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I just got off the phone with Colorado gunsmith Karl Lippard’s Number Two, Charles W. “Bill” Henderson. Bill cleared his anti-Carrube email for republication [below]. Even better, he’s granted us an audience with the A2 NCO. TTAG scribe and U.S. Army vet Martin Albright will head for Lippard’s place next weekend. I’ve also got a call into NCO skeptic and top shot Patrick Carrube. “They can bury the thing in mud take it out and shoot it,” Bill said. Hey, why not? Of course, we all know the money shot: hitting a target at 400 yards. Or a hundred, for that matter. It promises to be quite a show. Meanwhile, make the jump and read the riot act,  you maggots, before Karl Lippard rips off your head and pukes down your neck . . .

As Lippard Arms and the Lippard A2 pistol become more widely known in public, prepare thyself for the blather of naysayers and skeptics, all of whom lack knowledge if marksmanship, firearms and ammunitions, as well as physics. So gird your loins for a large volume of commentary from people who know little and speak much. It will take a lot of patience and forgiveness of the stupidity. The last paragraph of [Patrick Carrube’s] commentary is an ideal example of the common denominator.

As more and more people retrofit their pistols with Lippard A2 technology, and as more and more people buy and shoot the Lippard A2 pistols, the uneducated will become educated, and will one day feel stupid with their comments. Others, such as the fellow in West Yellowstone, Montana who wears all the “I love myself” buttons and boasts his greatness with nothing to back it up, will always be stupid.

One thing we at Lippard, especially we Marines, must learn is to practice humility, and be more thoughtful with our words. We cannot reason with idiots, so we should not try. We should preach less and let facts, hard data, and the gun itself speak the words that even the harshest skeptic will have to accept. Over time, as the shooting world comes to realize that Lippard has established a new and much higher standard in firearms and ammunition, and that only comes with their actual use of the products and first witness of the performance, there comes acceptance of the truth of Lippard firearms and ammunition technology.

However, at that time, Lippard A3 and A4 technology will be the new stuff, and the skeptics will be spewing their flat-earth arguments on that technology. As Jesus told His disciples, “The poor will always be with you…” So will the stupid. And again, we Marines must learn humility, and exercise kindness to those who do not know any better.

The most important thing we can do for the common gun enthusiasts, whom we do dearly love and to whom we devote our energy, is provide them with unarguable, solid test data that anyone can repeat and prove for himself on a firing range or at his work bench. One cannot argue Full Interchangeability of the A2 when they any group of Lippard guns from any assortment, dismantle them and reassemble them at random, and the shoot them and witness the better-than-match performance of the gun.

As I said, the gun speaks for itself, so we should not have to say a word. Just put guns in people’s hands and let them have at it. Lippard’s challenge is open. Any gun, any make, custom fit match guns included. Any weather, any setting, any ammunition, buried in mud, it makes no difference. The Lippard A2 will speak for itself.

Meanwhile, we who have shot the gun and know the gun and know the truth it, the stronger we try to preach its greatness, the more and louder and more harsh the skeptics will argue and condemn us as fools. Look at Columbus or Galileo. The mass public absolutely knew the earth was flat. They scoffed at Columbus’s idea that the earth could be a globe. They imprisoned Galileo for suggesting that the earth was round and revolved around the sun. Even today, there are skeptics who believe that when Neal Armstrong stepped from the Eagle onto the surface of the moon, that he was really on a sound stage in Hollywood.

Most people accept truth when the presentation is obvious. When they shoot the A2 at a man silhouette at 400 yards, and are trained how to use the Lippard sights, and see that it does in fact shoot a group on the silhouette, then they believe. I also must factor in that most people shooting .30-caliber rifles at that same target at 400 yards will miss, due to their inability to factor windage and environmental factors that affect any shot. And we know that the slower the projectile moves, the greater the effect of wind.

As far as the fellow branding all Marines as non-shooters because he witnessed two Marines who could not hit paper, I say that they fall into that 10-percent of Marines who cannot qualify on the range. However, 90-percent of Marines do qualify with the rifle, and know how to calculate windage at 500 yards. As a Marine Corps marksmanship instructor (I held the MOS of 9925, the marksmanship officer), as well as marksmanship expert and competitor, I am quite confident that the vast majority of Marines today can take the Lippard A2 pistol, apply their knowledge of windage adjustment that they learned shooting the rifle at 500 yards, and do well with the Lippard pistol at 400 yards.

