Gun Hub Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This thread was on the 1911 forum. Wondering what some of the folks here think about this particular example of an old customized Colt.

The poster bought what was marked a .38 Super, but he wasn't able to get a Super to chamber.

A .38 Special wadcutter chambered perfectly.

New Old School Colt - 1911Forum
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
IrishCop,

I'd bet all the $$$$ in my pocket that it's .38Super that had had a special .38SPL barrel installed for "punching paper". = I once had such a 1911 that had an "accessory barrel" for wadcutters when I was on the TXAGO's staff & was getting all the FREE .38 WC that I could shoot up & it shot beautifully.
(MANY a landfill rat fell to one of those WC. = That's where I taught my lady to shoot/hit moving targets.)

yours, sw
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've been intrigued by the .38 Spl wadcutter 1911's ever since I first read about them.

Never saw, held or fired one. :(

Wasn't Jim Clark the first pistolsmith who made the concept work and actually sell them? And I think he made the magazines for them too. Bet they took a bit of tinkering to get them to feed!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
Irish Cop,

That is the ONLY .38SPL 1911 GM that I've ever shot & it fed fine. It had little recoil, made little noise & was VERY accurate out to 25M, thus it was easy to introduce new SA shooters to using "big pistols".
(I traded it off for a "fancy" Remington Model 760 in .30-06 & a Colt's Agent, LONG AGO.)

I have NO idea about who "invented" the barrel/magazine.

Fwiw, the WC were FINE for killing rabbits for the stewpot/skillet & FREE ammo didn't hurt anything either!!!

yours, sw
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,172 Posts
It's a hot mess as-is, but would make a fine, fine project gun--either in .38 wadcutter or converted to another chambering. I LOVE to play with abused old junk like this.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,882 Posts
Snake45,

AGREED 100%.

Fwiw, I took 22 bunnies in one Fall afternoon sitting on the porch of my farmhouse with it. = Being on the bottom of the food chain must suck, if you're Peter Cottontail, as every meat-eater likes you.

yours, sw
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,055 Posts
Alton S. Dinan was a CT. gunsmith who predated Clark. I can't say who "invented" the .38 Super Conversion but I think it would be more accurate to say Clark made it popular.

I have several done by Giles, Day and Clark and you can actually trace the development with several. When Colt came out with their Gold cup .38 the magazines really gave the whole job a boost because adapting the .38 Super magazine was a real pain.

The very first guns used the original super barrel. The chamber area was reamed out and an insert silver soldered in. Then it would be chambered to .38 Spec.

A little later smiths got a Douglas barrel which was then sleeved into a conventional barrel that was cut off just in front of the chamber. This gave all the barrel areas that needed fitting (lugs. hood) which could then be built up by welding.

I'm pretty sure Clark was first to market barrels that were ready to go.

Remind me Terry and I'll bring a couple next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Alton S. Dinan was a CT. gunsmith who predated Clark. I can't say who "invented" the .38 Super Conversion but I think it would be more accurate to say Clark made it popular.

I have several done by Giles, Day and Clark and you can actually trace the development with several. When Colt came out with their Gold cup .38 the magazines really gave the whole job a boost because adapting the .38 Super magazine was a real pain.

The very first guns used the original super barrel. The chamber area was reamed out and an insert silver soldered in. Then it would be chambered to .38 Spec.

A little later smiths got a Douglas barrel which was then sleeved into a conventional barrel that was cut off just in front of the chamber. This gave all the barrel areas that needed fitting (lugs. hood) which could then be built up by welding.

I'm pretty sure Clark was first to market barrels that were ready to go.

Remind me Terry and I'll bring a couple next year.
I was sure you would know, Charlie. And believe me, I'll remind you. Might have to try and scare up some .38 Special Match ammo.

Oh, and by the way... you :rock:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,055 Posts
I left out Bob Chow...

The most informative thing is to shoot the Colt Gold Cup .38 which is direct blowback vs one of the conversions which is locked breech.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The older I get the more I learn. I didn't realize Colt ever manufactured a Gold Cup in .38 Special. I always thought they were strictly custom or semi custom builds. Goes to show you...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
There were a multitude of "how-to" articles in the post-war issues of American Rifleman on the .38 Special conversions. I seem to remember a later interview with Jim Clark, Sr. in which he admitted that he wasn't the first to do the conversion, and that he was inspired by one of the Rifleman articles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,678 Posts
I've never shot a .38 AMU or .38 Special 1911. I have a friend who has an AMU barrel right now, and I can't seem to talk him out of it. Not sure what I'd do with it, but it's cool, so I want it.

I've shot the S&W model 52 and it was a very sweet shooting machine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,055 Posts
Kevin one of the coolest AMU pieces is the kit Colt made for the top half of a 1911 to go to AMU. They also sold a few complete guns.

I've got a couple, but some were converted back to /38 Spec. when AMU ammo dried up.

We had a Marine team shooting in a PPC match and they were using AMU ammo in the M15 S&W's. Scored a lot of brass and a few boxes of ammo.

There really was no difference shooting it compared to regular wadcutter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
With all due respect for some of the pioneers in 1911 (and revolver) smithing, if you've acquired a bullseye gun from days long ago CHECK ALL SAFETY DEVICES FOR FUNCTION prior to use!

The article Terry linked seems to indicate that the half cock notch may have been removed from the hammer [lets you set minimum trigger overtravel]. Taking a grinder to the thumb safety so "it can't interfere with the trigger pull/sear release" was also very common. [Besides, no one was going to use a safety on a target gun anyway!] There are a few other little gems that may be lurking within.

Some of the folks involved in pistol smithing may have been good craftsmen. That didn't mean they understood how the 1911 functioned or had the liability situation we do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,055 Posts
That is sound advice for ANY firearm, but I honestly never engaged the safety on my bullseye guns. Still, SOP in the shop was to check them all.

It was not unusual to find the grip safety deactivated for some shooters who held the gun strangely and I have a Swenson gun with a metal strap over it. I also have a Shockey gun with a little screw on the mainspring housing that locks the safety down.

The practice of carrying cocked and locked is relatively new and I distinctly remember being told to NEVER do that. Times change.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top