Camp Perry was a success for one incredible reason: I got to handle a personal firearm of one of the greatest pistol shooters to ever live: Jim Clark, Sr. But what is even more interesting is this talisman wasn’t hanging on a wall or under glass waiting to be fondled by a cotton-gloved, Gun-Jesus.
Actually…it wasn’t even out for the public to see. It was put away in a personal range bag. After being shot in a match. Dirty and all. And I got to touch it, press-check it, dry fire it and cycle it again and again.
And how did I get such rarefied access to this national treasure? Who in their right mind would let, “Marky from John1911” touch such a thing? All the punishment and or praise goes to this guy:
The price of admission? Shekels paid? Zero. Zip. Nada. All one had to do was…ask. Well…first know about it…and then ask.
You see…truly desirable things happen almost by accident or circumstance. Limited edition collector’s plates of Elvis, commemorative pistols, numbered and engraved knives…that kind of thing is schlock.
The truly great collectible artifacts are imbued with greatness either through individual deeds or accidents of history. The Jim Clark, Sr. 38 Special Wadcutter Bullseye Pistol is one such item.
But it’s with a twinge of sadness that I look back and realize, I may have been the only guy to inquire about Clark Custom Gun’s long and storied heritage. And perhaps the only person to even notice a 38 wadcutter, 1911 built by Jim Clark, Sr. was on property.
For the record, I couldn’t get the Clark guys to sell me this pistol. Nor would I expect them to. But you can’t hold such a valuable piece of firearms heritage and not secretly wonder, “Can I actually own this?!”
Many of our younger shooters don’t know about this pistol or the legendary family that is behind it. Hell! Most modern fans of the 1911 don’t even know who “Senior” and “Junior” were. Let’s hope this post plays a small part in changing that.
Jim, Sr. and Jr. have passed on, but it was heartening to see a 38 Wadcutter 1911, shot by family member Logan Clark, still on the line at Camp Perry.
My search for the ultimate target pistol continues.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”