Sold For: $1,606.00
Make: The pistol was originally manufactured by Colt and customized by Jim Clark.
Model: Mark IV Series 70 Government Model 1911A1 modified into a Jim Clark Bowling Pin Gun.
Serial Number: FG12418
Year of Manufacture: The pistol was manufactured by Colt in 1983.
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “COLT’S MARK IV/SERIES ‘70 / GOVERNMENT MODEL / .45 AUTOMATIC CALIBER” and with the Rampant Colt logo. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT’S GOVERNMENT MODEL” and “”Clark” BOWLING PIN .45 / Keithville, La 71047”.. The right side of the frame is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.” and “FG12418”. The left rear of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and the right front is marked with what could be either a “U” or “O”. The bottom of the grip frame behind the magazine well is marked with a “Caraville Arms Double Ace” logo.
Barrel Length: The barrel is 6” in length and has a muzzle weight fixed to the end of the barrel. The muzzle weight looks as though it might be threaded-on and has a set screw on its front face that engages metal in both the barrel and in the muzzle weight. We removed the set screw, but were unable to turn the muzzle weight. We suspect the muzzle weight is pressed onto the barrel.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Patridge style blade that is dovetailed into a fore-aft slot in the top of the muzzle weight, and is secured with a set screw. The rear sight is a flat topped target sight dovetailed into the top of the slide. The sight is adjustable for windage and elevation and the right side of the sight is marked “BO-MAR”. The top of the slide and the muzzle weight have been given a matte black finish to reduce glare.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two piece engraved plastic with the outline of the grim reaper. The recessed areas of the grip are thinly serrated and colored brown to simulate wood. The grips show light handling marks and a tiny nick in the top edge of the left grip from the slide release. The grips are in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The sides of the slide, muzzle weight and frame are blued. The top and underside of the slide and muzzle weight and the underside of the frame have a matte black finish. The squeeze cocker has a matte black finish with serrations and the front strap has been sharply stippled – please see our photographs.
Finish Originality: The finish is original except for the stippling in the front strap and the addition of the muzzle weight and squeeze cocker. The underside of the slide is not smoothly rounded, and we think it was modified and then refinished with a matte finish along with the top of the slide, which had its front sight ground off.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion, but there is a slight amount of fouling in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 82% of its metal finish. There is surface loss on the edges of the muzzle weight, slide, slide release, safety, and the extension that was added on the front of the frame. There is thinning on the edges of the frame, the trigger guard, the muzzle weight and on the sides of the slide near the front. There are light handling marks scattered over the top of the slide, the sides of the frame and on the muzzle weight, with streaks of surface loss on the underside of the slide where it rubbed on the frame. There are also a few spots of thinning on the squeeze cocker serrations. The serrations on the slide show light wear. The grip screw heads are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The pistol has been outfitted with a Caraville Arms Double Ace kit that converts the pistol from a grip safety design to a squeeze cocking design. If the hammer is carried at half-cock, squeezing the grip cocks the hammer, allowing it to be fired when the trigger is pulled. Otherwise, the pistol works normally with the squeezed cocker acting like a grip safety. The pistol also has an extended ambidextrous manual safety, an extended slide release and an extended magazine release. The pistol also has a light weight trigger with an adjustable over travel stop. The trigger breaks crisply at just over 5 lbs. and the slide is tight to the frame. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one stainless steel 8 round magazine marked “WILSON / ROGERS” on the bottom of its black synthetic base pad. The magazine shows a light wear and is in Fine condition.
Our Assessment: This is a Colt Series 70 Government Model pistol that has been customized by Jim Clark into a “Bowing Pin Gun”. Jim Clark was a former United States Marine Nation Champion Bullseye shooter who founded Clark Custom Guns in 1950. Clark Custom Guns won a name for themselves by repeatedly building guns claiming national level championships. In addition to the 6” long barrel, the pistol was customized with the addition of a muzzle weight on the barrel, extended slide and magazine releases, an extended ambidextrous safety and a lightweight trigger with adjustable over travel stop. A Caraville Arms Double Ace kit was also added, which converts the pistol from a grip safety design to a squeeze cocker. The front sight was removed from the top of the slide and a Patridge style blade was added to the top of the muzzle weight; the rear sight was replaced with an adjustable target sight by Bo-Mar. The grips were replaced with plastic “Grim Reaper” grips that really set-off the pistol, so please see our pictures. The pistol is in about Very Good condition with about 82% of its current finish remaining. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. The Series 70 was known to have a great out of the box action and was favored by gunsmiths in the 1980’s for creating custom pistols as they had less work to do than if starting with a Series 80 pistol. This pistol can be used for home protection, but will make an outstanding pistol for Combat Pistol matches at your local range. The muzzle weight will help reduce felt recoil with “Major” loads and the long barrel provides improved sight radius.