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.38/.45 Clerke
Type Pistol
Place of origin USA
Production history
Designer Bo Clerke
Designed 1963
Manufacturer Armory Gunshop
Parent cartridge .45 ACP
Case type Rimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter .357 in (9.1 mm)
Base diameter .470 in (11.9 mm)
Rim diameter .471 in (12.0 mm)
Rim thickness .050 in (1.3 mm)
Case length .880 in (22.4 mm)
Overall length 1.22 in (31 mm)
Primer type large pistol
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
130 gr (8 g) FMJ 1,245 ft/s (379 m/s) 445 ft·lbf (603 J)

The .38/.45 Clerke (pronounced "clark"), aka .38/.45 Auto Pistol or .45/.38 Auto Pistol is a wildcat semi-automatic pistol cartridge developed by Bo Clerke and introduced in Guns & Ammo in 1963.[1]

History and design

It is essentially a .45 ACP case, necked down to .357, resulting in a cartridge similar in form to the earlier .30 Parabellum and .30 Mauser cartridges. It was created to be a low recoil target cartridge that would function reliably with multiple bullet types, FMJ to cast lead wadcutters without the feeding problems that straight walled pistol rounds sometimes exhibit.[2] The cartridge can be used in standard .45 ACP magazines.[3]

The .38 Casull followed the same formula as the .38/.45 Clerke, but with thicker case walls as in the .45 Winchester Magnum.[4][5]

Ammunition and reloading

.45 ACP cases can be resized to handload .38/.45 Auto cartridges [6] using form and sizer dies still available from the RCBS Corporation, p/n 56468.

Nearly any M1911-pattern pistol can be converted to the .38/.45 cartridge with a replacement barrel, from a 38 Super barrel reamed out to .38/.45 dimensions.[1][3] During the round's initial popularity, drop-in barrels were available from makers like Bar-Sto.

Related rounds

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 (October 1963 ed.). 1963. 
  2. Robert K. Campbell. "The Shooter's Guide to the 1911: A Guide to the Greatest Pistol of All Time". p. 122. ISBN 1-4402-1434-4. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Patrick Sweeney. Gun Digest Big Fat Book of the .45 ACP. pp. 329, 332. ISBN 1-4402-0219-2. 
  4. John Taffin. "Flat-shooting trail gun: Casull 3800". Guns Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. 
  5. "1911 Hot Rods". Guns & Ammo- Handguns Magazine. 
  6. Barnes, Frank C. (2006) [1965]. Skinner, Stan. ed. Cartridges of the World (11th Edition ed.). Iola, WI, USA: Gun Digest Books. pp. 140, 143. ISBN 0-89689-297-2. 

External links

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