PS1 410 Shotshell / 45 Colt Single-Shot "Pocket Shotgun" from Heizer Defense

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

February 12th, 2014


Click pictures for a larger version.









Ambidextrous barrel letch.







Heizer (left) compared to Bond Snake Slayer (right). Both are about the same size and weight, but the Heizer is thinner and flatter, while the Bond carries two rounds compared to the Heizer's one.







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.

Critical 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.

Chambering 45 Colt and 410 Shotshell
Weight 21.3 ounces
Height 3.81 inches
Length 5.6 inches
Frame Width 0.72 inches
Barrel Width 0.72 inches
Maximum Width 0.742 inches
Maximum Grip Width 0.72 inches
Trigger Pull DA 10.2 pounds
Trigger Reach 2.95 inches
Barrel Length 3.25 inches
Capacity 1 Shot
MSRP as of February 12, 2014 $499 US

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 shell carrier.

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 type.

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

To order quality 45 Colt and 410 shotshell ammunition, go to,,,  and

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.







Storage for two 45 Colt cartridges in the butt of the pistol.





Jeff's favorite ammunition for the Heizer pistol.



Winchester PDX-1 at five yards.



Federal four-pellet 000 Buck at five yards.