As for ballistic performance of the .45 caliber military ball, standard being 830 feet per second muzzle velocity, at 400 yards the 230 grain projectile still carries more than 600 feet per second velocity. That bullet moving that that speed has a stopping force that will lift a man off his feet and kill him dead as a mackerel. Even at 1000 yards, that 230 grain bullet retains killing force. Just calculate the simple physics of mass times velocity and you will find the energy of the .45 caliber 230 grain bullet holds much greater killing power than a 9 mm or even .357 magnum at close range.

Bear in mind that the creation of the .45 ACP was motivated by Marines in the Philippines facing the Moras, who were hyped on drugs and fanatics for their cause, needing an adequate handgun to kill these warriors. The Navy .36 caliber and .38 calibers, similar to the 9mm Lugar used today, failed miserably, just at the 9mm fails to kill. That is why those who try to kill the enemy with the M9 must empty the magazine in the foe to kill him. Thus, as history repeats itself 100 years later, the Marine Corps again needs the .45 caliber pistol. Except they want it battlefield adequate, and Lippard A2 not only fulfills that criteria, but far exceeds it.

The proof is in the shooting. And in time the skeptics will grow silent. Until then, we must choose our words carefully, respect the people because they simply do not know better, and do our best to provide them as much solid, well established, hard data that we can establish. Matters of fact are hard to argue, and the gun speaks in matters of fact.

Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas

Charles W. “Bill” Henderson

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  1. “Just calculate the simple physics of mass times velocity and you will find the energy of the .45 caliber 230 grain bullet holds much greater killing power than a 9 mm or even .357 magnum at close range.”

    I love the .45 as much as the next guy but Jeez…
    I look forward to the 400 yard video. That will be really impressive.

  2. Mr Henderson,

    Here is the pistol qualification course for the unit you are attempting to supply pistols to. This qualification has been created by people with significant operational experience within this unit and has been tailored to the exacting needs of that unit. Please to note two things:

    – The lack of a 400 meter qualification standard.

    – The heavy emphasis on the use of the pistol as a secondary weapon to a carbine (all strings start with a rifle at low ready, simulating a malfunction)

    – The heavy emphasis on speed with the lowered emphasis on accuracy (in comparison to say, bullseye shooters or something).

    So, with that said, some questions:

    1- How do you feel that 400 meter shots with a .45 ACP are relevant measures of a military pistol in any way shape or form?

    2- Can you defend your statements that polymer .45 pistols are unworkable, given the success of the HK45 and HK45 Compact in two other tip of the spear units.

    3- Can you tell us what other mass unit issue contracts your company has won and delivered successfully? How many armorers you have trained up and what your training program for them is? What is your MTBF of a sample of your pistols given full power military ball ammo across varied conditions? Any pistols with round counts over 100k (absolutely not uncommon for MEU(SOC) pistols)?

    Here is the MEU(SOC) M4A1 and Pistol qualification course:

  3. “That bullet moving that that speed has a stopping force that will lift a man off his feet and kill him dead as a mackerel.” Bullshit. I don’t doubt that a .45 acp can kill a man at 400 yards, but lift him off his feet? Not on planet Earth. If I’m doing my math right, it would take at least 755 Joules of energy to lift a 180 lb. man off the ground. A 230 grain Federal Hydra-Shok moving at 900 ft/s generates about 560 Joules of energy, at the muzzle of the weapon. For all this guy’s talk about how other people are stupid and don’t know any physics, he’s making himself look a bit silly.

    I don’t doubt that it’s possible to build a pistol with the inherent mechanical accuracy to hit a man-sized target consistently at 400 yards, or that the .45 acp could kill at that range. What I doubt is the need for such a thing, when there are plenty of M-4’s and M-16A2’s to go around.

    Also, what the hell are you going to use for a sight on a combat pistol that shoots up close and at 400 yards? The only thing that comes to mind is a Vernier, which would be a bit awkward on a pistol.

