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My request for video evidence of Karl Lippard’s claims re: an 800-yard grouping from his Combat NCO 1911 has unleashed a brace of emails from Lippard supporters. First, here’s the response from his Number One, Charles Henderson: “Attached are the four pictures that I took with my BlackBerry cell phone camera. Since we were shooting the pistols on a rifle range, it never occurred to me to point the camera anywhere but at the people under the firing line shelter  . . .

As for the 600 yard shooting, it was very interesting and reassuring that the Lippard A2 pistols can provide effective fire on enemy positions at battlefield range (500 yards). Had an enemy been positioned at the points of the two 18-inch gong targets, Karl’s direct fire would most likely have killed him. Certainly the enemy would not have been able to advance from that position without some kind of suppression fire on Karl.

Of interest, one of the Ben Lomond Gun Club members had an Ed Brown 1911A1 style .45 caliber pistol, and attempted to shoot the gong targets at 600 yards. The Ed Brown, in my opinion, is one of the best 1911 style guns on the market today, on par with Wilson and Les Baer. This club member was only able to put one shot within 15 feet of the 18-inch gong target. All other shots were well away. Karl was effectively peppering that same target with shot groupings within a 6 foot radius. In one series of fire, Karl hit the 18-inch gong target 4 out of 6 shots, and this was witnessed by several of the gun club members there.

According to National Weather Service, wind gusts at the Ben Lomond Gun Club shooting range complex reached 55 mph, blowing predominately out of the south. The rifle range faces north. The winds were “fishtailing” causing a quarter value effect left to right at 100 and 200 yards but then causing a quarter value right to left beyond that point. Furthermore, the covered firing line caused vortex winds to swirl into both sides for the 100 and 200 yard lines and a boiling effect on the center. Holding any kind of group at 100 yards was quite frustrating. However, consumers shot on two 20-inch silhouette targets and made groupings within 15 inches on average. In other words, had the average person engaged an enemy at 100 yards, the enemy would have been shot.

You can interpret this in many ways. A US Border Patrol agent armed with a sidearm and comes under fire by drug smugglers with AK-47 rifles can engage those enemy effectively whereas before he would have had only one option and that is to seek cover or run for his life. Soldiers or Marines in a platoon typically have members, such as radio operator or crew served weapons details or medical corpsmen, whose only weapon is a sidearm. These people can now effectively engage enemy positions at battlefield ranges, rather than just helplessly watching or waiting until a rifleman goes down wounded and take over his rifle. If I am in a profession where I depend on a sidearm, I would rather have a pistol that can shoot effectively at long ranges than have a pistol that is only reliable at 25 yards and closer.

How is this possible? Two important factors that the Lippard design has fixed. First, the new design has eliminated the side-play or energy from each shot going right and left in the gun, and focused it totally fore to rear. Secondly, the Lippard design has only 0.003 thousandths of an inch in total variance in the gun compared to the mil-spec .45 pistol having 0.028 thousandths of an inch total variance. Mathematically, the greater variance (slack) in the shooting platform causes greater variance in the shot group, and that is projected outward exponentially as the range extends. Simple mathematics tells us that the Lippard will shoot the tighter group at any range, since no other 1911 style .45 caliber pistol (including the best made match guns) has as little variance as the Lippard A2.


And now, a testimonial:


I can’t begin to thank both of you enough for yesterdays demonstration of the Lippard Combat NCO A2 and the chance to shoot one of the finest 45 auto’s that I’ve ever had the privilege of firing.

Karl you’ve given me too much credit regarding my time in the Marine Corps. I only served from 04/1962 through 10/1966. I’m only a proud Marine veteran that had the chance to be one of the chosen few. I was also an aircrew member on the KC-130’s but not a pilot. I was honorably discharges from the Marine Corps as a SGT- E5, my serial number was #2013719. I had the pleasure of shooting on the Marine Intramural Rifle and Pistol team at my last duty station. Small potatoes compared to you two gentlemen. I also shot on the Jefferson County Sheriff Department’s pistol team for a number of years and shot at the Camp Dodge matches for Law Enforcement with officers from all over the world. My highest rating is Distinguished Expert and that was with a wheel gun, no semi-autos back then.

