Anybody got a (1984) Detonics Catalog handy? [Mystery Pistol]

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by MythicArmory, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. MythicArmory

    MythicArmory

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Posted this on /r/Guns but I figured y'all might have a better idea.

    I had not been online for a long time, and when I finally checked my e-mails, I saw a 1984 Detonics catalog sell on eBay. I was drawn to the particular catalog because it features a picture and mention of the elusive Detonics Modular Top-Break revolver, but when I checked out the seller's pictures, I saw this picture (best quality I've got - sorry):

    [​IMG]

    The picture seems to feature not only the Top-Break, but also an unknown double-action semi-automatic pistol (and a much-less interesting Pocket 9/380 - likely). Now, my JPEG translation skills are a little rusty, but I think I've put together what the page has written on it (relevant text in bold):

    "NEW DESIGNS

    In response to market demand as well as the needs of the law enforcement and security communities, DETONICS has developed three exciting new firearms.

    In the spirit of the original DETONICS .45, our engineers have designed the smallest 9mm parabellum in the world. This new weapon is a double action auto, constructed of DETONICS superior stainless steels. This pocket pistol incorporates the simplicity of design genius with the efficiency of high technology production at a very reasonable price.

    Our second new pistol is a large frame, stainless steel double action automatic. This gun features ambidextrous firing pin safety, 8 round magazine, adjustable sights, barrel lengths from 5 to 8 inches, chambering in .45 ACP or the fearsome .451 DETONICS MAGNUM. Unique to this design is a totally new locking system which provides for greater inherent accuracy.

    DETONICS has at last responded to the wishes of revolver enthusiasts the world over, in presenting a newly designed top-break revolver. A patent-pending wedge lock system insures reliability where previous top-breaks failed. An unbelievably versatile weapon, from an optional single shot .30-30 to the .45 long Colt and .44 magnum. Barrel lengths and/or calibers can be changed in seconds. The top-break allows for reloading speed that rivals the automatics. Available in calibers from .357 to .45 long Colt, with a 7 shot cylinder."


    Some of you may be aware of my crippling gun-hipster addiction, but if not, all you need to know is that I need to know absolutely everything about this gun, right now. It looks like the prodigal .45 SACM 1935A/Seecamp 1911 love-child of my dreams, and that arouses more than just my interest. I've started a page for it on my website, and will update it regularly. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bac1023

    bac1023

    Messages:
    124,985
    Likes Received:
    26,791
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    Nathan, I'm not sure, but Detonics was sketchy to say the least when it came to production. They built quality guns, but it wasn't uncommon for them to picture pistols that never came to fruition.
     

  3. MythicArmory

    MythicArmory

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Agreed. I'd love to see production numbers on their more rare, non-prototype guns, like the Pocket 380 or StreetMaster.
     
  4. Tony Rumore

    Tony Rumore

    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    607
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Location:
    OK, USA
    If you had posted this a year ago, I could have run down the answer. But unfortunately, my friend Richard Niemer, (ex-Detonics pistolsmith) pasted away last year.

    That revolver reminds of the Weatherby revolvers on display at their headquarters in California.

    Tony Rumore
    Tromix
     
  5. MythicArmory

    MythicArmory

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Sorry to hear about that - he would've been handy in this situation, for sure.

    Got any info or pictures of those revolvers? You're certain Weatherby and not Webley? Never heard of a Weatherby revolver.
     
  6. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    22,635
    Likes Received:
    11,427
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    There you have it. They must not exist.... or Brian would already have one. :highfive:

    On a more serious note, it seemed Detonics had some great ideas. I wonder what the issue was with the company coming and going like it did. Management issues? :dunno:

    PS: The "much-less interesting Pocket 9/380" is the one I find most interesting, especially considering the time of manufacture.
     
  7. bac1023

    bac1023

    Messages:
    124,985
    Likes Received:
    26,791
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    :animlol:

    Maybe so, Bucky. ;)

    Of course, there are many obscure pistols I don't own. Having said that, I've never even seen a Google image of the said pistol. Detonics always had issues with production and follow through. They made nice stuff at times, but it was never a company I took very seriously. I do have a Service Master 1911 that's been great.

    Those aren't easy to find either.
     
  8. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    19,542
    Likes Received:
    6,877
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Location:
    North-Central USA
    I was a gun-buying fiend back in the 80s, and I never saw either of those first two handguns in person at any shops or shows. I've owned several Detonics MK-VI compact 1911/style .45 pistols at various times, and even owned a Pocket 9 9mm (the bottom pistol in the above photo) for about 24 hours (quite a POS, that one was; one of the few pistols I ever returned for a refund). It had an annular ring cut into the chamber wall, which was, in combination with a heavyweight slide and a heavy recoil spring, supposed to delay the opening of the otherwise-unlocked-blowback action, but despite trying about 12 different loads from target to full-power JHPs, gun clean and gun dirty, mostly dry or well-lubed, it never successfully functioned for a full magazine load of ammo. Not. Even. Once.

    The micro-1911-style pistols worked fine, they were just kind of heavy and bounced a bit on firing. Short sight radius, too, as they moved the rear sight forward and dished the rear of the slide so the hammer could be cocked easily in a hurry (to give owners the option of carrying in Condition 2 if they wished).
     
  9. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Messages:
    59,816
    Likes Received:
    50,842
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Location:
    S FL
    My guess is that the Detonics doubl action and the Detonics top break revolver are going to be like the Jade Detonics - something that never quite made it to production. I think they sometimes had better ideas than they had execution.
     
  10. bac1023

    bac1023

    Messages:
    124,985
    Likes Received:
    26,791
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    That's exactly right, Bruce. The company really struggled with execution. They advertised stuff before they has solid plans for it. They were a wishy washy company.
     
  11. MythicArmory

    MythicArmory

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Follow-up! I was able to dig up some more info on that mystery Detonics Double Action .45:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All these images are from the May/June 1983 issue of American Handgunner magazine. Also, I would like to thank the following gentlefolk from reddit for helping out with my insatiable desire to know everything about the mystery .45 and the top-break:
    Still on the hunt for more information about either of these designs (and many others!). You can follow my research progress on these designs at the following links on my website.
     
  12. bac1023

    bac1023

    Messages:
    124,985
    Likes Received:
    26,791
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    Good work, Nathan

    Quite honestly, Detonics always annoyed me with their antics and their perception to me was always poor management, discipline, and business practices.. They just could never get it together. These two guns are prime examples of their constant failures.

    Its a shame, because the company had potential. Unfortunately, for every good gun they churned out, they had another that was ill conceived or poorly built.