NAA and Cor-Bon Introduce New Cartridge
.32NAA - The Mouse That Roared!
(Provo, UT) At the 2002 NRA Convention in Reno NV, the partnership of North American Arms (NAA) and Cor-Bon Ammunition introduced the .32NAA, a new cartridge and gun combination designed for the law enforcement (backup) and personal protection markets. "As the only caliber to exceed 1000 f.p.s. from a pocket pistol, we expect the .32NAA to attract some attention," said Sandy Chisholm, NAA's president. When asked about production plans and availability, Chisholm responded that both firms had already begun production and shipments to distributors from both factories were scheduled for the first week of May 2002. Matching current pricing for each firm's .380 products, MSRP for the pistol will be $449 and ammunition prices for boxes of 20 will be approximately $10, and boxes of 50 approx. $25.
Some background :
Recognizing the enthusiastic acceptance of bottlenecked pistol cartridges (as evidenced by the .357SIG and 400 Cor-Bon) and looking to take advantage of their popular family of Guardian semi-automatic pocket pistols, NAA in the summer of 2000 began development of a new round. While the idea was spawned at NAA, it was nurtured by internationally recognized ballistics expert Ed Sanow, who remained as technical consultant throughout the 18-month project. Sanow was engaged to explore the concept, participate in identifying the target performance parameters, make engineering recommendations and conduct and quantify the ballistic testing of the resultant round, which is the recently introduced .32NAA.
"Almost everything I've learned about the science of ballistics has come from reading "Street Stoppers" : The Latest Handgun Stopping Power Street Results written collaboratively by Sanow and his co-author, Evan Marshall - Copyright ©1996, published by Paladin Press), said Chisholm. While often controversial and contradictory to many vested interests, Marshall and Sanows "logic and conclusions were incontrovertible ... authoritative and thoroughly researched ... these guys are the foremost authorities on this subject", according to John Farnam of Defense Training International. "It seemed an obvious choice to solicit advice from the best", Chisholm concluded.
For this project, NAA felt fortunate to attract Cor-Bon (manufacturers of the Glaser Safety Slug) as their design and manufacturing partner. Peter Pi, president, and his team at Cor-Bon are widely recognized experts in the development of very high performance cartridges. Cor-Bon first earned their reputation by developing a police-specified 9mm 115-gr. JHP (+P) round ("without a doubt, the most effective self-defense ammunition we have ever tested". Gun Tests 08/96), further burnished by their personal defense dominating .40S&W 135 gr. JHP. Additionally, Cor-Bon had previously demonstrated bottlenecking expertise with their 400 and 440 magnum handgun cartridges.
Some specs :
The .32NAA was built from the foundation of an ordinary .380ACP case, necked-down to house a .32 caliber bullet. Behind the neck, all case dimensions and configurations, including the extractor groove, rimless case, cartridge diameter and bolt face engagement are identical to the .380ACP. Cor-Bon determined that a headspace on the shoulder allowed a solid crimp on the bullet, reducing the possibility of the bullet pushing into the case from recoil and chambering. After finalizing a case design which maximized case capacity of the cartridge as well as allowing sufficient case neck so that a bullet would be held securely, Cor-Bon spent several months testing a wide variety of bullets of different weights and configurations, finally settling upon a proprietary design from Hornady. The platform for this new system is the existent .380ACP Guardian, appropriately bored and chambered for this cartridge; no other mechanical changes were found necessary.
The results :
While disparagingly referred to by some as a 'mousegun', this pocket pistol and the Cor-Bon .32NAA cartridge combination yields some very impressive results. In summary, using custom commercial grade powders, the final load achieved 1222 f.p.s. and 199 ft.lbs. from the 2.5" barrel of the Guardian itself (1453 f.p.s. and 287 ft.lbs. from a 4" test barrel). Additionally, the .32NAA:
- produces more velocity, more energy and more stopping power than any .32ACP, .380ACP or .380ACP(+P), with 15% less recoil (Power Factor) than the (+P),
- penetrates 8.3" of gelatin after passing through 4 layers of denim, expanding to a .55" mushroom with a retained weight of 100%,
- has a Fuller Index of 62% One-Shot Stops, compared to (for example) the .380ACP Federal 90 gr. Hydra-Shok at 53%.
Asked about future derivatives, Chisholm indicated that the same team plans to follow-up with the .25NAA, a .32ACP cartridge necked down to house a .25ACP bullet, fired from a .32ACP Guardian-sized pistol. Originally conceived by noted gunwriter J.B. Wood, it is expected to be introduced later this year.
According to Chisholm, some have begun to refer to this mouse-caliber cartridge as "mighty" and "speedy", but certainly not "mickey". "Characterizations such as those are for others to make," said Chisholm, tongue in cheek. "My lawyer's plate is already full enough".
For updates on the .32 NAA:
- Sandy's Soapbox - June, 2002
- Sandy's Soapbox - July. 2002
- Sandy's Soapbox - August, 2002
- Sandy's Soapbox - September. 2002
- Sandy's Soapbox - October, 2002
For additional information, contact:
Sandy Chisholm at NAA 610-940-1668
Peter Pi at Cor-Bon 800-626-7266
Ed Sanow 765-869-5815