Friday, May 1, 2009

North American Arms Guardian .32 ACP



.32 ACP
2’’ Barrel
Double Action Only
Blowback
Capacity 6+1
Made in USA

Shown above with DeSantis Nylon Rug. The pistol is one of the early models when Kahr made the frames. The magazines are top quality, by Mec-Gar of Italy.

While being a very good knockabout utility gun, as far as an all around kit gun, the 2’’ barrel
NAA Guardian .32 ACP is nowhere in the same league as a 4’’ barrel .22 caliber revolver. It has belly-gun-distance accuracy, so I sincerely doubt that I could reliably make head shots on raccoons at reasonable distances (I have had raccoons attack when wounded). As far as being a rat-gun, I know of no shot loads available for the .32 ACP. As a kit gun, the NAA Guardian serves me as more of a comfort gun, an affordable, expendable, last ditch chance at survival against two-legged evil. When the rare opportunity presents itself, it is a decent gun to chase cans at short range. Should it be lost, stolen, or confiscated, it would not devastate me emotionally or financially. Now that I am retired, and now that Illinois law enforcement interpretation of gun laws is more confusing than ever, my kit gun needs have changed, I almost have no use for one. I no longer chase rats and raccoons around worksites or barnyards, and there are very few open rural areas left around my turf for chasing tin cans just for fun. Still, on some excursions I’d rather be with a gun than without, so I often toss my unloaded North American Arms Guardian .32 ACP into my kit.

To say that
Ludwig Seecamp’s LWS 32 ACP influenced the design of the NAA Guardian .32 ACP is a charitable understatement. The Seecamp saved the .32 ACP from oblivion, and it was just good business sense for NAA and others to get in on the action. There are a few notable differences between the Seecamp and the NAA. The NAA Guardian can shoot standard ball ammo (some will find this an asset), the LWS .32 ACP does not (NOTE: Winchester truncated ball does work in Seecamps). The NAA Guardian is a bit larger and heavier than the Seecamp (some will find this an asset). The Guardian is a direct blowback while the Seecamp is a retarded blowback. The Guardian has poor sights and the Seecamp has no sights.

The Guardian frame is a matt finish with some machine marks while the Seecamp is highly polished, so putting dings on the Guardian’s factory blemished finish does not cause me any anguish. For a last-ditch, concealed carry self-defense or backup gun, my humble preference would be for the Seecamp. For a knockabout kit gun, my humble preference is to use the Guardian.  The .32 ACP has stopping power limits; it is no better or worse in either brand of pistol.

There are a limited number of Seecamps made each year, so finding a NAA pistol may be easier than finding a Seecamp. I paid the same price for my NAA as I did for my Seecamp; some have paid less for the NAA. A used Seecamp pistol usually commands a higher price than a used NAA pistol.

Do I like the NAA handgun better than a Seecamps? No, I kinda prefer the Seecamp but I do use the NAA and the Seecamp interchangeably.   


So, how does one carry a kit gun in Illinois and comply with the law?
In Illinois, three statutory codes regulate the possession, transfer, and transportation of firearms (CLICK HERE for source (pdf)):
1) The Criminal Code
2) The Wildlife Code
3) The Firearm Owner’s Identification Act.

Under Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) in the Criminal Code, persons who have been issued a valid FOID card may transport a firearm anywhere in their vehicle or on their person as long as the firearm is unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container. Firearms that are not immediately accessible or are broken down in a non-functioning state may also be carried or transported under the Criminal Code. The Wildlife Code, however, is more restrictive. It requires that all firearms transported in or on any vehicle be unloaded and in a case. Because of this, it is recommended that, in order to comply with all statutes, all firearms be transported:

1. Unloaded and,
2. Enclosed in a case, and
3. By persons who have a valid FOID card.

In addition, you may want to have a good lawyer on speed dial, and have a few bucks set aside for bail and legal fees because many cops, prosecutors, and judges read / interpret the law differently than we do. Most cases that I have read about that went to court have turned out favorably for the gun owner.


EDIT: Illinois Concealed Carry went into effect in 2014.  This NAA Guardian is one of the pistols I often carry.

EDIT: I replaced the magazine release on Sept 12, 2014



11 comments:

Rob S. said...

Good article. My brother won a NAA .32 in a poker game and has been carrying it ever since. He works with some not so nice clients and must be discrete when carrying...this little .32 fits the bill perfectly. I rest easier knowing my little brother has some means of defense.

Anonymous said...

I carry a NAA .32 acp with me EVERYDAY! I work as a paramedic and its safe to say I have seen MANY homicides come from short barreled 32's! I carry mine with confidence. AM

Anonymous said...

Purchased a 32 guardian, paid $399.99+ tax, decided to trade it in for a S & W Bodyguard 380, trade in value $ 150.00. I will never ever purchase another North American Arms product, apparently they must be not that great of a firearm to be worth half of what is paid for it. Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer and Walther are far more superior guns that increase in value.

Ben said...

@ Anonymous November 7, 2011:

Did you ever try shooting the little gun? I've had mine for months now and it has been 100% reliable and great little pocket pistol. NAA makes very high quality products, and their service department has an almost unmatched reputation for taking care of it's customers.

Anonymous said...

I had an opportunity to fire a 32 Guardian today and the magazine would drop out, I made sure my finger was not on the release. Has any one experienced this with any of the NAA firearms?

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

It probably needs a new magazine release. Early models with serial numbers beginning with AA or AB (I think) sometimes drop mags, especially the mags with the extensions.

JB said...

Thanks James,
I will look into that, I can buy the NAA .32 for $250. I may purchase and have the dealer send it to the NAA factory and give it a once over. I know they have made some improvements, I wonder it they would update this gun? Do you happen to know if an older gun is sent in for service, if they upgrade to the latest modifications?
Thanks,
JB

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

I believe they do, but you would need to call to find out for sure. Their website is well done if you want to give them a visit

http://northamericanarms.com/

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the article! Just picked up a new "old" stock (April 2009) manufacture date Guardian .32 last weekend. The ammo issue caused me to go with the Guardian.

Joseph Simeone said...

I have a AAxxxx serial # that has zero issues, but I would like some of the new upgrades. I just don't know if it's worth the $50(overnight shipping) the send the gun back and then hope it still runs %100. Right now it %100 reliable.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey there Joseph, thanks for stopping in.

I have the same quandary. I'll probably send it in, as soon as I find some money that isn't earmarked for something else; that may be a while.

Take care,

Zack