Arriving Thursday morning before NRAAM 2019, Dan and I dropped off our bags, slapped on our carry guns, and headed to a local range to meet up with Naroh Arms. They’re scant days away from shipping the first production runs of their N1 pistol, a sub-compact 9mm carry gun.
The N1 is a polymer-framed, extra-slim pistol with a 416 stainless steel slide and a 7075 aluminum internal chassis. It’s chambered in 9×19 and holds 7+1 rounds.
That distinctive red trigger is, in fact, the factory offering and is also 7075 aluminum with mil-spec hardcoat anodizing. The N1 is certainly a handsome little pocket gun and it feels fantastic in the hand.
Inside the N1 we find that aluminum chassis — serialized and removable — with nice, long slide rails. This explains some of why the slide-to-frame fit felt so precise. You may also notice the hammer. That’s right, primarily in the interest of maintaining an easy-to-rack slide with a softer recoil spring, Naroh went with an internal hammer design for the N1.
Which, as opposed to the vast majority of striker-fired designs, has the added benefit of a trigger pull-free takedown. Simply lock the slide back, rotate the takedown lever 90 degrees, and slide the slide off the front of the frame. Easy peasy.
On the range, Dan and I found the N1 easy to shoot and to shoot well. For its size, weight, and slim stature it’s a very smooth and soft-shooting pistol. Compared to my P365, the N1 is noticeably less snappy on recoil. It was also more accurate than I expected and quite easy to shoot accurately.
The Naroh Arms N1 ships with polymer sights that are crisper and of better quality than what I’m used to seeing in the plastic sight market. Of course, should you want to upgrade your sights you’ll find that the N1 is compatible with GLOCK 43-footprint sights. Which is handy, indeed.
That double action trigger pull is long, but smooth and lightweight. The hammer is partially cocked by the cycling of the slide so there isn’t too much work for the shooter to complete. The break is clean and crisp. For those who want a little more travel in their self-defense pistol’s trigger but don’t want the penalty of a heavy pull weight, this meets the bill.
Perhaps my only complaint about the Naroh N1 — and really it’s mostly a complaint of mine because I know it’s a perceived problem for some buyers — is that the trigger exhibits two “clicks” on the reset. There’s one about halfway out on the trigger release that is the internal firing pin safety resetting, not the trigger resetting, and if you pull the trigger rearward at this point nothing happens. Then there’s the actual trigger reset farther out.
When I first dry-fired the gun, I short-stroked it because I thought that first click was the reset. I think I did it one time on the range in the beginning when I was shooting slowly and carefully to get a feel for the gun. After that it simply isn’t something that would happen again. And if you’ve seen people shoot under stress, they almost always slap the living heck out of their triggers — finger pops off the trigger, slams into the front of the trigger guard, and gets back on.
I’d prefer a trigger that didn’t fake click on me, but this is a familiarity issue with a new gun that I don’t view as a self-defense scenario issue. Many DAO handguns exhibit this part-way-released first click, whether semi-auto or revolver. Opinions on whether this matters or not vary.
What doesn’t vary is that this was the only gripe Dan and I could come up with on the Naroh N1. By any measure it’s a high-quality, nicely-fitted, soft- and smooth-shooting, surprisingly accurate, reliable little gun. Skinny and lightweight, too.
That said, we only put 200-ish rounds through two guns, so this cannot be considered a full-on review. We’ll borrow one for further testing in a couple of weeks.
Oh, it should also be noted that the Naroh Arms N1 is made 100% in the U.S. of A. (even their plastic gun case is made in the U.S.) and carries an MSRP of just $399. Expected retail pricing will be more in the $360 range. That’s the pistol, two magazines, and the hard case. Not too shabby.
Keep an eye on these guys, and stay tuned for a full review next month.