Combat Handgun Misrepresents 25NAA Guardian


Double Naught Spy
August 20, 2004, 03:59 PM
In the Nov 2004 Combat Handguns, there is a reveiw of the Guardian in 25NAA, a necked down .32 to .25 that leaves the gun at 1200 fps. Cool right?

The gun is supposed to be easy to shoot and the author, Mike Detty, includes images of his girlfriend shooting the gun and then an image showing a malfunction, the cartridge case having trapped itself between the slide and breechface (page 45). This is NOT a malfunction accordng to the author and in Combat Handguns fashion, they took the stoppage and called it a good thing.

In the caption on page 45, "The last round from the magazne consistently trapped itself between the slide and breech face, letting the shooter know the gun was empty."

On pages 88-89, "Reliability with the .25NAA was 100%. We fired about 200 rounds through the gun and had no stoppages or malfunctions. Bottlenecks cartridges, due to their tapered design, tend to feed more reliably than straght-walled cartrdges. One peculiarity that the Guardian shares with the Seecamp gun is that the last round in the magazine gets trapped between the slide face and barrel. The is not a defect in the design or a problem with the magazine. I kind of like it because it lets me know that the gun is empty and as it does not have a slide lock or hold-open device. The empty is easily cleared by turning the gun to its side and pulling back on the slide to let it drop free."


The second description of the trapped case appears to be the most accurate of the two. It is a case and not a round. Contrary to Detty and Combat Handguns, this is a malfunction. Given the 200 rounds fired and a 6 round mag, I would guess that Detty and his girlfriend had 28-33 malfunctions if the trapping was consistent as claimed.

Contrary to Detty, this is a flaw and a malfunction. It is not some benefit that is there to tell the shooter the gun is empty. It is a malfunction as the empty gun cannot be made ready by reloading. Drop the spent mag and add the new mag and the gun still won't work because the the trapped case must be cleared. So if reloading the gun does not make it again ready to fire, then it has malfunctioned. Sorry Mikee, but a trapped spent case that keeps the gun from functioning, occurring consistently every 6 or 7 rounds (dependng how the gun is loaded) is unacceptable for a gun with the intended purpose of being for self defense. Actually, it is just unacceptable, either as a design problem or as QC.

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Walt Sherrill
August 20, 2004, 04:08 PM
This is a "feature," apparently, of the gun. (Like the many unintended consequences of Windows aren't really program bugs...)

The AGI newsletter had an article some time back about how to fix this problem in the .32 version of the gun, and it included adding a small raised portion on the follower.

The follower just doesn't lift the last round high enough for it to clear the gun.

I'm surprised that NAA hasn't incorporated a similar fix into their product offering, as it apparently works beautifully.

Depending on your mind set, this "behavior" may or may not be considered a malfunction -- but I can see where it would be aggravating.

Andrew Wyatt
August 20, 2004, 04:11 PM
yes, it is a malfunction, but I don't see how having the very last round stovepope is going to cost you your life in a carry capacity.

August 20, 2004, 06:24 PM
That the last round (consistently or not- my NAA .380 will oftentimes do it and other times it won't) is due to the fact that this gun doesn't have an ejector. The design relies on the next round in the mag to act as an ejector and pop the empty clear. No more next round, more often than the empty will end up stovepiping. I think it should be fairly easy to make a mag follower to so that it would hit the empty alow it to eject free of the gun. I'm sure NAA has considered this. I'll bet you end up tearing up followers in short order or maybe lose a round in capacity. Far as I'm concerned, it's a limitation of the design. Something I was fully aware of when I bought the gun. It's a trade-off.

Badger Arms
August 20, 2004, 07:05 PM
The point of this thread is that some people don't like a stovepipe. It's a design peculiarity, not a malfunction. If you don't like it, buy a Keltec. It's not intelectually honest to call it a MALfunction when the function of the gun is designed to cause this to happen. It's like calling a 2-round burst from a non-resetting 3-round burst trigger a malfunction. It's peculiar and annoying, but that is what is SUPPOSED to happen.

So, the magazine author was right, it functioned EXACTLY as designed 100% of the time! The manual of arms for a reload is to eject old magazine, insert new one, turn pistol 90 degrees to the side and rack slide. Simple as pie.

Gary A
August 20, 2004, 07:49 PM
Since a Guardian does not lock back the slide when empty, reloading the pistol always requires racking the slide to chamber a round thus freeing the trapped case. My Guardians sometimes do not trap the last case and sometimes they do. I always have to grasp the slide and pull it back to load a round from a fresh magazine. Machts Nichts IMO. Addendum: it also seems that if one has to do a speed reload under duress with one of these, they are having a very bad day indeed.

August 20, 2004, 10:22 PM
I have never even had to turn the gun on my Guardians. Just insert new mag, rack slide and you are ready to go. If you happen to rack the slide with no mag it wil simply fall out as well. This has NEVER caused ANY feeding or reloading problem and I certainly agree with those who assert that it is not a malfunction.

Roll Tide

Double Naught Spy
August 20, 2004, 10:58 PM
Badger Arms, what manual of arms says that a reload involves rotating a gun 90 degrees? That sounds more like a malfunction clearing drill, but with a mag change.

I don't see the design of the gun including trapping the last spent case. If the gun is designed to trap the spent case, I would have expected some sort of modification for the feature. Strange how NAA seems to have failed to describe this supposed design parameter in their online manual...

If it were a designed event, I would expect NAA to describe it in some detail so that owners were aware of how the gun was designed to function. They left that aspect out, but note if you pull the trigger with a loaded gun that the gun will discharge. So they explain the obvious but not the last round stovepipe issue?

Just because an event happens a lot or is considered normal does not mean that it was designed to happen that way.

I see where the notion that the gun was designed to trap the last round is common in NAA Guardian owners in posts on various forums including NAA's, only it isn't a consistent trait. If it is actually designed to do this and does not do it, then it is a malfunction. If it is a design feature that is supposed to signal the gun is empty, then why doesn't NAA describe this darling feature? Simple, it isn't a design feature and it isn't consistent as the exact timing required to make this sort of case trap will not always be present as the recoil spring loses power or variation of powder loads result in a slightly different cycling speed of the gun.

Similarly, if a gun is supposed to fire a 3 round burst and only fires 2 rounds, it is a malfunction. It isn't a stoppage, but is a malfunction in that the gun is not performing as it is supposed to perform. Not all malfunctions result in stoppages.

I don't have the Aug 2004 Combat Handguns, but from the NAA forum, apparently the last round stovepipe was curtailed by lubing the barrel and rails.

Andrew Wyatt
August 21, 2004, 12:03 AM
you still haven't explained how this changes the guns suitability for defense.

August 21, 2004, 01:10 AM
Simple don't like it,don't buy it. Freedom of choice thats the America way.:neener:

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