The paper describes a new configuration using a gaseous detonation explosive blast source suitable for the studies of the instantaneous uniform pressure loading and mechanical response of materials. The capabilities of the configuration are illustrated by a preliminary series of experiments of the dynamic loading of clamped circular plates of 304 grade stainless steel with thicknesses ranging from 9.5 mm to 0.5 mm. The mechanical responses of the plates were monitored using strain gauges placed across the plate radius together with physical measurements of any permanent residual displacement of the center of the plate. The residual central deformations were analyzed using a well-established correlation involving nondimensional pressure load impulse. No universal correlation for the present data was found, but linear relationships for changes in two experimental parameters were identified, suggesting that the existing correlations have some deficiencies when applied to stainless steel 304.