol… and more than likely in a centerfire versus rimfire. Something maybe even in a .380 or .32

  20. I owned two of the first ones that came out before this one which got a very BAD rating. I not very happy with them either, you would have to be almost in someone’s pocket to defend yourself with one. The new one looks a lot more meatier.

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