Although they've definitely been flying under the radar, it appears that Detonics, still under the leadership of the legendary Bruce Siddle, author of SHARPENING THE WARRIOR'S EDGE, has emerged from its various legal battles with a new — and honest-to-goodness unique — Combat Master. The pic is from Bob Boyd's blog over at SHOOTING ILLUSTRATED, via Say Uncle. There's an accompanying article in SI, available on the Detonics website.
First, notice the octagonal barrel. I've got a lot of 1911s, but I have to say that's the first octagonal barrel I've run across. Next note the front sight mounted on the barrel, riding in a groove on the slide. This is an old competition trick that makes it easier to track the front sight, since it's not moving on the reciprocating slide. The new Combat Master also abandons the iconic rear sight mounted about an inch forward of the rear of the slide, ostensibly for easier Condition 2 — hammer down on a live round — carry by allowing the thumb to easily cock the hammer on the draw.
When I last talked to Bruce a couple of years back, he was showing some really slick Detonics/Wayne Novak collaborations, with a polymer-framed pocket pistol in the works.
The new Combat Master
Here's a crash history of the little gun from The Sight. I realize a lot of you wonder why some many of us obsess over this little gun with so many little 1911s around. Some of it is undeniably nostalgia...the Combat Master was the first little 1911 production gun and for years after the only little 1911 that actually worked. I had one of the original Combat Masters back in the early 1980s, and it was a superb little gun (I got rid of it only because someone offered me a stunning amount of classic S&W revolvers in trade)...I shot it in IPSC matches, even, and I don't recall it every choking. Compare that to my first-gen Colt Officer's Model, which worked only on Tuesdays and then only with hardball.
I wrote about the Detonics and little carry .45s here.
A couple of years back I got one of the resurrected Combat Masters from my friend and columnist on DRTV Jerry Ahern, who got the company back up and running until his backing money ran out. It was every bit as good a gun — maybe better, since the mags were 1911 standard and a regular 7/8-rounder could be used — but that version of Detonics ground to a halt in late 2007. 'm going to give Bruce a call today and see if we can set something up next week.
In the meantime, it's practically balmy here (above freezing), so I'm going to run to the range as soon as I finish the podcast and run some rounds through the Para Tactical Target Rifle...