SHOT Show 2013: Heizer Unveils Pocket Shotgun and Their Own .45 Derringer (VIDEO)

We here at have itchy trigger fingers for the pocket sized .45 known to most of us as The DoubleTap.  The idea of firing a double-barreled .45 ACP that fits in the palm of your hand is a bit sadistic, but we like a little pain now and then.

And if you did a DoubleTap double-take when you saw the new Heizer Defense HD2, you’re not alone.  The original DoubleTap was a joint venture between Heizer and DoubleTap Defense.

double tap vs heizer comparison

We’d heard that DoubleTap and Heizer had split.  We knew that there was a lawsuit filed by DoubleTap, suing Heizer.  And now we can all see why.

Ray Kohout of DoubleTap Defense is the brains behind the undersized pocket-rocket.  Heizer was contracted to make the guns.

I’m not passing judgement, mind you.  That isn’t my job.  Until the matter is decided by people who are compensated for making difficult and binding decisions, I’m going to sit on the fence.  But I do know that someone has copied someone.  That much is obvious.

And we missed the Heizer booth at the SHOT Show this year.  I sought out DoubleTap personally, but had missed the news that Heizer would be there with guns.  My bad.  We even covered that news here on  Lucky for me, there were others there with cameras.

Youtube user chaos311clarity managed to catch Tom Heizer at the Heizer booth, and shot this video.  Heizer seems a little camera shy, but gives the basic information on the two offerings from his company.

I love this exchange in the comments section.  It expresses how a lot of us feel.

a heizer gun

That pretty much says it all.  “Wait what?”  We’re grateful Mr. Chaos got it on video, none the less.

Let’s Give Heizer a Fair Shake

The Heizer HD2 is a carbon copy of Ray Kohout’s Double Tap, which had been a joint project between DoubleTap and Heizer.  But, as we mentioned, there was a falling out.  Details on the lawsuit are scant, right now.

Rather than dwell on the really uncomfortable similarities between Heizer’s HD2 (above right), and the DoubleTap (the one that the two companies produced together–not to mention the prototypes DoubleTap is now making with Azimuth), let’stalk about what makes them different.

the heizer hd1 and hd2 side by side

The HD2 has a little finger rest nubbin thing on the trigger guard.

Now we’ll move on to the Heizer HD1 (above left).  The HD1 is a single barreled .410 in the style of the DoubleTap.  The size is similar.  The barrel is a touch longer than that of the HD2, and it looks a bit chopped to those of accustomed to seeing the DoubleTap.

This is a beast of a get-off-me gun.  While it would have no real effective range, it doesn’t need one.  This is designed to be used in extremely close quarters–as in point blank.  Heizer is calling it the Pocket Shotgun.

I have to back up here.  The Pocket Shotgun.   We know that short barreled shotguns require a mountain of paperwork and the blessing of the ATF.  Taurus and Smith & Wesson both make .410 revolvers with short (rifled, therefore legal) barrels.  But they don’t label them shotguns.

For what its worth, here is how Heizer has chosen to characterize their side of the conundrum.

NOVEMBER 7, 2012
TO: The Heizer Defense Community

We, the principals of Heizer Defense, LLC, want to assure the public that it remains committed to manufacturing firearms for the public that are: 1) safe; 2) the result of the state of the art technology; and 3) manufactured in the USA from the best available high grade materials.

As some of you may know, Heizer Defense intended to develop a business relationship with Ray Kohout and Marvin Dufner; however, that relationship never materialized, the most prominent reason for which was the economics proposed by them did not forecast a successful business relationship.

It has been an arduous and time consuming journey adapting space age technology to an old idea. A small firearm that contained ammunition in its handle has been around since World War II — millions of FP-45 “Liberator” pistols were dropped in France to combat the Germans. We have been working to make a double barrel pistol the smallest and lightest tactical firearm to be commercially manufactured for public distribution. The final experimental models, which Heizer Defense has actually produced, were much smaller and lighter than originally proposed. The efforts to achieve this caused delays in production. Since Heizer Defense was responsible for the final engineering and manufacturing of the pistol, we would not allow the commercial distribution of the pistol until we were 100% certain that it was absolutely safe and free from defects.

HEIZER DEFENSE is a firearms company located in Pevely, Missouri. Its principals have over one hundred years of experience in design technology, machining engineering and aerospace engineering. It is headquartered within the building that is used by Heizer Aerospace, Inc. Heizer Aerospace was founded by Charles Heizer who has developed patents for the medical, automotive, aerospace and small-arms industries. Heizer Aerospace is known worldwide for its leadership in the engineering, design and manufacturing of fracture critical parts for the commercial and military aviation and aerospace industries. Hence our mission is that safety is our first priority in the manufacturing of the highest quality and technologically advanced firearms.

We currently have several patents pending that will be used in the manufacturing of firearms that we will be distributing to the public in 2013. The products will include a double barrel pistol. In addition we will be manufacturing a new weapon that will be more exciting and technologically advanced than the double barrel pistol. Members of the Heizer team will be attending the 2012 NASGW show in Orlando, Florida. However, they will not be able to show the above referenced firearms at the exhibit.

It is our promise to you that we will never market a firearm before we know that it can be manufactured and sold to the general public. With this promise we will build a reputation in the firearms industry that is second to none.

Please visit our website for updates.
Charles K Heizer, Principal Thomas Heizer, Principal Hedy Heizer Gahn, Principal

I have the distinct feeling that we haven’t heard the last of any of this.  For their part, the team at DoubleTap Defense seems to have moved on.

We’re still sitting out here, ready.  Waiting.  DoubleTap should be shipping in a couple of months.  Heizer’s latest predictions is for the summer.  We’re not sure when the lawsuit will be resolved.  But when it is, someone is going to come out on the other side with a compact .45 ACP derringer that is going to be very popular.

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