The North American Arms Corporation
was developed to meet Canadian
requirements for a service handgun
in the aftermath of World War II
. It was based largely on the FN GP35 Hi-Power self-loading pistol
of 1935, but scaled up significantly. Whereas the Hi-Power used the 9 mm Para
cartridge, the NAACO Brigadier used a new long-case .45" round of much greater power than the then-standard .45 ACP
. With a standard bullet, the .45 NAACO cartridge could produce muzzle velocities of up to , or almost twice as fast as the .45 ACP. In order to keep weight down, the pistol used an aluminium
slide, but still weighed more than four pounds, unloaded. Its box magazine could carry eight rounds of ammunition. A removable trigger module allowed for a fully automatic configuration, complete with an attachable butt-stock. This would produce a sub-machine gun
configuration called the Borealis.
Collapse and aftermath
In the end, the project fell victim to NATO
standardization, and the company folded in 1952. Only prototypes were built, and the weapon never entered service; the Brigadier's rarity makes it pricey on the gun market. It is unlikely that it would have seen much success in any event, as military doctrine of the day would have roundly criticized the adoption of such a heavy service sidearm. However, given the success of the Desert Eagle
in recent years, it may be that the Brigadier was simply before its time, and presented to the wrong market.
The .45 NAACO... Read More