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 youre 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, youre right! But, thats 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 firms 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 9-11-01s 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 Corporations 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 wouldnt 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 pistols 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 Marksmans 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 pistols 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 9-11-01s 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!