American Rifleman - April 2011 - 28

LOCK, STOCK & BARREL

OPENING SHOT

The John Bianchi
And Detonics Connection

T

he first mass-produced, compact M1911-based
.45 ACP pistol was the Detonics, introduced
around 1976. The company hit its stride when
its gun was chosen for Don Johnson to carry as a
backup for the hit 1984-1989 television series "Miami
Vice." As "Sonny Crockett," Johnson wore the
Detonics in a leg holster based on a Bianchi design.
John Bianchi's brief involvement with the original Bellevue, Wash., gun company had come about a few years
after the Detonics was introduced. "Around 1979 I met
one of the owners at a show and he wanted to discuss
the gun's features. He wanted my suggestions for any
design changes. I told him an ambidextrous safety was
essential. I then suggested they use a beveled magazine
well, and modify the grip safety, although they ended up
eliminating it altogether. Then I said it needed to have
rubber combat grips, and I suggested that the backstrap
be checkered or knurled to provide a better gripping
surface. The ejection port needed to be relieved, and

24 A

PRIL

2011

WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

then I added it's got to have a bobbed hammer. About
six months later I get a call and they tell me they've got
a gun for me and 'hope you like it.' It arrived, and it had
every feature I had suggested."
Thirty years after receiving the specially inscribed
JEB-1 Combat Master, Bianchi joined me for an
afternoon shoot on the test range. After adjusting the
rear sight, shots fired from 7 yds. grouped less than 2"
in the X and 10 rings. With the exception of one stove
pipe out of 50 rounds, the gun performed without
issue. Bianchi was surprised by how manageable the
recoil was, having remembered it as having quite a
kick. "I'd have to describe the recoil as 'user friendly'
considering its size and caliber. The tolerances are
very good, the slide is tight, the trigger, for a factory
gun, is very acceptable, and comparing it to today's
.45 Auto compacts I still like it very much. It remains a
very credible gun."
-DENNIS ADLER
Photo by author


http://WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - April 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - April 2011

American Rifleman - April 2011 - 1
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