North American Arms Mini-Master & Speer Gold Dot Ammo

North American Arms mini-revolvers fit where nothing else will. As a class of personal protection firearm, they are thin, light, easy to use, and have low recoil. The NAA mini-revolver that is most suitable for you is largely a matter of personal preference, based on what you want as far as envelope dimensions. The “Mini-Master” is the largest of the series with a four inch barrel, but is still a diminutive piece. It is still only seven-eighths of an inch wide, weighs under three quarters of a pound, and fits where little else will. If you feel you need smaller yet, there are other options such as the NAA “PUG” that weighs a bit over six ounces and is only four and a half inches long.

The NAA mini-revolvers I've tested have been surprising in a number of ways: more accurate than expected, extremely good fit and finish, and excellent triggers. The weak link has been ammunition appropriate both for personal protection and for shorter barrels. That has recently changed, dramatically so, with a couple of new ammo offerings. This is a look at the Gold Dot® Short Barrel® Personal Protection - 22 Win. Mag. 40 grain ammo out of the NAA Mini-Master.

Historically, average velocities out of the Mini-Master have been uninspiring. Used with a .22 long rifle cylinder (ideal for economical fun and practice) the 900 fps arena is expected. CCI Mini-Mag .22 LR 40 grain solid rounds generally run right at the 900 fps mark. In the .22 WinMag platform, CCI Maxi-Mag 40 grain hollow points typically produce about 975 fps. Neither projectiles are particularly suited for intimate self-defense applications.

The Speer Gold Dot is, though, and is designed for better performance out of shorter barrels. So, it was off to the field for a brief test through an RCBS chrono and some rapid fire 15 foot groups.



Three foot muzzle velocities soared up to nearly 1100 fps, with 1111 fps as the highest recorded velocity. Actual muzzle velocity would naturally be a bit higher. The bullets stabilized properly, punching nice clean holes. Just as importantly, you now have a 40 grain “Gold Dot Technology” projectile more appropriate for intimate self-defense use than common rimfire rounds. Records show that some seventy-five percent of “gunfights” happen within zero to ten feet and last three – four seconds. What is in your hand always beats what isn't. What you find comfortable to shoot and practice with beats the unfamiliar and little-used. Sometimes the scenario allows for larger, bulkier, more cumbersome . . . and many times it doesn't. My understanding is that the Mini-Master is “California Exempt,” meeting the overall length requirement and it is also, naturally, single action.

The Speer Gold Dot ammunition is a big step in the right direction. It takes what was already the convenient and reliable solution for many people even more effective, and that's a very good thing.


Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.



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