Heizer’s New Semi-Auto is the Thinnest Yet–SHOT Show 2016

Get a grip on the new Heizer PKO.

Get a grip on the new Heizer PKO. This one is mag-fed and only .8″ wide!

Check out Heizer: http://heizerdefense.com/

Buy a Heizer on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=heizer

Show of hands. How many of you have shot a Heizer? Don’t lie–I can tell. These little guns are bruisers. They’re an interesting breed. The break barreled designs allows for a lot of flexibility with caliber selection. The short barrels trim some velocity, and produce stunning pyrotechnic displays. The guns weigh in comparably with the polymer framed sub-compact, but are much thinner. In fact, I’d put them in a class all their own.

The original line-up of Heizer single shots. These come in some ass-kicking calibers, like .223.

The original line-up of Heizer single shots. These come in some ass-kicking calibers, like .223 and 7.62×39.

And for those of you who want to accessorize, they've got colors to choose from.

And for those of you who want to accessorize, they’ve got colors to choose from.

Well Heizer’s going to be making waves again late this summer with the launch of their semi-auto, mag fed .45 ACP. This will be instantly recognizable to Heizer fans. The gun isn’t that much bigger, really, but the lines have changed a bit to accommodate some of the moving parts. The end result is a pistol that is supposed to be easy on the hand. And take note here–I’m not saying easier on the hand–I’m saying this gun looks like it is going to be easy to shoot. We got a cell-phone sneak peak of shooting footage and muzzle rise is take, recoil looked to me easily managed, and the split times were respectable.

The PKO's fixed barrel sits low in the hand.

The PKO’s fixed barrel sits low in the hand.

And the frame slides back on this guide-rod.

And the frame slides back on this guide-rod.

Mag fed. 3-D printed prototype.

Mag fed. 3-D printed prototype.

Capacity with the extra grip goes from 5+1 to 7+1.

Capacity with the extra grip goes from 5+1 to 7+1.

What are the unknowns at this point? Reliability is almost always the first question for concealed carry guns. The old break barrel design offered almost guaranteed reliability. If the pin hit the shell correctly, it went bang. But what about with this new design? Heizer is currently doing a 5,000 round torture test to the prototype. Once that is finished, they’ll likely make any necessary tweaks. It operates form a fixed barrel with a blow-back action, so it may have an edge for accuracy, too (though I doubt that will really play into many buying decisions–this is a contact distance last resort type of gun).

If there’s one clear advantage that I see it is that the softer shooting semi will be easier to train with. Training is key. Don’t forget it.

We’ll bring you updates on pricing when we have the information, so stay tuned. The guns are currently slated for an August launch.

Real sights.

Real sights.

Adjustable, even.

Adjustable, even.

This pin pops out to allow for the slide to come off.

This pin pops out to allow for the slide to come off.

Ambidextrous safety.

Ambidextrous safety.

It opens from both sides.

It opens from both sides.

The whole package is compact enough to fit in a pocket.

The whole package is compact enough to fit in a pocket.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Robert Smith February 9, 2017, 2:03 pm

    Size and weight are not much different from the other single-stack small 45ACP pistols like the XDS, CW45, Glock 36, new Shield 45. The big difference I see is that as a blow-back, the Heizer is probably going to fire from an unlocked breech. It’s doable, as High Point as proved, but requires a heavy slide and heavy recoil spring. This gun looks like it does not have either. So how do they keep the case in the chamber long enough for the pressure to drop? Gas delay like the Walther CCP? Does not look like it from the photos. If Heizer really has figured out a way to make a compact blow-back 45 ACP that really works they might be on to something.

  • TGugs February 8, 2016, 10:33 pm

    Currently reinforcing my shorts with kevlar and suspenders to hold my shorts pocket up to this heavyweight 28oz . Cool idea, just hope its well tested (not just by design engineers either) . But than again you know how that goes…..recall. If price is reasonable I’d get one.

  • fred February 1, 2016, 7:55 pm

    a long time ago i did read somthing i never forgot,,,,you may never need a gun but when you do, you need it real bad,,,,i usually carry a tiny 9 shot 22. i sure can ripoff 9 in a second or two and wouldnt want to be on the receving end of the,,,,and i dont missat 10 feet, lots of practice . but this little 45 may change my carry gun.

  • Jim Wegman January 28, 2016, 2:42 pm

    I’d rather have a boil on my butt than own that ridiculous looking “gun”!

  • Mikial January 26, 2016, 5:43 pm

    Well, for what it’s worth, a couple of thoughts.

