North American Arms introduced its first semi-automatic pistol in 1997. The aptly named Guardian was small, lightweight, ideal for concealed carry and chambered in .32 ACP. Sales were solid and bolstered in 2001 when the company answered the demand for a more formidable chambering with a .380 ACP version.
The firm is more widely known for incredibly small, five-shot .22-cal. rimfire revolvers that have been around and improved upon for five decades. The company was first established as Rocky Mountain Arms, based in Provo, UT, where it remains, but its name changed with new ownership shortly after. Today most enthusiasts simply refer to North American Arms as “NAA.”
Enthusiasts who carry any of the revolvers quickly become loyal fans of their reliability and relative invisibility. The same is true of NAA Guardians. When B. Gil Horman reviewed a .380 ACP version for American Rifleman he concluded, “The North American Arms Guardian is a sturdy little pocket pistol designed and built to run reliably for a lifetime of daily use. It may not be the lightest option available, but its proven reliability and custom features make it a solid option for deep concealed carry.”
Today the NAA-32 Guardian is available in .32 ACP with a 2.19″ barrel and overall length of 4.38″. The double-action-only semi-automatic is constructed from stainless steel and wears hard-rubber stock panels. Capacity is 6+1, it weighs 15.6 ozs. and sights are fixed with a notched rear and bladed front. MSRP comes in at $430.
The NAA-380 Guardian, as expected, is chambered in .380 ACP and is slightly larger. Its barrel measures 2.5″ and overall length comes in at 4.81″. Weight goes up to 20.4 ozs. Sights and cartridge-carrying capacity remain the same as its smaller sibling. It’s made from the same material all around and MSRP is $480.
The quality of the pistols coming out of NAA don’t garner a lot of headlines, but just ask any enthusiast who has owned one of their revolvers for decades. They—like the Guardians—are rugged, reliable, perform and hide with a dexterity only rivaled by the company somehow concealing any mention of its 25th anniversary so far this year.