Heizer Defense to Sell Pocket Sniper, Pocket AK Pistols

Heizer Defense Pocket Sniper
The Heizer Pocket Sniper and Pocket AK will likely look very similar to the Pocket AR pictured here.

After launching the single-shot .410/.45 Colt pistol and so-called Pocket AR, Heizer Defense is expanding their line of tiny break-action handguns to include two new rifle calibers.

According to several dealers, Heizer will introduce guns called “Pocket Sniper” and “Pocket AK” in 2015. The names suggest the calibers they will be chambered in.

Let’s take a look…


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?


Heizer Defense Pistol Images

Heizer Defense pistol

At the 2012 NASGW Expo, Heizer Defense was spreading the word that they would be introducing a small pistol in the near future.  Jim Bruchas, the director of sales for Heizer Defense, suggested the new gun would be very similar to the DoubleTap pistol they had been contracted to produce for DoubleTap Defense before that relationship soured.

Here are the photos of the new Heizer Defense pistol.

As you can see, the new Heizer handgun bears a striking resemblance to the DoubleTap pistol.  Frankly, other than a few minor cosmetic blemishes, I cannot see much of a difference.

At the NASGW Expo, Bruchas told me that the DoubleTap pistol was uncomfortable to shoot, and that an ergonomic change would be made to improve the handling and reduce felt recoil.  Presumably, a change in the  backstrap area of the gun might accomplish this.  From the images, it is hard to tell if any significant modification was made.


Heizer Defense vs DoubleTap Defense

Heizer Defense logo It looks like there is a storm brewing in one corner of the firearms industry. Let me explain…

I was sitting outside the main hall at the 2012 NASGW Expo working on an article when I was approached by a man asking if I was in the media. When I said “yes,” the man introduced himself as Jim Bruchas, the director of sales for Heizer Defense. The next few minutes reminded me that even in such a friendly industry as the gun business, feelings can get hurt and egos bruised.

For those not already familiar, Heizer Defense was, until recently, associated with DoubleTap Firearms, the developers of the DoubleTap two-shot pistol. DoubleTap Firearms issued a press release in October announcing a parting of ways between the two companies, stating that Heizer’s “…inability to manufacture the DoubleTap pistol…” prompted the split. After the split, DoubleTap Firearms changed names to DoubleTap Defense and partnered with Azimuth Technology to make the DoubleTap pistol.