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NAA Companion

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Zero_DgZ, May 15, 2006.

  1. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Senior Member

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    Okay, they got me. The thing just looked neat.

    I went up to Cabela's with my nephew over the weekend. Got to eyeballing some black powder stuff, and I wound up going home with a NAA Companion Magnum. I resisted buying the mid-barreled Ruger Old Army. Figured with this outcome I'm about 400 bucks richer.

    For such a tiny little thing, it's a very fine piece of craftsmanship. The mechanism, the timing, and the lockup are all flawless. The machining is top notch, and even the grips are nice. And it comes with it's own cute little hard case that the gun and all its tools just barely fit into.

    First thing I did was take the grips off and hose the thing down with carb cleaner. Afterwards I relubed it with Hoppes gun oil and shot a handful of caps through it. I only got to fire one cylinderfull out of it yesterday, but I plan to do some serious shootin' with it later, maybe next weekend.

    It seemed sort of anemic, though. I mean, I'm not exactly expecting bear dropping power out of this little thing, but it's altogether too quiet when it fires. It failed to puncture a soda bottle from ridiculously short range (5 yards or so) and the final shot out of the five just about made it out of the cylinder into the barrel and I had to knock it out with a wooden dowel.

    I'm using Remmington #10 caps with this clean burning Goex stuff the salesguy at Cabela's sold me on. It's FFF and I think it's a bit too corase for this little thing - I'm gonna have to see if I can dig up any FFFF and see if it does any better. I was told it ought to use FFF. Was I told wrong? Any secrets to making this thing go bang a little better?
     
  2. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Senior Member

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    Definately use 4fg, other than that my only advice is never take the sideplate off - you'll lose two spings. :)
     
  3. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Senior Member

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    Yeah, the manual does warn to make sure the screw on it is tight every once in a while.

    I guess I'll fool with it for a bit. I'll have to stop off an pick up some quad F on the way home tonight, maybe.
     
  4. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Senior Member

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    As an FYI, turning left tightens that screw, as it's a left hand thread..
     
  5. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Senior Member

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    !

    That's good to know...
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Senior Member

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    I've got a .22 mini revolver I like a lot. It hasn't been out of my pocket much in the last 20 years. :D
     
  7. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Senior Member

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    Cartridge though, not cap 'n' ball?

    This thing has the gizmo factor all over it. It's a gizmo in and of itself. It even comes with another pair of gizmoes to load it with! I love it.

    There's just something about black powder revolvers (and powder guns in general, but revolvers are obviously the coolest) that's just inherently, strangely nifty. Powder guns have a sort of character that cartridge guns don't.

    That's sorta why I bought this thing. I'm gonna wear the action out just sitting here at my computer at work working the cylinder round and round and round...
     
  8. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Senior Member

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    Did you remove the nipples before any dry-firing??
     
  9. drdirk

    drdirk New Member

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    naa load

    I have one of these as well. Nice toy but pretty much useless for self defense and highly inaccurate. I can't hit anything over 5 ft away. Nevertheless a fun toy. As far as load is concerned, use Pyrodex P rated powder, not fff.

    I don't suggest you do this since it says "for black powder only" but I also shoot 1 gr of Bullseye out of it. Much cleaner and about the same "recoil" as the black powder substitute. The reason I do this, a friend used to have a very similar looking small black powder revolver where in the instructions it said to use 1 gr of Bullseye alternatively to black powder.

    Have not shot it in a while. But when I do, I make sure to leave one chamber empty and rest the hammer on the empty chamber.
     
  10. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

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    From what I read, NAA used to recommend the use of Bullseye, especially if the gun were to be used for defense, but the BATF made them take that out of the manual since they said using anything normally associated with smokeless firearms would mean that the guns would need to be reclassified as firearms and not replicas. Sounds kind of like the thing with muzzleloaders not being able to legally use shotgun primers unless a bunch of conditions are met.

    Someone else also recommended just buying .22 LR ammo, pulling the bullets, and using the powder charge and bullets from those to load the mini.
     
  11. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Senior Member

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    Third Rail: No dry firing for me! I ease the hammer down to its half cock notch when I want to play with it, or take the cylinder out.
     
  12. arcticap

    arcticap Senior Member

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    What about trying 777 fffg? It's pretty clean burning and stout. I hope the 4F works better for you.
    I saw a fellow shooting with some surprising accuracy with his mini .22lr version that had the large grips. Neat!
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Senior Member

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    That other gun might have been a Freedom Arms? They used to build NAA type mini revolvers and had a BP, I believe.

    Now, the Bullseye thing I'd try. ;) But, ya know, I just can't help asking WHY? I mean, my .22 is easier and quicker to load and, heck, .22 ammo ain't exactly expensive. I wonder if you could cast balls in .22? Guess so. ROFL! I like BP and one of these things would be a really neat toy, but I think the .22 version is much more my thing. It's also pretty accurate. I have a holster grip (wonder if it'd fit the BP version?) which helps gripping the thing. Now, don't misunderstand, it ain't exactly a match grade gun, LOL, but it'll shoot 'em into about 5" at 25 yards which is sort of amazing for such a tiny gun. It's accurate enough I've taken a few rabbits with it at close range, shot a couple of snakes, and killed a feral dog at about 25 yards with a head shot (okay, maybe a little luck in that one:D ). It don't bounce off plastic bottles, at least.

