The .32 NAA Conversion for the Makarov Pistol

This page remains on our website for Informational purposes ONLY, we no longer carry or plan to restock any of the items mentioned below.

What is the .32 NAA ?



At the 2002 NRA Convention in Reno, NV, the partnership of North American Arms (NAA) and Cor-Bon Ammunition introduced the .32NAA, a new cartridge and gun combination designed for the law enforcement (backup) and personal protection markets.  “As the only caliber to exceed 1000 feet per second [muzzle velocity] from a pocket pistol, we expect the .32NAA to attract some attention,” said Sandy Chisholm, NAA’s president.  When asked about production plans and availability, Chisholm responded that both firms had already begun production and shipments to distributors from both factories were scheduled for the first week of May 2002.

The .32NAA was built from the foundation of an ordinary .380ACP case, necked-down to house a .32 caliber bullet.  Behind the neck, all case dimensions and configurations, including the extractor groove, rimless case, cartridge diameter and bolt face engagement are identical to the .380ACP.  Cor-Bon determined that a headspace on the shoulder allowed a solid crimp on the bullet, reducing the possibility of the bullet pushing into the case from recoil and chambering.  After finalizing a case design which maximized case capacity of the cartridge as well as allowing sufficient case neck so that a bullet would be held securely, Cor-Bon spent several months testing a wide variety of bullets of different weights and configurations, finally settling upon a proprietary design from Hornady.  The platform for this new system is the .380ACP Guardian, appropriately bored and chambered for this cartridge – no other mechanical changes were found necessary. (above information courtesy of the NAA and Corbon Websites)

.32 NAA Guardian Pistol

·  Caliber: .32 NAA

·  Magazine Capacity: 6+1

·  Operation: Double Action Only

·  Material: 17-4 pH stainless steel

·  Barrel Length: 2.49"

·  Height: 3.53"

·  Overall Length: 4.75"

·  Width: 0.930"

·  Weight: 18.72 ozs. unloaded

·  Suggested Retail Price: $449.00

·  Trigger Pull: 10.0 LBS.

·  Accessories Included:  spare magazine, pistol pouch with belt clip, IWB holster, trigger lock.

·  Must be purchased through an FFL dealer, contact your local dealer or gun shop and North American Arms began working on the Makarov conversion barrels for this hot little round, with some ground work done by North American Arms, in Feb of 2003 at the 2003 Shot Show in Orlando, Florida.

The two completed Makarov pistols shown below were assembled by George Fisher, and included a custom built two tone 8rd Makarov with a stock length barrel, and a stock Russian IJ70-17AH (originally .380 ACP, Hi Cap) that only had the barrel changed out, and a new recoil spring installed.

Custom .32 NAA Makarov (Left), IJ70-17AH converted to .32 NAA (center), Muzzle view comparison of .32 NAA and 9x18 Makarov Barrels (right)


The original factory ammunition, for testing, was provided by Cor-Bon, by way of Ken Friel of North American Arms, and consisted of a 60 JHP at a quoted 1200 fps out of the cartridges original pistol, the North American Arms Guardian.

Makarov Performance Overview

First off, I gotta say, this setup performs much better than I could have hoped for. After a few rounds to figure out the proper recoil spring weight, both pistols worked flawlessly, feeding and ejecting without a hitch. Due to the limited ammo available for testing, the data is not as extensive as I would have liked (and it was a ball shooting it) but that will change when the next batch of ammo arrives, along with some handload data when the dies arrive.

The recoil is not as stout as the Makarov in 9x18, more like a .380 ACP recoil, however the muzzle blast and flash were more along the lines of a tame CZ-52. Accuracy was good considering the limited amount of shooting we got to do today, with Karl turning in the best group with 5rds in a nice 3 1/2 inch group fired @ 7yds.

Later testing turned up groups as small as 2 inches at 15yds (I think the barrel needed a few rounds to break in)

The velocity champ was the Extreme Shock 60 gr "Fang Face" load, which clocked an outstanding 1817 fps from the extended length Makarov barrel.

