Karl has had two guns ready for you to evaluate now for more than a couple of weeks. Just waiting to hear from you so that we can put them in your hands. Primarily, you should be testing and evaluating the Combat NCO, but if you want to also do likewise with the Close Quarter Battle Pistol, then we have that available for you too. We are quite anxious for you to get this underway, as the last words on the street in The Truth About Guns produced quite a bit of negativity without evaluation. Granted, people like to throw rocks at things new. Therefore, we hope that you can take the gun or guns for however long you need and put them through all the paces. We hope you will compare with all other pistols you have fired, and see how the Lippard compares to them.
In another area that should be of interest to you and to Robert Farago at The Truth About Guns, we have made some quite disturbing discoveries that we want to share with you.
We began performing the first “Retrofits” of existing 1911 guns last week in North Carolina. The first step in the retrofitting program is to check the subject gun inside and outside, to be sure that all components are in acceptable working order, and can accept the retrofit A2 parts. One of these step-one processes is taking measurements of the receiver/frame and slide, and other components that will remain with the gun. We have discovered a disturbing, very high percentage of the guns fail to measure up to specifications. In other words, the gun maker manufactured the guns outside acceptable tolerances and specifications. Some guns are so bad that they require major milling work to bring them into acceptable specifications.
Specifications are the standard mil-spec measurements and plus/minus tolerances found in the standard drawings for these guns. These drawings are widely available and should reflect the military specifications prescribed by the US Government when the Government contracted for the guns that were manufactured for purchase for military use. A gun owner should be able to obtain a copy of the drawings for his or her 1911 pistol, and have it measured and inspected to be sure that it falls within the tolerances listed on the drawings.
Several of the guns that have come in to be retrofitted fall way outside those specifications, and that required additional cost in milling and gunsmith work just to bring them into the specifications envelope.
One brand new Colt Gold Cup pistol was not only far out of specification, but also had the interior of its frame cut off center. Yes, the interior of the frame was not even centered. It is amazing that this gun even operated. What Colt apparently did to the gun, in order to make it cycle, was to literally bend the barrel link mounts to one side. Not easy to do. But the gun did fire. Sort of. The lock up was never secure because the lugs were off to one side of the barrel. A terrible example of shoddy workmanship that was just pushed out the door. This particular gun was in for the basic upgrade, but required the frame to be fully milled out to come to center, and required a new barrel along with link and bushing.
The good news is that once the guns have been corrected and brought into standard 1911 specifications, then all Lippard A2 and A3 parts will drop in and fit perfectly. Therefore, this is an exercise that the gun owner will only have to endure once.
Bear in mind that Colt was only one example. Other brands failed to spec out as well.
I think that it is well worth the time of every owner of any brand of 1911 handgun to have them checked. If they wish to send them to Lippard for upgrade, the gun will be checked and measured out before any work is done. At that time the gun owner can decide what and how much he or she would like to spend on the work. In some cases, the A1 gun is simply not worth trying to bring into spec, and money would be better spent purchasing a new gun. We would, of course, recommend the Lippard Combat NCO.
Prices and parts lists are at the Karl Lippard Designs website— www.karllippard.com .
If you would like to obtain specific details and numbers from the people doing the retrofitting, and quote them on their exact findings, we will be most happy to put you in touch with the man in charge of the North Carolina operation, C. J. Quinlan, President, Tactical Applications Group. He has collected data on all retrofits and can give you down to the thousandths specifics.
I think it is important that gun consumers be informed that the work of these manufacturers is less than acceptable quality, and a large number of their guns fail to meet their own manufacturing specifications.
Meanwhile, let us know when you want to put the Lippard guns in your hands.
Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas
Charles W. “Bill” Henderson