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melensdad
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Location: IN/ILL state line (IN side) at Will/Kankakee Counties & State Line

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Picked up the 38 Super Detonics Combat Master yesterday, completes the set as Detonics made the Combat Master MK VI in 4 calibers.

Most common is the 45acp, the majority of the production was that caliber. Then in very limited quantities they made the gun in 9mm, 38 Super and 451 Detonics Magnum. I have no way of confirming production numbers but I'd suspect that there are less than 75 each in existence in 9mm and 38 Super. Probably a bit more than 100 were made in 451 Detonics Magum.

I've been working on completing this set for several years, yesterday was a good day.

I'm working on completing a set of Detonics Combat Master MC2 guns as well as a set of Detonics Combat Master MK V guns. Those models were also available in various calibers. From a practical standpoint my MC2 set is complete, lacking only a 451 Det Mag, but there may have only been 1 of those produced??? Ditto the MK V set. But still I keep searching!

Starting on the lower left going up to the upper right:

  • 451 Detonics Magnum
  • 45acp
  • 38 Super
  • 9mm

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Same guns, different views:
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MichaelChappell
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Piatt County
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Joined: Jan 19, 2010
Posts: 1069
Location: Hammond, IL

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That's a sweet looking collection. Thanks for sharing the new one with us, and congrats on the recent purchase!!

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melensdad
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Location: IN/ILL state line (IN side) at Will/Kankakee Counties & State Line

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

MichaelChappell wrote:
That's a sweet looking collection. Thanks for sharing the new one with us, and congrats on the recent purchase!!


One of the things I really like about these little guns is that they came in so many varieties that you can collect them for years and still find something that you don't already own. These guns were made from the mid-1970's to mid-1980's in Seattle, the company went out of business but was restarted in Arizona, then later restarted again in Georgia. Now its again restarted in Illinois. All of my guns (a couple dozen different versions) came from the original Seattle factory.
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MichaelChappell
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Piatt County
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Location: Hammond, IL

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That's a truly remarkable collection then!! I didn't know that they started making them again in IL. What city are they made in?? It surely can't be firearm hating Chicago??!!

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Michael Chappell
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melensdad
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

MichaelChappell wrote:
That's a truly remarkable collection then!! I didn't know that they started making them again in IL. What city are they made in?? It surely can't be firearm hating Chicago??!!


Well I should have more properly stated they have a facility in IL, not sure that they are actually making any guns yet. In fact I think only prototypes have been produced. Their website is www.detonics.ws if you want to check them out.
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MichaelChappell
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Location: Hammond, IL

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Well I should have more properly stated they have a facility in IL, not sure that they are actually making any guns yet. In fact I think only prototypes have been produced. Their website is www.detonics.ws if you want to check them out.


Thanks for the info. I will check them out! I hope that they produce them again cause I would like to have one or two or three!!

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melensdad
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Location: IN/ILL state line (IN side) at Will/Kankakee Counties & State Line

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Here are the glamor shots of the new (30 year old) gun! Got to love a 38 Super 1911.

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melensdad
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just bought another Detonics Combat Master, this one is probably every bit of 30 years old and comes with its original grips and original pouch. I am having it shipped up from Florida, these photos are from the seller.

This gun is chambered in 45acp, the gun is plated in brushed nickel. That would make it a MK II model gun, which is fairly rare and also fairly early production as these guns predate the stainless steel models.

The oddest part of this gun is that it has British proof marks. The marks are on the frame and the slide. I don't know why! In fact it is unlikely I'll ever find out the history of this gun.

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melensdad
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dug up a bit about this "British Proof Marked" gun.

Apparently about 10 guns where shipped to one gun shop in England, the guns that actually made it to England were then proof marked there, they were not proofed here. One of the guns was sold to Stanley Kurbrick (a blue steel gun) and he had problems with it. Parts and guns were exchanged to get his gun working. There were some manufacturing problems related to the frame rails that caused the malfunctions, apparently affecting a batch of guns, and the head gunsmith Peter Dunn was assigned an assistant to repair those guns. At least some of the guns that went to England were from this bad batch.

