Hands-On with the Heizer Defense Pocket AR


I know what you’re thinking, and I agree: this thing is ridiculous. Some loadings of the 5.56 cartridge would probably have the tip of the bullet poking out in front of the muzzle. But at SHOT Show, I had the opportunity to pick it up and talk to the guys at Heizer who make the thing, and their reasoning behind the contraption actually made a lot of sense. In their opinion, this gun is perfect for one application and one application only . . .

Throwing massive fireballs into the sky.

Since all of the powder in the cartridge burns outside the barrel, there’s a massive watermelon sized fireball that accompanies each pull of the trigger. The bullet will never accelerate to anything even close to resembling an acceptable velocity — in fact, it might just land on the ground 10 feet away. But target shooting or home defense are not what the guys at Heizer had in mind when they designed it, they just wanted something that would be loud and pretty and make you smile. Which, after all, is why anyone buys a Mosin Nagant M44.

The pricing makes sense as well, if you don’t look at the whole package. As an add-on (the barrels are interchangeable between the 5.56 and .410 version), the barrel is only $130. Which is less than a Mosin Nagant, and the ammo is easier to get as well.

There’s a word for what this thing is: comedy option.


  1. avatar George says:

    That’s a comedy option with a $130 punchline. The joke is on anyone who buys this.

  2. avatar Chris says:

    it needs a stock and a 16 inch barrel. Because, reasons.

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      It should also be drilled and tapped for a scope mount.
      One that extends back over the receiver about 6 inches or so, to keep the soot/powder residue from building-up on the front lens.

      And maybe add a bottom rail for a laser sight?

      Oh yeah, baby…

  3. avatar MurrDog says:

    Of if you want to carry a gun that accomplishes nothing, take one you already own and use blanks.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yep and you can get hollywood loads for the pyrotechnic effect.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Point-blank, you might be better off with a large caliber blank gun. See: Jon-Erik Hexum…

  4. avatar e says:

    Hah! Somebody figured out how to make an uglier gun than a block, Glock brand, GLOCK. I applaud them! And don’t take that as a swipe at Gaston, I own 4.

  5. avatar AW1Ed says:

    Keep the poodle shooter. Now I want a Mosin Nagant M44.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      You poor, misguided soul. What did your shoulder and eyebrows do to you to warrant such mistreatment.

      JWM here. Once again my comment is credited to another. Whut up?

      1. avatar Taylor TX says:

        I fixed the problem by continuing to put my email and name in until it finally recognized me on multiple articles, hope this helps.

    2. avatar Defens says:

      Keep the Mosin – I want a Heizer chambered in 7.62x54R!!

      1. avatar FlaResident says:

        I’d buy that for a dollar. But I would pay $10 to watch someone else shoot it

  6. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Expensive paper weight. IMHO

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    For noise, flash, and lots of smoke, I’ll get a thunder mug instead.

    1. avatar Wood says:

      Is that anything like a thunder bucket?

    2. avatar 16V says:

      I would really love to see someone run this preposterous rig over a chrono. The projectile weight is within 20% of a .22LR, and I bet if you run the .22 out of a barrel of the same overall length as this silly gun, the muzzle energy would be higher for the .22LR.

      But it wouldn’t be quite the ridiculous marketing piece…

      1. avatar Alex says:

        well with a slight redesign it might make for a good brass knuckles substitute…

        i wonder what the effect of a contact shot to for example the torso or the the ear might be…
        its sort of a modern version of the guide lamp devision of GM’s ww2 liberator .45 isn’t it?

    3. avatar John Boch says:

      I get all that after eating bad Mexican food.

  8. avatar Thebear says:

    Maybe you could load a .223 with 40 grains of FFF and a lot of wadding.

    I think I’d use a pull cord the first few times, though.

  9. avatar Pete S. says:

    I still giggle like a school girl whenever I shoot my M44 at dusk.

  10. avatar Brett says:

    I’ll wait until it’s chambered in 7.62x54r.

  11. avatar turner92 says:

    I’ll wait for the .300 BLK version

  12. avatar DMB says:

    I call it a waste of money or a cheap to fire signal flare

  13. avatar CM says:

    Explain to me again the difference between this and holding a live grenade at arms reach?

  14. avatar MKK says:

    It has another purpose. To help keep rifle caliber pistols alive.

  15. avatar Jim R says:

    I kinda want one.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      Yeah I don’t get the hate. I love massive fireballs. I would like to get a 308 G3 pistol but I don’t have any illusions about how ridiculous it is.

