Nighthawk, BigBore and Detonics Day at the range

This is a discussion on Nighthawk, BigBore and Detonics Day at the range within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Nighthawk and I took a long lunch today and headed over to the Scottsdale Gun Club. He took his new Detonics CombatMaster, a BigBore Custom ...

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Thread: Nighthawk, BigBore and Detonics Day at the range

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    Nighthawk, BigBore and Detonics Day at the range

    Nighthawk and I took a long lunch today and headed over to the Scottsdale Gun Club. He took his new Detonics CombatMaster, a BigBore Custom 1911, a BigBore Custom Mercury 1911 and his 4" Nighthawk Custom Enforcer. I took my 5" Nighthawk Custom 1911. We put the Nighthawks on one shooting station so we could compare them side by side and the both of the BigBores and the Detonics on the other. We had 200 rounds per station. While he put the first few rounds through the Detonics, I started alternating between my Nighthawk and his so I could get a good comparison. Mine being the 5" shot a tighter pattern than his (maybe an inch tighter) but since I had added the new Big Dot front sight, mine were consistantly low (the new sight has a higher profile) but they both shot darned good. Glancing over at Nighthawk I noticed his gun hand right in the web was bleeding. It took a few seconds of pointing for him to figure out I was pointing at his hand, not his gun. I finally had to go around to his side to ask him what the heck had happened. Seems he opened up his shooting with the Detonics Combatmaster and as the slide came back it bit him between the hammer and the beavertail. Wow, I was expecting the Detonics to beat us up a bit on recoil, but bring blood? He offered it to me to shoot. Good buddy, huh?

    I, of course, expecting the thing to bite me if I gripped it wrong made certain my hand was not in a position to get chewed on by the fiesty little .45acp. I pumped 6 shots through it at 20 feet and inspected the target. It was not what I expected. At that range the little gun held a pattern about the size of a 3x5 index card. Not real good, but then again, not bad for the first 6 rounds in an unfamiliar 3" .45 with a much different "feel" than my 1911s. This was my first time with a 3" .45acp. I expected a much harder beating. Reload a couple of times and all of my shot groups were about the same spread. All in all, the little gun was better than expected at 20 feet. It doesn't match a 1911 with a longer barrel but For what this gun is meant to be, it's not that bad at all. And what it was meant to be is an up close and personal tool to deliver a .45 round. It proved to be reliable, mean to look at and it was also fun to shoot.

    Enough of the little gun, I wanted to try a BigBore for the first time. Starting with the BigBore Custom, I shot a quick but steady 7 shot group. I just entered the Twilight Zone. That was the tightest group I have ever shot. It was slightly bigger than a silver dollar only because the string was elongated. I think every bullet clipped the hole of the previous bullet. I glanced at Nighthawk through the glass station partition and he was grinning like Cheshire cat. Thinking it might have just been dumb luck, I reloaded and sent another 7 shots downrange. Geez, that was tighter than the first. He was still grinning. I mouthed something that would have to be filtered here in the forum and he shook his head in agreement. I put it down and decided to try the BigBore Mercury, one of the coolest looking 1911's I have ever seen and I wanted to see if it would shoot as good as it looked. Seven shots and I quickly saw that it shot even better than the other one. I have never been this consistant before today. Now, I am not, by any stretch of the imagination a "damned good shot". I am just "okay". As my eyes have deteriorated over the years I have gotten to be even less of a good shot. But I still do "okay". I generally don't consitantly clip the previous bullet hole.

    We changed places again and, while satisfied with my shooting with both his and my Nighthawk, I just couldn't believe how different the BigBore shot. Overall, the difference between the Nighthawk and the BigBore were about the same difference between my Kimber and the Nighthawk in both recoil and accuracy.

    Before we left I put up a fresh 5 spot target and shot one magazine each in the BigBore, the BigBore Mercury and the Detonics. While not the best shots I made of the day, still better than I normally shoot. I will try to get some target pictures up tomorrow.



    Detonics CombatMaster

    Detonics CombatMaster



    Big Bore Custom 1911



    BigBore Mercury Custom 1911



    Nighthawk Custom Enforcer 1911
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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    Member Array George Hill's Avatar
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    Those Nighthawk pistols are drop dead sexy.

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    That ''Big Bore'' is a very cool looker. I remember George's write up on a Detonics in CCM and knew a buddy with one. Remarkeable pieces tho I would like to see a more generous beavertail I think!

    Good write-up Bumper - thank you. Gotta be one of the best ways of ''doing lunch''
    Chris - P95
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Hill
    Those Nighthawk pistols are drop dead sexy.
    Yeah, the Enforcer is really pretty understated when you really look at it. It's just a black 1911. But it is jet black with only small glimpses of stainless (bushing and barrel) or aluminum (trigger). It sorta give you the feeling of a big blacked out vehicle coming up beind you. They certainly are good shooters. I have yet to have any kind of failure to feed, eject or feed.

    There are some things I might change about the Detonics for sure. The thing I dislike the most is the absence of the grip safety. To carry safe you carry with the hammer down and upon drawing are supposed to thumb cock the hammer. It could also benefit by a pair of slimline grips which I hear AlumaGrips are about to do.
    Bumper
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    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    Bumpy, to carry the Det safely, cant you just engage the thumb safety?

