There is an interesting time in the firearms industry. It’s a “quiet time” that sits in between the major industry shows like SHOT Show and the NRA Annual Meetings. It’s a time when manufacturers are busy at work getting new products ready for release and pushing orders out the door. And during this time, writers start scouring the dark recesses of the Internet and talking with industry contacts about possible new products. This leads us to something on the horizon from Prague in the Czech Republic. The team at Detonics has announced the release of two versions of its new Gladiator carbine shotgun. And buckle up, because there’s a lot going on here.
Detonics Gladiator Carbine Shotgun Details
Detonics is better known in the firearms world for its Gladiator compact pistol, made in a variety of flavors. These have been immensely popular in Europe. That’s why this new release caught my eye. What’s even more unique is that Detonics chambered the first version of the Gladiator carbine shotgun in a modern black powder of .50 using percussion primers.
As you can imagine, this is heavily influenced from being based in Europe. The first thought I have when we talk about a lightweight shotgun is recoil; this is especially true when we consider it is chambered in .50 black powder. While I can’t speak from direct experience, I have seen video of the gun being fired and it seems to be pretty easily controlled. It’s a two-shot gun, so it would take quite a bit of time on the range to really begin to feel the effects.
The .50 Black Powder Model
Referred to as a “micro-compact shotgun,” Detonics lists the .50 black powder version as the Gladiator .500 HD F1. It comes with a simple lightweight fixed stock, pistol grip and has a Picatinny rail that runs the length of the receiver and barrel. It also has a rail underneath the barrel for additional accessories.
This model is a muzzleloader. Being a black powder gun, safety is paramount and Detonics has it covered. The company has fully covered primers with directive venting, spring loaded firing pins and hidden strikers.
One safety feature that we see in it —which isn’t exactly on the top 10 wish list in the U.S.—is a long trigger travel with a “heavy” trigger pull. While not listed, sources have it as a double-action only measured in the eight pounds of pull area.
The gun is well made and constructed of 7075 T6 duralumin and hard black anodize. Detonics made the barrel from high 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 without a stock. Detonics said the Gladiator “can also be equipped with fixed and folding stock, including the AR stock.”
A side note is that the barrel on this gun is only 10 inches in length, which more than likely puts it into the short barrel shotgun realm. Now it is black powder so it may be different, but when I started inquiring about how it would be handled by the ATF I simply got, “It’s a short barrel black powder carbine shotgun … what?”
In short (no pun intended), you are on your own to figure out that tangled mess.
Black powder guns have come a long way over the last 100 years and this blaster is a testament to that. Along with the black powder version, Detonics offers the Carbine Shotgun chambered in an easier-to-run .410 as well. Both models are double-barrel guns and fire each barrel individually with a single trigger pull. This is a unique design and makes it even more interesting.
Both guns are listed in the 840-Euro area, which puts them at about $940 in the U.S. Not a cheap shotgun by any stretch, but certainly a unique gun and one to consider when they finally hit the market in October. Detonics offers a lifetime warranty on its guns, so there’s that too. No word yet as to who will be importing the guns, but they are certain to make it to U.S. soil considering our love of interesting guns.
Detonics does offer the opportunity to test its guns at events around Europe so if you are in the neighborhood, check out its website for the closest opportunity! For more information, please visit Detonics.com.
Detonics Carbine Shotgun 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 (without stock) : 1,925 grams (4.24 pounds)
- 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 ($940.64)