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Big Jage and the "1911 Bergman"

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In the movie "Big Jake" my favorite scene is where Chris Mitchum pulls his "1911 Bergman" and shoots up the scene. I was always fascinated with the "1911 Bergman" and the gun used in the movie. The movie plays loose with the facts and manages to mangle different parts of history and fantasy in building the prototype "1911 Bergman". First, the 1911 Bergman mentioned in the movie would probably mean the 1910/21 Bergman Bayard in 9mm Long. This is that gun




The gun shown in the movie is a Walther P-38 that has been cosmetically altered to resemble the Bergman Bayard...BUT....it actually resembles the 1896 Bergman. Below is a photo of the 1896 Bergman and the visually modified P-38 used in the movie.




Finally, a large number of Post War P-38's have hit the market and can be purchased (dealer price), for less that $350. I had to make my own Big Jake Bergman. I already have a real Bergman, shown in the first photo. I discovered, when trying to make my copy, that the Vis-Mod (army talk) was more complicated than I expected. They constructed a whole new barrel/magazine assembly for the gun. Quite a task in the days before CAD/CAM and Rapid Proto-Typing. They also constructed a flat bridge that sat atop the upper rear part of the slide. I really didn't want to construct a whole new barrel/magazine, plus I wanted to still shoot real bullets. I suspect the armorer made their barrel/magazine out of aluminum or mild steel since it only had to work with blanks. In any case, I just made a shortened magazine for my P-38 and will be riding around EOT with it on my old Indian Motor Bike. Below is my "Big Jake Bergman" and holster.



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