The Improved 1911

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by lklawson, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Peace favor your sword,

    Attached Files:

  2. 45Man

    45Man Member

    The Next Improved 1911

    about 50 years later...

    The Detonics Combat Master was the first really small and compact 1911-pattern pistol to be produced in significant numbers. Law enforcement fell in love with it immediately due to its diminutive size and quality. It received “star quality” when Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice was seen carrying one in a leg holster in the show. Far more important than the media exposure was the revolutionary reliability work done inside the pistol. The Detonics introduced the bulged barrel end so that the pistol did not require a bushing. It also incorporated double and triple recoil springs. It was the first production 1911-pattern which was throated and ramped for hollowpoints. The high price and limited market for the pistol doomed the company, but were the Combat Master to be reintroduced today, it would no doubt be a different story. Those fortunate enough to own a Detonics pistol treasure them.

    “The concept of the original Detonics was simply a stainless single action pistol. The big guns came after the little gun. Detonics was actually started with the Combat Master. Before Detonics, mini-pistols were all built by hand; they were cut-down Colts. The driving force behind the original company was to build a small, manufacturable production .45 ACP pistol and that was Sid Woodcock’s baby. He was the daddy of the Combat Master. He came up with that idea sitting around on a beach with Chuck Lyford somewhere down in South America in the mid ‘70’s. So Chuck introduced Sid to some money people in Seattle, and Detonics was started.”

    “(Woodcock) got together with some friends and set about to improve the basic Colt/Browning design in such a manner that a gun could be mass-produced with not only the classic custom modifications already in place, but of a reduced size for easier concealment and re-engineered to be more reliable and easily managed than the original. The firm that grew out of this attempt to make good better was Detonics (.45 Associates) of Seattle, Washington. Detonics originally offered a blued, ordnance steel Colt/Browning-style .45 of about the same size as a Walther PP. The gun featured a beveled magazine well, hammers of various peculiar shapes, a pre-pinned grip safety, a butt shortened to handle a six-round magazine rather than a seven (which could still accept full-size magazines as spares), a slide and barrel length much shorter than Colt’s Commander and slicked-up internal parts which allowed the gun to handle hollowpoints and hardball with equal aplomb. The barrel was bulged at the muzzle to facilitate the bushingless design, self-centering to mate with the slide. The (Colt) standard single recoil spring was replaced by a recoil spring guide with (two, and later three) separate counter-wound recoil springs. The six-round magazine featured a loaded magazine indicator. This was advertising hype to compensate for necessity. To give full support for a six-round capacity in so small a magazine, it was necessary that with the gun fully loaded a thumbnail-sized piece would protrude from the rear of the magazine base plate, to disappear again once the magazine went one round lighter. The first of these guns used cut-down Colt parts. The little guns caught on. Soon, various models were offered – adjustable sights, .38 Super and 9mm, etc. Then Detonics did something really radical. Detonics began to offer the little gun – by now known as the Combat Master – in stainless steel.”

  3. Rerun

    Rerun Member


    You just gotta love this stuff!

    I do.

  4. 45Man

    45Man Member

    I guess that's why I have 3 of them. The history behind them is as interesting as the guns themselves.
  5. beaglenc

    beaglenc Member

  6. Back2School

    Back2School Member

    well in 2111, they will be talking about our HiPoints the same way...
  7. 45Man

    45Man Member

    Almost bought one of them when they were still for sale everywhere. Don't remember why I didn't. Detonics were always expensive; did a side by side with a Colt Gold Cup, but I liked the Scoremaster better for the same price. The 2 Combat Masters I bought used. Used to have a Detonics Pocket 9, too, but didn't like it.