    It’s fine with me to have a larger bore pocket gun for a last resort, because if you’re in that situation you really want something bigger than a .32 or .380. And I’m impressed that with the extension you can actually carry 7+1 .45 ACP in a pocket gun, as long as you have a big enough pocket to accommodate the extended grip. Although, with the extended grip you’d need a fairly big pocket to fit it and without it you’d be lucky to hang on the the pistol.

    On the other hand, it really is a last resort gun because I doubt you could hit anything further than 5 feet away especially under serious duress. As for “training is key” as the author says, I would be surprised if very many people are going to go to a range and do much training with this thing because it would hurt. Probably quite a bit. To be honest, I’m not sure why they bother with an adjustable rear sight.

    Bottom line, I think reliability is going to be the biggest factor in whether this is practical or not. A break action generally works, but autos have to be just right to be something you are willing to bet your life on. The other thing is cost. The Heizer break actions are up around $430, which is enough to buy a lot of more practical guns.

  • Bulldogbrindle January 26, 2016, 5:36 pm

    OMG! I cringe on every second shot using a .44 Mag. I cut my teeth on my Dad’s WW11 1911 and I can’t believe the intention to use the AR & AK rounds due to the recoil and tremendous range. Nope, I believe I’ll sit this one out while I hide and watch.

    • John Bibb January 26, 2016, 8:16 pm

      HI BDB–As you point out–the recoil will beYUGE! As far as the range–probably not so much! Most of the powder will be still burning as the bullet moves away. The fireball will be HUMONGOUS!
      This may be more like a flame thrower than a pistol! Barbecued perp.
      John Bibb

  • Pat Bass January 26, 2016, 5:19 pm

    Grip too short … not a stable grip … extend grip and add rounds to magazine.

  • Abnormal January 26, 2016, 2:57 pm

    Nothing to hold on to. In .45ACP that would kick like a mule.

  • Chil January 26, 2016, 2:43 pm

    The .45apc AMT Back Up that I have fired packs some sting to the target and the shooter alike. I am interested in how this Heizer preforms especially in terms of felt recoil and reliability. I like the idea of a .45 cal pocket pistol. In a close range encounter, you don’t want to rely on shot placement to get the job done. Heizer may be on to something here.

  • Dave Brown January 26, 2016, 2:21 pm

    I have to add to my rant. One guy, or should I say at least one guy complained, about the safety. I like safeties. I have hunted for 48 years always with a safety. I will not hunt with you if you don’t use your safety. I prefer Pistols with a safety, but own many that do not have one IE my Kahr’s and the little Sig. This pistol I assume and the photos show is setup as a short and light pull striker fired pistol which would be totally Un-Safe without a Safety. Striker’s have been around for 100 years, but in the old days they all had a safety. Please keep the above mentioned guy away from me at all times, and I don’t care what he is carrying, his brain is Un-Safe. Dave

  • Dave Brown January 26, 2016, 2:09 pm

    Ye Of Little Faith. If you have shot one of these, or the Double Tap brand, you will know they are very easy to shoot, quick and close to point of aim on the followup shot, and very painful, wear a glove, or wrap the grip with bike inter-tube like I did with mine. Enough said. I will be watching and yes I am interested. I have a number of small carry hand guns, started about 40 years ago, and now have a Solo, a Sig 290, a Kahr CM9, and others. I carry a Kahr PM40 that I got a steal on. Yes I will be watching this little palm beater and when I get a steal on one it might be in my pocket. I have a few AMT, Llama (Think Para Worthog type), and Taurus pistols, all super small 45acp, all great shooters and carry guns, but this little fireball will be very interesting to say the least. So Ye Of Little Faith, find a way to try one or just man up and buy one, enjoy. Dave

  • Jims Collectibles & Fitearms January 26, 2016, 1:31 pm


  • Bob Smith January 26, 2016, 1:10 pm

    Why not make this in a slightly less ridiculous caliber like .380 or maybe 9mm? At least then it won’t be regarded as a joke from the get-go.

  • Lloyd January 26, 2016, 12:52 pm

    Guns along with airplanes have to look good to shoot good and fly well and SELL. This one does not show well. My 1911’s are hard enough to shoot well this thing is nigh well goiing to be impossible to shoot easy enough to engender confidence.

