In our review a few weeks ago on the Double
Tap derringer, I made a brief mention that we would soon be
reviewing a single-shot 410/45 Colt pistol that is of the same
design, and that Heizer Defense "Pocket Shotgun" is
the subject of this review. I had seen and handled the Heizer
45/410 pistol before, but we only do reviews after we get to
spend some time firing the weapon, and the past few days have
been spent doing just that.
The "Pocket Shotgun" pistol is made
by Heizer Defense in Pevely, Missouri. The Heizer pistol is made
primarily of stainless steel. The pistol shown here is finished
in a matte black, but other various colors are available as
well. The machining, fit, and finish on this Pocket Shotgun are
flawless. The grip portion of the frame is textured with a
"HD" pattern for a secure grip, but is not aggressive
enough to be abrasive to the hand nor to clothing. The Heizer
pistol is thin, measuring less than three-quarters of an inch
thick at its widest point, making it the flattest 45 Colt/410
pistol on the market. This flat profile allows the pistol to be
carried in a pants pocket almost undetectably. The Heizer pistol
can fire any standard-pressure 45 Colt or any 2.5 inch 410
shotshell ammunition. The trigger pull on the Heizer pistol is
very smooth, with the resistance increasing until let-off at
just over ten pounds, but it feels more like seven pounds to me.
The edges on the pistol are rounded and smooth, much like a used
bar of soap, making the pistol completely snag-free.
specifications for the Heizer pistol are listed in the chart
below. The weight is listed in ounces, and linear measurements
in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured at their
widest points. The maximum width is measured across the
ambidextrous barrel latches. The double-action trigger pull on
the Pocket Shotgun stacks before releasing, but was very smooth
and reliable. The trigger pull is listed as pounds of
resistance, as measured on my Lyman digital scale, and
double-checked on my RCBS mechanical trigger pull scale.
||45 Colt and 410 Shotshell
|Maximum Grip Width
|Trigger Pull DA
|MSRP as of February 12, 2014
Shooting the Heizer pistol proved the weapon
to be very reliable. There were no failures to fire with any
type of ammunition tested, and the extractor never failed to
lift the fired cartridge case from the chamber, making for easy
extraction. The butt of the pistol has a storage compartment
that accommodates two 45 Colt cartridges, but extra 410
shotshells must be carried off the weapon, either in a pocket or
The Heizer pistol is very effective, and
patterns well, shooting 410 defensive shotshells from the seven
yard line. This pistol is built for up-close-and-personal
defense, and for that purpose, a load of 000 buckshot or the
combo Winchester PDX-1 load are good choices. For a pistol to
repel carjackers, this Heizer loaded with birdshot would be very
effective at arms-length. A face full of birdshot should make
anyone who jerks open a car door change his mind quickly. The
Heizer pistol is a point-and-shoot weapon. There are no safeties
to manipulate, nor a hammer to cock before firing. Just point
the pistol and pull the trigger. For distances past a couple of
yards, the Heizer has pretty decent sights for a weapon of this
Felt recoil can get to be painful after
shooting several rounds of heavy 45 Colt or 410 shotshell
ammunition. For the purpose for which this weapon is designed -
personal defense - recoil is not a concern, but for long
sessions, the Heizer is not for the novice. While the pistol
does not tend to jump in the hand, the recoil impulse is focused
on the area between the thumb and trigger finger, and that area
has very little meat to cushion the recoil. The Heizer pistol
points very well for me. The thin profile and the angle of the
grip, make the pistol a natural pointer.
The Heizer pistol will be compared with the Bond
Arms, which has been on the market for a couple of decades
now, so we might as well do that comparison right here. Each has
its advantages, compared to the other. Both are the same overall
height and length, and weigh within one-half ounce of the other.
The Heizer is thinner, flatter, and faster on the first shot.
The Bond has two barrels, so it is quicker on the second shot,
and it will shoot either 2.5 or 3 inch shells. The Heizer
handles 2.5 inch shells only. Both also fire the 45 Colt
cartridge. The Bond is more comfortable to fire. The choice, if
you can't buy both, depends upon your priorities. The Heizer
hides better in a pocket, but again, has only one barrel.
However, the Heizer is a point-and-shoot. The Bond requires the
hammer to be manually cocked before firing. Both are about the
same price, comparing the Heizer to the popular Snake
Slayer from Bond. The Bond also has many different barrel
sets available to chamber other cartridges, but the Heizer is
new to the market, and will likely have other barrels available
later. Again, each has its advantages over the other, and the
choice just depends upon the buyer's needs.
As mentioned above, the Heizer Pocket Shotgun
is very reliable, and it puts the shot load where it is pointed.
There is a short section of rifling near the muzzle, which
serves to stabilize 45 Colt bullets well, with accuracy suitable
for any close-range defensive situation. For 45 Colt loads, I
really like the Buffalo Bore Standard Pressure lead-bullet load.
This load throws a 255 grain semi-wadcutter bullet at about 850
feet-per-second from the Heizer's short barrel. For social work
however, I prefer the Winchester PDX-1 load, which has a payload
of twelve BB-sized plated lead pellets, along with three plated
flat disks. For carrying to dispatch venomous snakes, a
load of number 8 birdshot will shred a snake at any distance in
which he might pose a threat.
Check out the Heizer "Pocket
Shotgun" pistol online at www.heizerdefense.com.
order quality 45 Colt and 410 shotshell ammunition, go to www.midsouthshooterssupply.com,
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