NAA Black Widow .17 HMR


February 15, 2003, 10:31 PM

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Flying V
February 15, 2003, 10:55 PM
I'm waiting for the 16" carbine version.

February 15, 2003, 11:39 PM
Because it's a cool new cartridge for NAA's...i.e. it will make them $$.
That's a good question...

Btw I have a NAA story that I would like to interject here...(try to make it short) about a month ago I bought a new mini revolver from them...went out to shoot it and all the ammo didn't shoot (some fails to fire every so often) to thinking, found out that the shells that they sent me, one had a double strike on it...i.e. the hammer wasn't hitting hard enough, sometimes it would shoot and sometimes not, it needed a stronger hammer I sent it back...called NAA about a week & 1/2 later...lady said it would be 4-6 weeks longer till I get it back...I said that's not acceptable let me talk to someone in charge :fire: I did and told the guy (Wayne) "You guys sent me a defective gun from the get go...look at the double tap shells which I sent back to you!" I also told him that this was my first experience with NAA and I want some changes gun should ever leave with a fail to fire after a factory test...So he checked out my letter and example shells I sent in with the gun...came back to the phone and said this would not happen if he tested the gun and he would see to it that the word got out...and that he'll personally fix my gun...asked me if I wanted a holster for it (you know what I said) ...and said it would be back on was back at my house on Wed. after a one day wait.

I am pleased with their customer service...and I believe they will take care of me if something should go if I feel the need to own a new .380 Guardian etc. I would buy again from them

Jim March
February 16, 2003, 12:34 AM
This is a poor caliber choice for these guns. Stick with the 22mag/22LR convertibles.

Nothing wrong with the company :).

February 16, 2003, 02:12 AM
....why not?

Jim March
February 16, 2003, 04:09 AM
These are defensive mouseguns. To be effective, you have to have enough energy and bullet momentum to penetrate a human skull on a frontal-hit close range shot. We can barely do that in 22Magnum, using the best ammo possible...there's maybe three different rounds I'd trust for carry in that caliber and short barrels. The best loads in 22Mag for short tubes involve 30-grain JHPs at 1,100 - 1,400 fps (1.1" through 4" barrels). These barely have enough momentum.

In 17, not enough momentum!!! Nowhere NEAR. And most of the ammo is target fodder, non-expanding, 'specially at handgun velocities. It gets worse: since the 17 was designed as a rifle round, so far as I'm aware nobody has ammo "tuned for" decent performance in short handgun barrels...not like CCI has done with the +V/TNT series in 22Maggie.

NOW, that said, if somebody were to ship a full wadcutter in 17, with a powder charge maxed for short barrels and a weight up around 30 grains, I might change my mind. BUT I don't see enough demand for such a critter showing up for years. CCI met the needs of short-barrel 22Mag people due to the common availability of 6/8-shot DA 2" snubbies in 22Mag, plus the NAAs, plus the Single Sixes, and more. Classic chicken'n'egg problem. If NAA were to help finance a new CCI 17 purpose-built for short-barrel defense, that'd be a different story.


The whole friggin' INDUSTRY is too collosally stupid to realize that any gun, or bullet, or holster is part of an "overall system for an intended use" and therefore you damn well better make sure all the other parts of the system are available if you want to sell YOUR PART.

I'm sorry, but this is my biggest frustration. Ehhh, well 2nd biggest, California's CCW system beats ALL.


In the computer biz, partnerships between "software" and "hardware" businesses are not only the norm, they're the driving force behind the industry's growth. But the gun biz barely dabbles in the concept. Sure, Ruger designs a gun/cartridge (the 480) and makes sure there's one factory Hornady load when it ships. S&W does the same with Cor-Bon on the new 500. But when somebody makes a gun that uses an existing caliber, yet needs an ammo type that flat-out doesn't exist yet, well "that's somebody else's problem", starting with the customer.

MORONS. Fools. Eeeeediots!

It gets worse. WAY worse. The business-school DROPOUTS that make semi-autos that are guaranteed to work with "hardball" but aren't warranteed for JHPs just make me sick. How hard would it be to test particular defensive loads, do marketing agreements with the ammo makers, and guarantee that THOSE rounds will feed right in that particular gun AND expands reasonably reliably in that barrel length? Seriously? Now, instead of "fear, uncertainty and doubt" ("FUD") when a poor ignorant customer tries to set up a defensive package that won't fail him, he knows he's got the gunmaker and ammo company lined up behind him. The ammo company gets free marketing by the gunmaker. The gunmaker gets customers that aren't nervous about buying.

