Charles Henderson writes:

Martin Albright is a delightful gentleman, albeit a Green Beret spending the day with a couple of Marines. Karl Lippard and I both enjoyed his company and look forward to continuing to show him all that he wants to see and do with Lippard firearms. Lippard has a finished A2 pistol now available for Mr. Albright to fully test and evaluate over as long a period of time as he requires. Couple of points that need to be underscored regarding the Lippard A2 pistol . . .

No gun maker owns his own steel mill. With the one exception of Lippard, all other production guns of which I am aware subcontract the manufacture of their components today, this includes all the big names. To my knowledge, ALL of them Cast their major components and that is done mostly offshore in Brazil, Mexico, Russia or China. They only assemble the guns in the USA. In fact, check the headstamps on Remington or Winchester rifle receivers today, Made in Russia.

In contrast, Lippard guns machined from hammer-forged steel billits of S7 tool steel. And everything in the Lippard gun is Made in the USA, not simply assembled here. The steel alloy used in Lippard arms is not disclosed by Lippard, for obvious reasons, but can be available to other gun makers if they know which alloy to choose. Most other gun makers will not choose the alloy, however, because they do not have the technology or skills to work with this difficult and unforgiving steel. Lippard has developed this technology and owns it exclusively.

The steel fabricators who do the cutting and machining by CNC use computer driven systems, state-of-the-art, that are guided by Lippard’s exclusive CAD software input. The first frames and slides that were cut, by Lippard’s contractor in Florida were met with great reluctance and apprehension by that contractor. Embarking in this new territory scared them to death! They had never done such demanding cuts and designs before, down to zero tolerances, and feared the results would not be pleasant. This was a First for them, and they know of no one else in gun making who had ever done such work. They made history, breaking the new ground.

The results proved as Lippard had forecasted. Frames and slides interchanged beautifully. All parts were exact fits.

The next test was hardening. Would this exotic steel change shape as it was fired and cooled, going through the hardening processes as most other steels do? Certainly, all steel used by other gun makers today does warp and bend as it heats and cools, thus requiring a gunsmith to “fit” components (hours of filing, honing and pressing the parts to fit) in order to build a gun or to replace a major component on an existing gun. All except Lippard.

Karl Lippard is on video assembling the hardened Lippard A2 slides with frames at random. No gunsmith needed for fitting. They already fit perfectly, and at closer tolerances than is even possible by hand fitting. After hardening the Lippard A2 components did not warp or change shapes or tolerances whatsoever. Therefore, the Lippard guns are the world’s first Fully Interchangeable pistols. All parts and components are interchangeable with all other Lippard A2 pistols.

Furthermore, and this impressed me but did not receive mention in Martin Albright’s review, the Lippard A2 pistols operate without lubrication. You can shoot the new A2 pistol bone dry, no oil, no nothing on it, and it will not gall or seize or jam, but will operate just fine. No, Lippard does not recommend running any gun without lubrication. But the Lippard A2 pistol will shoot just fine with no lubrication in place.

This is possible because the steel tolerances are exact, and do not have uneven surfaces, and because the nature of the metal does not warp or change under heating and cooling, the gun can be fired without harm to the gun with zero lubricaton. Bone dry!

The two pistols that Martin Albright fired at the indoor range that day he spent with Karl Lippard and me had zero lubrication present in either gun. No oil, no grease not even spit to lubricate them. Yet they fired just fine.

Let me make this clear as to why Albright’s test was very limited and not even really a test. Both guns that he fired were still in production and being phase tested by Karl Lippard. In this testing, Lippard looks for problems so that he can make adjustments and identify parts not operating correctly, such as the trigger failure that he and Albright encountered. Thus, in such testing, you cannot expect finished gun performance either.

That is why Lippard offered Martin Albright free use of an A2 pistol for a couple of weeks or more, so that he can fully evaluate the gun inside and out. And to our understanding, Mr. Albright will be doing that and writing a report and review. Thus Karl Lippard looks forward to putting a finished A2 in Mr. Albright’s hands so that he can truly appreciate a finished gun and give the Lippard A2 a fair evaluation over an extended period of time.

As for the size of Karl Lippard Designs and his mass production of these new generation pistols, which have 16 US patents on them, let me say this. The first guns in Lippard’s mass production manufacturing of firearms entered service just this year. Lippard is literally on the ground floor starting a factory in Colorado Springs. Nothing of this caliber springs up over-night. However, in comparison, Lippard owns two state-of-the-art CNC machines that will go into service in the Colorado Springs factory, while Colt in its entirety owns only one CNC machine and it’s an old one.

None of the other gun makers hold US Patents on the guns that they make. John Browning owned the patents on the 1911, four of them, 1897, 1903, 1911 and 1913. Karl Lippard owns more than 20 US Patents today, and that number is increasing. Why don’t Colt or Ruger or any of the other majors own patents? Because they do not employ gun designers and engineers. The keep making the same old 100-year-old guns that are out of patent.

