The Detonics Mark VII Pistol – A Collector’s Item?


This seems out of the blue that I would write about a pistol and especially this one! But when I was at the rifle match last weekend a friend showed me this pistol he has had for a long time. I thought it odd yet really cool. I had to get a couple of photographs. What struck me was that it was a 1911 but short and had no sights what so ever. The top of the slide was a shiny smooth finish. It had a nice weight to it as well. He also pointed out the stamp that it was made in Seattle, WA. When did Seattle ever have a gun manufacturer? Well, I had to do some research.

In 1975, Detonics also called .45 Associates started making a short, compact, all steel, single action, single stack variation of the Browning/Colt 1911. Later versions of this pistol were made famous by the tv show Miami Vice. Don Johnson and Co were flashing this thing all over the beaches. The following is a quote from Jeff Cooper back soon after the gun was first made.
“This remarkable pistol is the smallest, lowest recoil single action .45 caliber semi-automatic in the world. The Detonics .45 is a premium quality professional tool for the serious handgun expert and combat shooter. It is capable of providing the brute force stopping power of the standard-sized .45 in a size no
larger than a snub-nosed .38, or “pocket” 9mm auto.
The Detonics .45 has an advanced mechanism which
reduces the apparent recoil remarkably below the full-sized .45. This awesomely powerful pistol is smaller, more easily concealed, and has greater short/medium range rapid fire accuracy than any single action .45 weapon available today. This masterpiece of combat design is gaining recognition as the finest defensive handgun in the world today.”

As I mentioned before there were no sights on this thing which means it is strictly meant for close combat. There were 6 versions of this gun. Mark I – VI. What is interesting is that my research turned up that the Mark VII is a rare piece. Rumor has it that the CIA asked for the VIIs to be made for them. Only a few were made and tested. What my friend at the range did not realize is that he has a collectors item! I found that it is not going for large sums of money but people have it on auctions starting around $1200 – $1400. And really I only saw 2 out there. The Seatttle company went belly up in the early 80’s and was taken over and started again in Phoenix. Again it floundered and was bought out and moved to Illinois. Apparently no one can figure out why they did not do well. Most likely they were twice the price of other standard Colt formats but their reviews were stellar. Who can figure. But my friend has had this as his carry firearm for a long time. It is a great and comfortable gun for him. I doubt he will be putting it out to auction anytime soon.

30calgal
“Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can………”

About 30calgal

Member of the Unites States Rifle Team. 2011 NRA National Civilian Record Holder of 300 Yards. 2011 B.C. Rifle Champion (First American woman and second woman ever to win this in 127 years) and more. Starting the fast and exciting world of 3 Gun or Multi-Gun Competition.
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