Stock NAA Companion - preliminary report


June 15, 2006, 11:38 PM
Well, just playing around with it has been a bit disappointing. It's a very well-made piece, but the trigger is kinda gritty. And I think they sent the wrong screw with the oversized rubber grips I ordered with it, because it won't go through all the way (yes, I put it in through the correct side). Either that or the screw-hole things aren't put in deep enough. Also, the cylinder gap is enormous.

The counterbored chambers are too small to accept the heel of a pulled .22, so those need to be chopped off before pulled bullets can be used in a stock gun (once they're removed, they fit fine). Managed to get one stuck in there really badly. Swaged the bullet to the point where it filled the chamber right down to the nipple, from the looks of things. It felt like it was going in, but it was really just squishing. Had to drill the bullet out, and I'm still working on picking the lead "sleeve" out of there. When I first looked in the chamber I freaked out, because it was all ugly and mangled looking, and I thought the drill bit had somehow ruined the chamber itself. It's just a layer of lead and brass plating, though.

Percussion caps don't have enough power to kick an airsoft BB out of the gun (though it did take a lot of force to get them in there). Tried a .22 airgun pellet and it did exit with percussion cap only, but it hit the target sideways, so I kinda doubt it was properly stabilized. It also didn't embed itself in the clay very deep at all, indicating a very low velocity. 50 fps, tops. It seems like the general rule with caps is don't load anything you can't push in with your thumb. Those suckers are loud (from behind) compared to a normal primer, too.

Oh, well. The modifications will make everything perfect. I should hopefully be able to go to the range tomorrow, to live-fire this thing. I have no black powder and can't spare $20 for a pound right now, so it'll be smokeless only. I really hope those darn caps hold up. Good thing I've only got medium and medium-slow speed powders.

Never mind the thing with the grip. Just needed to squeeze them together real hard. After torquing the screw down, the metal thingoes seem to have sunk into the grip. I guess that's normal?

I just noticed, the front sight is a little crooked. And I marked it up a bit trying to straighten it. NAA seems to be real bad about front sights. I tried another guy's LR mini once, and the sight was leaning like 30 degrees to one side! He'd never noticed it before then! It was kinda funny. We thought that it must have been dropped or something, but since this one's bent too...

Thom, about how much would it cost to have Jule put a usable set of sights on this? And to tighten that darn gap. Oh, and trigger job. It's too gritty and heavy. Actual weight seems to be 4-6 pounds, but it feels like a lot more.

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June 16, 2006, 09:05 AM
Sights'll set ya back some, aint a lotta meat so a custom made rear has ta be semiinletted inta tha frame, prolly 40.00 ifin i recall, tha MANN is in shop and NOBODY go there where he workin! Nope, not even his wife. Prolly whole job as package around 75.00. Grips, trigger, sights and a check shoot ta see ifin all's well.

June 16, 2006, 12:36 PM
I might have just been lucky, bit my Freedom Arms mini, seems a whole lot well put together than the NAAs at the moment??

My wood aftermarket grips fit well, the oversize plastic ones came with a decent length screw and the spare cylinder didn't even need timing.

I had it apart to fit a new main spring and the internals were silky smooth, with the new spring the action is a lot stiffer but doesn't feel gritty.

Everyone should own a FA mini:)

June 16, 2006, 01:40 PM
Hm. I'll need to whether I can afford an extra $75. Sights I could probably do without. And I've hated the trigger of every single gun I've ever owned, only to have it grow on me (albeit after replacing or dremeling most of the internals!). If those two springs that the other Thom mentioned in the other thread don't pop out too quickly, I may be able to do my own trigger job.

The cylinder-barrel gap definitely needs tightened though. I don't have any feeler gauges, but by slipping pieces of paper in until no more can fit, then measuring those, the gap is 0.015"! Using the bill test (US bills are 0.0043" thick), I can fit 3 in very easily, and the 4th is a tight squeeze, for about 0.0172". That is definitely excessive, if you ask me. I'd prefer something more like 0.003" to 0.002", given that this will be running on smokeless only.

As for quality, I dunno, Boom-stick. Never handled an FA one. But given that minis cost in the neighborhood of $200, while current FA guns cost well over $1500, it wouldn't surprise me if their fit and finish were a wee bit tighter. Current going price of the FA minis is $300-400 used, but that may be due to rarity more than anything. It seems like used NAAs still go for $150-175, which is relatively close to full retail. That's generally an indicator that the guns are both good quality and in high demand.

June 16, 2006, 02:46 PM
Tha cylinder gap, twisted barrel etc is generally whu tha MANN jus converts these ta three shot .30 caliber, good bullet selection, and LOTS more OOOOMPH fact is, full loads ya wanta REALLY hang on, launching yer gun inta tha air might make yer attackers die laughin!

Can punch a 60-85 grain hollow point out at about 1200fps, it DO bark!

June 16, 2006, 04:54 PM
Yikes. I'd be happier with metal taken off the front of the cylinder, a shim in the back, and an extra-long firing pin or something. Need to replace that pin anyway, right? And mess with the whatchamacallit arm too, I guess.