Lippard is the only production gun maker today that owns US Patents on its designs. While the other gun makers seek to just make different looking versions of the same guns, increasing their profits by using cheaper and more inferior parts, plastic parts and charging more money for them, Lippard breaks new ground by bringing in new technology, new designs and making guns that are the best quality anywhere, all of them Unconditionally Guaranteed for LIFE, all made in the USA.

All the big gun makers, Colt, Springfield, Kimber and the like, offer only very short and quite limited warranties, and no guarantees. They job out the manufacture of their components, mostly overseas to Brazil, while Lippard mass produces his components in the USA, made of steel that is also founded, forged and made in the USA.

Today Karl Lippard Designs firearms manufacturing may be the smallest guy, just emerging into the production gun industry world, after 30 years of custom gun making, and more than that of designing guns, but as more and more people put Lippard production guns to work and enjoy their accuracy, reliability and durability, Lippard will be a name that stands above all others.

Our thanks to Martin Albright and The Truth About Guns. Lippard looks forward to working with Mr. Albright as he comes to know the Lippard firearms better. We are very anxious to get the Lippard A2 in his hands for a couple of weeks, and then see what he reports.

 

21 Responses to Karl Lippard’s Number One on TTAG’s A2 NCO 1911 Test

  1. “To my knowledge, ALL of them Cast their major components and that is done mostly offshore in Brazil, Mexico, Russia or China.”

    So that investment casting facility that Ruger built in NH is just sitting around, unused then? Yeah, I can see that, no need to recover their investment.

    “Why don’t Colt or Ruger or any of the other majors own patents? Because they do not employ gun designers and engineers. The keep making the same old 100-year-old guns that are out of patent.”

    Yes, clearly none of these companies own any patents or hires any engineers. Except for the ones that do. Which is all of them. The LCR and LCP didn’t just spring forth out of the ground in Prescott, AZ one day and demand to be manufactured.

    This guy is a bullshitter, and not a particularly good one.

  2. OK – so I have a few problems with the above article… 1)” Why don’t Colt or Ruger or any of the other majors own patents? Because they do not employ gun designers and engineers”… not true and to think so is silly. Do you really think that Colt or Springfield doesn’t have engineers working on new or existing designs – even for models that are “well known” (i.e. the 1911). The reason the big companies don’t file patents is b/c of the U.S. Patent Law. Going through the process of obtaining a patent isn’t that difficult. The hardest part of patent and RTU issues is the defense. Why waste thousands of dollars to patent a new design only to have it stolen by an overseas company? Only large companies can afford and have the know-how to patent ideas in multiple countries. Since there is no international patent law protection, partially due to fact that the U.S. patent protection begins on the date of invention, and not the date of filing, only filing with the USPTO is basically worthless. Also, let’s get past this idea that a patent (or 20!) means anything important – there are 2630 hits for “time machine” on the USPTO site – and only 5 for “Lippard”. Zero Tolerance – no such thing… everything has a spec and a range. As an “engineer” Karl HAS to know this! A “true” zero-tolerance depends on so many factors, grain-structure of the metal for example, that to think a pistol can function on that level is ridiculous! Honestly, even making the assumption that a 1911, or any combat pistol needs those types of clearances is absurd. Where has it been documented -or tests performed -that even REMOTELY prove this assumption? 3) S7 Steel is not derived from Unobtanium – it is tool steel. Even double-treated, cryo-cycled S7 is still S7. The reason no one else uses S7 is because it is a bitch to deal with (words from my machinist friend), and has very little benefit in the gun world. S7 was for high impact tooling and stamps. How hard of an impact are you expecting out of a .45ACP? Oh wait, those 400-yard “flip a man over” shots will probably require such a steel. Again, I will point out that the original criticism wasn’t to Karl’s ability (or inability) to build a competent and reliable 1911 – I’m sure he does. We were questioning the applicability and reality of Karl’s “400-yard Offensive Handgun” statements.

  3. Oh dear lord…

    They only assemble the guns in the USA.

    Lea Baer machines his frames from his own forgings. They have made way more firearms than this joker.

    In contrast, Lippard guns machined from hammer-forged steel billits of S7 tool steel. And everything in the Lippard gun is Made in the USA, not simply assembled here. The steel alloy used in Lippard arms is not disclosed by Lippard, for obvious reasons, but can be available to other gun makers if they know which alloy to choose.

    Didn’t you just call the alloy out as “S7 Tool Steel”?

    Most other gun makers will not choose the alloy, however, because they do not have the technology or skills to work with this difficult and unforgiving steel. Lippard has developed this technology and owns it exclusively.

    Most gun makers choose not to use S7 because it is about as necessary as using Stelite to make your dinner fork. Cool and neat, but a very long walk for very little gained.