Why is this concept so hard to understand!?

But no. Instead, NAA will sell a product that is TOTALLY USELESS FOR IT'S INTENDED PURPOSE, willfully, hoping somebody else will sort it all out.


They're a good "gun maker", don't get me wrong. But they don't have the level of business sense God gave a friggin' anthill.

February 16, 2003, 05:49 AM

:eek: :eek:

But, really Mr. March...don't hold back, tell us how you really feel.


If it makes you feel any less like a random ranter, I agree 100% with your opinion on the situation. Well, maybe not 100%. Even if someone did make the full wadcutter .17 cartridge you described, I doubt I would choose it over .22 Magnum.

But, like everyone else has said, if they make it, SOMEONE will buy it. :rolleyes:

Flying V
February 16, 2003, 09:58 AM
I suspect the "intended purpose" of the .17 HMR mini-revolver is to shoot cans and plastic bottles, for which the available ammunition is entirely adequate. Not every firearm requires a stolidly utilitarian purpose to justify its existence.

Double Naught Spy
February 16, 2003, 11:09 AM
Honestly, I can't image the little NAA revolvers being anything other than recreational plinking guns, in .22 short, .22 lr, .22 mag., or .17 hmr. The fact that some people choose to use them for defense guns is fine, but they are really a poor choice in caliber for a defense gun, but a good choice for a well concealable gun.

I love to read the testimonials where people make some comment like, "I trust my life to my NAA Minirevolver every day." The statement is just pure poorly reasoned crap. Except for soldiers in battle, few people ever trust their lives to their gun every day. How is that so? Because they aren't shooting their guns in battle every day to defend themselves. They don't trust their lives to the guns every day, but trust their lives to the gun should they ever need to use it on a given day. There is a huge difference here in actual performance. It is sort of like saying, "I trust my life to my home's fire extinguisher every day." In 3 years, I have never even taken it off the hook, but I trust my life to it every day...get the picture? If I have never used it, then how am I trusting my life to it? I trust it will work when I need it and at that time, then I will be trusting my life to it.

Few folks have ever used an NAA minirevolver in a fight and from the few incident summaries I have read, the results were terribly mixed and the battle distances were anywhere from contact to just a few feet. The biggest effect seems to just be the fright factor of the opposition knowing they are being shot at with a firearm.

Jim March, I think you have sorely confused the difference of purpose and application. The purpose (and/or design) of any firearm is to launch a projectile down range in a controlled manner using expanding gasses as propellant. Some are made to launch them faster (full auto, semi auto) than others, with greater or lessor velocity than others, but that is pretty much it. Application is how you decide to use the tool that launches the projectile down range. Often, it is the application that gets hyped with advertising. For the NAA minirevolvers, they are designd as being very small tools to launch projectiles down range in a controlled manner using expanding gasses. Unfortunately, they are less than ideal for this purpose since the cartridges selected are designed to work more optimaly with a longer barrel with which to get the full benefit of the expanding gasses.

Kentucky Rifle
February 16, 2003, 11:37 AM
It's a .22 mag only. (No conversion cylinder.) The owner has offered it to me for $229.00. Is the .22 mag out of a Black Widow very much stronger than a regular .22LR like a Stinger or Mini-Mag?


Jim March
February 16, 2003, 03:51 PM
Yes. From a 2" Black Widow, the CCI MaxiMag +V and +V/TNT JHPs do 1,200fps. Even the hottest 22LRs barely break 800fps. There's a LOT of other 22Mags that do poorly in short barrels and has caused the caliber to be highly under-rated...but the very best 22Mags perform like 32ACP in the same general barrel lengths.

They *are* useful as "sudden, up-close surprise guns", esp. given the deep concealment available.

That said, if you get one with both cylinders, your practice is a LOT cheaper with 22LRs.