I got to the range today to try it out. Percussion caps are pathetic. They wouldn't set off Power Pistol at all. So I went to the store to get some FFFFg Goex, and just went home. Too hot and too late to go back. I'll try again tomorrow morning. That 4F stuff looks like the grains will fall through the flash holes, though. I hope they don't.

June 16, 2006, 04:57 PM
Hint. Use tha black powder about a grain or two ta set off tha smokeless. load it FIRST of course, then smokeless then bullet.

Barrel wants removin and set back, no shims! And BULLSEYE is better!

June 16, 2006, 05:08 PM
Removing and setting back is fine with me too, as long as I can afford it. And the BP + smokeless is what I'm going to try tomorrow. Bullseye I'd use if I had it, but I only have Power Pistol and HiSkor 800-X. I could buy a pound, but that'd be $20 less to spend on improving the gun and getting a chronograph. Then I could see whether or not PP or 800-X are any good.

June 16, 2006, 06:58 PM
Well, I decided to go out and shoot anyway. Big boom, big cloud of smoke, and a hard-boiled egg type of smell. Pretty dirty. Only got 25 shots off (including 5 shots of half BP and half Power Pistol, which were really loud compared to BP only) before the fouling made the cylinder pin completely seize up that I couldn't get it out of the gun anymore.

And now I realized I have no .22 cal bore brushes, so proper cleaning will have to wait. Already soaked it in boiling water and soap to loosen the crud.

Oh, yeah, and I had two bullets stuck because the nipples got so dirty that the caps wouldn't seat all the way down on 'em, and I couldn't get the cylinder into the gun with the caps on. So I had to unscrew the chambers. And they wouldn't pound out with the metal rod. Here's a funny picture of what happened when I drilled one out.

June 16, 2006, 08:41 PM
Ryan! Yer makin WORK outta that thing! :)

June 19, 2006, 05:08 AM
I know the little minis kick, but I was fortunate to have proper instruction on how the hold them yesterday.

This may have already been covered,

but what you do for right handed firing, is you extend your left thumb straight up the back strap, then wrap your right hand around the grip and your thumb together and close your left hand fingers around the right hand. (reverse for left handed)

The gun rolls against your thumb a bit, but your groups dramatically improve.

June 19, 2006, 05:13 AM
Sounds weird. I just use the oversize rubber grips instead. They fill the hand really well. I'll see if I can put up a picture tomorrow. Going to bed now as it's 5 in the morning.

June 19, 2006, 04:12 PM
Tomorrow? I meant later today.

The grip frame is bigger than either the Freedom Arms mini or the NAA LR mini to begin with, so there's more than enough for a 2-finger grip, even if you've got somewhat big hands.

June 20, 2006, 05:20 AM
I've got oversized grips for the FA but they look more like colt single action grips, I'll see if I can sort out a photo.

The problem with them is they look horrible, and I don't see the point in having something that shoots good but looks bad, it has to be an all-round package for me:)

+I'd rather take looks over function;)

June 21, 2006, 02:44 AM
I'm very curious, is this strictly a piece for nostalgia/ fun, or is it for self defense too?

It sounds as if it would be possible to load this hotter than the rimfires(?).

Also, is it correct that FA sold the design to NAA, and cannot make them any longer?

June 21, 2006, 03:30 AM
For defense only. After having Jule work the gun over, it will definitely be potentially more powerful than a standard rimfire mini. New nipples that take small pistol primers (which are hotter, more powerful, and tougher), new firing pin to work with the primers, chambers reamed to take more powder, and a batch of solid copper bullets. And hopefully the barrel set back a bit. With the right load, it should be able to get a 40 grain bullet up to 1300 fps.

I don't know if FA sold the patents or what. Just that they no longer make them, and NAA does.

June 21, 2006, 05:04 AM
Well I dunno about you but I've got mine for fun too:evil:

June 21, 2006, 08:33 AM
Yup! MIGHT be a defense item but i have fun with mine and i SWEAR that can had a switchblade!

June 21, 2006, 10:33 AM
Ryan, where do you get the small pistol primer nipples? I have never seen them? Sounds like a cool thing! I don't have problems with Bullseye and Remington #11 but not an expert and don't shoot it often.

June 22, 2006, 12:38 AM
They have to be custom hand-made by Jule of Big Iron Barrel Works. And they's expensive.

June 22, 2006, 01:53 AM
Not EXPENSIVE, and great deal for tha money!

June 22, 2006, 05:03 PM
Clarification: They're expensive for a college student! Can anyone loan me some paper clips? I can't afford to buy any myself.

June 24, 2006, 02:11 PM
Have you seen this experiment using different projectiles? The #4 buckshot is listed as being .24 caliber, but it's being loaded into an oversized 22lr chamber.
I wonder if your chamber will be able to handle these 20.7 grain balls? They are inexpensive buying them in a 5 lb. box.