    • That bullet moving that that speed has a stopping force that will lift a man off his feet and kill him dead as a mackerel.

      Simple physics tells us this is bullshit and calls the author’s credibility into question. If it were possible for the bullet to do that, then it would also do that to the shooter. Think about it, on one side of the very simple 3rd law of motion, we have a man of mass x+1 kilo, on the other side we have a man of roughly mass x+230 gr. If x is any reasonable number then the amount that either side of the system is moved is roughly the same. Sorry to be pedantic but this is really basic stuff.

  4. Please run a website “countdown ticker” for the evaluation of the NCO…this will be bigger than the lame ass SHOT Show this year.

  5. I’ve been on his web site and I’m checking out the combat version. It starts at only $4995. I’m more interested at how it performs between 25 to 75 feet because I don’t see well beyond these distances. He’s using the 400 yards as a sales pitch which is fine, but you only have to use it at the same distance as any other gun but with much greater accuracy.

  6. “That bullet moving that that speed has a stopping force that will lift a man off his feet and kill him dead as a mackerel.”

    Considering that a 45ACP can not do that at point blank range, this statement tells me all I need to know about their claims.

    • Last year there was an article in American Rifleman about the Tommy Gun in WWII. The next month a vet wrote in thanking them for the interesting article, but he said that the .45 (even out of a carbine bbl) was too weak to reliably stop the enemy, and that they generally used the M1, even for house clearing.

  7. “That bullet moving that that speed has a stopping force that will lift a man off his feet and kill him dead as a mackerel.”

    Considering that a 45ACP won’t do that at point blank range, that’s all I need to know about their claims

    While I never looked for this specifically when I was a a long-range range, is a person-sized target even discernible to the eye at 400 yards??

    • That’s a good point. How the heck can you make the shot if you can’t see the target? Wouldn’t the sights completely obscure the target anyways?

    • I would say that depends how your good eyesight (factory or corrected) is.

      If you’ve been to a 1/4 mile dragstrip, it’s 1320 feet, so just think about what you would see standing on the 60 ft line where the car is a length or so from the finish line.

      I know that’s a bit squishy, but to me it’s a more direct visualization than 4 football fields.

      My vision has held out pretty well, so I can see a man at the end of a quarter pretty well. Not well enough to shoot an un-scoped, un-rested pistol at the guy and believe for a second that I would hit him out of anything but pure luck.

  8. No handgun or rifle bullet in common use will “lift a man off his feet”
    Has this man never heard of Newton’s Third Law? If the pistol didn’t lift the shooter off his feet it won’t lift the target either.
    They verified all this stuff on Mythbusters a couple years ago. He can watch the old clips on YT or Discovery’s site.

  9. I have to admit, I am still skeptical. Lippard’s website calls it the first offensive pistol, but what’s the point? How many people are actually capable of making that shot? Why would you want to engage someone with a 1911 at 400 yards? Could this concept of a 400 yard pistol shot give people false confidence and cause them to grossly overestimate their skills? In a combat situation that could prove deadly. These are the questions I want answers to. That being said I really look forward to the report from Lippard’s HQ.

  10. We should preach less and let facts, hard data, and the gun itself speak the words that even the harshest skeptic will have to accept.

    As there have been no hard facts, data, or tests provided please explain how there will be even less.

    Most people accept truth when the presentation is obvious.

    As it would take perhaps a coupe of grand and a couple of days to thoroughly document spectacular performance, any rational man will wonder why that performance has not been documented. That is why there is skepticism. When you claim fantastic things, be prepared to prove them.

    Please, disabuse me of my skepticism.

    When they shoot the A2 at a man silhouette at 400 yards, and are trained how to use the Lippard sights, and see that it does in fact shoot a group on the silhouette, then they believe.

    An HD video recorder is well under a grand at any retailer in the US. As has been noted, there are iron sights that that are accurate to the limit of vision. They’re on my Sharps.

    And we know that the slower the projectile moves, the greater the effect of wind.