    But, I have often thought of getting the BP version of the gun. It is rather neat and would be fun to play with and I bet you would get better accuracy out of it with Bullseye. I can't get 4F, so Bullseye would have to do for me. I'm a long way from anywhere that sells real BP.
     
  14. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Senior Member

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    Well, I've got some double base shotgun powder lying around here but no pistol powder. Maybe I'll make up a careful load of that stuff (ought to burn slower, right?) of 1 or 1.5 grains or so and let 'er rip to see how it does.
     
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Senior Member

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    Bullseye is a very fast powder. The only faster I can think of is Dupont PB or maybe Red Dot. Unique is slower. I don't know if I'd stray much from 1.0 grain of Bullseye, though, which was recommended. I don't know, a slower shotgun powder might work, but there's no way to check for pressure signs. But, heck, how much does it hold in each chamber? Might not hold much more'n a grain. :D

    Bullseye is available everywhere and not all that expensive. I use it in .38 special, 9mm, and .45ACP loads and Unique in those calibers for hotter loads. I wouldn't think going any slower than Unique would work. Blue Dot and 2400 require very high chamber pressures for efficiency, are slow burning, and bulky. They require quite a bit of volume. They would not work.

    Yeah, I think I'd just stick with the recommended 1 grain of Bullseye and see how that works.
     
  16. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

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    Main reason why is because NAA companions don't go on any books, and aren't classified as a firearm. Just go into a store, put some money on the counter, and walk out; or just place an order and have it shipped to your front door. May be the only legal option for self defense with a projectile weapon for ex-cons (if an ex-con is trying to stay legal like that, chances are they've gone straight), emancipated minors, people in non RKBA states, etc. Not as powerful as most other firearms, but a shot to the eye socket with one of those would beat almost anything that a knife could do.

    Oh, and NAA says that their companions have the same grip frame as the respective normal mini (standard frame and magnum frame), but the place where the cylinder goes is different, so a cartridge cylinder won't fit in a companion, and vice-versa. And instead of trying to cast .22 round balls, #4 buckshot would probably work. #4 is about .24", so there'd be a lot of lead shaved off, but the loader should stand up to it.

    Freedom arms used to make the BP mini only, and they are the ones who recommended Hercules Bullseye (since that's what Alliant was called back then). The manual is still on their website, http://www.freedomarms.com

    I don't think 777 would work too well. If you do a search for the .31 C&B chrono results, 777 had the slowest average velocity, while Swiss was the fastest.
     
  17. Boom-stick

    Boom-stick Member

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    This is my Freedom Arms mini

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Got all the loading gear for it and I run mine on Bullseye as it's so much cleaner than BP to shoot.
    FA still stock all the spares as you can see from pics, I got a spare cylinder for it and wood grips to replace the plastic ones and a set of over-sized grips along with a spare main spring, x2 sets of replacement nipples and 1000 bullets:)

    For those of you that don't think this a big deal, I am in the UK and it does turn some heads on the range:)
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Senior Member

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    RyanM, I hadn't thought of that, but that's true, no paper trail. Ain't just ex cons that appreciate that, but I sorta like owning guns with no paper trail, too. :D It's that "get off my arse Uncle Sam" syndrome, I guess. Now, ya got me thinkin' about gettin' one of these little babies. A bag of #4 buck would last for friggin' ever. :D I shoot 00 in my .31 Pocket Remmie and it works great. The idea of having a little pocket cap and ball that would shoot bullseye is pretty cool, though. My little .22 pocket gun is more convenient I guess, but the paper trail thing is a good point. The thing might actually be useful at close range self defense with bullseye and ball. And, it's GREAT to think that our poor Brit cousins actually have a deep concealment option for defense. I reckon if you got caught with one of those over there, you'd probably get locked up in the tower of London for life, but hey, rather be tried by 12 than carried by six!:D
     
  19. Boom-stick

    Boom-stick Member

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    If I got caught with it I doubt the LEO's would even know what it was , let alone that it was 'real'.:cool:

    The first thing most people say when they see it is, " Is that real, I mean is it a real gun???":confused:

    Althoungh mine is an FA, the NAA are imported as well.:)
     
  20. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

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    I'm thinking a Companion may also actually be more powerful than the corresponding rimfire mini. Especially if it's safe to use an even faster powder, like Hodgdon Clays. I imagine most .22 RF cartridges are loaded with a medium-fast speed pistol powder, to optimize velocity in longer barrels. Even the ammo meant for pistols is intended for 5 or 6" barrels, and those are usually loaded for match accuracy rather than maximizing velocity. Plus there may be a bit more room in the chambers for powder, compared to the inside of a cartridge case. I wish someone would post chrono data.