June 24, 2006, 10:37 PM
From what I understand, using #4 buckshot is actually pretty common for practice ammo in those things. It shaves a large ring of lead, but that's good anyway, because it means more bearing surface. But given that I'd need to mail order the shot (my local store only stocks #00 and #2), that's $24.74 for 5 pounds. At 20.7 grains apiece, that's 1691 shots, or $1.46 per 100. That's a better deal than NAA's bullets at $4 per 100. But if I go with the pulled Remington Golden Bullets, that's $9.50 per 550 shots, or $1.73 per 100. I'd say the heavier bullet (Remington says 36 gr on the box, but they're actually 38 to 40), plating, powder, and brass are worth the extra $0.27 per 100.

June 25, 2006, 09:25 PM
I found 8 pound bottles of buckshot in additional sizes for $18.95.
Size "F" has 28.1 pellets per ounce instead of 20.3 pellets per ounce in #4.
That equals 3584 shots per 8 lbs. divided by $28 (shipped) equals less than 1 penny (.0078) per shot.
Size #4 at 20.3 pellets per ounce equals 2598 shots divided by $28 (shipped) equals 1 penny (.010) per shot.
I'm estimating shipping cost to my house using the company's shipping calculator @ the cost of $8.99 ($28 total cost).
That's coming close to half the price for using shot. :D

(Ballistic Products Inc.)

June 25, 2006, 09:37 PM

June 26, 2006, 12:42 AM
At 0.220" diameter, you'd need to flatten the pellets with a hammer or something before loading them. The chamber mouths on the Companion measure at about .224" or .225" or so, and I believe the land diameter is about .218"-.220". So if loaded as-is, they'd just fall out of the chambers, and would also strip away a lot of lead in the rifling, and be extremely inaccurate.

July 7, 2006, 09:07 AM
Are there mods you can make to mini yourself to help it along or does everything require shipping to the Man?

July 7, 2006, 10:19 PM
Well, it may be possible to just order the nipples and a new firing pin and have them shipped, then put them in yourself. The firing pin may be tough, though. I think you'd have to take the sideplate off for that.

But, I'm not associated with Jule, so you'd have to ask him yourself about whether he could just make and send the parts.

July 8, 2006, 07:57 AM
The problem is mine's a FA not an NAA:confused:

I have taken the side plate off the replace the main spring and was very impressed buy the workmanship that goes into these little beauties.

July 21, 2006, 04:37 AM
Manyirons: You and the boss seem to know your ****. If you were carrying a NAA companion for self defense, how would you load it and what mods would you have made? Would you get the pistol primer nipples the boss is selling? Would you load Bullseye and how much? Anything else you would do? Thanks!

July 21, 2006, 08:23 AM
Was i you, i'd keep tha naa fer defense as a surprise hold out, tha BOSS considers it fer practical as a 15 foot icepick, yer jus stabbin em from a distance.

Yup! Pistol primer, bullseye, an a REAL hard lead bullet er one made outta zinc alloy, conical witha 45 degree point, WONT tell ya tha load, but it'll take it an ifin ya load em RIGHT (An usual a fresh barrel not tha crappy thing from naa) (Yup, tha BOSS relines em usual) you'll crack 1300fps from tha thing.

Course he doesa .30 or .32 caliber three shot conversion fer someone REAL serious, GOTTA be cause its three time tha cost of tha gun ta do it!

Now thatun gives ya a 60 ta 75 grn slug an about 1200+ it DO bellow! witha right load ya can shoot em AN barbque em at tha same time!

July 29, 2006, 05:08 AM
I knew about the .30 conversion, but does Jule do a .32 conversion also?

August 2, 2006, 01:36 PM
I wrote one of their .22 long rifle models up for American Handgunner a few years ago. they are a pretty good company and I understand they respond very fast when, as occasionally happens, a mainspring breaks. the 22 was very functional but I noticed about two out of five keyholes when I shot off hand. These didn't happen when I grabbed it with both hands= a good idea anyway as I had the gun do a one and a half back flip out of my single hand hole one time.

Here's the article sans pictures.

August 2, 2006, 02:16 PM
Thanks MEC!

Tha BOSS's .30 three shot he chekers tha grip frame, cause ya wanta REAL good hold with tall loads fer it!

Otherwise ya might have em LAUGHIN ta death! Course, be REAL funny ta watch.

August 2, 2006, 02:22 PM

Oh MY GAWD! Yous a reader of ol Charlie Askins? I AINT seen MUZZLE GEE WHIZ in a sentence since that old guy went away!

Member (Tha BOSS tol me) when Askins took tha rim off tha .22 velodog to make er a centerfire autoloader fer target? (YUP, THA BOSS KNOWS ALL, I AINT CAUGHT HIM UP YET)

August 2, 2006, 02:45 PM
Not My Fault! I've never used the word Gee Whiz in regard to muzzle energy in my life. Cameron Hopkins, the editor of AH at the time however, LIKED the word and every time I'd mention Muzzle Energy he'd Askinize it. I finally stopped talking about muzzle energy altogether.

August 3, 2006, 08:18 AM
Never liked Askins fer that. Ima hick an i KNOWS it. That was an educated man talkin down to tha good old boys, kinda rankled.

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