A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Clark .38 Special Long Slide

On Auction Arms is a Clark .38 special long slide Wadcutter gun. This pistol is a M1911A1 that was converted in 1968 by J.E. Clark Sr. into a premium Bullseye gun.

Jim Clark Sr. was not only a pioneering gunsmith, but he was a world class Bullseye shooter, breaking 2600 his third year in competition, only the fifth man to ever do so....... with a borrowed gun. A decade later, he became one of four men to break 2650. Needless to say, this pistol is a bullseye gun built by a man who knew Bullseye shooting.

If one looks closely at the flat of the slide, just beneath the rear of the front sight, a variance in the metal peeks through the blue finish. This is the weld that Jim Clark placed to join two US GI slides together, in order to fabricate a longer slide to house a six inch barrel.

Once welded, the slide was milled on each side to smooth out the surface and to remove the factory rollmarks. The resulting flat top slide serrations are reminiscent of serration variations that were to appear on factory guns years later.

Other modifications abound on this gun. The front strap is stippled with Clark's signature "tiger tooth" texture. The trigger is drilled and tapped to accept an over travel screw. A Bomar adjustable rib sight is attached to the top of the slide. No doubt though, the real magic is inside the gun, in the fitting and the conversion to .38 specials.

I would like to own this piece of gunsmithing history, but at a starting bid of $1,450.00, I'm out of the running. If it was at a local gun shop, I would trade off several guns to get it though..........

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Blogger nature223 said...

*DROOLS*....I remember reading about those guns...nice find Xav

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

.38 special, not .38 super? I'd like to see the insides of one of these pistols, myself.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clark Custom still builds .38 special wadcutter guns.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how Clark customs are so stripped down compared to many other custom makers. Every change serves a purpose in making the gun more shootable, unlike many guns which have assorted highly visible doodads to show how expensive the gun is.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Carl H said...

If I wasn't so good at figuring odds, I'd buy a lottery ticket and hope I could buy that gun with my winnings.

Instead I'll just say 'Nice pistol'.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Krissy Perrine said...

I am a NRA Firearms Instructor - One of my students brought this firearm to class. She is in her 70's, it belonged to her late husband. It's a Colt Custom "Clark" Long Slide .38 Spec.
I was pleased to find this blogger site with photos and description, right down to the welded slide.

Thank you,
H&K Firearms Training

7:34 PM  

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