Karl Lippard - Military Weapons Division

Combat NCO and 1911 A2 Upgrade Testing

The 1911 A2 Combat NCO has been extensively tested . Additionally, the 1911 A2 upgrade to existing pistols have also been tested.

1911 A2 Upgrade Test Results

First, a new 1911A1 pistol from Springfield Armory was shot and that data recorded. Afterward an "A2 Upgrade" was performed wherein the barrel, barrel bushing and military link were installed, then shot and recorded again. The A2 Upgrade pistol recorded a 42% average accuracy increase over the new guns factory parts. This test was performed by Stephan Sendelbach.

Good morning Gentlemen,
As most of you know I was going to head to the range and fire my Springfield Armory 1911A1 using both the original barrel and bushing as well as the Karl Lippard Design barrel and bushing. I performed the testing over the afternoon of last Friday at an indoor range in the Denver area. I am still assembling the data and will forward it to any of you that are interested. The data package will include the Excel spreadsheet of data as well as scans of each target used. I used a borrowed Ransom rest and the foundation was not the most rigid but you will see from the data that the spread was fairly consistent across all of the targets. In order to cut to the chase and not keep you guessing… Firing 8 rounds (full clips) into each target, shooting 15 targets per barrel, at 25 yards and using the same ammunition the Springfield set averaged 4.21" ctc with two wild outliers (not included) and the Karl Lippard Inc. barrel averaged 2.962" ctc with no outliers.

Please note that I was simply measuring the distance between the two shots that were farthest apart and I was using a Ransom rest for the first time so as you look at the targets you may find that my measurements are not following correct testing practices. In addition I was using Magtech MP45A ammunition which is apparently only considered mid-level quality and better results are likely with better ammunition. For future testing I am awaiting the delivery of my own Ransom rest and I should have access to a 100 yd. indoor range that will facilitate improved procedures and cleaner data.

At first blush I find my data very encouraging and feel that the small cost of the modification is easily justified by the clear improvement in accuracy. Please let me know what you all think and once you have the data this afternoon please take a look and comment on whether my results reflect the proper procedure.

Have a great week,

Comparison Test Results: Combat NCO, A2 Upgrade, and Spartan Tactical Arms pistol

The second test was conducted by C.J. Quinlan, former Chief Marine Corps Sniper Instructor and currently President of Tactical Applications Group. His test was performed with common bulk ammo and substandard 830fps ammo; the kind of ammo that the average man purchases to shoot.

I have concluded my first set of testing on the Combat NCO as well as an upgraded Spartan Tactical Arms pistol with upgraded link and frame cut. These tests were conducted along side an unmodified Spartan Tactical Arms pistol for comparison.

Here is what we saw:


- 230 gr.(PC) Precision Cartridge Re-manufactured Ammo -(unknown fps 800+-est.)
- 230 gr.(Rem) Remington UMC - 830 fps
- 230 gr.(Win) Winchester Ranger SXT - 920 fps
- 230 gr.(RGS)Remington Golden Saber- 830 fps


Initial testing was conducted at 15 yards. Rapid fire drills were conducted with all three weapons. A total of 70 rounds were fired in two and three shot strings accordingly. The purpose of these drills was to bring the weapon up to temperature and allow cooling between the firing of each weapon. Each weapon was evaluated for function, reliability, and accuracy. I utilized a scoring system for the testing being a 10 scale. 10 being 100% and 0 being failure. Accuracy was measured using a 3 inch bulls eye at 15 yards (hand fired) and a 4 inch bulls eye at all other ranges (Ransom fired) In regards to the NCO it performed to standard and was given a 10 in all three categories. The STA w/upgrade and STA were all given the same score with exception of the STA model with one malfunction - failure to feed off a speed reload. This particular weapon was a new build with only 25 rounds through it at the beginning of testing. Understood. An additional 400 rounds of ammunition was fired at various ranges inside of 25 yards performing numerous combat drills and shoot move scenarios. All weapons scored a ten during these evaluated drills. One malfunction was noted on the NCO for failure to fire - dented primer on a 230 gr. (RGS) round (Golden Saber) Fault goes to ammunition being an old lot.

The next evaluation was the 25 yard slow fire. Loading single rounds via Ransom Rest. Weather was sunny at 82 deg. light wind left to right at 3-5 mph with light gusts to 7 mph. A total of 70 rounds was fired through all three weapons. 7 shot groups were utilized to ensure proof positive repeatability in the weapon system. The NCO best group size using the 230gr. (Win) was 2.6" and the worst group size was 3.4" with 230gr. (PC). With that noted all three weapons systems performed shot for shot with the exception of the STA upgrade which held the tightest group at 2.4" with the 230gr (Win). At the 25 yard line is when I started to notice the large degree of variance in ammo. There was almost a 2-8 inch shift right between point of impact with the same point of aim between the different ammo being used fired through the same gun. (Admin note: the rest was secure, no difference in wind, no shift in the components of the bench or rest.) The ammo was just that much different within the same grain weight in manufacture. Understanding that there will be a significant difference between round nose FMJ and the premium duty loads such as the SXT Ranger which is ultra hot in velocity/FPS. With that being said…off to the 50 yard line.

