Detonics is historically recognized as the innovator of the compact 1911 as a new design and not a cut down version of a full size handgun. The original architecture for the Detonics Combat Master began in the 1960s with an Explosives Corporation of America (EXCOA) engineer named Pat Yates. Through this association, Yates met with a number of other gun enthusiasts in the early 70s, including Sid Woodcock. These meetings led to the development of the original prototypes for the Combat Master. In the middle of the decade, Mike Maes, a manager with EXCOA and Sid Woodcock formalized their collaborative work and began what is the 30 year history of Detonics.

Pat Yates now had an opportunity to fully develop his compact 1911 design. Over the course of a few short years, the Combat Master was developed, tested and put into production in 1976. The Combat Master quickly became the gun for those who wanted considerable power in a small, concealable weapon system. In the early 1980s, Detonics released both the Service Master and Score Master weapons as full-size additions to their operator oriented product line.

Detonics course changed in 1987 with its purchase by Bruce McCaw of McCaw Cellular. The company was renamed New Detonics with operations managed by Robbie Barkman of ROBAR. During this period, New Detonics was moved to Phoenix, Arizona where operations continued until closing in 1992.

The next major change occurred in 2004 as New Detonics reappeared as Detonics USA under the guidance of Jerry Ahern. Operations were moved to Pendergrass, Georgia, where the first significant additions to the product line were made with the Street Master, a full size slide on a Combat Master frame and the commemorative, full size 9-11-01. A number of quality and combat functional upgrades were introduced into the weapon systems again reflecting on the operator oriented combat persona.

In November of 2007, ownership of Detonics USA and all of its predecessors was purchased by Bruce Siddle and Dr. Steve Stahle. Now known only as Detonics, corporate operations were relocated to Millstadt, IL, where the continuing 27 year legacy of Bruce Siddle in human factors research continues to this day. The view that innovation in weapon design is driven by those that staff peacekeeping roles where the application of the handgun in a hostile situation is of paramount importance now fuels the fire of development. The vision for Detonics is to continue its handgun design heritage, supporting the operational community with a premier weapon system of extraordinary quality and reliability, while moving toward the creation of the next generation of semi-automatic handgun; a platform from which to engineer a product line based upon 27 years of human factors research and training.