I only became a pilot in command after being hired by United Airlines in 1966. I retired from United in March 2003 as a B767-300 Captain, Line Check Airman, and Instructor Pilot. My life has been pretty tame compared to yours and Charles.

I’m currently the Chapter Director for Ben Lomond Gun Club at the Tri-Lakes Chapter in Monument, Colorado. I’m also one of the range officers at Ben Lomond and I shoot in several of the disciplines, such as, sporting clays, skeet, trap,  military high power matches, and I’m a Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol, and a CCW Instructor. I’ve been shooting all types of firearms as long as I can remember, I was raised with them.

This long story is just to give you some background on myself and to help lend credence to my testimonial of what I witnessed yesterday at Ben Lomond Gun Club’s high power range. I own and shoot numerous 45 autos, but never have I handled or fired a 45 pistol of this quality and accuracy in my life. I only fired it offhand at the 100 yard line with swirling winds that were 35mph gusting to 50mph and I shot a group that amazed me for those conditions, all killing shots in a man silhouette target. I personally observed other members and guests fire the A2 with the same results.

The real icing on the cake, so to speak, was when Karl Lippard sat down with a sand bag rest and proceeded to put 3 out of 5 and 4 out of 6 rounds on an 18 inch gong at 600 yards, not once or twice but 4 or 5 times. The other rounds would have kept the enemy’s heads down and provided ample cover fire all with a 45 semi auto pistol, that was truly amazing.

I can only imagine what properly trained Marines, DEA, Border Patrol, Swat teams, Seals and Special Forces could add an element that has been missing, the offensive weapon capability of their sidearm. George Patton called the M1 Garand the “finest battle weapon ever made” but he isn’t around to see and shoot the Lippard Combat NCO A2, he just might change his mind. This weapon takes the fight to the enemy in a form that no one would suspect. The United States Marine Corps needs to put the A2  in the in the hands of the best fighting men in the world.

Please feel free to share this with those doubting Thomas’s , whoever and where ever they are.

Semper Fi, Fraters Infintas,

Steve Davis – Proud Former Sgt. of the Marines

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  1. *yawn* Gee, it never occurred to me to point my camera at someone, you know, accurately shooting a pistol at rifle distances. Who would be skeptical of something like that?

    Oh, and my Twitter account was hacked. I can’t say with certitude that isn’t me in the picture. I believe they were all over 21. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

  2. Until we can physically verify this by being there and watching it happen, it didn’t happen.

  3. Couple of logic flaws

    – in the last update Lippard indicated that failure to hit the target at 600 yards with his pistol is more a testament of the (lack of) shooter skill than any (lack of) quality of the pistol. Yet in this update he indicates that a Ed Brown pistol shot by someone else could not hit at 600 yards, implying that it was not up to the same quality. Perhaps it is just as good (or better) but the shooter was lacking.

    – again, stating that failure to hit at extended ranges is the fault of the shooter, yet they continue to claim that this pistol would make a service member / border patrol agent able to engage targets at extended ranges. Perhaps not. Most people (trained, untrained, otherwise) could not accurately engage targets at that distance with scoped rifles, much less pistols. Using our tax dollars to supply this pistol to our troops seems a bit wasteful as very few would have the actual skill to use it.

    Finally, a technical point. It does not appear that the rear sight has enough elevation to provide a proper hold for 600 yards worth of drop. So he’s most likely holding to a target point significantly above what he’s shooting at (Kentucky windage). That sorta negates the point, doesn’t it?

  4. Just do it again and film it.

    If it had anything to do with the gun or the shooter, it will happen again, as they have not changed. If it was just luck the first time, it won’t.

    Without first knowing if it was skill/hardware or luck it sort of renders any discussions about “why” or “how” it was possible irrelevant. We could be rationalizing an anomaly in from a retrospective view, and that is useless.


