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Old 02-03-2006, 15:44   #1
Eric
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Detonics Pistol Stress Test

Below is a press release that I received from Jerry Ahern, the owner of Detonics USA. This is one of the more interesting, and unconventional ;f, stress tests I have heard read about. I thought you all might enjoy reading it. Eric





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!

<b>DETONICS .45 “SUPERGUN” FIRES 31 THOUSAND ROUNDS AFTER GETTING SHOT OUT OF A CANNON!!!</b>

<img src="http://ericdpowell.com/docs/2004_0216300029-750.jpg">


Pendergrass, Georgia… What do you do after flinging a $1200 .45 automatic onto a concrete slab from shoulder height at least a half-dozen times? Well, you may as well fire it out of a Civil War Union mortar about 125 yards up into the air and close to 350 yards downrange. And, if you’re going to do that, you may as well fire 31 thousand rounds out of it in five days without giving it any kind of a real cleaning.

If that sounds like “cruel and unusual punishment” for a handgun, you’re right! But, that’s exactly what Detonics USA did at the end of October and the first week in November with one “ugly duckling” Model 9-11-01 pistol. The 9-11-01 is the full-size Detonics USA combat pistol, like the firm’s world famous sub-compact CombatMaster, but on steroids!

And, an ugly duckling this 9-11-01 pistol truly was! After all, if you were going to abuse a premium handgun, why put it together with first quality parts? The frame rails were a little off-spec and the rear of the slide had a nasty ding knocked out of it when a ballpeen hammer slipped. But, Detonics USA wanted to test the Model 9-11-01’s resistance to accidental discharge in a fall to concrete. A standard test is to precipitate a controlled vector drop from a height of one meter. Always wanting to prove that Detonics USA pistols are tough, this hapless Model 9-11-01 was flung against the concrete floor from almost twice that distance, impacting on the muzzle, on the cocked hammer, on both sides, etc., the pistol smashed against the concrete six times. The grip safety was battered and bent, made jagged from slamming against the concrete, the rear sight beaten to destruction as well. But, the primed brass in the chamber could not be made to discharge until the trigger was deliberately pulled!

The Paulson Brothers, identical twin cannoneers from extreme northwest Wisconsin, were commissioned to bring an 1861 Union Army eight-inch Siege Mortar South of the Mason-Dixon Line. The Paulson Brothers Ordnance Corporation’s mission was to launch that same Model 9-11-01 into the air for the sole purpose of letting it crash into the Earth!

The services of a local automobile wrecker company were engaged to unload the 2 thousand pound mortar from the truck used to haul it to the testing site. Videographer
Mike West was along to document the shot. An impressive group of witnesses was assembled for the event, including Detonics USA vice-President and CombatMaster
designer Sid Woodcock.

The 46-pound cannon ball brought along for the test shots was loaded over a measured charge of “single F” black powder and the first round was triggered, gauging range, windage and elevation. Several test shots were fired until, at last, the ugly duckling Model 9-11-01 was strapped into the 9-inch high, 7 ¾-inch 14-gauge steel canister over a two-inch, steel reinforced solid oak wad, the gun itself wrapped in scrap carpet and the top of the shell “X-ed” across with duct tape so the gun inside wouldn’t be launched again, but this second time from inside the canister!

Video and still cameras ready, the Paulson Brothers fired their formidable 19th Century war machine. The Model 9-11-01 was launched into the sky, traveling in a high arc, then crashing down at a speed of 32 feet per second per second! Impact! Head Gunsmith and Chief Production Engineer Peter Dunn was the first to reach the pitifully abused pistol. Kneeling gently beside it in the grass, Peter observed that the “setback” from the initial charge had caused the pistol’s slide to edge slightly toward the rear of the frame. The canister was partially crushed.

Carefully, the Head Gunsmith examined his ugly duckling creation. As witnesses gathered behind him and covered their ears, Peter loaded a full magazine of “Hardball” into the hapless handgun and opened fire. Seven rounds and no malfunction! Peter replaced the spent magazine with a second magazine, this time loaded with hollow points. Again, seven shots, no problems.

The next torture session for the ugly duckling Model 9-11-01 .45 would begin the following Monday, far on the other side of Atlanta at the Bulls Eye Marksman Range. Professional firearms trainer Greg Boyer had arranged for fifteen of his colleagues to assist. The task was to fire over 30-thousand rounds of full-charge reloaded defense ammunition – “Hardball” and some hollow points – through this one .45 in just five days!
If it could be done!

The Black Hills ammunition was brought into Bulls Eye Marksman’s state-of-the-art range a few cases at a time. Mike West was there again to chronicle the events. Sid Woodcock and Peter Dunn were present and ever watchful. The Detonics Collectors Association was represented by David Stillwell.

