North American Arms Ranger: Hot New BreakTop Mini-Revolver
at North American Arms has always been very active in the industry. Just
recently, North American Arms, long a SAAMI member, has become a voting member.
The latest from NAA has been named the �Ranger,� their first break top
mini-revolver. The NAA BreakTop is a diminutive .22 Win. Mag. five-shot revolver that fits where most
guns cannot, limited only by your imagination. Weighing just over seven ounces,
the NAA Ranger is just over five inches long. The NAA part number clearly
spells out the break-top action, it is #NAA-22M-BT.
Here are the Ranger's specifications:
BreakTop is crafted from 17-4PH stainless steel, a metal typically used in oil
refining, chemical processing and the aerospace industries. The 17-4 family of
stainless is considered to have an outstanding combination of high strength and
good corrosion resistance. It gains substantial strength through heat-treating
and it withstands corrosive attack better than any of the standard hardenable
stainless steels and is comparable to Type 304 in most media. 17-4PH has a
density of .280 lb. per cubic inch with a melting point of 2560 � 2625 degrees
F. This is ideal for an anytime, anywhere deep concealment piece. Like all NAA
firearms, the BreakTop comes with NAA's no-hassle lifetime warranty.
developed from the NAA BreakTop are in the area of 950 fps with Winchester
Super-X JHP ammo #X22MH, with a average standard deviation of 29. One of the
fastest loads is the CCI Maxi-Mag +V 30 grain HP that achieves over 1100 fps on
average. One of the features I appreciated right away about the NAA BreakTop is
how easy it is both to load and close the action with the cylinder's safety
notch in proper �hammer all the way down� position. With the hammer nested in
the cylinder notch, no contact between it and a fresh cartridge is possible.
American Arms has always been sensitive to personal choice of grips, holsters
and method of use. The standard bird's head grips are likely my general
preference, as they take up very little real space. The entire revolver is an
essentially snag-free design, with no sights or little sharp edges jutting out,
so standard low profile wood stocks make sense aesthetically and from a carry
standpoint. The oversized rosewood �boot grip� stocks do feel better in the
hands and offers more control-ability, albeit at the price of greater width and
bulk. If this was a plinking gun, the larger grips would be an easy choice.
tests with calibrated 10% ballistic gel, the Winchester X22MH 22 Winchester
Magnum round out of a 1-1/8 in. barreled NAA Mini-Revolver penetrated nearly 11
inches. This was with an FBI dimension gel block of six by six by sixteen
inches. The longer barrel of the BreakTop nets you a slight muzzle velocity
increase of 50 fps or so and slightly deeper penetration. The FBI standard of
12 inches of penetration is based on several factors, one being that a bullet
used on a human attacker shot through the arm needs 10-12 inches of penetration
to pass through the heart. When fired from the front, according to the FBI,
penetration of seven inches is required just to reach the major blood vessels
in the back of the abdominal cavity in a slender adult human thug. See �Handgun
Wounding Factors and Effectiveness� by Special Agent Urey W.
Patrick, FBI Quantico, VA, July 14, 1989.
handgun choice is a serious topic, though NAA Mini-Revolvers have gained favor
with collectors and the BreakTop is a model no NAA collector would want to be
without. In wounding ballistics, the most important factors are penetration,
temporary wound cavity and permanent wound cavity. This is presuming you hit
what you are shooting at, as without proper shot placement the previous factors
do not happen.
the NAA BreakTop a dream to load and unload. Its function is simple and
essentially self-explanatory. No parts are added or taken away from the
revolver; it is self-contained with nothing to drop or misplace. It is
effortless to clean as well.
shooting the NAA BreakTop, I find it easiest to pull the trigger, not with the
pad of the first finger, but with the joint at the second knuckle of the
forefinger. This nestles the BreakTop rigidly deep in the hand and makes it not
just controllable, but comfortable to shoot. It also gives me good trigger
control, as you would certainly want when using a 6-3/4 pound trigger in a half-pound
revolver in a very high stress situation.
firing pin impressions on fired cases were crisp, distinct notchings. There were
no reliability issues and it is very easy to hit the critical zone at intimate,
self-defense ranges. Unloading spent brass couldn't be easier: just break the
revolver open and give it a quick shake to remove the spent casings.
latching area on top of the frame is beefy and wide. With its snag-free design,
there isn't much jutting up in the way of front sights and ramps. I found it
easy to shoot using the flat top of the frame as a sighting plane, ideal for
low light conditions without any added gizmos. Regardless of circumstances, the
Breaktop doesn't care if you are right or left-handed, nor is there any moving
slide that could possibly bite you. Fast and intuitive is a good way to
describe its function.
BreakTop is beautifully and durably made and has just become my favorite NAA
Mini-Revolver. There is nothing remotely like it on the market. It is five
shots, anytime, anywhere, when you least expect to need it and therefore need
it the most. Hats off to North American Arms for a superb product. It isn't
necessarily easy to manufacture small parts with close tolerances, rugged
durability and complete reliability. NAA, to their credit, has pulled it off
with the BreakTop. It fulfills and fits a need when, quite literally, little
else will fit at all.
As soon as you see one, you'll want one and perhaps a second one for your wife. A BreakTop in the hand is worth many times whatever remains in the bush, the basic premise of these intimate fist firearms. Whenever I review a NAA product, there is invariable a tremendous amount of interest as evidenced by the large number of e-mail and phone calls. I don't sell them, never have, so please contact your local dealer to get yours today. For more help locating one, you can of course contact NAA directly and they will be happy to help. The BreakTop is a limited availability product for now, so you'll want to act quickly. Let's hope it becomes a standard member of the NAA line: it should.
Copyright 2011, 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.