Review: Nighthawk Korth Mongoose

Revolvers have a legit place in the gun world. Not only did all things gun basically get rolling with the progression of revolvers but they remain useful. As with any guns, not all revolvers are made equally, and it’s really no surprise Nighthawk Custom Firearms can lay claim to a seriously stellar model: The Nighthawk Korth Mongoose. This is a gun that’s beautifully crafted and a fantastic performer, and we’re going to tell you all about it.

Nighthawk Korth Mongoose in 357 Magnum/38 Specia
The Nighthawk Korth Mongoose in 357 Magnum/38 Special has a 6-round capacity. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

Who makes the Nighthawk Korth Mongoose?

At first, this might seem like an obvious question, but this isn’t actually a Nighthawk-made gun. The Mongoose is a revolver Nighthawk Custom Firearms imports from Korth, a firearms manufacturer in Lollar, Hesse, Germany. Korth was founded in 1954 by railroad engineer Willi Korth. The first gun to be designed by the company, and by Willi Korth himself, was a revolver. Today, it’s really no surprise their revolvers continue to be seen as top-tier pistols.

Three Korth revolvers
Korth has a full line of revolvers from flashy to subdued, and all are made with attention to detail and dedication to quality. (Photo credit: Korth)

From the Korth website, translated to English:

The name Korth stands for unique gunsmithing. The revolvers, which we manufacture, don’t just shoot extreme precisely. Their appearance makes these weapons small art works that redound the glory of any man. The exquisite and individual products are valued as gifts to express highest recognition and find their way into the exclusive collections of passionate weapon collectors. The spirit of Will Korth to continuously improve even the very good things, you can feel in each weapon made by PTW KORTH Technologies GmbH. The best of steels, hand chosen timber and perfect mechanics are the ingredients, which are formed through experience, countless hours of hand working. Anyone, who has ever held a Korth in his hand and felt its perfect balance, smooth operation and excellent timing, understands the phenomenon Korth. The shooting results speak for themself and are the confirmation of this spirit and passion. A Korth is a piece of exclusivity. Exclusivity that arises solely from the personal drive of their master Willi Korth to build the best revolver in the world.

Nighthawk Custom logo on the Nighthawk Korth Mongoose.
The Nighthawk Custom logo on the Nighthawk Korth Mongoose. (Photo credit: Nighthawk Custom)

Not only does Nighthawk import Korth guns into the United States, but Korth also imports Nighthawk into Germany. It’s a symbiotic relationship in its own way, bringing high-quality guns from one country to another. As for the Mongoose, it’s a fantastic example of what that relationship can do for you as a gun owner.

Korth Mongoose with cylinder open
Although the Mongoose comes standard chambered in 357 Magnum, there’s also a 9mm cylinder available for it. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

Nighthawk Korth Mongoose Features

The Mongoose is chambered in 357 Magnum/38 Special, meaning it can either be loaded with the more powerful magnum rounds or with the softer-shooting 38 Special. It has a 6-round capacity. Although every gun ships with the 357 Magnum cylinder, there is a clipless 9mm cylinder available at an additional cost. With both cylinders, shooters have their popular defensive caliber bases covered.

With an overall height of 6.1 inches and a length of 8.86 inches, the Mongoose is neither a massive gun nor a small one. Instead, it falls comfortably into the middle ground as a moderately-sized, concealable revolver. Its frame is machined from billet steel and it has an overall empty weight of 2.1 pounds.

Overall, it’s relatively easy to conceal. Remember, one of the keys to successful concealed carry is the use of a well-made holster and gun belt. With those, the Mongoose can be concealed inside the waistband or on it, using a cover garment.

Korth Mongoose barrel and front gold bead sight
The guns ship with front gold bead sights with removable side panels. (Photo credit: Nighthawk)

Each gun ships with a fully adjustable rear sight and front bead sight with removable side panels. Thanks to the U-notch style of the rear sight and the eye-catching gold bead in the front sight, these sights are easier and faster to get on target than classic revolver blade sights tend to be.