  5. 1. The top 1911 Bullseye pistols (running $2K+) are advertised to hold 1.5″ at 50 yards in a ransom rest with the right load, which is 3 minutes. So theoretically, if the ammo will perform, that’s 24″ at 800 yards, and I would say that the 1911 is (in theory) mechanically capable of doing what they say. (But so is any good revolver 😉 ).

    2. I am curious as to why they don’t mention what ammo was used. What is the velocity of the ammo at 800 yards?

    • “What is the velocity of the ammo at 800 yards?”

      Assuming a 230 gr bullet with 0.200 drag coefficient (e.g. a Sierra 45 Tournament Master) and an MV of 1000 fps then the GNU Ballistics Computer gives for 800 yards a drop of 1421 inches (118 ft), velocity 580 fps, flight time 3.26 secs. If the MV were 1200 fps the calculated drop would go down to 98 feet. That would be a power factor of 276, a really hot 45 ACP.

      Aiming 118 ft (or 98 feet) over the target with ordinary iron sights would be interesting.

      • I have seen videos of Jerry Miculek hitting a gong at IIRC 600 yards with a revolver (I believe it was .45 ACP). I noticed when he did it there was a mountain as a backstop, so I guess through trial and error you could find an aiming point/landmark on the mountain that works consistently for a “trick” shot. It is still a tough shot, but good Bullseye competitors can shoot 6 minutes or better with a tightened up 1911 (like a Les Baer Bullseye gun) or a revolver. The b-6 50 yard ten ring is 3.36″, and many a master and high master have cleaned that target (one-handed!). I can come very close to that off-hand with two hands. So round down to 6 minutes, at 800 yards we’re talking a 4′ circle. Doable if the hardware and ammo cooperate.

        As I say, I think the key to this shot is having an aiming point/target somewhere higher up the mountain than the gong.

  6. Maybe Karl just has horrible marketing, but I feel as though if his claims were just as he says they are were would be hearing about it from more sources. It would spell the end of the PDW and likely the carbine as well. There is a paper out titled “Taking Back the Half Kilometer” (forgive me if I got the title wrong; either way it deals with this subject) and it talks more of 7.62 battle rifles than long barrel .45s. He is talking about ranges that aren’t practically achieved by most troops fighting in Afghanistan without specialized equipment.

  7. I’m thinking this story is — how shall I say it politely? — a big steaming pile of bovine excrement.

  8. If he has the ability to manufacture a gun of this alleged quality and performance then wouldn’t some of the big-name 1911 manufacturers be knocking on his door for a licensing agreement? So they could sell the “Karl Lippard 600 II e” model or something like that?

    Although I have to say, I definitely would buy one of his guns if I had a pile of cash laying around. And then immediately ship it off to Robert and let him play with it.

    • There are number of 1911 smiths who can tune a factory ride for accuracy and reliability. Accuracy improvements usually involves tightening up tolerances (by hand), which the major manufacturers view as too expensive without enough demand. As for small run manufacturers, check out Les Baer and Clark. Rock River used to make top quality 1911s as well until they moved 100% into AR manufacturing.

  9. Wouldn’t those super-tight tolerances cause jams in field conditions? Also, are those agents and soldiers he’s trying to sell this to supposed to carry around sand bag rests to duplicate his accuracy?

    • Yes, a tightened up 1911 needs a lot of TLC (and lube) to run reliably…a lost of bullseye competitors add oil during a match! Also the lube keeps the tolerances tight. For example, the bushing gets put on so tight its tough to get off without a wrench, and in fact it gets left on for cleaning with a snake.

      Don’t know what this guy has done to get accuracy improved.

  10. Don Curton says: “It does not appear that the rear sight has enough elevation to provide a proper hold for 600 yards worth of drop. So he’s most likely holding to a target point significantly above what he’s shooting at (Kentucky windage). That sorta negates the point, doesn’t it?”

    Jewish marksman says: “As I say, I think the key to this shot is having an aiming point/target somewhere higher up the mountain than the gong.”

