The concealed carry market is crowded. Pocket guns are one of the fastest-growing segments of the firearms industry, and there’s no sign of slowing down. (Even Mossberg – Mossberg! – offers a subcompact 9mm, for crying out loud.) In such a dense environment, Standard Manufacturing’s new S333 Thunderstruck stands out. For better or worse, the Thunderstruck isn’t a gun you’re likely to see every day, and I’ve had a blast putting it through its paces.
The first things you’ll notice about this double-action-only revolver are the dual barrels chambered in 22 Magnum. But unlike a double-barreled shotgun, the Thunderstruck fires both cartridges simultaneously with a single pull of the trigger. This, according to the company, allows for quicker, more effective shooting in a self-defense situation. Four trigger pulls should be faster than eight, no matter which gun you’re using.
I tested that theory and, as you can see in the video below, found that it depends on the gun and your proficiency with it (probably more the latter than the former). The Thunderstruck isn’t far and away faster, but it is faster – and those milliseconds might end up saving your life.
Discounting the draw, here’s how the Thunderstruck stacks up against a Springfield Armory XDS and a Taurus TX22:
- Thunderstruck (8 shots): 1.3 seconds
- XDS (8 shots): 1.5 seconds
- Taurus TX22 (8 shots): 1.25
I’m not the fastest shooter, but my results should be relatively true for you. In other words, if you’re a fast shooter, you’ll shoot both guns faster, but their relative speeds should be about the same. If you shoot eight rounds from an XDS in X seconds, you should (with practice) be able to shoot the Thunderstruck in -X seconds.
The second thing you’ll notice about the Thunderstruck is the trigger. The dual finger grooves are designed to pull the ultra-heavy firing mechanism, and the lack of an under-guard (bottom guard?) might look like a safety concern. I found that the weight of the trigger combined with the articulating trigger safety makes accidental discharge unlikely. Still, it’s not something I would want to pocket carry without some kind of trigger holster.
The heavy trigger is one of the gun’s most important safety features, but it also slows down quick follow-up shots. The trigger pull is also extremely long. The need to fully reset the trigger in order to properly cycle/rotate the cylinder adds even more time to the firing process. This is a concern with any double-action-only revolver, but the Thunderstruck’s trigger is especially challenging. I included some footage of me running into this problem in the video below.
I want to be clear: my struggle speed shooting wasn’t due to a failure of the firearm. The Thunderstruck performed exactly as designed. You might question that design, but, as I say in the video, practice will undoubtedly increase speed.
The Thunderstruck’s accuracy is about what you’d expect from a gun with a 1.25” barrel shooting a cartridge designed for rifles. Mine shot about three inches high at three yards, and the fixed sights mean that I’m stuck using Kentucky windage (or, in this case, elevation). Many of the rounds tumble, and beyond five yards the groups open up so much that I wouldn’t be comfortable using it anywhere except a shooting range.
Still, the Thunderstruck shoots a perfectly acceptable group at the distance it’s designed for: namely, three yards or less. Standard Manufacturing named the Thunderstruck the S333 because they wanted to build a gun around the theory that most self-defense situations take place in three shots or less, in three seconds or less, and from three yards or less. The Thunderstruck is tailor-made for that type of scenario. Firing eight rounds in under three seconds isn’t difficult, and it’ll hit what you’re aiming at within three yards.
You might question whether the 22 Magnum is a suitable self-defense cartridge. I can’t say I’m 100% sold myself. But it’s certainly better than nothing, and if you put the rounds in the right place, I can’t see any type of threat sticking around to find out how many more rounds the Thunderstruck holds.
Check out my full review in the video below.
|Caliber||.22 Win Mag|
|Barrel Length||1 ¼|
|Cylinder Material||4140 Steel|
|System||Double Barrel Double Action Revolver, Two Rounds Fired With Each Pull of the Trigger|
|Frame Material||7075 Aircraft Grade Aluminum with Anodized Finish|
|Safety||Integral Articulated Trigger Safety, Transfer Bar Blocks Firing Pins From Hammers|
|Barrel Material||4140 Steel|