From the very first, getting magazines loaded and reloaded rapidly enough proved a more serious challenge than anticipated. At times, four people were required just to keep up. As many as 500 rounds were fired in as little as ten minutes!

Soon, the intrepid shooters were forced to don gloves and still the heat generated by the end of each 5 hundred-round session was so intense that the pistol would get too hot to touch. The trigger could actually sear flesh, the slide and barrel hotter still.

Gingerly because of the heat, Peter would hold the pistol in front of one of the air conditioning ducts. As soon as the pistol could be touched, Peter carefully disassembled and inspected it. But, he never cleaned it with any solvents, the gun filthy. The major components would be wiped off with a paper towel, one of the pistol’s own parts used to chisel away an ever-growing gummy mass of unburned powder. There was some judicious use of a toothbrush and a Q-Tip. A little lubricant was applied and the gun was reassembled, reloaded by the next shooter and firing resumed.

Each day, for four days, six thousand rounds were fired through the pistol. At times, there would be slow feeds due to the gummy gunpowder buildup. An assist with the thumb, a push on the slide, shooting continued.

On the fifth day, having just learned that the Model 9-11-01 would be pushed still harder – beyond 30 thousand rounds – there occurred what was to be the solitary parts failure. Taking place somewhere between 27 thousand and 27 thousand 5 hundred rounds, the smaller, inner recoil spring broke. The shooter performing that 5 hundred round block never noticed, the pistol shooting on and on, the broken part only discovered as Peter undertook his regular inspection.

Peter swapped out the broken spring for a new one and the test continued. Adrienne Baker, the sole female shooter, a crack shot but accustomed to milder 9mms, took up the .45 gauntlet. The test continued, Greg Boyer returning to the lists for these final sessions.

The goal of 30 thousand rounds was reached, but already surpassed because an associate of David Stillwell had fired an “extra” 50 rounds from the gun earlier in the week. And, the gun had been fired after being shot out of the mortar. And, because of the name given to this Detonics USA combat pistol – the Model 9-11-01 – it was determined that an additional 911 rounds would be fired beyond the 30 thousand. Adrienne fired, then Greg, then Adrienne again, then Greg.

The “magic” number of almost 31 thousand rounds was reached, surpassed!

Adrienne was asked to fire a group for accuracy. Her hands bruised and burned, the Model 9-11-01 registered an impressive seven-shot string.

Greg stepped up, using his customary aggressive Isosceles stance, firing a ragged one-hole 7-shot group into the bullseye of the Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C Target.

Peter Dunn, hands wracked with pain from loading thousands and thousands of rounds into the 9-11-01’s magazines, sat at an impromptu bench rest and fired, registering one solitary perfect hole dead center on the bullseye with all 5 shots.

The “ugly duckling” Model 9-11-01 had earned a new nickname: SUPERGUN!
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:30   #2
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Thank You for posting about Detonics.
I bought an original Detonics Combat Master Mark VI back in the 80's before they went bankrupt.
I had no idea that Detonics was started back up with new owners.
I have enjoyed my little 45 for many years and I am very happy that Detonics is back in business.
Thank You,
John
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Old 02-04-2006, 20:49   #3
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http://www.detonicsusa.com/
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:19   #4
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I also ...

... had a Mark VI and I wish I still had it. If it were not for the dorky rear sight arrangement, I would definitely buy a new one.
ML
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Old 02-05-2006, 16:14   #5
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My Mark VI was $525 with 2 spare mags.
New ones are $1200.
What a difference a few years makes.
John
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Old 02-07-2006, 07:05   #6
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I got to have one of these....
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Old 02-07-2006, 18:38   #7
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I have one. See my avatar! ;f
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Old 02-07-2006, 20:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eddie C.
I have one. See my avatar! ;f
Yeah, I emailed you about it.....
I am jealous, can't wait to get my hands on one. Impactguns.com is the only dealer I've seen so far that stocks these and they're out of stock right now.....~sd
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Old 02-07-2006, 20:41   #9
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Eddie the email problem is now fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience...
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Old 02-09-2006, 22:45   #10
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Here is a pic of my Detonics Combat Master Mark VI.
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Old 02-10-2006, 20:49   #11
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that's a gorgeous piece 36...
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:27   #12
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Have you ever read any of Ahern's books? Not bad Survivalist tomes; of course the hero always carries "Twin stainless steel Detonics .45 ACP's"
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Old 03-13-2006, 16:33   #13
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I got to play with that particular pistol this weekend at a gun shop in Bellevue, WA. I never would have guessed that it had been through what it has. Slide to frame was a little loose, but barrel lock up was tight as a drum. It looked like a demo gun, of course, but not abused. I wish I could have shot it, but didn't get the chance. The rep also had the #3 built Combat Master with him. I was impressed with both guns and will be looking into Detonics when time comes for another 1911.
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Old 03-26-2006, 23:31   #14
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Glad to hear they are back, sad to hear how much they cost.
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Old 04-17-2006, 18:22   #15
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The rear sight position and the weird cut at the rear of the slide are negatives for me. My first handgun was a series 80 Colt. It was never unreliable. I am a fan of the 1911 and I have to say that I don't want a detonics. It's not just the weird slide design, or the position of the rear sight. I am extremely bothered by the model 9-11-01. This is a tacky name and an idiotic use of those numbers. It's just tacky trying to profit from that event and if anyone can't see that Jerry Ahern is attempting to do so... they must be either blind or dim-witted.

