The U.S. Army adopted John Moses Browning’s 1911 design one hundred years ago yesterday. Mazel Tov! While we can debate the 1911’s modern day utility, there’s no denying Browning’s genius or his gun’s combat efficacy. Not to put too fine a point on it, contemplating the scope and brilliance of Browning’s work reveals many of today’s gun designers as nanos gigantium humeris insidentes (dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants). But not all. As Browning’s dead and, therefore, relatively insensible to accolades, I’d like to take this opportunity to praise a living gunsmith: Karl Lippard. No matter what you think about Lippard’s 400-yard accuracy claim for his custom 1911 A2 NCO (Martin’s still on the case), Karl is the living embodiment of Browning’s passion and craftsmanship. More than that . . .
Lippard’s a true patriot, dedicated to the safety of his Marines, and other American military personnel. Not only has Karl served this country in combat, but he never forgets whom his weapons are for, and what they must do. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email with my name in the CC bar:
I will check the front line Marines and see if they want some damaged NosePieces that are functional for free and put them on the line. Maybe I can save a life with those I can’t sell……
General’s we have some cosmetic damaged NosePiece Marine .45 Compensators that are unlikely to be repairable for commercial sale. Not many, up to 25. George and Bill can you ping SEALS and see if they need any on the line?
Marines if you have someone on the line that needs these for their .45’s let’s get them there. A few external dings doesn’t hurt anything and trust me I don’t shoot a .45 without this on my gun. A man is a fool to go house to house or offensive without one. So here is a chance get some on the line for nothing.
C.J. your people need anything let me know but my preference is I want them for those in harms way. The tip of the sword. These will save a life, and I WANT that life back.
Let me know but let’s also be clear. Any man on the line who cannot afford something of mine that will save his life, ask me and it will be given to him if within my power to do so. Accept my token and my regards always.
Browning was one of the greatest gun designers ever born. Hats off to him. But let’s not forget that it’s what we do with JMB’s legacy, the inspiration that it provides, that most honors his achievements.