So my gun is very likely one of the guns that was shipped to England and then shipped back for repair. Very likely they shipped a replacement gun to England and my gun was repaired and entered the US market stream. That said, there are probably only a few of these in the US because there were only about 10 (according to Peter Dunn) that went to the shop in England. Very likely the guns in England were destroyed when England banned handguns from common ownership.

There are also FALSE RUMORS floating around that the British Proof Marked guns were part of a Royal Military test of the Combat Master. There is apparently no truth to the rumor. It goes something like this: Brits wanted a small semi-auto, wanted to test the Combat Master, the Detonics factory shipped them a bunch in 45acp, those guns were rejected because they were not chambered for the 9mm.

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ChadSpark
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have not heard about them until you had posted this. This was a great lesson in the Mfg. and their firearms. I thank you for educating me and now I can appreciate this brand and maybe down the road purchase one or two and have an idea of what I am looking at. So thank you. Very Happy

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melensdad
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Location: IN/ILL state line (IN side) at Will/Kankakee Counties & State Line

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well score #2 for me of rare guns in 1 week.

I just picked up ANOTHER of the MK VII guns. The MK VII is also commonly known as the CIA model ~ despite the fact that rumors linking the MK VII guns to the CIA seem to be blown well out of proportion. Still the MK VII guns are considered the 'holy grail' of Combat Masters and are vary rare indeed.

This gun is slightly different than the one I already have, which is why I bought it. Every once in a while I see a MK VII come up for sale on the collectors market but this is the first one I've seen with this slide serration configuration. I tend not to buy duplicates but I do seek out odd variations of the same gun so having 2 MK VII guns, each slightly different, is a collectors dream.

As Detonics pistols were pretty much hand built by gunsmiths inside the factory, and as one gunsmith was typically assigned to fitting out and finishing a gun, they tended to make some personalized statements to the guns they made. You can tell which guns were finished by Peter Dunn, he was probably the #1 gunsmith in the factory and I have a few of his guns. There were a couple other notable smiths. No idea who built this one, but he made flat bottom wide serrations on the slide instead of the typical angled serrations. Both wood grips and rubber Pachmeyers were standard so either of those is common. Its just the odd serrations that attracted me to this gun and why I picked it up.

You will notice this gun is sightless. It was the first 1911 pattern gun designed for deep concealment and was made as a close range high powered back up gun for when situations got really ugly and you were up close and personal to your assailant. Combat Masters were a favorite of undercover police officers in the late 70's and early 80's.

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jimbighed2035
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I had to dig back a ways to find this post, but I noticed this prototype Detonics on GB and figured you might not have seen it:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=179682785


I know that you collect the 1911 style pistols, but do you know anything of the reliability of the Pocket 9s? I found one for sale locally and it keeps calling my name. However, I have never fired a Detonics before and am always nervous of 'off brand' firearms.
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melensdad
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Location: IN/ILL state line (IN side) at Will/Kankakee Counties & State Line

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

jimbighed2035 wrote:
I had to dig back a ways to find this post, but I noticed this prototype Detonics on GB and figured you might not have seen it:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=179682785

I've bid on that several times. I'm watching and waiting. Not sure how high it will go this time. Not sure how high I am willing to go.



jimbighed2035 wrote:
I know that you collect the 1911 style pistols, but do you know anything of the reliability of the Pocket 9s? I found one for sale locally and it keeps calling my name.

DO NOT BUY A POCKET 9 It is a horrid design, unpleasant to shoot and unreliable. They have MINIMAL collector value, and then only in .380 caliber since very few of those were made. A Pocket 9 should sell for about $300 on the used gun market and at that price is a poor value.




jimbighed2035 wrote:
However, I have never fired a Detonics before and am always nervous of 'off brand' firearms.
Detonics is not so much an 'off brand' as it is an 'orphan' brand since they are out of business. They were (and still are) known as one of the most respected of the 1911 manufacturers in the 1970s up to the mid-80's when the original company went out of business.

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Hawkbill
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm curious about how the "new" Detonics pistols I've seen advertised ( http://detonics.ws/) recently fit in with the story you are discussing above.

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MitchBeasley
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^sharp looking
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