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdsumner
    Bumpy, to carry the Det safely, cant you just engage the thumb safety?
    Well, yeah, I guess so if you are comfortable with that. But this gun was not designed to be carried cocked and locked and I'm not sure I would want to. If the thumb safety came off because of something (I can't think of how) you could very easily blow a hole in something dear to you.
    Bumper
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    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    Actually, the Army Ord designated the grip safety, but you knew that. A number of folks 'pin' their grip safeties for 'reliability's sake'. I would think that a discharge would be just as least likely to happen with the pinned safety like the CM as a regualar safety. The Det's foreward sitting rear sight was the result of a fad for awhile that involved carrying cond 2, and then fanning the hammer back with the palm of the non firing hand. That to me is much more dangerous then carrying cocked and locked.
    But, its all in what you are comfy with. I hope you enjoy the pistol. It seems like a good second or deep cover gun.


    If its not to be carried in cond 1, what sort of safety is in place to prevent the hammer from falling hard enough to detonate a primer on a chambered cartridge if it slipped from your thmb during thmbcocking? Just curious?
    Dan

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Nice looking guns .

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    I'm DROOLIN here............. I want those.....REAL NICE GUNS!!!! <wiping the drool from the screen> LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdsumner
    I hope you enjoy the pistol. It seems like a good second or deep cover gun.

    If its not to be carried in cond 1, what sort of safety is in place to prevent the hammer from falling hard enough to detonate a primer on a chambered cartridge if it slipped from your thmb during thmbcocking? Just curious?
    Good question, Dan, I don't know. It's Nighthawk's gun, not mine so I can't inspect it and see if it could drop hard enough to torch a round off. I expect the answer is that it could. What I would really be afraid of more than an AD would be that it is a 1911 that operates just a little differently than my others. I am still thinking over whether I would actually want one rather than something else. It is a wicked little gun.
    Bumper
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    Detonics

    The chopped Detonics is a very strange feeling firearm to shoot.
    It takes a while to get used to it.
    It takes a while longer than that to actually appreciate it.
    The tendency is to compare it to a full grip .45 & you just can't.
    It has some truly unique attributes that make it extremely nice & ideal for concealed carry.
    Like the GLOCK 36 ~ it is NOT an "All Day Fun At The Range Gun" ~ It WILL save your precious tushy on the street. It's EXTREMELY reliable for being such a tight & compact .45
    Like you folks...it was one gun that I DID NOT shoot very well my first few times out with it. You will end up shooting it better.
    I really miss not having mine around anymore.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    I really miss not having mine around anymore.
    Well, you don't have to do without, QKS, they are back in production and supposedly better than ever. It was my first time to shoot one and overall I liked it. It will after shooting it a bit start smarting the palm of your hand near the bottom of the grip. Both of us thought it might benefit from a replacement base pad similar to the ones they put on the compact Glocks. As you said it is meant to save your butt. And an interesting story about the events that led up to it being developed that I can't remember well enough to relate.
    Bumper
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    Member Array nighthawk's Avatar
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    O.K. according the manual the detonics should be carried cocked and locked for any measure of safety. It can be carried hammer down, but you'll never find me with it in that position. To easy to bump tap etc. especially since it does not have a beaver tail. I will say it is very easy to clean and shoots increadible for a 3" oh @#$& mouse .45. God I wish everyone could have seen bumpers face as he cliped previous shots with my BigBore. Hey Bumper post the target.

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    Detonics

    The Stainless Detonics ~ That was my very first...Smaller Than A Commander .45
    They were not cheap way back when I bought mine.
    It was a fairly high dollar (almost semi~custom) .45 back then.
    Let's just say...$$ more than a Colt.
    Whatever you do...resist the temptation to put rubber grips on it.
    Mine ate anything. I was really suprised that it fed absolutely everything for being such a small .45 ~ I was most impressed by the functional reliability.
    It just always went bang.

    That BigBore ??? Need I say anything about that firearm that you don't already know.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Detonics CM

    QKShooter - your impressions of the Detonics are on the money.

    In reference to the pinned/absent grip safety - according to the history compiled by Pat Yates (one of the original experimenters/designers); "I have always believed that the only safety one should trust on any firearm is the training of the operator. In retrospect, given the changes in our society over the intervening quarter-century, the later designers and manufacturers of compact 1911 variants, Colt, Kimber, ParaOrdnance, et al, were prudent to keep Browning's grip safety". I tend to agree and wonder why Ahern chose to not reincorporate it into the new Detonics CM.

    For me the grip safety is a non-issue as I cannot afford one of the new pistols anyway and am more than satisfied with the one I have. It long ago had a butter-smooth Seecamp DA conversion performed on it and is usually carried hammer down on a live round with the thumb safety on - a nice feature. But, yeah, I know - it's not a "real" 1911 anymore.

    I've never had a problem with hammer bite as I don't have large hands and don't tend to hold a handgun with a high grip. I'm afraid any extended beavertail would reduce its concealability.

    The forward set rear sight is a real oddity - I must admit. Still - this, too, adds slightly to its concealability, and In my chosen mode of carry the sight blade sits right above belt level. I carry the pistol with an original "Clipdraw" and the flattened top of the rear of the slide aids in handling the gun when securing it on the belt for carry. The decreased sight radius on the CM has long been criticized - but for the intended purpose of the pistol - the sights suit me fine.

    The little .45 can be punishing on the range and so I usually shoot it with a padded shooting glove on. Though it's taken many years - I think I'm finally getting accustomed to the little rascal.

    Reliability, shootability and concealability are key for me - and this one meets the test. Now that concealed carry is the law of the land in my home state - I'm darned glad I held onto it.
    If you want to make God laugh - tell Him your plans. Yiddish proverb

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