The Standard Manufacturing Thunderstruck double barrel handgun caught the attention of many shooters, especially CCW enthusiasts. However, I think it’s fair to say that most people looked at this gun with skepticism in fear that it was gimmicky and not a revolutionary concealed carry firearm.
Standard has a wide range of firearms including some pretty wild semi-auto shotguns, single-action revolvers, 1911s, and a modern sporting rifle. Nevertheless, many people only know Standard for their most famous double-barrel firearm, the DP-12 shotgun. In today’s review, we’re going to take a look at their next entry into the double-barrel firearms market, the S333 Thunderstruck.
Keep in mind that the S333 Thunderstruck ATF status is not that of a machine gun despite the fact that it fires more than one round per trigger pull. It’s hard to confidently say one way or the other why the government decided to leave this gun alone, but I imagine it helped to be a revolver and not being in the media spotlight (re: bump stocks)
S333 Thunderstruck Reviews
The Thunderstruck S333 has all the ingredients for a market failure given the fact that it’s an inexpensive gimmicky firearm. It’s hard to imagine many people were thinking “Gee, I wish I had a budget mini double-barrel revolver”. Nevertheless, the 333 in the name comes from the idea of the firearms rule of three: that most self-defense situations take place within three yards, with three shots fired in under three seconds.”
While the S333 does seem to be made with high-quality components, the construction of the firearm is not ideal by any means. Because they really wanted to attract CCW shooters, they made sure to include several safety options but these can make the gun difficult to handle. For instance, the 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum with anodized finished frame makes the gun sturdy but the entire trigger system is a disaster.
Standard gave the S333 an elongated trigger designed for a two-finger pull. One of the issues with this is that it completely interferes with the grip and even depresses into one of the finger grooves. This is frankly a serious bit of oversight that was probably overlooked due to the other complexities of the revolver.
There is a partial trigger guard that doesn’t get in the way and a decent blade safety on the trigger, but it’s the trigger pull that really got me. Besides the awkward two-finger trigger pull, it takes about 20 lbs. of force to fire the S333. That’s pretty crazy when you consider the 6-7 lbs pull of the Glock 19 and the 12 lb pull of the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 38.
One of the things I did like about the Thunderstruck was the usage of the .22WMR cartridge. I love 22 magnum guns and I also happen to think it’s one of the best calibers for self-defense. All things considered, the S333 does shoot well once you get a hang for the trigger. Its accuracy is fair and the double-barrel gives it a shotgun-like quality ideal for taking down threats.
In terms of its overall capability for CCW, it has enough integral safety mechanisms to allay any concerns while still not really inhibiting quick firing. Likewise, it’s a pretty small revolver so it can be concealed easily, though I would never use this as the first resort. This is the kind of gun that would go in my glove compartment or in the nightstand or even on my ankle, but I don’t think it’s an adequate primary carry gun.
The bottom line is that it is a bit awkward of a firearm but it does fit in a niche so I’m sure it will still interest some folks. Even though the sights aren’t bad, I wouldn’t expect very good accuracy until you’ve practiced the double trigger pull for a while. Part of this is the serious reset on the trigger that is so far from intuitive that you’re bound to struggle with it.
S333 Thunderstruck Specs
- Model: S333 Thunderstruck
- Caliber: .22 Win Mag
- Capacity: 8 Rounds
- Barrel Lengths: 1.25″
- Overall Length: 5″
- Weight: 18oz
- Finish: Steel & Aluminum
- Sights: Fixed 3-dot
- MSRP: $429
Although I’m not the biggest fan of the S333 Thunderstruck I can definitely appreciate Standard Manufacturing looking to innovate the industry. Being an innovator means you’re going to have ideas that don’t always pan out, and that’s okay. Standard Manufacturing is a respected gunmaker and has some of the top firearms on the market, especially in the shotgun department. Overall, I think the S333 has its place and many people can and will enjoy it, but it’s just not your everyday revolver any means.