  16. avatar DaveR says:

    “Heizer” is German for “bat shit crazy” (for those who don’t know)

  17. avatar Jay says:

    Keep mentioning the Heizer and the Mosin in the same post and these dudes will make a chambering in 7.62x54mmR.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Okay to everyone saying they should do a 7.62x54R, are y’all forgetting the federal ban on the importation of steel core ammunition for pistols? If there is a pistol available in this caliber, then a lot of surplus ammo imports will become illegal and we’ll be SOL on the cheap stuff. Making a pistol in 7.62x54R would be a horrible idea and I’d be freaking pissed if they did it!

  18. avatar Pieslapper says:

    Can you use a Sig brace on it ?

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      As long as you don’t shoulder it…

  19. avatar Chris. says:

    Can’t be any worse than that .45-70 Derringer.

  20. avatar Edward Teach says:

    So…is this for when some nut-job anti-gunner freaks out and grabs you from behind?

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      Yep. Light ’em up!

      Ambulance attendant: “Even though he had a small-caliber bullet hole in his chest, and the front of his coat and shirt were both on fire, he still might have survived if you hadn’t stomped-out the flames…”

  21. avatar Bill Baker says:

    I’m still getting spam cans of mosin nagant ammo out of a lot of online retailers, so it aint hard to find, bad pun, bad (smacks with newspaper)

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      He didn’t really say that 7.62x54R was hard to find, just that .223 is easier to find. Which is a true statement.

  22. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    April Fool…or what happens in Vegas…

  23. avatar kahless1984 says:

    i want one! just because. Murica!

  24. avatar duroSig556R says:

    Perhaps they should issue a warning accompanied with this pistol stating it’s useless.

  25. avatar Southerner says:

    How about one chambered for the .38-40/.410 with 1 in 200″ two groove rifling and an .400″ exit diameter built in “choke.” Oh yeah, almost forgot – a 6 to 8 inch barrel would be about right. Now that would be a useful DAO pistol!

    1. avatar General Zod says:

      Why not go all the way and chamber it in .50BMG? With an extremely padded grip, of course…

  26. avatar Jim says:

    When’s it coming out in .50 BMG? Because hand cannon…

  27. avatar Gunr says:

    I can see a use for this! Fifty years from now when your children have retired, and this thing has been long long gone, and forgotten, Your son may find one in a safe that just surfaced. Probably would be worth a lot, since very few folks would even believe that anyone would ever make something like this.

  28. avatar MarkP says:

    Let’s see the ballistics before we comment.

  29. avatar DV says:

    Still better than .40

    1. avatar IIIPercenter says:

      *slow clap* You, sir, owe me a new keyboard.

  30. avatar Joe Biden -VP says:

    Sounds like a great idea. The perfect home defense firearm and my creepy white teeth would really look cool when it goes off.

    Parody Account.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Joe would want a double, though.

  31. avatar LarryinTX says:

    That ain’t so bad. At the Firearm Festival a while back, some group had a soda-can-launcher upper for an AR. Nicely machined, looked like something real, but all it did was fire (single shot) a blank which pitched a full soda can a hundred yards or so. Craziest piece of crap you can imagine, so much fun it made me cry. When I got to it, there was a big pile of soda cans downrange, and the target had been hit twice. And usually the can burst when it hit the ground, you can imagine the mess! They said they got all stupid and built a dozen of them to bring along, and had already sold 8, for $400 each. And I just barely escaped without being number nine. If they’d had one with a barrel an inch longer, I think I’da been a goner.

    1. avatar turner92 says:

      NCStar made a tennis ball launcher Muzzle brake. Almost bought one for less than $100

  32. avatar Missouri Mule says:

    Can we air drop these over France to the “resistance”?
    That assumes there still is one.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      No air drops needed. Apparently, AK’s and rocket launchers are readily available in Belgian train stations these days.

      1. avatar DMB says:

        Hey with no borders in the EU, its easy as hell to bring them in from Serbia, Kosovo etc.

  33. avatar Gearmoe says:

    I defend my home with a bangsite canon. I ask perps to wait while I get her ready, I point, light and BANG! They always laugh and run away. Sometimes we meet up later for coffee.

  34. avatar Raina Collins says:

    I love my M44. I get to be that obnoxious girl at the range shooting the loud dinosaur rifle while surrounded by operators with tricked out ARs that get shot twice a year.

  35. avatar Mike says:

    I thought people bought Mosin Nagants for TEOTWAWKI … when they need extra firewood.

  36. avatar DBM says:

    They need to load it with the .416 Hushpuppy . Bigger fireball and would knock someone down if it actually hit them. A 450 grain bullet would feel like a sledge hammer to the gut even if it didnt penetrate.

  37. avatar lolinski says:

    From what I have seen, the bullet will go at asubsonic velocity. In short, it will be essentially .22 with a better bullet… and a huge flash. Though somebody needs to test it with a suppressor.

  38. avatar Mark says:

    Another couple inches of barrel length would make a lot of difference.

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