Lot's of shooters and collectors alike are unaware that Colt produced a gunsmith 1911 "Kit" pistol in both .38 Special and .45 ACP. Here is a brief summary of the history of the Colt .38 Special Kit pistols. Colt Model O2554 -Colt .38 Special Kit In the early 60's, Colt was receiving requests from several noted gunsmiths and also the Army Marksmanship Unit to provide them with unassembled pistols that they could use to build match guns from. As interest in the "Kit's" grew, Colt teamed with Gil Hebard (Gil Hebard Guns, Knoxville, Illinois) to be the main distributor of the Kit pistols. The Colt .38 Special Kit was introduced in late 1963 as the first non completed pistol ever shipped by Colt. The Colt .38 Special Kit was shipped complete but the slide, barrel, bushing needed to be hand fitted and the slide was without any sights. All frame parts were installed but required massaging by the gunsmith builder. A standard Colt GCNM .38 Special Mid Range magazine was included. The Colt .38 Special Kit frames were not stamped by any Colt factory inspectors or assembler and also did not have the usual Colt VP (Verified Proof) stamp on the left side of the trigger guard. Unique to the Colt .38 Special Kit pistols is the serial# that has a 00 (double 0) serial# prefix and a -"H" serial# suffix. It is speculated that the "H" serial# suffix is for "Hebard". The Colt .38 Special Kit pistols were serial#d 00100-H to 00703-H with a total production of only 603 units. The first 150-ish pistols were sold through Gil Hebard Guns. Only about 40 ended up in Military Gunsmith's hands and a little over half of the 603 units produced were sold after 1965 until production of the Kit's ceased in 1972. Their demise is reported to be Colt's perceived liability issues with selling uncompleted and unproofed pistols. The Kit pistols were shipped as shown (photo courtesy of Cary Chin) All components shipped in a cardboard "faux" woodgrain box that is serial#d to pistol on the outside bottom flat of the box. -Complete serial#d frame with 30 row checkered walnut stocks with attached complete slide (without sights) that only slides on the frame rails part way. -Wrapped in brown wax paper a slide stop and recoil spring plug -Wrapped in brown wax paper a barrel and separate bushing. The barrel has 1 locking lug and the barrel hood is marked: Colt .38 SPEC. KIT (KIT is centered under .38) -Wrapped in brown wax paper a Colt GCNM .38 Special Mid Range magazine -Wrapped in brown wax paper a guide rod with attached recoil spring. I personally became aware of these Kit pistols only a few years ago. There is very little information in print on the Kit's and quite a bit of the little information obtained on-line is incomplete and or incorrect. I was fortunate enough to locate my pictured pistol on a local firearms forum in 2013. I had never heard of them and this was the first one I had seen. Mine, serial# 00451-H is original as built by Gunsmith and Bullseye legend J.E. (Jim) Clark Sr. of Clark Custom Guns. My pistol was built by Mr Clark in August of 1966 and sold as his "Model 61-S". The installed sights are a half Bomar rib rear and front undercut patridge. The pistol runs as smooth as silk with very little recoil and the empty cases fall next to your right foot. A hand built piece of bullseye history built by one of the Masters of his craft. (My apologies for the poor quality pic's and the glare) Here's a page from the 1962 Gil Hebard Guns catalog detailing Clark Custom Guns, custom offerings. The Model 61-S is detailed at the bottom of the page.