Detonics Carbine Pistol, Gladiator Pistol

As a hardcore gun guy, I am always looking for interesting blasters to write about and if possible, shoot. It was during one of these “search and explore” missions that I came across something that made me do a double take. It comes from the Prague-based company Detonics. Sound familiar? Because I’ve already spoken about the very interesting, among other things, Detonics Gladiator Carbine Shotgun. I’m not going down that rabbit hole again. Instead, today we’re talking about the Detonics Carbine Pistol.

Understanding the Detonics Carbine Pistol

I say I did a double take because the actual product and name are a major departure from what we see here in the U.S. When we say “carbine pistol” here in the States, we immediately think of an AR platform with a pistol brace; the more general rule is a semi-auto truck or backpack gun chambered in .223. But that’s not the case here. The Detonics Carbine Pistol is a breach-loading weapon that in the U.S. would simply be called a pistol.

What is more interesting are the two flavors this gun comes in: .410 bore and, wait for it … 50 caliber black powder. While the .410 is a jump in regards to “carbine,” it is not beyond reason as we have guns like the Taurus Judge pistol chambered in the same round. However, it was the back powder carbine pistol that caused me to slam on the scrolling breaks.

The Detonics Carbine Pistol Build

The gun can be fitted with a stock, which is the reason I believe it is categorized as a carbine. In short, it is a pistol version of Detonics’ Carbine Shotgun, which is already fitted with a stock. The .50 caliber black powder version is listed with multiple safety features. Detonics lists them as “Fully covered primers with directive venting, spring loaded firing pins, hidden strikers, striking spring automatically stretched shortly before the shot, long trigger travel with high trigger weight.”

Breach-loading gun, Czech republic, .410 bore, .50 caliber black powder

Feature wise, the pistol has a Picatinny rail that runs the length of the receiver and barrel. It also has a rail underneath the barrel for additional accessories. Detonics built the gun using 7075 T6 duralumin with a hard-black anodized finish. The barrel is made from quality hard carbonitride steel with a smooth bore.

The gun comes in around the five-pound range and is just more than 13 inches in length with a 10-inch barrel. Where that falls category wise here in the U.S. with the ATF is unknown. I am sure there is a reader out there well versed in black powder weapons that has a quick answer, but at this point I would suggest you contact the ATF for clarification. Detonics has the gun listed as a “D” category gun, which is a European system. This lumps it in with pepper spray and blank firing guns.

My Thoughts

I must be honest: I would love to shoot one. A .50 caliber black powder pistol in a modern configuration has an odd appeal to me. It would not be speedy on the reload, but that is not what it is for. I have had the fortune of spending some time in Europe and their firearms culture is quite different than what we enjoy here in the U.S. The fact that the gun actually has rails on it caught my eye, as that is a touchy subject with our friends to the East. In some situations, a black powder weapon version of this design is all they are permitted.

Applications of this gun are up for debate. As a game gun it has some use.  Many a bird and rabbit have seen their last days with .410. The .50 black powder angle has the potential to bring it into the larger game world, but there would need to be a long hard look at ballistics and ranges.

Should you use them for personal defense? Well, that falls into a personal choice realm. I would not use either of these as my primary self-defense gun for a multitude of reasons. With that said though, they are definitely better than a sharp stick. In short, you take what you can get and make the best of it. An intruder that ends up on the wrong end of a .50 caliber pistol will soon regret their life choices. In the end the guns are intriguing and a reminder of how gun culture around the world differs from ours. For more information, please visit

Detonics Carbine Pistol Specs

  • Gun type: Percussion double-shot carbine, “D” category
  • Caliber, primers type: .50 (12,7 mm), percussion primers 4 mm / .410
  • Frame (material, color): High strength duralumin 7075 T6 – hard black anodize
  • Barrel (material, color, type): High quality steel – hard carbonitride, smooth bore
  • Trigger mechanism function: DAO – Double Action Only
  • Safety elements: Fully covered primers with directive venting, spring loaded firing pins, hidden strikers, striking spring automatically stretched shortly before the shot, long trigger travel with high trigger weight
  • Net weight: 1925 grams (without stock)
  • Length of the barrel pack: 254 mm (10 inches)
  • Overall Length (without stock): 339 mm (13.35 inches)
  • Width (without stock): 30 mm (1.18 inches)
  • Height (without stock): 158 mm (6.22 inches)
  • MSRP: 839 EUR ($949.20)

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