It may be a great gun, but I wouldn't have one. To me it is extremely tacky and deserves a place of honor next to a mexican velvet elvis portrait or a pair of fuzzy dice.
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:08   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryNC
I am extremely bothered by the model 9-11-01. This is a tacky name and an idiotic use of those numbers. It's just tacky trying to profit from that event and if anyone can't see that Jerry Ahern is attempting to do so... they must be either blind or dim-witted.
Funny, I didn't see it that way at all. I viewed the naming of that model of pistol 9-11-01 as a way to remember the Americans who lost their lives in the attack, and those who lost thier lives trying to save them.

Anyone who knows Jerry Ahern would never believe he is trying to shamelessly profit from the attack on 9-11-01, I believe it was his way to acknowledge the sacrifices made that day.

ADDED: I e-mailed Jerry about this thread, perhaps he will come on and explain the naming of the gun.
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:29   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryNC
The rear sight position and the weird cut at the rear of the slide are negatives for me. My first handgun was a series 80 Colt. It was never unreliable. I am a fan of the 1911 and I have to say that I don't want a detonics. It's not just the weird slide design, or the position of the rear sight. I am extremely bothered by the model 9-11-01. This is a tacky name and an idiotic use of those numbers. It's just tacky trying to profit from that event and if anyone can't see that Jerry Ahern is attempting to do so... they must be either blind or dim-witted.

It may be a great gun, but I wouldn't have one. To me it is extremely tacky and deserves a place of honor next to a mexican velvet elvis portrait or a pair of fuzzy dice.

Larry,
Those are some assinine comments to make about a person you don't even know or about people who have bought one of these fine guns and love them, myself included. Jerry is a first class individual and would never name a gun just to profit off the misery of others.

I have called and talked to Jerry, his wife Sharon, and his head gunsmith Peter Dunn, and they are all wonderful thoughtful people who will take any amount of time out of their day to talk to you. They make first class weapons and Jerry has devoted his life to make sure the shooting sports and right to carry are always upheld.

Eddie C.
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:53   #18
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EddieC

You have the right to your opinions just as I do mine. As far as your calling me assinine, well, I've always heard it said that those who resort to name calling are doing so simply because they've run out of ideas. Mr. Hayes, I do appreciate your reply to my comment. I'll give it some thought. Good day to you both.
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Old 04-21-2006, 11:16   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryNC
EddieC

You have the right to your opinions just as I do mine. As far as your calling me assinine, well, I've always heard it said that those who resort to name calling are doing so simply because they've run out of ideas. Mr. Hayes, I do appreciate your reply to my comment. I'll give it some thought. Good day to you both.
Your comments concerning namecalling are ironic, considering the circumstances.

Folks, I have posted a guidelines thread on this forum's index page and I expect it to be followed. anyone who wants to share their opinion here is going to do so in a polite manner, or they are not going to share their opinion on my site. You don't have to love the products being discussed here, but I will not have guest of this site beating up on the folks that help make this place possible. Eric
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Old 04-21-2006, 14:27   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Eddie C.
Larry,
Those are some assinine comments to make about a person you don't even know...
Quote:
Originally posted by LarryNC
EddieC

You have the right to your opinions just as I do mine. As far as your calling me assinine, well, I've always heard it said that those who resort to name calling are doing so simply because they've run out of ideas...
as·i·nine (ăs'ə-nīn')
adj.
Utterly stupid or silly: asinine behavior.
Of, relating to, or resembling an ass.

Adjectives modify nouns, the noun in this case is the word "comments." Therefore he was saying the comments were utterly stupid. He did not call you names. Just thought I'd clear that up. BTW, only one 's.'
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