A couple of years ago a friend showed off a very unusual pistol to me. So I wrote an article about it. It was about his Detonics MK VII pistol. (Click the link to go back to original article) I knew very little about it and he really did not either. He had it for a long time and just thought that it was pretty cool since it had no sites, on purpose, and the stamp of the manufacturer was from Seattle, WA. When I wrote the first article I only had information that I had researched from the “Internets”. We know how accurate that always is right? Just the other day someone contacted me through my website and he said he had stumbled on my old article and that he had much more information about the pistol. In fact he said he was close friends with the owner of Detonics and that he helped in the design process. He still has one of the original prototypes. Of course I begged him for his story and photos. I was happily corrected on details I had written and also was given some very cool information.
First let me introduce you to the gentleman coming forward with the history.
His name is D.P. Van Blaricom and is a retired Chief of Police for the City of Bellevue Police Department. Van was very close friends with the Detonics designer Sid Woodcock. Sid’s background was in explosives which he learned in the OSS during WWII. Just to drop a very cool name, Sid and Van were also friends with THE Uzi Gal. How cool is that? From Van himself, here is a bit of the Detonics’ story;
“When he (Sid) decided to place his Detonics design into production, he selected a site in south Bellevue and I had become Chief of Police by then. I selected his production model to arm my narcs and told him that such a close range pistol did not need sights. After some discussion, I made a drawing of his production model that incorporated the following changes: 1. – no sights; 2. – relieved trigger guard; 3. – reshaped hammer; 4. – reduced width of slide stop release and safety; 5. – Pacmayer stocks. The prototype was blued, had the serial “Van”, with gunsmith/maker Marc C. Lagen’s initials “MCL” to the rear of the ejection port and my name on the left side of the slide (this is the gun
portrayed in the photos)
Sid put this model into limited production as the Mark VII in stainless steel and I know some are out there but I have no idea how many. I obtained one of the production models, which was marked in the same manner as the prototype (also serial “Van”) but Sid put his initials “SHW” to the rear of the ejection port. I carried that model as my duty weapon until I retired and arrested an armed robber (not a Chief’s usual job but I just happened to be going past the jewelry store, when he came out and the alarm came into dispatch) – he remarked on the “size of the hole” in my gun, on which he was focused.”
When I wrote the first article I had found in research statements that said the pistol was made for CIA. I have been corrected and that was a rumor. A good one though! But Van did state “As a matter of historical interest King Hussein of Jordan carried a standard Detonics, which was presented to him by the Boeing Company, when he personally took delivery of one of the B727s he had purchased for Jordanian Airlines.”
Van still has the two Mark VII’s that he referenced. The NRA wants them for their museum. They might have to wait awhile. It does not sound like he wants to give them up just yet. I don’t blame you Van! One thing I do know about this pistol. They are very rare. I told my friend he had something special and to hold on to it. Now I am convinced of it.