I.O. Inc. Mini Revolver Makes Progress for 2018

At last year’s SHOT Show 2017, we were excited to see Inter Ordnance venture into different territory than what they are known. In their booth, they had micro revolvers similar to what you have probably seen from the likes of North American Arms.

Until recently, I.O. Inc. was largely known (for better or for worse) for the AK platform rifles which they began producing in the mid-2000s – and which gained a less than stellar reputation for quality and reliability; something with which the GunLink team has had first hand experience as owners of one of their duds. A few years later, I.O. shut down their AK production, moved to a re-tooled production facility, and began cranking out higher quality AKs (and, later, ARs) and started work on rebuilding their sullied name.

So when we saw the diminutive .22LR revolvers, dubbed the Valkyrie, in their booth last year, our interest was piqued, despite the fact that they were, at that point, nothing more than rapid-prototyped titanium samples with 3D printed grips with an MSRP of $260 and an expected ship date of last spring. And then… crickets.

This year in the I.O. Inc. booth, they had what appeared to be (nearly) production models of the minuscule SAO revolver, now apparently named the Escort.  

Like last year’s prototypes, the new 5-shot models feature swing-out cylinders with an honest-to-goodness ejector for easier loading without having to unscrew nuts, pull pins, remove cylinders, poke out shells, and reverse the process for loading/unloading.

Unlike the rough titanium Valkyrie prototypes, the new Escort models are CNC machined from a billet of 7075 T6 aluminum and anodized in a variety of colors. Overall length is about four inches from nose to tail. The design is still single-action with a half-cock position, meant to be carried with the hammer down and manually cocked before each shot.

With its weak caliber, tiny grip, short sight radius, and low round count, the Escort is neither a bullseye target shooter nor a (first choice) combat handgun. As a small, light, last-ditch backup, backup-to-a-backup, or deep concealment gun for less permissive environments, it is an interesting study. And more competition in this genre may bring down prices from the competition. Or it may just become to the NAA what the Cobra is to Bond. Time will tell.

This is a part of our ongoing coverage of what’s new from SHOT Show 2018 in Las Vegas, made possible in part by our coverage partners, including Shot-Force Pro AR500 targets, Sticky Holsters, RepackBox ammo storage boxes, and Gunz Incorporated. Be sure to check them out. to find out more more about our coverage partners, click here. To see more from SHOT Show 2018, keep watching right here and on the GunLink Forums.

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