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In a matter of hours, our man Martin will be in the company of gunsmith Karl Lippard and Charles W. “Bill” Henderson. His initial report to you, TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, will arrive within 24 hours or so. Followed by the full write-up. Unfortunately, it looks like the all-important “hit a man-size target at 400 yards with a 1911” test may have to wait. Make the jump for Number One’s email to Martin explaining the testing limitations. Rest assured that Mr. Albright will do everything in his power to make it happen, including a return visit to Lippard’s HQ if needs be. The only failure in life is to stop trying. TTAG doesn’t know the meaning of the word failure. Oh wait. Anyway, watch this space . . .

We are anxious for you to have every opportunity to thoroughly examine the Lippard A2 pistols, both Combat NCO and Close Quarter Battle Pistol, and we want to give you the benefit of understanding all details of the gun and operation. The long range sighting system, for example, takes some understanding. It is quite simple and employs the old school, six-o’clock bull hold for target acquisition and sight hold, but graduating up and down for the various ranges of 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards is unique (since no other handgun is designed to engage targets at those ranges).

Many other aspects of the gun are also quite special and unique. The sear and safety are especially nice. Also, the bluing job on the Combat NCO, I think, is to die for. Lippard uses the same bluing on the Combat NCO as Perazzi uses on their “Best Gun” shotguns  (in fact the same people do the bluing for Lippard). I would challenge you to compare Lippard with the very best guns made by anyone, such as Wilson or any other custom class fine pistol. You will find the Lippard much nicer and more perfect in every respect, right down to the blue job and screw heads. The Lippard, for all practical purposes, is a “Best Gun” in the pistol world.

As you know, if we do attempt long range shooting with the A2, windage is a challenge with even a 30-06 rifle. Therefore, Saturday is best since it is forecast for only light breezes. A light wind, 5 or 10 mph, is not too bad if shooting at 100 yards, but at 400 yards, the drift of the 230 grain bullet moving on average downrange velocity of 700 fps (900 fps muzzle velocity) in a 10 mph cross wind is about 8 feet right or left, approximately half the drift of a 180 grain .30-06 or .308 moving at a downrange velocity of average 1800 fps. As you know, the slower the bullet the greater the distance the wind will move the bullet right or left.

Karl and I have a friend and fellow Marine, Bob Joly, who lives east of Colorado Springs, in the Peyton area, and is an NRA and Colorado certified marksmanship and firearms instructor. Bob has an area where he tests students and has a 100 yard capable setup. We may be able to get more yardage as well. However, it is an open field setting. I will be contacting Bob and seeing if he is available Saturday and would mind us shooting the pistols there. I believe that it will be adequate to demonstrate that the A2 is 400 yard capable and accurate at these long ranges. We can do the normal, 25 yard indoor pistol shooting at the Whistling Pines pistol range.

I think that your most significant findings will be revealed at the work bench, however. Once you examine these guns up close and can appreciate their designs and operation, you will understand why they work so well, and why they are capable of so much. As we have said, the gun does the talking.

Please call me at the numbers below my signature block, and we will set time and where to meet. Probably we should start at Karl’s shop or at his home, and go from there.

Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas

Charles W. “Bill” Henderson

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  1. For all the flak I’ve given those guys in the previous articles, I will grant them that it is a beautiful gun.

  2. The gun can be the best built in the world, but it’s hard to get past the comment that the 230 gr .45 ACP will lift a man off his feet and throw him back or some such nonsense. It makes all the other claims seem suspect. I am a sucker for a beautiful and reliable 1911 though…

    • I am not a ballistics wizard and maybe there are some .45 ACP rounds that do miraculous things, but…

      A few years ago to test the physics that a bullet fired horizontally will strike the ground at the exact same time as an identical bullet dropped straight down from muzzle height, the Mythbusters set up inside a warehouse with a 1911 .45 ACP. I do not recall all the details but I am pretty sure that the pistol fired from a rest and exactly horizontally had a maximum range of @ 850 feet. That’s just under 300 yards. Seems as though you’d practically have to aim at the sky and hope to drop the round on target, and impact velocity would be for shit.

      Also they proved on several shows that bullets of any size, including 12 gauge slugs, are unlikely to knock a man off his feet even at extremely close range.

  3. “since no other handgun is designed to engage targets at those ranges”… or ever will be! Even if, by some chance, the laws of physics ceases to apply in CO, and the 230-gr round is actually traveling at 700fps @ 400 yards, even a 12” grouping +/- 8ft is not an offensive round…. and it certainly isn’t effective. A 5 MPH wind is almost a guarantee every day of the week, especially in CO… or Iraq… or Afghanistan… or wherever!

    I don’t know why we bother. As simpletons, what do we know about pistols, or physics, or gravity, or anything – Karl will certainly post here telling us how stupid or ‘uninformed’ we are. It is unfortunate that a “light breeze” will limit our 400-yard heard-round-the-world shot.

    • A T/C Encore in 308, 270, 30-06, etc., could easily do 400 yards with a decent scope. However, I don’t think the Marine Corps are interested in a single-shot hunting pistol chambered in rifle cartridges. The only repeating handgun I’m aware of that has enough velocity do do anything at 400 yards is Smith & Wesson’s 460XVR, which is also not a viable combat weapon. The recurring theme here is that 400 yard handguns are the provenance of a rare breed of very dedicated, and highly skilled hunters. The “tacticool” crowd need not apply.

      For all I know, Mr. Lippard could be building a fantastic 1911, but I think he’s gone overboard with the marketing hype.

  4. My 3 S&W 500’s with 700 grain bullets can’t lift a man off his feet and throw him back, so there’s no chance in hell that a lil old 45 can do that (and I love 45’s and their my main weapon of choice). I guess they just used a lot of words (and excuses) to tell us that this beautiful 45 can’t hit a target at 400 yards. Now if you were to give several expert marksmen unlimited attempts, I’m sure that one of them would get lucky and eventually hit the target. I’m not trying to put this great looking gun down and I’m willing to bet that it’s a top of the line gun at any practical distance (5 to 25 yards). Anyone crazy enough to try and shoot someone 400 yards away with a handgun shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near any gun cuz they have to be nuts. Even my S&W 500 with a 10.5 inch barrel with a scope (18 inches over all) would have one hell of a time at 400 yards, and this gun is extremely accurate. All this 400 yard talk is just advertising hype and should be taken as that.

    • Sorry Joe, even with a juiced up 700-grain monster, it defies the laws of physics to say that it can knock a human down at 400 yards. Having shot a tuned 460S&W, I can say that the accuracy out to 200-yards is quite acceptable, so I would expect the 500S&W to perform similarly, although I think the .460 is more of a flat-shooter, particularly with “moderate” weight bullets. I have been eyeing up a few 500’s at my local gun shop. I think one of these days I’m gonna have to take the plunge and get one. Have you had any problems with yours so far? I would like to find a .460 actually, since there are many cartridge choices available, even a relatively “cheap” practice round.

  5. I imagine that such a fine pistol could hit a target at 400 yards — if it was fired from a field mortar.

  6. Dear Mr. Enemy,

    Please excuse Little General Johnny from war today as it is too windy for his offensive, 400-yard pistol. He will be back to play tomorrow if the winds are calm.


    Little General Johnny’s Mommy

  7. I just got off the phone with Martin. He’ll be posting a pic and a paragraph later tonight. Full report on his visit to Lippard’s inner sanctum next week.

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