Heizer Defense’s New PKO45

Featured | A handgun pistol on the sand floor | Heizer Defense's New PKO45

The Heizer Defense PKO45 is one of the better crafted 45 caliber handguns in the market today. Read on and find out why.

RELATED: Heizer Defense: Itty Bitty Guns That Pack A Big Punch

In this article:

  1. Heizer Concept Gun
  2. Thinnest 45-Caliber Handgun
  3. Heizer PKO 45 Magazine Capacity
  4. Heizer PKO45 Ergonomics

Heizer PKO 45 Review | A Slim 45-Caliber Pistol

Heizer Concept Gun


Last week, I wrote about Heizer Defense and their derringer line. This year, the company breaks new ground with its first semi-auto offering, called the Heizer PKO 45. As the name would indicate, it’s chambered in 45 ACP.

Heizer reps call this their concept gun and every feature is the interpretation of an idea. Company founder Charlie Heizer has aching wrist injuries from his cycle racing days, so central to construction was recoiling management.

To this end, the bore axis was set extremely low, with the guide rod being over the fixed, stainless steel barrel.

Thinnest 45-Caliber Handgun


Like other Heizer Defense models, the whole gun is of aerospace-grade stainless. It should be extremely durable, albeit heavy at 25 ounces.

The company compensated for this inconvenience by crafting what they claim to be the thinnest 45 out there. It’s just 0.8 inches wide, with a flat, snag-resistant profile.

Operation is single-action only, with an internal hammer. True to single action design, it has a grip safety–but not where expected.

It’s on the front of the grip, just under the trigger guard. The recoil spring and slide are “easy racking,” another accommodation to hand injuries.

RELATED: A Homemade .45 ACP Single Shot Pistol With Video

Heizer PKO 45 Magazine Capacity


Magazines come in five- and seven-round capacity both included with purchase. The mags are built on a Kimber body, with a Springfield XDS follower, and capped with a 3D-printed baseplate.

What is a Springfield XDS? A slim version 45-ACP of Springfield's most popular handgun. It's the latest edition of the company's CCW weapons.


There’s an easy-to-operate safety lever on each side of the frame. I’m all for equality, but the ease with which most manual safeties disengage from the side of a handgun, a changeable lever would be preferable.

Hi-Viz sights are standard. TruGlo sights are an optional upgrade that I’d invest in were I purchasing a PKO.


As might be expected, Heizer Defense is offering the PKO45 in some standout finish choices, called copperhead, ghost grey, champagne, and tactical black. It’s a great gender-neutral selection that goes with everything.

There’s no other gun like this one around. It's top-heavy but slim construction and shiny finish will surely find some devotees.

Heizer PKO45 Ergonomics


I got to shoot a seven-round mag of ammo through the PKO45. It is indeed accurate.

The trigger has a good feel and resets, akin to an off-the-shelf 1911. If I have to have a grip safety, this front strap style would be my choice–my palms have hollow spots that sometimes disengage a back strap grip safety just enough to cause an occasional malfunction.

Despite their abiding affection for big calibers, Heizer Defense is planning on stepping over to the dark side with a 9mm version in the near future. That one will be one to watch.

Hopefully, the company will find its way to a more moderate price for the PKO 45 than the current $999 MSRP, with $849 predicted as the actual price. It’s a special gun, for sure–but maybe not double the price of proven-reliable standards special.

The PKO45 was looking good and ready at the writers’ conference where I got to test it.

Check out this video by Heizer Defense of the Heizer Defense PKO45 in the firing range:

The Heizer Defense PKO45 is a pretty neat version of a 45-Caliber handgun. It's slim which makes it suitable for big and small hands alike.

The recoil is manageable and the overall feel of the firearm is just as superb.

What do you think of the Heizer Defense PKO45 handgun? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 11, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

9 Responses to :
Heizer Defense’s New PKO45

  1. steven burkholder says:

    Single Action only? How does that work? Did you mean to say D.A.O.?

  2. Gary says:


  3. Lobo says:


  4. Lawrence Mayotte says:

    yes PRICEY!

  5. BakkenBill says:

    I’m with Lawrence, it’s PRICEY for a 25 ounce hideaway gun.

  6. StevenMarks says:

    I really like the weapon but, everyone is right way too pricey. Cut in half will take 2.

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