Detonics Combat Master .45 ACP


· two magazines

· extra set of wood grips (in addition to the Pachmayrs it came with)

· no case or manual (it didn't come with either when I bought this back in 1992)

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.

- from "The Detonics Story" by Bick Brenemen

Let’s look at what these guns are all about here. They were designed as an advanced, concealable, fighting gun. The CIA picked up a load of them for their field agents. You think James Bond was cool with his little .32 caliber Walther PPK? Our Spooks were packing good old .45’s in the slickest compact automatic on the planet. And here you probably thought they only used suppressed .22’s. These little guns were picked up by people who needed serious power in a concealable package. Law enforcement all across the country carried them… Federal Agents, Detectives, Private Investigators, you name it. They were carried undercover and close to the body for all these years. These guns were never meant to be safe queens and few ever were. They were the gun of choice by the elite and those in the know. They were on duty all the time.

- from "Detonics Combat Master MK I" by George Hill

The Combat Master for sale here is one of the originals, from Detonics Associates in Seattle, Washington. The serial number is in the 2000 - 2999 range. This makes it one of the first production guns (the first 1999 were presentation models, according to "The Detonics Story"), so the date of manufacturer is mid to late 1970s.

I purchased this in January 1992. In the pictures below, you'll notice that the finish is worn around the edges and muzzle, and there are two spots on either side of the slide-stop notch where the finish is missing (clearly visible in some of the photos). It appears to have "flaked" off. I don't know why -- it was that way when I got it. There is also an "idiot mark" scratch behind the trigger guard, from the slide release.

I used this as my carry piece from 1993 - 1995. It has been fired a few times since then, but has mostly been sitting in the safe.