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Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - STORY AND PHO­TOS BY STEVEN PAUL BAR­LOW

NAA adds easy reload ca­pa­bil­ity to its line of deep con­ceal­ment re­volvers with the Ranger II. By Steven Paul Bar­low

NAA ADDS EASY RELOAD CA­PA­BIL­ITY TO ITS LINE OF DEEP CON­CEAL­MENT RE­VOLVERS WITH THE RANGER II

In short, get­ting me to tout, much less tote, a small gun is a tall or­der.

Yet, you don’t have to lift my hear­ing pro­tec­tion and shout in my ear to make me un­der­stand that there are some roles that only a small gun can han­dle well. When there’s a need for deep con­ceal­ment, to travel light in the ex­treme or to carry a last-ditch backup weapon, small guns can ex­cel.

Among the small­est of the small are the sin­gle-ac­tion mini re­volvers from North Amer­i­can Arms (NAA). The com­pany’s lat­est, the Ranger II, bor­rows a page from the his­tory books in that it’s a quick-load­ing, top-break de­sign of the type that was pop­u­lar for many years. A quick reload will be wel­come fea­ture to the many NAA re­volver fans out there.

THE RELOAD

Many of the NAA re­volvers re­quire you to re­move then cylin­der pin and then the cylin­der it­self be­fore you can punch out the empty cas­ings and reload. That’s re­ally not a prob­lem as these guns aren’t in­tended for sus­tained bat­tles and sta­tis­tics show few rounds are needed in typ­i­cal civil­ian de­fen­sive sit­u­a­tions any­way.

Still, as a mat­ter of con­ve­nience, the eas­ier to reload a gun the bet­ter.

NAA ad­dressed this first with the Sidewinder model that fea­tures a swing-out cylin­der. Even eas­ier is the new Ranger II with a bar­rel that hinges at the bot­tom of the frame and is se­cured by a spring-loaded latch on the top strap.

When you open the ac­tion all the way, the ex­trac­tor star pops up to par­tially ex­tract the cas­ings, which can then be dumped out.

TYP­I­CAL QUAL­ITY

Aside from the new ac­tion, the rest of the Ranger II is NAA as usual. In other words, the re­volver is well made. The Ranger II is a stain­less steel, five-shot rim­fire re­volver cham­bered for .22 WMR—com­monly called .22 Magnum these days. The one I re­ceived is a combo model that came with a sec­ond cylin­der in .22LR (Long Ri­fle).

“THE .22 MAGNUM CAN BE EF­FEC­TIVE...WITH VE­LOC­I­TIES RANG­ING FROM 900 TO WELL OVER 1,100 FEET PER SEC­OND OUT OF EVEN THE RANGER II’S SHORT BAR­REL.”

Its bar­rel is 1.63 inches long and has a sim­ple bead front sight. A small notch on the top strap serves as the rear sight. This isn’t a gun de­signed for pre­ci­sion tar­get shoot­ing. You’re go­ing to point it and shoot. The grips are rose­wood, bird’s head shaped and are a very classy touch.

SEC­OND CYLIN­DER

Swap­ping the cylin­ders is easy and re­quires no tools. Sim­ply lift the latch on the top strap and the cylin­der slides right off the cylin­der pin. As rim­fire ammo is some­times still in short sup­ply, be­ing able to shoot ei­ther .22 Magnum or .22 LR ammo—whichever is avail­able—is a big plus.

SAFE TO CARRY

The fir­ing pin is mounted on the ham­mer, but there is no need to carry the gun with the ham­mer over an empty cham­ber. The Ranger II, like other

NAA re­volvers, has notches be­tween the cham­bers in the cylin­der, the way some early cap-and-ball re­volvers did. You can lower the ham­mer into one of those in-be­tween notches so that there is no dan­ger that the fir­ing pin can strike a car­tridge if the gun is dropped.

SHOOT­ING

Shoot­ing the Ranger II takes some prac­tice as there isn’t much to hold on to and the sights are very rudi­men­tary. Still, good hits out to 10 or 15 yards are no prob­lem once you get ac­cus­tomed to the gun. I found that a high, deep grip on the gun works best along with wrap­ping more of your in­dex fin­ger around the trig­ger than you would with a larger hand­gun. De­spite its small size, re­coil is not an is­sue with even the magnum rim­fire loads.

The trig­ger was ex­cel­lent. I mea­sured the pull at about 3.5 pounds. Be­cause this is a sin­gle-ac­tion gun, the trig­ger trav­els just a very short dis­tance be­fore the gun fires.

I had a few mis­fires with some of the .22 Magnum ammo dur­ing the first 25 rounds fired and I sus­pected it was not the gun, but the old ammo to

blame, as I’ve had sim­i­lar re­sults with old rim­fire ammo in other guns. But af­ter those ini­tial few rounds, I fired per­haps 150 more with­out a sin­gle prob­lem. Usu­ally, if a break-in pe­riod is needed, it’s with a semi-auto, not a re­volver. What­ever the prob­lem was, it re­solved it­self and I have con­fi­dence that it’s now re­li­able. Still, I will fire more rounds through it be­fore plac­ing it into ser­vice as a de­fen­sive arm.

I didn’t shoot this gun from the bench for ac­cu­racy re­sults; I didn’t see the point with this type of hand­gun with such min­i­mal sights. But I did achieve good hits at 10 and 15 yards off­hand. With all loads, in­clud­ing some Rem­ing­ton .22LR rounds, the Ranger tended to shoot a bit high. Part of that was my fault. As I tried to get a bet­ter look at that small bead front sight, I didn’t set­tle it down into the rear notch as I should have and no doubt this caused some of the high im­pacts.

The other NAA re­volver I own—the Sidewinder—is fit­ted with Laser­lyte laser grips that have proven to very help­ful in get­ting hits on tar­get quickly. They’re avail­able on the NAA web­site along with other grip op­tions or di­rectly from Laser­lyte and I’ll prob­a­bly pick up a set of the laser grips for the Ranger II also. With the laser, sight­ing will be eas­ier in low light when I’m apt to need it and the laser can be ad­justed so my point of im­pact will be dead on.

HOL­STER THAT GUN

The Ranger II came with a leather belt hol­ster, but this is a hand­gun that most will opt to carry in a pocket. DeSan­tis Gun­hide makes a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent pocket holsters for NAA re­volvers—one in leather and one in ny­lon. Each in­cludes a pocket to store spare car­tridges.

NOT A TOY

Even as an ad­vo­cate for car­ry­ing larger guns, I can­not deny the hand­i­ness and ef­fec­tive­ness of the NAA Ranger II in spe­cific roles. The gun is not a gim­mick or merely a nov­elty. It is well made and would be a wel­come ad­di­tion to your per­sonal ar­mory, use­ful when­ever a highly con­ceal­able hand­gun is re­quired.CC

What sets the Ranger II apart from other NAA re­volvers is that it fea­tures a top-break ac­tion that par­tially ex­tracts the cas­ings when opened.

Along with its .22 Magnum cylin­der, a sec­ond cylin­der in .22LR is in­cluded with the Ranger II combo mod­els, al­low­ing you to fire whichever ammo might be avail­able.

The easy-load­ing top-break de­sign of the Ranger II makes it even bet­ter than ear­lier NAA mod­els for de­fen­sive pur­poses. The au­thor plans on adding a set of Laser­lyte laser grips to this gun.

Notches be­tween cham­bers in the Ranger II’s cylin­der pro­vide places to rest the ham­mer dur­ing carry so that the fir­ing pin can’t con­tact a car­tridge if the re­volver is dropped.

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