    Me, I'd prefer 40 gr plated flatnose or dish-nose solids for carry purposes. Definitely want hard, sharp-edged bullets, that would have a better chance of puncturing the brain-box. Probably buy some plated .22 LR ammo, pull the bullets (somehow), save the powder for practice loads, and then put hard wax or an airsoft BB or something in the primed cases and sell them as indoor practice ammo (I have no .22 :( ). Maybe I could get an "Acu'r'z'r," or whatever the crazy things are called, to flatten the tips of the bullets and bump the diameter up a bit, if unmodified pulled .22s don't work that well.

    It also should be possible to get replacement nipples made which take small pistol primers instead of percussion caps, for more reliable ignition, safer carry, no jamming the action with cap fragments, and no more worries about dry-firing. NAA may not be willing to make them, given what a pain in the butt the BATF is, but someone else could probably make them.

    That'd actually make for a very practical carry piece. Centerfire priming, stiffer powder charge, better bullets. And reloading would actually be faster than a cartridge mini, since you could carry a spare cylinder without worrying about the cartridges falling out. You'd want to use a carrier that keeps the primers covered, but with centerfire primers it's less of an issue, especially if you use CCI primers.

    Plus, you could do indoor practice very cheaply. Airsoft BBs are just the right size to squish into the chambers. Use a primer only, and you've got a perfect parlor load. I'm a big fan of rubber bullets in the larger calibers, for this purpose. And it may be possible to do low-noise low-cost pest control using .22 airgun pellets and the primer only, or maybe with a couple grains (literal grains) of powder.

    I'm really starting to like the idea of getting an NAA Companion. :evil: Now where'd all my money go?
     
  21. MCgunner

    MCgunner Senior Member

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    Wonder how you'd pull the bullets on a .22 LR? I've done it by buggerin' them up just to get the case when I was testing a gun that was having light primer strikes and I was testing it. It was a beeoch getting the bullet out of the crimp. My impact puller doesn't have a holder that small. Hmmm, have to study that one I'd reckon.

    Didn't give enough thought to it, but yeah, .22 is very inefficient in a 1" barrel what with the slowish powder it's loaded with. Bullseye would be more efficient in that short barrel I'd think.

    Another thing about .22 LR bullets that ain't too great is they have a tapered heal which crimps into the brass, not loaded as with normal bullets. That heal takes up space. Looks like there's plenty of room in a chamber of that cylinder, though. Just wonder if a full 40 grain bullet would fit efficiently?
     
  22. Boom-stick

    Boom-stick Member

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    Ryanm

    I think you mean one of these??

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Buy the bullets from NAA or Freedom Arms, you don't need to pull.
    It's also very hard to pull the bullets without damaging them, bullet pullers are too big and using one on a rimfire isn't ideal??

    and don't forget it's .22 short bullets you need not .22lr.

    I've got some steel cored air-rifle pellets which have a nylon skirt to avoid damaging the barrel, I'm trying to get them to work but it's a bit tricky, as the flaired pellet skirt needs trimming before it'll fit in the cylinder.
     
  23. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

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    I don't know if going all the way down to 29 gr .22 short bullets would be necessary. I'd need to actually get my hands on a Companion and measure how far down the counterbore is. I think the manual says there's a counterbore, anyway. Hopefully, a 40 gr bullet would fit in so that the heel goes into the powder space, and the whatchamacallit flat ring sits on the counterbore ledge thingie. If not, I could always just have someone bore them deeper. Or bore them out entirely, to make more room for powder, if that'd be safe. It should be, considering how .22 brass is paper-thin and doesn't offer much support at all. If new nipples were made that take small pistol primers, those could probably be bored out on the inside too, for even more powder room.

    Given how cheap .22 ammo is here in the 'States, I think it would actually cost about the same amount per bullet to buy .22 LR, compared to bullets only from NAA...

    You could just make your own kinetic puller by drilling a 7/32" hole in the side of a 1.5" diameter pipe, reaming it out to .223", and filing the area around the hole completely flat. PVC pipe would be lighter and easier on the floors. It'd also reduce the chance of a discharge, since it's kinda hard for plastic to dent brass. Then use tape or something to hold the round in place while you're beating it on the floor. That would probably be safe for pulling the bullets out, since the impact would be on the entire rim at once. And if the round goes off somehow, it's enclosed in a pipe.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2006
  24. Manyirons

    Manyirons member

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    HI!

    And the Boss DOES primer nippies&things for these has. Also has loaed several to utter ruin in testin, sos he KNOWS day ta day loads for em.

    On tha one he uses, solid copper cutting edge bullet at over 1.300 off tha muzzle SAFELY. (Chronoed)
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Senior Member

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    It's about time you showed up! RyanM's head has been smokin' thinkin' up this project and now you come in and tell him it's all been done..:banghead: ROFLMAO!
     

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