Korth Mongoose Grip
The grip is designed with finger grooves and is made for both comfort and functionality. (Photo credit: Nighthawk Custom)

This is a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) gun. Other features include a molded grip sleeve with finger grooves, rounded trigger guard, and lined barrel. A Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) finish protects the frame and barrel from wear while also giving the gun a sleek, black aesthetic.

Kat Stevens aims Korth Mongoose in Weaver stance
You can certainly run the gun however you like, but it worked best for the author in a Weaver stance. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

How does the Nighthawk Korth Mongoose shoot?

During the course of the review, several different loads were used including Hornady Critical Defense 357 Magnum 125 grain FTX, Remington UMC 38 Special 158 grain LRN, and CorBon 357 Magnum 110 grain JHP.

Odds are the first thing you’re thinking is that this must be a snappy little gun with a snubby barrel, but you’d be wrong. The Mongoose is a surprisingly flat shooter even with a 3.0-inch barrel. Felt recoil is not as severe as in many other revolvers when loaded with 357 Magnum and the 38 Special makes it a soft shooter. Regardless of the specific load, muzzle rise is negligible. Not all magnums are comfortable to shoot, but the Mongoose is.

The gun has a DA/SA trigger, but it’s quite well done, so there’s no need to anticipate a stiff, unfriendly trigger. On the Mongoose, double-action is firm, consistent, and smooth while single-action is equally butter smooth, but with the expected shorter pull. The trigger has a clean break and relatively short reset. According to the gun maker, the trigger is highly polished, and the proof is in the feel of a glassy surface under your trigger finger. This might all sound overly dramatic, but the Mongoose has an excellent action and a great trigger straight out of the box.

Mongoose trigger
The trigger on the Mongoose is polished and the action is beautifully made. Overall, it’s a pleasure to shoot. (Photo credit: Kat Stevens)

As for accuracy, the gun is accurate when loaded with either 357 or 38 Special. As expected, it’s easier to get a nice five-shot, single-hole group with 38 Special, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible with the magnum rounds. It can be done with some patience and practice.

Even with a 3.0-inch barrel, it produced decent groups at 25 yards. Of course, those groups were more impressive under 10 yards, but even at 25, they would be effective in a defensive situation.

One of the great things about the design of this revolver is that it’s well enough made to be somewhat forgiving for newer revolver shooters. That means if you’re not really used to running a revolver, the ergonomic design and attention to detail make this a pleasant gun to learn on. If you want to go all-out mitigating felt recoil and muzzle rise, just get a gun with a longer barrel.

This is an awesome gun from Nighthawk and Korth.

We look forward to seeing what they come out with in the future.

The gun has a ventilated rib.
The gun has a ventilated rib. (Photo credit: Nighthawk Custom)

Features

  • DLC Finish
  • Hammer-Forged Precision Barrel
  • Fully Adjustable Rear Sight
  • Removable Side Panels on Front Sight
  • Single & Double Action Trigger
  • New Style Korth Cylinder Release
  • Easy Reload Through Wide-Swinging Cylinder
  • Modern, Slim Design
  • Changeable Cylinder in 9mm Luger w/ Moonclip Cut (available)

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Korth, imported by Nighthawk Custom Firearms
  • Model: Mongoose
  • Caliber: 357 Magnum/38 Special
  • Action: Double-Action/Single-Action (DA/SA)
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2.75 inches; 3.0 inches (reviewed); 4 inches; 5.25 inches; 6.0 inches
  • Overall Weight: 2.1 pounds, empty
  • Overall length: 8.86 inches
  • Width: 1.54 inches
  • Finish: DLC Coated, black
  • Grips: Hogue
  • Overall height: 6.1 inches
  • Barrel material: 416R
  • MSRP: Starts at $3699.00
Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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