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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.