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The iPhone-Sized ‘Pocket Pistol’ That Fires Rifle Ammo

Thursday, November 17, 2016 9:06
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The iPhone-Sized ‘Pocket Pistol’ That Fires Rifle Ammo

PAK1. Image source: Terry Nelson

Missouri-based Heizer Defense makes a selection of unusual derringers that can fit the bill for a range of specialized needs, while having stylized appeal and serious power.

The company is family-owned and operated, and grew from humble beginnings. The family of Charlie Heizer, now 83, escaped Hungary during World War II and relocated to the Midwestern U.S. An engineer and inventor at heart, Heizer became educated as an aerospace engineer. Among his many inventions are a series of derringers — with looks and features entirely unlike others on the market.

On a recent range outing, I had the opportunity to handle and fire two Heizer pistols with rifle-caliber chambering. Who’d have ever thought you could fire a .223 (PAR1) or 7.62 x .39 (PAK1) cartridge from a palm-size pistol? The company also makes a .45 LC/.410 model. The barrels can be interchanged with either the PAK1 or PAR1.

The little guns have a single-shot, break-open action, operated by a zero-profile sliding lever on the left side of the frame. Loading is similar to a shotgun of the same style. The 45 LC model can store two extra rounds in the grip.

The iPhone-Sized ‘Pocket Pistol’ That Fires Rifle Ammo

PAR1

Construction is entirely of U.S.-made stainless steel.

“This is the same steel C-130 landing gear is made of,” said Heizer Defense’s Hedy Heizer.

The trigger is a patented roller-bearing design, with a long, eight-pound pull as a safety feature. (Though I’ll add, safe carry method and finger disciplines are the best safety features.) The molded, non-adjustable sights are small and plain, but usable.

These guns are thin and pancake-like, with a squared profile but rounded edges. The shape is conducive to discreet pocket carry. Overall dimensions are 3 7/8 inches in height, .7 inches in width and 6 3/8 inches in length for both the pocket AR and AK. Weight is 23 ounces. Muzzle velocity for the AK is 1,200 fps and 1,400 fps for the AR.

Heizer guns’ durable construction is made more so by the hammer and other action components contained in the frame. There’s nothing to gather dirt or catch on clothing.

The 7.62 x 39 has a ported barrel for recoil reduction. It’s still snappy. According to Heizer reps, the porting only sacrifices 110 feet per second of muzzle velocity. The .223 recoil is very manageable and would compare to a small frame 45 ACP.

Currently, there’s no holster customized for Heizer guns. Brand representatives were sporting Sticky brand holsters, which seemed to work well. I’m otherwise familiar with this brand, and they are pocket- and waistband-friendly. In essence, the Heizer Derringer is comparable to carrying today’s iPhone.

The PAK1 and PAR1 have the advantages of being light and packable or concealable, while having the truly unique advantage of being able to fire a high power cartridge from a tiny package. Powerful as they are, they’re still manageable to shoot. The Heizer Company recommends not using lacquer-covered ammunition for these guns.

On the downside is the single-shot capacity. If you care to look at it from a weight-to-capacity ratio, it’s a bit heavy. Cost is reasonable at $449 for the PAK1 and $399 for the PAR1.

Personally, I see these little guns as a great last ditch carry gun, or one you can throw in a pack with a bit of ammo for any potential survival circumstance.

Have you shot a Heizer PAK1 or PAR1? What is your favorite pocket pistol? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  • That thing would be a flame thrower too. Those rifle cartridges would be burning powder through about 12″ of a rifle barrel. Shooting the cartridge from a short barrel would be very powder inefficient. Most the powder would come out unburnt, and the rest would be significant muzzle flash. There is a reason that pistol cartridges are short and that they use fast burning powders. Throwing a tiny (AR) 55 grain 5.56 round at 1,400 fps delivers only 239.3 ft/lbs of force when a typical 9mm 115 grain 1,400 fps bullet delivers 499 ft/lbs. The gun shown was designed by someone that doesn’t have a clue about internal ballistics.

  • On second thought, it might be a popular design in dangerous city areas where self defense rights are restricted. It would make a significant BANG because the bullet exits the barrel at maximum chamber pressure. It would sound like a cannon compared to a normal 9mm and high gas pressures at exit would affect trajectory. It reminds of those unreliable “Saturday Night Specials” (.32 caliber Ravens and such) that were popular in poor city areas some 20 years ago, but this clearly needs manual reload after the first shot. A gun like this would is a marketing trick and might actually improve law and order when challenged with better performing pistols carried by police and CCW holders.

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