Heizer Defense got our attention with the introduction of the PKO-45 several years ago. We were anxious to get out paws on it back then for a full review. As we were following last year’s SHOT Show. But it wasn’t quite ready for prime time. Excellent news. Now it is ready. The wait is over! The PKO-45 is shipping to a dealer near you.
The PKO is a very different style of firearm, reflecting Heizer’s heritage as an aerospace firm. At .8-inches wide, it is the thinnest .45 ACP on the market. At a time when almost everyone else has switched to plastic, Heizer has doubled down on stainless steel.
The most unique feature of the PKO-45, which explains why it looks like it does, is the recoil system. The recoil spring mechanism is on top of the barrel, not underneath it. This allows the lowest possible bore-axis, and the use of a fixed barrel. Ideally, this should improve a shooter’s ability to put lead on target, especially during follow-up shots as muzzle rise is at a minimum.
- Frame: Aerospace-Grade Stainless Steel
- Width: .8″ wide
- Caliber: .45 ACP
- Capacity: 4/5+1 Flush Mag/7+1 Extended Mag
- Weight: 28 ounces
- Safety: Ambi
- Action: Single/Internal Hammer
- Cost: $700 (Street price)
The controls are familiarly placed. But they do feel a bit different. I imagine it will take some time adjusting. Not too long, though.
The PKO features a thumb safety, though it is very thin, keeping with the lines of the gun. In place of a beavertail safety is a grip safety located on the front strap, like an extra trigger. It’s intuitive to engage. The slide has some mass to it but is extremely easy to rack.
Overall, the gun weighs 25 ounces or about the same as an XDE. Not bad for an all steel .45 ACP.
Coming soon, a 9mm PKO! Heizer had a 9mm prototype on display. Maybe we’ll see it by the second quarter of this year. Fingers crossed.
Aesthetically, both guns look like extras from a Steam Punk movie, and I am looking forward to field testing them. Very much so.
We’ll have to confirm the MSRP of the PKO-45. UPDATE: Official MSRP for the PKO-45 is $899. But I’m seeing them listed on GunsAmerica right now for as low as $769.50. While you may bristle at the price tag, remember this is an all steel pistol.
For more information on Heizer products, visit HeizerDefense.com.