A weapon of which I am extremely fond is my Detonics Black CombatMaster .45.  In the mid-1970s, a rep who worked predominantly for Safariland was pushing the original Detonics CombatMaster .45 at a police shotgun shooting demo and I got my first chance to try one.  I’d fired lots of handguns, but never worked much with a single action automatic.  I just hadn’t gotten hooked on 1911-style .45s – yet.   After trying the Detonics, I was impressed.  The gun wasn’t much larger at all than the Walther PPK/S I frequently carried, and I shot it well.  Sharon and I armed “John Rourke” with two CombatMasters in our series of books chronicling the adventures of THE SURVIVALIST.  Most of you know that I ran the Detonics operation when it was in Pendergrass, Georgia, where the gun I carry virtually every day was produced.  Some things – guns, knives and other inanimate objects – just seem to fit one’s hand and one’s lifestyle so well, they become indispensible.

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Reader Comments (19)

First personal off duty carry was a 1911 45. Duty weapon was a 357. Now carry sig P220 on and off duty. Little big for off duty but you can't beat a 45.

August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lunsford

I tried to get a Detonics Combat Masterwhen you ran the business in Georgia. Our local dealers were never able to obtain one for me

I first discovered the detonics when I read your Survivalist series, but have never managed to score an actual Detonics.

The hero in another series I really liked, By AE Maxwell, also carried a combat master, but in 9mm for less recoil. He eventually upgunned to a service master in 451 D-mag, if I remember correctly.

A real Detonics is still my Holy Grail of handguns.

August 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoseph

I agree Jerry. I continue to carry my FEG copy of the Browning Hi-Power and have done so for years, in an Ahern belt slide holster no less. In fact my Sam Decker Character carries the original Browning Hi-Power in the same holster. Why mess with what works? My dad always told me if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

August 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBill Craig

I've always supported the 2nd Amendment in theory. But, lately, I've decided to actally do something about it in practice. So, I went to a gun show in San Antonio and bought a Berretta (1951) Brigadier 9mm. I've been "learning" it on a private gun range for about 6 months. I'm looking at getting a few other weapons for home protection, hunting, etc "while the gettin' is good", so to speak.

Could you write an article, or a series on what a good cache for a family should look like? You also may want to subdivide it into, "Budget-conscious", "Reasonable Expense", and "Fantasy $$$" caches.

Revive John Rourke! (Just a suggestion.)

Greg Neal
Uvalde, TX

August 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Neal

i didnt know detonics started up again, i have an original stainless .45 combat master and was looking for more mags. i tryed the new website but their server was down, do you know where i can get more mags.

September 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterglen

Really enjoy Survivalist Series would really enjoy reading the series again in ebook format iPhone . Would you please direct me to a site . Thanks

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGary Gray

I agree with Gary Gray. Please please please release the Survivalist Series in electronic format and preferably for the iPhone. Please keep us posted when this will be available.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Brown

I like that CM .45. I would love to add one to my gun collection which consists of mainly HK's & hi end 1911's (perhaps a 1st gen in all SS ) if I can find one at a descent deal that is.

February 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I am lucky enough to own four Combatmasters, two mark VI's from Washington State and two Ga guns, ( a small hint for Washington State Combatmaster owners If you have any problems with function on your guns, I did and my problems were very quickley cured by installing the Detonics USA 3 spring recoil system Maybe Jerry can tell us where we can get the old parts if there are any left, hint, hint. I had one of my Ga. guns blackened with Ivory grips it is my daily carry gun now and has over5,000 rounds through it and has neve jammed on a factory round, only a few reloads and I am sure it was becouse I did not do my part. Someone needs to start making these great little guns again. PLEASE

February 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

A second Gregs request above for a:
"Could you write an article, or a series on what a good cache for a family should look like? You also may want to subdivide it into, “Budget-conscious”, “Reasonable Expense”, and “Fantasy $$$” caches."
Would make an interesting read. I suppose ultimately you have done those choices already though in the Rourke family arsenal. You are hardly going to equip JTR with something you didn't agree with... although since that was some time a go, may be an updated modern equivalent should be done. So what what John Rourke be armed with today, if you were to start all over and write his weapons load out?

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAaron Jones

Glen I have two (2) extra Detonics (original) .45 auto 6 round mags.

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich

Just read your article, "Going Holsterless" in the recent Dillon Blue Press/May 2010. Very interesting and on the spot, been doing the same myself , (carrying unholstered at times) for many many years. Excellent story and great advice!
Curtis-Stockbridge, GA

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCurtis Parrott

A couple of weeks ago my dealer in Charlotte, N.C. took in a 2006 Ga. CombatMaster (with 3 mags) that appeared unfired. I purchased it out of curiosity. I carried an ASP in the 70's & 80's and loved it. Since the Detonics was an exotic contemporary of the ASP & Devel I wanted to experience one.

I love the gun! It is pretty much the same size and capacity as the Glock 36. Like the Glock it never malfunctions and all rounds cut a ragged hole at 10 yards.

Since I cannot run to the store and buy another Detonics if required it will spend most of it's life in the safe and the easily replaceable G36 will be carried. If you cannot find a CombatMaster try a G36. It's like the girl your mother would have picked out for you-- not the thinest or the hottest but reasonably attractive, competent, and totaly reliable.

April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterG. MACMILLAN

Was just reading the Survivalist series and was looking up this gun when I found this site. Surprised me a little it was by the author. Nice series, sir, I am on book 2 and definitely hooked.

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike K.

Hi! will ChipMcCormick 10rds 45mags fit the Detonics?

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrichard

I have an early Detonics combat master made in seattle and would like to find one or more 45 cal. magazines. Just found tour site tonight. Metalform advises me they no longer provide a mag. for Detonics.

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGene

Jerry & Sharon, I want to thank you for the kindness you showed to me when introduced through a mutual friend, a (ex)Marine from MN. It was the NRA show in Milwaukee. Your family treated 4 Detonics collectors like we were old friends. I am proud to let you know my Detonics collection has grown my jewel is my scoremaster and my blued 9-11-01. They make me shoot IDPA better than I deserve! I just wanted you to know that you and your family are a class act. Keep your powder dry.

March 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

your gun should have 2 clips original. but if you need additional backup any colt 45 clip will work, and it gives the little finger a resting spot also. but then again if your gun is as true as mine you dont need additional clips!!!!!!

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbob

Love the Detonic's Combatmaster I own due to you and John Rourke.
I have a suggestion, Update the Survivalist story to current times, and pitch a trilogy movie series. Start to John finding Sarah and the kids, Movie 1. Sleep thru Sleep 2 movie 2, then the end, always hated the series end, how did he get out of the tunnel?

May 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Harms

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