Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Deep Concealment BUG

At the risk of igniting caliber wars, let me show you our BAG day booty.  Our BAG was a BUG, the North American Arms 22 Magnum with holster grip.  As you can see in this shot, this gun is about the same overall size (when folded up) as my iPhone 4.   
Let me admit I've been attracted to these little guns since before we got our CC permits in '09.  The little NAA revolver (SA only) shoots .22 Magnum (WMR), and the one we got included a second cylinder that handles .22LR. 

Took it to the range today and this little thing is hoot.  Loved it.  Mrs. Graybeard loved it.  Both of us remarked it was more fun to shoot than we thought it would be.  The .22 magnum makes a pleasingly louder bang than plain .22LR, although she prefers .357 Magnum (which is in a class of its own).  Easy to shoot one hand or off hand.  We shot at 10' or so, and it took a cylinder or two to get a feel for how it aims (there's no notch in the back to put the front blade in), but we were good with it after that.  This is not the kind of gun you're going to use for IDPA or rapid fire.  It takes a minute or so to reload.  See that pin sticking out below the barrel?  You push in on that while grasping the knurled part, and pull out the rod.  The cylinder pretty much falls out into your hand which you then unload and reload.  Once it's loaded, you rock the cylinder gently back into place and put the pin back. 
This was bought specifically as a back up gun, or for deep concealment in a place where you really have a hard time concealing.  I could carry it in a pocket of my (almost omni-present) cargo pants without anyone ever knowing.  It fits in a purse or the smallest of fanny packs. 

.22 Magnum?  Srsly?  How good are the ballistics?  They're actually pretty good.  This video from Hornady shows 11 to 12" penetration in standard gel, with the hollow point unfolding well.  This video from Brass Fetcher was with this model gun and the same round we're shooting here.   Let's face it: it's not a major caliber, but it penetrates about as well as .380ACP, one of the most popular calibers.  To paraphrase Michael Bane, though, it would be much more effective than harsh language.  Nobody likes to leak.  Get a couple of holes into them and the typical street toad might change his plans for the day. 
This is summer in Florida, when you have to dress lightly or die.  It would fit in perfectly in my cargo shorts and tee shirt summer wear, and anything Mrs. Graybeard would wear or carry, too. 


Spud said...

I agree. Been carrying one of these for several years now here on the "Space Coast". Like you said, attire here is not conducive to bigger weapons.

RegT said...

Great little gun for its purpose. A number of the guys that worked Vice when I was at San Diego PD carried NAA .22 Mags, occasionally as their only weapon if they knew they would be subjected to a pat-down. They weren't "one-shot stop" firearms (no such thing, of course - it's bullet placement), but they did manage to take the fight out of the bad guy the few times I heard of one of them using his little revolver.

My BAG this time around was a Gen 4 G22, to go along with my wife's G23. We only had one gun in .40 cal, and I like having at least two in each caliber. I'm anxious to see if I can feel any difference with the double spring guide rod in the Gen 4. The snappy recoil of the .40 in the G23 (compared to the big "push" of the .45) might feel different, then again, maybe not. It isn't objectionable, just different.

I'm still waiting to get a KSG. I'm not light on shotguns, but that just looks like the bee's knees to me.

Graybeard said...

I was warm toward the KSG until I saw the price tag at the local show. About $500 more than this. I suppose they'll come down as the supply chain starts filling, but that's steep from where I stand.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Hadn't really thought about these as a "super compact backup," have to peruse them at the next show. I wonder what engineering challenges lurk in a very small, alloy (or polymer)-framed 6-8 shot semi-auto in 22 WRF.

Graybeard said...

I haven't seen anything like that, but it would be interesting. The only polymer 22 WMR gun I know of is the Kel-Tec, which emphasizes their 30 round magazines.

My WAG is that the issue isn't technical challenges, it's producing it at a price point folks would go for.

Xenocles said...

I've got my eye on their Mini-Master. Good to hear you had a good experience with this one.

Michael Hayden said...

Can the fold out grips be added to stock grips?

Graybeard said...

The folding grip replaces the more rounded stock grips with a pair of very flat grips.

North American sells the folding grip kit by itself for aftermarket, but we bought this one with the holster grip.