    The “secret,” if you can call it that, to a long pistol shot is not to “holdover” or sight to some arbitrary point above the target. Instead, form a sight picture on the target using some lower feature on the front sight. If you can obtain a solid, repeatable sight picture and you, the gun, the ammo, and the wind are sufficiently consistent, from there you can then simply walk your shots in. Some handguns have additional range markings on the front sight for 100, 200, 300 yds, aka prayer notches. Custom pistols, especially big-bore hunting revolvers, will have inlaid gold bars on the front sight for this purpose. I have to presume the Lippard-omatic is similarly equipped.

    With practice, many shooters can make a 200+ yd pistol shot on a good day, but that doesn’t make then 200+ yard pistol shots. It’s a stunt, like an 8-ball break. A conventional handgun is not effective at these ranges. This is what rifles are for. “Suppressing fire” is one hell of a euphemism.

  11. Using Hornady’s ballistic calculator to get some numbers of this credible and much needed weapon (especially for troops under fire in real conflicts), here’s the poop:

    45 ACP 185Gr/1000fps at muzzle/0.109 BC

    600 Yards: 94 ft-lbs Energy, -1000″ Trajectory
    800 Yards: 58 ft-lbs Energy, -2300″ Trajectory

    I’m just glad a gunmaker finally had the guts to create a firearm to deliver this level of long range deadliness in a believable and useful weapons system.

  12. I have seen and handled several of his pistols. Fired one and watched Karl and others fire them. I was not impressed with accuracy. None of the fancy shooting was done while I was there. Not denying it happened. The day was very windy. No one hit much of anything while I observed.

  13. I have fired my sons .22 revolver at a target some 12-1300 yards away. I was sure that I was hitting it at the time also. The wind was blowing this direction and that. However, I was not shooting at a “Gong” target, but I had previously been using a device that rhymes with it. I think it is possible you were as well.

    Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

    • With all these disscussions about the equipment’s capability, I can’t stop to wonder: just because I bought a Ferrari, does it make me a race car driver?
      Simply put: irregardless of how finely tuned this or that 1911 are put together, ultimately, it is the operator that makes a difference (sometimes, a big difference) I reguarly engage targets at 100-200 yds distance with handguns, some are specially well tuned, expensive specimens such as sig 210’s, custom 1911’s, Hammerli’s, etc., sometimes, they are just pretty ordinary handguns such as HK P9s (combat/target), Beretta’s, etc.
      I have consistently hit std clay pigeons at 200 yds with an old P9s in 9mm with Federal 9BP load. So if you do the math, that little clay pigeon at 200 will expand to a gong size group at 4-500 yds. Of course, that was after a considerable amt of pratice, time and money.
      All these are not important, the bottom line is:
      a well trained marksman , given a well made tool, can do his/her job at a very respectable distance with proper training and PLENTY OF PRATICE!!
      so boys, instead of just sitting around and pondering if this or that gun can shoot this or that distance, get off your behind and hit the range and push yourself a little more.

      • You used a double negative,”irregardless” so it is a word that doesnt exist ,which negates anything that you said afterwards. What a shame because you had a decent point.

  14. I am not certain the claim of Mr Lippard has been thought entirely through. He said he used 230 gr +P ammo. While I am sure that this ammo will out perform a standard issue 230 gr 45 ball round. How many Marines(or other soldiers) are “ISSUED” +P ammo? While it would be a tremendous feat to accomplish with +P ammo, even Karl Lippard recognizes it to be an impossible feat with standard issue .45 ACP ball ammo(or else he would have used it).

  15. Hitting a target at any long range with a handgun is a matter of trial and error (and a lot of luck) and a lot of Kentucky windage/elevation. I have shot my S&W Mo. 29 in .44 Mag with a 4″ barrel at 200 yards and managed to hit the target about 40% of the time. I was using sandbag supports on a concrete bench and had to raise the barrel very high and walk the shots to the target. Ammo at this time was .44 Spcl target loads and I could actually see the bullet in flight. The first shot was about 1/2 way there; the next a few yards closer, etc. Finally hit the steel gong on the 5th or 6th shot. There was no aiming – I had to lift the front of the barrel at about a 45 deg angle before hitting. So, hitting at long range is luck – not aiming. I was lucky.

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