    Please a citation of testing. Because data I’ve seen from my own experience to tables of bullet makers, to US ARMY Aberdeen Labs says that as a bullet moves through .4 to .9 mach the coefficient of friction (that is the force that allows the wind to affect the drift) drops. Then, as the projectile passes through .9 mach on its way to 1.2-ish mach (goes supersonic) the CF goes up dramatically.

    As the round you are referencing, as well as most .45 ACP rounds, are subsonic please elaborate.

    As for ballistic performance of the .45 caliber military ball, standard being 830 feet per second muzzle velocity, at 400 yards the 230 grain projectile still carries more than 600 feet per second velocity. That bullet moving that that speed has a stopping force that will lift a man off his feet and kill him dead as a mackerel.

    I don’t have a chart handy for .45 ACP at that distance so I will accept that till I find some data. As to the proposition that a .45 ACP will lift a man off his feet, only if you shoot toddlers at point blank range. I know several who have taken rounds in the trauma plate in .45 ACP and .357 mag. None of these average (under 200#) was knocked down all hit from under 20 feet away. I could cite a dozen sources that will all state that vest or not, a pistol round is like taking a very solid punch. If you are off balance you may fall. People blow backwards through plate glass windows only in movies.

    The rest of the “reply” is boilerplate ‘hey, look over there!’ deceptive advertising copy.

    I would love to see answers to GAKoenig’s questions.

    The more ongoing non-factual responses, the more this looks like the “300 MPG carburetor that works on miracle science principles you’d just never understand”…

  11. 2 thoughts:
    1. The Army rifle qual goes out to 300 meters (~330 yards) and I believe the Marines shoot at longer ranges. You can see the target. But you have to center the target on the sightpost instead of centering the sight on the target.

    2. Mass times velocity is momentum. Mass time velocity squared is energy.

    @porschespeed: In reference to “And we know that the slower the projectile moves, the greater the effect of wind,” I think you are arguing apples and oranges. I don’t know know crap about the effect of velocity on the CF. Zero. But I can adjust for crosswind. A slower round has more windage drift than a faster bullet of the same size. In that case the only variable is the time exposed to the crosswind. A bullet traveling 1000 fps takes 1 sec to hit a target 1000 ft away. Supposing that the wind causes a 1 inch drift, an identical slug traveling at 500 fps would have a 2 inch drift because the wind pushed it sideways for twice as long. (I know I oversimplified the math. I’m trying to point out the windage part of it.) Doesn’t CF apply more to the forward motion of the round?

    • @Joshua,

      Good question. If you want some techie, math and physics term-laden explanations google ‘external ballistics’ you can readily find dozens of sites with cool graphs and charts. Here’s my short and (over) simplified version.

      Think about the aero properties of the bullet as it moves forward. A rounded or pointed bullet will go the air farther, faster than the flat front of a wadcutter.

      Now think about wind blowing from the side. A straight ended cylinder shaped slug has a much surface area to be affected than say, a boat-tailed bullet.

      My main point was just that a “slower is more accurate” argument flies in the face of 30+ years of ballistic science as far as sub-sonic rounds are concerned.

    • One of my teachers was in the Marines in the early 90’s. He said the longest qualifications were at 500 yards from the prone position. With iron sights. He said the only people who had scopes in his unit were the attached Scout Snipers that put the recon in its Light Armor Reconnaissance designation. So it is possible to use iron sights at that distance.

      But in addressing the actual gun, I think that if these guys are telling the truth, then they are wasting their time doing handguns. If I could make a .45 ACP go to 400 yards, then I would be looking to use that technology in rifles, where there is much more demand for longer range.

      • Lance,

        No argument that a variety of iron sights can be effective out to 500+ yards.

        But those are rifle sights. Those of us who are questioning are looking at pistol sights (at least the ones that are on the .45 in question).

