.38/45 Clerke

.38/.45 Clerke
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerBo Clerke
ManufacturerArmory Gunshop
Parent case.45 ACP
Case typeRimless, 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 length1.22 in (31 mm)
Primer typelarge pistol
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/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 7.65×21mm Parabellum and 7.63×25mm 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]

Ammunition and reloading[]

.45 ACP cases can be resized to handload .38/.45 Auto cartridges [4] using form and sizer dies still available from the RCBS Corporation, p/n 56468.

Nearly any M1911 pistol and pistols of the same pattern 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. ^ a b Guns and Ammo Magazine. October 1963.CS1 maint: untitled periodical (link)
  2. ^ Campbell, R. K. (2011). Shooter's guide to the 1911. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-4402-1894-1. OCLC 777016421.
  3. ^ a b Sweeney, Patrick (2009). Gun digest big fat book of the .45 ACP. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. pp. 329–332. ISBN 978-1-4402-2632-8. OCLC 774392873.
  4. ^ Barnes, Frank C. (2006). Cartridges of the world : a complete and illustrated reference for over 1500 cartridges. Stan Skinner (11th ed.). Iola, Wis.: Gun Digest Books. pp. 140–143. ISBN 978-0-89689-297-2. OCLC 70173636.

External links[]