I’ve been a friend of Detonics Defense partner Bruce Siddle for a number of years, and got my hands on one of the first MTX pistols. It is a very soft-shooting pistol designed from the ground up as a combat weapon, using a 1911 top-end with a modular frame and grip inspired by (and greatly improving upon) the Browning Hi Power.

Detonics is now releasing the STX, the first striker-fired pistol based combining many of the 1911 and the Hi Power.

I’m hoping to get my hands on an STX to test in the near future, but I’m every bit as impressed with the science that went into this new gun, which are based in the relatively new field of combat human facts. We conducted an interview with Detonics Defense and Human Factors Research Group partner Bruce Siddle to understand what makes the STX so unique.

Bearing Arms: What are “combat human factors?”

Bruce Siddle: Combat Human Factors is a sub-field of study that examines human capability and human limitations in battle – or more specifically – a firefight.

Combat Human Factors is defined as rhe study of human capabilities and human limitations in high-risk and time-compressed environments.

This field of human factors evolved around the specificities of human capability in high-risk, life threatening and time compressed environments.  The two tactical fields combat human factors is most often related to is close-quarter battle and combat/tactical aviation.  In these two fields, “high-risk” is measured as an “imminent jeopardy of death”, and the time to respond is compressed.

The combination of high-risk and compressed-time, triggers a mass discharge of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS).  Scientists dating back to Harvard’s preeminent Walter Cannon (M.D.) is credited as one of the first scientist to realize a mass discharge triggers manifestations that are unique.  Pupil dilation, body orientation, re-alignment of the joints, the release of stress hormones; are all subsequent to a SNS mass discharge.  Throughout the decades the mass discharge has been heavily studied as a subconscious phenomena that is automatic and uncontrollable.

But in combat, the SNS is responsible for the loss of higher brain functions, such as reason, logic, common sense, computation and the loss of precision motor skills.  The SNS is also the reason for specific types of accidental discharges, and why an officer, soldier or special missions operator can miss a close quarter target within an hour of producing a high qualification score.