  12. It’s LUGER not Lugar(a “gun” guy should know that!) e.g …..The Navy .36 caliber and .38 calibers, similar to the 9mm Lugar used today,

  13. Wow – took a weekend off and all of this happens! Thanks to my TTAG followers for standing behind my original questions to Karl. I will have to talk with RF in the AM to see what is going on here – personally I love the taste of size 15 steel-toe boots in the morning! However, the fact that Karl must insinuate that I and others here on TTAG are uneducated and generally unabashed to reality by our “lack knowledge (in) marksmanship, firearms and ammunitions, as well as physics” speaks volumes to me about Mr. Lippard. From one professional to another, Mr. Lippard I must insist that you take a step back and actually read what you are typing. To say to the people who are asking sound and reasonable questions – many of which are based around the laws of nature – don’t understand the questions we are asking because we aren’t “in the know” truly amazes me. Let me assure you that I am far from uneducated and I will certainly not believe a single word said as proof or evidence because you “know what he and we, are talking about”… or whatever the hell you meant to say. Indeed sir, the proof is in the pudding – so consider me Bill Cosby with a spoon in hand!

    • “That bullet moving that that speed has a stopping force that will lift a man off his feet and kill him dead as a mackerel.” We’re still talking about Earth, correct? If so, this is impossible – unless that “man” was a hollowed-out pygmy midget, and even then…

      And by the way – the .357Magnum is a far more powerful and effective round than the .45ACP, at distance and point-blank. Keep in mind that I LOVE the .45ACP round! Even taking into account the in-flight transonic transition, I don’t know of a single pistol hunter who would trade their .357Magnum in for a .45ACP chambered pistol.

  14. I have been following this with great interest, mostly because the Lippard pistol has actually been around for some time. The problem is that a 400 yard shot with a pistol is entirely a marketing technique. It’s like those commercials for vacuums that show them sucking coal out of a carpet – it doesn’t really matter that the vacuum can do that, since no one (except for coal miners) is going to have that issue.

    To bring things back to reality, I’ve shot pistols out to 100 yards at an IPSC steel silhouette, and at 100 yards the entire target (which is roughly man-sized) is occluded by my front sight. A .45 ACP at 100 yards drops 6-12 inches, at 400 yards I can’t even imagine what the bullet drop would be.

    But to even address a 400 yard pistol shot with a .45 ACP is to engage in foolishness, since the whole point of a pistol in a military and civilian context is as a live-saving tool, not an offensive weapon. In fact, HK used that same “offensive weapon” nonsense with the Mk23. For a civilian, if you’re engaging a target with a handgun past 50 yards, you are likely going to have a very difficult time explaining to the jury that you were in danger of death or grievous bodily harm. The real issue for a .mil unit in selecting a pistol is reliability and accuracy to perform the task the military needs a pistol to do, namely serve as a backup weapon to their carbine/rifle.

    Ultimately though, I have to give Karl credit. Despite knowing that the Corps would never select his pistol for the MARSOC gun, he submitted it anyway. Why? Because people are talking about it, and if he even sells one or two of them, it’s a big victory at that price. Speaking of the MARSOC competition, I actually have an example of Colt’s submission to the contest, the XSE Rail gun, and it’s quite the 1911.

    When Karl Lippard runs 50,000 rounds through an NCO, cleans it 3 times during that 50,000 rounds, and experiences less than 2 parts breakages and less than 3 malfunctions, I’ll be impressed.

  15. I have followed the Lappard pistol around since first I learned of it a month or so back. I like shooting pistols at rediculous ranges. My teachers were the late Bob Loveless and the late Ray Randall. Through those two I was able to meet with and shoot with many of the deans of long range pistol craft. Am I a younger Elmer Keith? No. but I can scare the bejesus out of a Jerry can at 400 and even hit it now and again with a 4″ Smith 624 in .44 spl. Now, the good Colonel Cooper figured he could do good work at 200 with the 1911. IF the Lippard pistol can reliably double that, I would put that on a par with the invention of, oh, I dunno, fire? It would be the most quantum of quantum leaps. And if the common man could do it without years of practice, quantumer still.
    If the folks at Laippard would care to put one in the hands of a man, that according to his mother in law, is pretty damn common, I am at your service. I live in the Gila National Forest and I have nothing but miles and miles of miles and miles to shoot in.
    If not, I will await some concrete proof, film would be fine, with bait on my breath.
    If the gun can do that from a random bunch of parts as claimed. My Springfield Armory will be on it’s way to your door. I’ll try and be quick to avoid what will surely be a stampede. In short, I’ve heard the story, now show me the fish.


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