  • Bob Anderson January 26, 2016, 11:47 am

    The Springfield XDS 3.3 or the Kahr P9 is as small as i want to go in the 9 or 45 . Carrying my XDS 3.3 45 acp at the moment

  • Norm Fishler January 26, 2016, 11:36 am

    When you tell us that no pricing is available as of yet and have no video clips to show us, all I can see and hear are red flags waving with sirens blaring. Although I have never shot one, I have talked to enough guys who have shot the ‘Backup’ in .45 to know by looking at the pictures provided that this is going to be a brutal little beast. I’ll stick with my S&W M642.

  • George Bill January 26, 2016, 11:12 am

    It’s a silly idea that won’t sell. Just what the world needed, a cannon/flamethrower, with a grip you can’t hold onto, and a safety on the grip.

  • Randy Hays January 26, 2016, 11:03 am

    So I can break my hand in some Different places? 🙂

  • Capn_Stefano January 26, 2016, 10:45 am

    No thanks, I’ll stick with my KAHR 45 for my backup gun

  • Frank January 26, 2016, 10:07 am

    It comes in calibers 5.45×45 and 7.62×39? You would start the person you’re shooting at on fire with that short of a barrel!

    I think I might have to look into one of these, the ultimate torture devise for your adversary/bad-guy. LOL

  • Gary January 26, 2016, 9:35 am

    I have full size 45 Officer, double stack 40 & 45, and a Llama 380 (Old 1/2 size 45) I carry the 380 and the 45 Officer the most. The 380 shoots excellently by the way with my reloads and XTP”s. The Officer is a Citadel and shoot 1 1/4 at 10 yds all day long.

  • Dash January 26, 2016, 9:00 am

    I understand the point of the two shot version, but not really this semi-auto… If your looking for a powerful tiny gun look to the Kahr CM/PM 40

  • Cyrus January 26, 2016, 8:39 am

    Pure Silliness!

    • Jed January 26, 2016, 12:02 pm

      “Pure Silliness”? quite a statement… Backed up by what? Aren’t you going to be like the rest of the silly twats who name off their much (and in many cases ridiculously so) bigger alternatives? A gun of this size has it’s place in the conceal carry world, it is not a “back-up” gun, it is not anything but what it is designed to be.. a very powerful last resort pocket gun. Shoot one, you’ll know what is meant by last resort. But be caught in a situation when you wish you had one seems sillier yet.

  • BNewlun January 26, 2016, 7:49 am

    I believe they are referring to the recoil compared to the “Double Tap version. And for those that are fans…. Another version is always welcomed. Why would some one carry this compared to the baby bangers? Size matters, 45 compared to a 380 in basically the same physical size gun. When you are in a position to use it. It would be up close and personal. Stopping the other side is the key…

  • Robert Kraker January 26, 2016, 7:47 am

    Has a price been mentioned for this small concealed carry?

  • William Gendron January 26, 2016, 7:25 am

    Keep me informed

  • Steve K January 26, 2016, 7:17 am

    Interesting for sure. I love mouse guns and BIG bores!

  • D.K. January 26, 2016, 7:13 am

    I agree with Chief’s observation, I don’t see any reason why anyone would carry this gun over the hundreds of other micro pistols on the market. Also looks like the grip is too small to get any kind of of control or accuracy especially in a 45 acp caliber. Also I think The looks of the gun leave a lot to be desired.

    • ewic January 26, 2016, 9:28 am

      it’s a ten-foot gun…

  • Thomas Hofius January 26, 2016, 7:00 am

    I have a grendel G-10 in 380 I have had since the early 80s and carry as my last resort. It can make your hand sting for an hour after 2-3 rounds but I carry it because of the size and not as an easy to shoot target gun. It holds 10 in an imternal spring fed non removable magazine. Unloading is a pain since the grip is the magazine and does not have a floor plate.

  • Chief January 26, 2016, 6:28 am

    Why??? I can stick a Kahr 9mm in my pocket and forget about it it rides so easy .In.223 or 7.62 is a complete waste in a short barrel other than maybe a flame thrower .I don’t see any value to this gun at all .

  • Nicholas Cagnole January 26, 2016, 5:35 am

    What’s the weight on the Heizer?

  • AT January 26, 2016, 3:56 am

    Interesting concept, similar in configuration to the S & W model 61 and 422/622/2200 series .22 semiautos of years past, with the barrel below the recoil spring.

  • AJ's guns January 26, 2016, 3:28 am

    looks good so far, be curious to get some range time with one

  • James January 25, 2016, 11:34 pm

    As a blowback-operated semi auto, I bet that the recoil will not be “softer shooting”.

    • Gordyvt January 26, 2016, 6:43 am

      copy that!!

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