Along with our category winners, for the premiere issue of Ballistic’s Best we also selected “Honorable Mentions.” The North American Arms Ranger II was our selection for “Honorable mention” in the “Revolvers” category, because putting it up again the “big dogs” just wasn’t fair. To see the complete list of categories, nominees and winners, pick up your copy of Ballistic’s Best 2018 at Read more about the Ranger II and why it won our Editor’s Choice Award below.

The Ranger II is the latest, and perhaps the coolest, pistol in North American Arms’ mini-revolver line. It is a top-break design, making it significantly easier to reload than the original NAA mini-revolvers.

We got our hands on a Ranger II with both .22 Magnum and .22 LR cylinders for testing, though it doesn’t really deserve to be put up against “big dogs” like the Magnum Research BFR.

I’ve had some previous experience with NAA’s little guns and am rather fond of them. My counterpart, Richard King, had no experience with them and thus gave it lower marks. But I am continually impressed with the quality, fit and finish of these little guns.

North American Arms Ranger II On the Range

Being an extremely small single-action design, the Ranger II, as with NAA’s other mini-revolvers, is challenging to shoot accurately. This is exacerbated by a small trigger and a hard trigger pull. Still, we both managed to shoot sub-2-inch groups from 10 feet or so.

Reloading the Ranger II is accomplished by activating the release just forward of the hammer and tilting the barrel and cylinder forward. When the cylinder is fully tilted forward, the extractor pulls the brass partially from the chamber. The empty brass must then be pulled out of the chambers before the Ranger II can be reloaded. This is not convenient or particularly fast.

Also, while rimfire cartridges can sometimes be unreliable, we experienced no issues when using CCI ammunition. This says a lot about a tiny gun that really fits in as a last-ditch defender. It’s the gun you’ll always have on you, and its reliability is the most important aspect.

For more information, please visit

North American Arms Ranger II Specifications

  • Caliber: .22 Magnum/.22 LR
  • Barrel: 1.63 inches
  • OA Length: 5.16 inches
  • Weight: 6.9 ounces (empty)
  • Grip: Rosewood
  • Sights: Front bead
  • Action: SA
  • Finish: Stainless
  • Capacity: 5
  • MSRP: $574

This article is from Ballistic’s Best 2018. To subscribe and see the rest of our winners, please visit

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