The next evaluation was the 50 yard slow fire. Loading single rounds via Ransom Rest. Weather was sunny at 84 deg. light wind left to right at 3-5 mph with light gusts to 5 mph. A total of 35 rounds were fired through all three weapons. Again 7 shot groups were fired to ensure proof positive repeatability in the weapon system. The NCO best group size was 3.6" using the 230gr. (Win) ammo. The worst group size was 4.1" using the 230gr. (Rem). At this point I discontinued use of the (PC) ammo due to the horrible load average we were seeing. STA upgrade pistol performed neck and neck with the NCO. The only notable difference was that the STA upgrade was grouping 2" closer to center than that of the NCO. (Admin note: I believe that the NCO that I was shooting needed sight adjustment left for my sight picture and sight alignment. Understanding that all shooters will see their sight picture slightly different as far as reference at these ranges.)

All three weapons performed to expectation and overall scoring was NCO 10, STA Upgrade 10, STA 10. Now we are off to the 100 yard line.

The next evaluation was the 100 yard slow fire. Loading single rounds via Ransom Rest. Weather was sunny at 85 deg. light wind left to right at 3-5 mph with light gusts to 5 mph. A total of 35 rounds were fired through all three weapons. Again 7 shot groups were fired to ensure proof positive repeatability in the weapon system. The NCO best shot group was 5.1" with only one flyer 1" outside the group at the 2 o’clock position. All other groups fired were within a 6" group. The STA upgrade fired along side the NCO with best group being 5.2" and all other groups falling within the same 6" shot group. With the standard STA weapon I was able to achieve one group that fell at 4.8" in a diagonal pattern from 7-2 o’clock. However all other groups averaged the 6" shot group with the worst being 6.8". (Admin note: The 4.8" group was fired using 7 rounds of the SXT-T Ranger ammo. It was all that I had available at the time of firing. It was fired just as a comparison as that is what I carry for duty loads.) A noticeable shift in point of impact on the NCO was noted and attributed to the sight alignment that was on the gun as previously noted. Additionally, the 230gr. (RGS) ammo consistently impacted center of group 4" higher and right than the 230gr. (Win) at this range.

All three weapons performed within expectation and final scoring was NCO 10, STA upgrade 9, STA 8. We are off for the last evaluation before the flood…off to the 200 yard line.

The next evaluation was the 200 yard slow fire. Loading single rounds via Ransom Rest. Weather was sunny at 81 deg. light breeze left to right at 2-3 mph constant. A total of 35 rounds were fired through all three weapons. Again 7 shot groups were fired to ensure proof positive repeatability in the weapon system. The NCO best shot group was 13.2" with two flyers 1" outside the group at the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock position. The worst group was 13.8 with 1 no impact no idea with the 230gr. (RGS) ammo. During this evolution it took a considerable amount of rounds to get the rounds on target (8 rounds as I lost my observer at this point). I ended up with a 9 o’clock hold 6" off paper to achieve a center mass low group. Again attributing it to the sight alignment issue previously discussed. At this point in the evaluation I discontinued use of the 230 gr. (Rem) as it was too inconsistent and not holding paper at this range on a measurable scale. The STA upgrade performed well at this range as well showing the best group of 13.9" with 230gr. (Win) ammo. No proof data was available for the STA weapon as I had depleted the ammo supply with only 2 groups fired. One group to get hits on paper and the other to center up showing a 15" group with three no impact no ideas.

Overall scoring at this range showed NCO 9, STA upgrade 7, STA inconclusive estimate 6.

The only failures I discovered were:
1) The first being failure to feed on a full 7 round magazine that was supplied with the NCO (Understanding that your intent and concept was only loading 6 rounds in that mag). I concluded it was due to heavy spring weight in the magazine and possibly a worn recoil spring as the cause. Not wanting to change the lock-up or battery function by changing out the recoil spring to a heavier or new one and dilute my testing results I opted to change magazines and went with a Novak 8 round magazine loading 7 rounds and no longer observed any feeding issues and documented it as a probable cause and consequent fix to the malfunction.
2) The second malfunction was also a failure to feed due to ammunition. Upon inspection of the ammo being used in the sequence it was discovered that there were imperfections in the brass casings and the obvious source of the problem.


After firing hundreds of rounds through the Combat NCO as well as the upgraded Spartan Tactical Arms pistol it is a definite fact that the NCO along with upgraded similar pistols will out perform others in the same class. The combat NCO has proven its reliability, function and upgraded capability to perform as a considerable improvement over a conventionally built 1911 service pistol. After personally performing the upgrade procedures necessary to convert a standard 1911 built platform to that of an 1911 A2, I must say that it is an improvement over the current build specification and should be incorporated by anyone who carries the 1911 platform as a personal defense or duty weapon.

In closing I would like to thank Karl Lippard for the opportunity to test and evaluate his Combat NCO and run it through the paces. As always, I have learned so very much and hope to continue in any efforts that are necessary to put this weapon back in the hands of my brothers and sisters in the fight!

Semper Fi,
C.J. Quinlan