Below is a chart of various test results:



Cartridge Make

Test Pistol

Barrel Length

Bullet Weight & Type

Average Velocity

Extreme Spread

Standard Devation


Free Recoil

Drop @ 50yds


Test 1

.32 NAA




60 gr JHP

1444.2 FPS

91.0 FPS

29.8 FPS

277.8 ft-lbs

2.4 ft-lbs

2.1 inchs


Test 2

.32 NAA




60 gr JHP

1491 FPS

69.0 FPS

22.2 FPS

296.1 ft-lbs

2.5 ft-lbs

2.0 inchs

Best group 2 inches @ 15 yds

Test 3

9x18 Makarov

Tiger / Barnual



95 gr JHP

1060 FPS

53.0 FPS

21.9 FPS

237.0 ft-lbs

3.4 ft-lbs

3.9 inchs


Test 4

9x18 Makarov

Silver Bear / LVE



120 gr JHP

997.6 FPS

53.0 FPS

15.9 FPS

265.1 ft-lbs

4.6 ft-lbs

4.4 inchs


Test 5

9x18 Makarov

Handload / Target Load



100 gr LRN

861.7 FPS

57.5 FPS

20.0 FPS

164.9 ft-lbs

2.5 ft-lbs

5.9 inchs

Light target load

Test 6

.32 NAA


NAA Guardian


60 gr JHP

 1221 FPS

42.0  FPS

  20.1 FPS

 198.6 ft-lbs

 1.8 ft-lbs

 3.0 inches

3.5 inch 6 shot group @ 7yds

Test 7

.32 NAA

Extreme Shock

NAA Guardian


60 gr Fang Face

  1309 FPS



228.3 ft-lbs 

2.0 ft-lbs 

2.6 inches 


Test 8

.32 NAA

Extreme Shock



60 gr Fang Face

1817 FPS 

18.0 FPS 

  9.5 FPS

  439.9 ft-lbs

  3.1 ft-lbs

1.4 inches 



Other tests performed with the .32 NAA Corbon 60gr JHP:
Penetration of water was about 14 inches, with Total Expansion of the bullet. (see picture)
Penetration of 3/4 Plywood with a pine 2x4 backing, Total penetration of both.

.32 NAA one gallon water jug shoot, download the video clip (yes, George forgot to put on his safety glasses...bad George, bad!)

32 NAA video in .mpg format (2.67 MB) - .32 NAA video in .wmv format (1.41 MB)

The Conversion Process, How hard is it ?

Changing the barrel on the Makarov is a fairly simple and straight forward process. See the online website for more info on this process. There are a few changes that are made when installing the .32 NAA Conversion barrels, due to the smaller bore diameter. The removal process is the same, but the normal practice upon installing the new barrel is to use a threaded rod through the center of the barrel to pull the new barrel in place. There has been some discussion in the past if this practice would damage or mark the rifling. George Fisher of devised a way to use the standard barrel press to push the new barrel in place, without use of any tooling intruding into the chamber or rifling of the new barrel.

The Barrel press is reversed and a spacer block is used between the rear of the barrel and the muzzle block, and the nuts tighten down evenly to push the new barrel in place. See Picture. This process can also be used with any caliber Makarov barrel. A standard socket can be used as the spacer, or one will be included with purchase of the .32 NAA barrels upon request. Once the new barrel is installed, the barrel pin hole must be drilled with a #31 drill bit, and can be done with a standard hand drill.

All other parts of the Makarov remain the same, including the extractor and Magazines.

Handloading the .32 NAA:

Reloading Dies

Currently reloading dies for the .32 NAA are being custom made by Lee Precision, and can be ordered directly from them.


Once fired brass can be used for reloads of course, and is the best choice for the proper headstamp. The good news is that since the .32 NAA is just a necked down .380 ACP case, brass can be made by just lubing .380 ACP brass and running it through the .32 NAA sizing die. Use of new brass is recommended for this, unless you know the history of the used brass you have on hand. 

Bullet Selection

Just about any bullet suitable for reloading the .32 ACP will work for the .32 NAA. These include the popular 60 grain Jacketed Hollow Points, the 71 grain FMJ, 76 grain FMJ, and various cast bullets in the same bullet weight range.

Reloading Data -  We have two PDF Files available for download, right click and "Save As" to your computer

AccuLoad .32 NAA Load Data for Speer 60gr JHP

Bullseye Powder Load Data for Various Bullets