A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lipsey Sistemas

The advertisements began to appear in Shotgun News and Gunlist in February 2006. Click to enlargeSistemas. Colt 1911s produced in Argentina to GI specs by the Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles. These fine firearms were long believed to have dried up on the surplus market. At least three thousand were found by Lipsey's out of Baton Rouge Louisiana. The condition was listed as NRA Good. The price was $289.90 plus $17.50 flat rate shipping. Estimated date of arrival was June. The C&R gun forums were ablaze with updates and speculation regarding these incoming Colts. Some people placed orders for two or three. All were sold before the container reached an American pier.

I almost ordered one or two. The only thing that kept me from it was I already owned two Sistemas, one of which I modified into my carry gun.

Nevertheless, I kept an interested eye on the C&R forums. Click to enlargeFirst, Lipsey's began to charge credit cards before they had the pistols. Then delivery was postponed. Finally, on July 12, 2006, a C&R forum member went to Lipsey's and picked up his pistol himself. He posted photos of what he received in a forum thread. He revealed that his three pistols had all seen heavy use. The finish was long gone, replaced by bright metal and rust. There was pitting. The grips were worn smooth. There was an ugly import stamp on the left side of the slide. These were not the same rearsenaled Sistemas that JLD Enterprises had sold several years back. These pistols were pigs, in a poke.

The angry online handwringing began and many people canceled orders before their pistols even shipped. Others adopted a wait and see approach. When they arrived, the pistols all seemed to be in similar condition. Lipsey's has adopted a money back guarantee approach on these pistols. They decided to waive their usual 10% restocking fee. Many pistols were returned.

Click to enlargeSome of these pistols will no doubt be sold for $289. If I were in Baton Rouge, I might just buy one for that. I am certain I will see them on the gun show tables for $400 in a couple of months. They are already showing up on Gun Broker. Sooner or later somebody will ask my opinion. The JLD Sistemas were worth the $389-399 that was charged. These pistols are not. If I could buy one for $250 total though, I'd probably bite. I'd just want one with plenty of "character'.

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Blogger Tam said...

I snagged one of the ones we bought (which, in all fairness, are a lot nicer-looking than most that I've seen online so far; most of ours were nickelled or chromed at some point in the past) because I've priced how much just a machined-from-bar-stock frame and slide would set me back. So it's a little homely; so what? You won't be able to recognize it by anything but the markings when I'm done with it, anyway. ;)

8:47 AM  
Anonymous mike100 said...

I have a passing curiosity in some milsurps, but at least 1/2 of them are junk or questionably useful. Those foreign countries will sell us anything to make some money.

There seem to be two collectors markets. People who want like new shooters and the others who will buy anything. Eventually those will be sold to somebody.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous markf said...

Hah, by the time I get back they'll be gone - probably a good thing for my wallet, as I'd find it very hard to turn down a sistema at that price.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Joker23 said...

Hey, long time lurker here. I'll try to keep it short.

I bought one of the "Lipsey's Sistemas". One of their sales reps had listed their condition as 95% on one online forum. Another sales rep listed them as "police trade ins, minor holster wear, shot very little". When I called and spoke to a sales rep I was told "select grade".

I just couldn't wait for fear that they really would be this great and I would miss out, so I pre-ordered. Now I remember why I never gamble... If anyone wants pics, I can post a link.

I'm satisfied with the way Lipsey's handled the situation, though (refunding purchase price plus the return shipping).

3:02 PM  

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