    The steel fabricators who do the cutting and machining by CNC use computer driven systems, state-of-the-art, that are guided by Lippard’s exclusive CAD software input. The first frames and slides that were cut, by Lippard’s contractor in Florida were met with great reluctance and apprehension by that contractor. Embarking in this new territory scared them to death!

    Translation: We sent the prints to a machine shop. They were apprehensive because this Lippard guy on the phone sounded like a serious horses ass, but we cut his parts anyhow because we’re hungry.

    They had never done such demanding cuts and designs before, down to zero tolerances, and feared the results would not be pleasant. This was a First for them, and they know of no one else in gun making who had ever done such work. They made history, breaking the new ground.

    Zero tolerance? Right. Tip for those of you not in the manufacturing world; NOBODY makes “Zero tolerance” parts outside of NIST master samples. This is a flat out lie. He may be holding very good tolerances, but not zero.

    The next test was hardening. Would this exotic steel change shape as it was fired and cooled, going through the hardening processes as most other steels do? Certainly, all steel used by other gun makers today does warp and bend as it heats and cools, thus requiring a gunsmith to “fit” components (hours of filing, honing and pressing the parts to fit) in order to build a gun or to replace a major component on an existing gun. All except Lippard.

    Or, you know – Glock, HK, Sig, S&W, Beretta… or any other modern production pistol. All their pistols and components slap together without hand fitting. It’s called “hard tooling.” Lippard; Reinventing basic manufacturing tricks from 1985!


    The two pistols that Martin Albright fired at the indoor range that day he spent with Karl Lippard and me had zero lubrication present in either gun. No oil, no grease not even spit to lubricate them. Yet they fired just fine.

    Let me make this clear as to why Albright’s test was very limited and not even really a test. Both guns that he fired were still in production and being phase tested by Karl Lippard. In this testing, Lippard looks for problems so that he can make adjustments and identify parts not operating correctly, such as the trigger failure that he and Albright encountered. Thus, in such testing, you cannot expect finished gun performance either.

    So, let us follow along here:

    – Lippard pistols require no lubrication.
    – Lippard’s pistols require no fitting.
    – The weapons Mr Albright fired were new, and they didn’t work correctly.
    – Mr Albright stated that the reason given was a lack of “proper lubrication.”
    – Now, the reason being given is that they were being “tested.”
    – BUT! Karl Lippard pistols require zero lubrication and all slap together with interchangeable components like a Glock and are the most accurate and reliable handguns ever assembled by human beings!

    Anyone else notice how this does not add up?


    As for the size of Karl Lippard Designs and his mass production of these new generation pistols, which have 16 US patents on them, let me say this. The first guns in Lippard’s mass production manufacturing of firearms entered service just this year. Lippard is literally on the ground floor starting a factory in Colorado Springs. Nothing of this caliber springs up over-night. However, in comparison, Lippard owns two state-of-the-art CNC machines that will go into service in the Colorado Springs factory, while Colt in its entirety owns only one CNC machine and it’s an old one.

    Oh. My. God.

    Lippard owns a CNC machine? A real, honest to goodness CNC machine!

    Holy jesus; he’s gonna take the gun world by storm with that puppy!


    None of the other gun makers hold US Patents on the guns that they make.

    Except for, you know, Glock, Sig, HK, Beretta, S&W, Springfield, KelTec, HiPoint… and all the rest of them. Even my dumb ass has a patent filing.

    In fact, where did that Gaston guy get the name for his first pistol?

    All the big gun makers, Colt, Springfield, Kimber and the like, offer only very short and quite limited warranties, and no guarantees. They job out the manufacture of their components, mostly overseas to Brazil, while Lippard mass produces his components in the USA, made of steel that is also founded, forged and made in the USA.

    Lippard isn’t listing “gunmakers,” he is listing major 1911 manufacturers. And that brings us to the crux of the problem…

    Let’s say everything Lippard says about his 1911 is true. Let’s say that by god, it is a bucket test passing, highly accurate, beautifully crafted 1911 pattern pistol. Guess what? It is totally irrelevant. For all the “innovation” and legwork Mr Lippard may very well have gone through, all he has is a limited capacity, very expensive, difficult to maintain, extremely heavy .45 bullet launcher. All the problems he solved? All problems HK, SIG and Glock solved decades ago have have spent 20-30 years evolving to a point where you can buy one today for a fraction of the price of this Lippard snake oil.

  4. I appreciate the US manufacture, but I’m withholding any judgments until we hear from Martin. If he’s impressed, I’m impressed. If he’s not, I’m not.

  5. GAKoenig says: “Didn’t you just call the alloy out as “S7 Tool Steel”?

    This has been baffling me as well. He alternately calls the metal his own “proprietary alloy” and “S7 tool steel,” a common tool room alloy. If you would like some of this exotic wonder metal for your own, go to Sears and buy a chisel.

