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Thread: Another RARE piece - an Original .38 AMU sold to Gill Hebard, then sent to L.E. Clark

  1. #1
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    7th September 2018
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    Another RARE piece - an Original .38 AMU sold to Gill Hebard, then sent to L.E. Clark

    Another RARE piece - an Original .38 AMU sold to Gill Hebard, then sent to L.E. Clark

    Hello all,

    I've just acquired another rare 1911 variation, a .38 AMU in excellent condition. AMU stands for Army Marksmanship Unit. I called the Colt Historian and according to Colt Factory records, (letter coming next week) this gun (frame and all parts) was shipped as a .38 AMU "Kit" to Gil Hebard, Knoxville, IL on Sept. 7, 1962. A special notation in the letter states; "Note: Kit with unfit slide and unfit barrel ... sold with a .38 Special magazine". The Historian said this was a common practice with shipments to Gil Hebard as he, (or his customers) would precision fit the barrel to the slide, and then precision fit the slide to the frame. All this was was done to achieve utmost accuracy. Apparently this gun (or kit) was then sold to L.E. Clark, Shreveport, LA. His stamp and work order number "1062" (date - Oct. 62) can be seen of the bottom of the slide. Clark is know for building very accurate Competition pistols. I'm not sure if it then went to R.C. Curtis as the final customer with Clark putting his name on the side of the weight, or if Curtis did some further work. Richard Curtis was an AMU armorer and studied some under Dick Shokey before buying Dick's shop. If anyone has any information about R.C. Curtis I would be appreciate hearing from you.

    pictures below show ....

    The number "310" is stamped on the bottom of the slide matching the last 3 digits of the serial number of the frame.

    The "L.E.Clark" stamp and "date" are stamped on the bottom of the slide

    The Barrel is marked with the caliber "COLT .38 AMU" and the Slide is marked "COLT .38 AMU Automatic".

    The weight is marked "R.C. Curtis".

    The sights are Bomar rear sight, and an Extended front sight.

    The front of the trigger-guard was machined to attach the weight.

    The magazine is marked .38 spec.






















    Last edited by buckstix; 19th September 2018 at 08:28.


  2. #2
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    9th June 2004
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    Handsome piece from a bygone day.
    If you should want to shoot it, is .38 AMU ammo or brass available? Or do you have to turn down the rims of .38 Special for yourself?

  3. #3
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    7th September 2018
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    Hello Jim Watson,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I tested a 38 spcl wadcutter round in the chamber, and it fits and functions just fine. Although it is an original 38 AMU barrel, I believe it was upgraded by Clark to use 38 spcl rounds.

    Last edited by buckstix; 19th September 2018 at 15:12.


  4. #4
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    29th August 2017
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    Very nice find.

    The cartridge, extended front sight, and weight are a some things I've never seen before on 1911.

    Did they actually raise burs on the front strap to provide a texture?

    -

  5. #5
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    7th September 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by megafiddle View Post
    ..... Did they actually raise burs on the front strap to provide a texture?
    Hello megafiddle

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, this method of stippling was unique to Clark. and called "Tiger Tooth" and it really worked to keep the gun from shifting in your hand between shots.

    Below is the description as shown in the 1962 Gil Hebard catalog.



    Last edited by buckstix; 20th September 2018 at 10:52.


  6. #6
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    24th March 2006
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    You have a Clark "Model 61"
    It will be chambered in .38 Special. R.L. (Richard) Shockey passed away in 1981. That under frame weight was pretty unique to Richard's builds. I've never heard of Mr Curtis, but it would make sense that if he purchased R.L.'s business after his death there would be a supply of these under frame weights although this is the first one marked R.C. Curtis I've ever seen.
    Clark Custom has kept the records of their builds. I own 2 Clark guns and have contacted them in the past and found them very helpful if you are looking for further information on the Model 61. Nice gun, congrats.

  7. #7
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    7th September 2018
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    Test Fired Target & Factory Letter

    Hello hotrod1894s10,

    Well, I finally took the pistol to the range for a spin. Although I'm a pretty good pistol shot, I must admit this group was fired using a mechanical rest. Fired at 50 feet.

    I also got the Factory Letter for the AMU. (shown below)




  8. #8
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    wonderful piece, the most interesting 1911 I have ever seen. thank you for sharing.
    cold on ice it's a Deadman's touch...

  9. #9
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    6th April 2014
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    Great find, hope you keep shooting it and enjoying it.
    NRA Endowment Life Member, NRA RSO, NRA Police Firearms Instructor

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