Heizer Defense .410 Pocket Shotgun

Heizer HD1 pistol
Image of the HD1 courtesy of Heizer Defense via Twitter.

Heizer Defense is developing a single shot pistol they call the HD1 Pocket Shotgun.  The pistol is chambered to fire both 45 Colt and .410 bore shotgun shells like the Taurus Judge.  Unlike the Judge, the HD1 is smaller, flatter and fires…well…only one shot.

From a tactical standpoint, I would never recommend anyone rely on a single shot firearm for self defense.  I don’t care what caliber it is, or even if it uses mercury-filled, exploding-tip kryptonite rounds.  Relying on a one shot stop is poor tactical doctrine.  But, does that mean this handgun doesn’t have a place in someone’s self defense arsenal?

I could possibly see carrying this as a third pistol.  As a backup, I’d prefer a five-shot Smith & Wesson J-frame as a minimum.  This would make a decent contact weapon since there is no slide that could be pushed out of battery.  But then, my J-frame covers that specific shot pretty well too.

I am amused by the fact they are calling it a “pocket shotgun.”  If I understand the legal ramifications of the production of these types of firearms, the barrel has to be rifled to avoid being labeled a shotgun and the 18″ barrel requirement.  While I understand the marketing angle, technically it cannot be a shotgun unless the company goes all NFA with it.  According to the Heizer Defense Facebook page, they are currently testing rifling with a 1:10 LH twist with six grooves.

The pistol will be available in both a stainless steel frame and in a titanium frame.  The butt of the gun opens, allowing for the storage of two .45 Colt cartridges.  The pistols should be available this spring. The new guns should be at the SHOT Show.

Heizer Defense is also showing another pistol called the HD2.  The HD2 appears to be the same pistol they were developing with DoubleTap Defense.  It is chambered in either 9mm or .45 ACP.  The barrels swap out, allowing the shooter to change caliber as his or her taste dictates.

Even though the HD2 appears to offer twice the ammo capacity of the HD1, I still would not feel comfortable carrying it as a primary or backup weapon.  Your mileage, of course, may vary.

What are your thoughts?  Is a single, or even double, shot 45 Colt/410 handgun a viable self defense option for you?  Under what circumstances?

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

5 replies on “Heizer Defense .410 Pocket Shotgun”

The single barreled “shotgun” is a waste of metal. At the very least they could have made it a double-barreled “derringer” like the ones Bond Arms cranks out by the thousands.

Good point. Personally I think Ray Kohout’s offering would be a better choice than this. Those Bond Arms guns always looked cool, but they’re so friggin heavy you might as well have a glock 36 in your pocket.

If you feel your life is only worth one shot, then by all means go for it.
Me, I’ll just continue to carry my real guns and spare mags.

Stupid concept. Oh, and how soon before DoubleTap sues the crap out of them for stealing the original design?

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