    But I suppose this is what you are in for when you go shopping for a 1911 Colt pistol that is good out to 400 yards.

  6. Just a minor quibble in Charles’ first paragraph, I want to make it clear that I was never a “Green beret.” Although I was assigned to the 1st, 3rd and 19th Special Forces Groups I was always a “support guy” and not an “operator.” We’re all about The Truth here and I don’t want folks to think I’m claiming accolades I haven’t earned!

    • Me too – 2 for an “upgraded barrel link”, and one for the process of making double-barrel shotgun barrels.

  7. I think everyone is being a bit hard on Karl Lippard. This is obviously a very talented and hard working individual with what is probably a seriously nice gun. Test results are forthcoming but any new design has teething problems. AR15 anyone?

    Having said that perhaps there is a bit more promised than is necessary but I’m glad to see enthusiasm and development in the gun field. I don’t want Colt/Ruger/SW etc to be the only ones coming out with new guns to play with and “garage” guns need to be encouraged.

    They might end up being awesome. If this one isn’t, perhaps the next one will be. What he’s doing isn’t easy or cheap by a long stretch. I won’t cast a stone.

    • IGB – we are frustrated with Karl and his reported 400-yard Offensive Weapon. Karl has been pumping up this gun as the next Wonder of the Modern World. He has, however, been unable to prove or otherwise present coherent and understandable data. He and his spokesman only seems to tout how little we know and how we don’t understand “simple physics and ballistics”. He then goes on to claim that he uses a “proprietary alloy”, which he them claims to be S7. Even if Karl has perfected some magical proprietary heat/cryo treatment process, he has provided no proof about the advantages, and his claims get more and more farfetched as the days go on.

  8. While I’m certainly interested to see the results of the test, all of Lippard’s bluster and bullshit are more than a little tedious at this point. I’m glad he’s at least enlisted others to weave his stories now, as the man hasn’t shown the ability to write a coherent sentence to save his life. His talents evidently lie in the area of engineering alchemy rather than grammar and wordsmithing.

    I’m sure he’s a fine engineer and a more than competent gunsmith. I wish him all the luck in the world in building a successful business. There’s always room for more quality gun makers and competition in the industry.

    What’s so tiresome is the steady trickle PR trumpeting the creation of his magical new 400 yard pistol (that needs no lubrication) made of unalloyed unobtainium and milled to zero tolerances on flux capacitor-powered CNC machines. CNC machines, mind you, that Ruger, Smith and Colt can only dream about and certainly could never afford. Oh, and don’t even try to comprehend how Lippard’s managed to create such a wonder-gun as no one else has the engineering expertise or experience to comprehend its wicked awesomeness.

    Forgive me if I continue to remain skeptical.

  9. Here is the thing about all of this; Mr Lippard is making very big claims, but where he goes over the edge is in his aggressive stance about how the Marine Corps are a bunch of cheap bastards if they don’t buy his 1911.

    And this is the crux of the problem; the things Mr Lippard claims to have solved are all issues that other firearms companies have solved long long ago. The best example would be the HK45. This was a weapon designed with direct input from Larry Vickers, probably the most sought after 1911 maker and platform expert in existence. He realized that the best way to solve the 1911’s issues was to call up HK (though he could likely have done the same thing with Glock or the S&W M&P). Vickers isn’t some know-nothing; he was the lead firearms instructor and pistolsmith for the Delta Froce for god sakes.

    And the HK45 is proven now- both with Delta and the SEALs who have deployed the HK45 Compact. These pistols work, for high-round count users, in combat, killing actual bad people. The problems Mr Lippard is trying to solve have been solved. For a hell of a lot less money, by companies that aren’t as obnoxious as Mr Lippard (and given that we’re talking about HK here, that is saying something).

    In the end, Mr Lippard is like those audio guys who peddle $400,000 record players made of titanium parts on a granite base and with elaborate mechanisms. Are they cool? Absolutely. Are they interesting? Absolutely. Are they relevant in any way to people outside of an obsessed otaku of audiophiles who have way too much money? Absolutely not.

  10. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Henderson makes many claims for the superiority of the Lippard production. Well, it maybe what he really believes in and that that should be good for him. I would rather like to see the products speak for themselves, over time. True, time is of the essence. Time sometimes equates to money. For a lifetime Colt 1911 shooter, I would like to see if Lippard can better my otherwise meager expectations. I will do an A2 upgrade, one part at a time, on my Colt. See if his designs are indeed superior. I would not take anything too seriously, as to what is said about the products or systems. Guns have been around for 100 years or more and there are many fine guns with ever increasing accuracy and functional efficiency. Lets give Mr. Lippard his due chance at proving his meddle, with whatever he has say that his product is or will be. Give him some time.

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