February 17, 2003, 04:15 AM
I expect at those low velocities, those pointy Hornady Vmax bullets would probably penetrate quite nicely, thank you, and not expand. If a miss ensued, I expect the charge of Hodgdon Lil'Gun that Hornady presently loads should make about a two foot fireball out the muzzle, which should also do the job at close range:neener:

I would buy one and test it, but I'm saving money for a Velo Dog:D

February 17, 2003, 07:39 AM
I like the things Jim March was stating...logical and I own the mini revolver to verify what he said
NAA has ballistic tests right out of their guns @ 8' which are very handy if anyone wants to know this stuff...
NAA ballistic tests (

Except for the new .17... it doesn't appear on the chrono charts cause it's only a mouse-shooter and not intended for anything worthy of measuring. Don't flame me just smile and let it go.

February 17, 2003, 11:06 AM
I don't know much about the mini revolvers, and they definitely wouldn't be my first choice for self defense. They're probaby fun plinkers though.

As far as the .17HMR I haven't seen any target "non expanding ammo" The only shells I've seen available are V-Max. They're supposed to expand explosively. Remington may have intoduced a JSP too, but that might have been in .22mag.
I sure wouldn't want one of those little V max's breaking up on my forehead, but then I don't want shot with anything. There's definitely better choices for self defense though.

Jim March
February 17, 2003, 03:46 PM
A round that "expands explosively" out of a 16" - 20" barrel is not at ALL guaranteed to do so out of a 2"!!!

The most likely result is that such a "fragmentation round" will hit somebody in the forehead and just crumple, not penetrating bone at all. The person so "hit" would be more likely to just cuss up a storm than anything else.

Heck no. Look, 30 grains of unlikely-to-expand JHP at 1,200fps is just about minimum for reliably entering the brainpan on a frontal shot. Run any lighter weight round, and it's just TOO "iffy".

(Note on the "not likely to expand" part: the CCI "+V" variant has a very small JHP cavity, it doesn't expand until it's flung out of a rifle. The TNT variant using a *different* 30grain JHP is another matter, it has a more advanced, larger JHP design and is more likely to expand at 1,200 - 1,400fps. You can also buy 22Mag hardball but the powder charges aren't tuned well to short barrels and your net performance is down in 22LR territory. If you REALLY want "hardball" that works in an NAA, take the CCI +V round and fill the JHP cavity with any good epoxy. A hard epoxy like JB-Weld might even give you limited "AP" characteristics :evil:.)

February 17, 2003, 06:39 PM
Few folks have ever used an NAA minirevolver in a fight...I know this is one anecdotal experience, but a good friend and local deputy used his NAA .22LR when he interrupted an armed robbery [he was off-duty and carrying it as his only firearm because he was in another county]. Two of the perps ran and one approached his truck.

One shot to center mass and the thug was off to the hospital for a two-week stay in an ICU.

Now, I wouldn't use an NAA as my only protection [and he doesn't anymore], but they can be effective.

That being said, I see no use for the .17HMR version except as an interesting addition to a collection. Using that caliber in a really short-barrelled revolver seems to defeat the purpose of high-velocity and greater accuracy.

February 19, 2003, 03:55 PM
I'd rather have a NAA mini in my pocket than a Glock in the car.

The best gun to have in a gun fight is the one in your hand.

February 19, 2003, 04:12 PM
How is this gun anymore stupid than a high cap 38 Super race gun firing specialized loads with a gianto optical site?

It's a product - it's fun. Chill out.

As far as the NAA as backup - that's what they are there for. The smallest gun you can hide.

And don't forget the famous Florida Geezer shoot out where a BG tried to rob a restaurant during the early bird hour. He put a 12 gauge to a waitress and two old gentlemen rose to the occassion. One had a 22 mag derringer and the other a 22 mag NAA. They shot the BG and carried the day.

The gun in your hand says it all.

February 20, 2003, 09:10 PM
I agree that the 17 BW is a gun in search of a use.

Actually, the biggest mistake that NAA has done is their failure to come out with a 3 inch barreled Black Widow minirevolver (without the BW bull barrel). I have a 22mag 1 5/8 inch minirevolver and a Minimaster (4 inch barrel). I think a medium gripped 3 inch BW with a thinner barrel and fixed sights would be a pretty good carry piece.

Why don't one of you guys try to get them to make one? <VBG>

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