Legendary Gunsmith Chip McCormick Passes Away

by
posted on June 12, 2021
Chip Mccormick Obituary F

Michael "Chip" McCormick, a legendary gunsmith, innovator and founder of Chip McCormick Custom/Shooting Star Products, passed away on June 4, 2021. An avid competitor and firearm enthusiast, McCormick developed several innovations that influenced huge segments of the firearm industry, including 1911 pistol design and modular components for the AR-15.

One of McCormick's signature contributions to the firearm world was the Railed Power Magazine, which dealt with the commonly encountered problem of out-of-spec feed lips found on traditional 1911 pistol magazines. McCormick developed the innovation of folding the magazine feed lips, creating smooth, resilient feed lips that provided greater performance and reliability than John Browning's original design. Additionally, McCormick developed a unique follower with a two-axis leaf spring that ensured an empty magazine follower would reliably lock a 1911 slide to the rear.

McCormick also contributed to 1911 design in other ways and played an instrumental part in Kimber America's early development by encouraging the company to create specifications for 1911 components that allowed the guns to be assembled from parts rather than fitting components together by hand. With this innovation, Kimber became one of the leading manufacturers of 1911s in the world, and McCormick's method of building 1911s developed into an industry standard.

Despite his expertise and focus on the 1911, McCormick innovated in other ways. Prior to his development of a self-contained AR-15 trigger, gunsmiths tuned AR-15 triggers by working with individual trigger components. McCormick developed the concept of a "drop-in" AR-15 trigger, complete with a clean, match-grade pull. Now, the aftermarket is full of self-contained AR-15 trigger units, all inspired by his early design. McCormick also developed the concept of a modular handgun based on the 1911 design. With this inspiration, he teamed up with Sandy Strayer and Virgil Tripp and, together, the men developed the 2011 design sold by STI (now Staccato).

For those who'd like to honor McCormick's memory, the family has asked for donations to be made to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum Memorial Fund, an institution in which McCormick played a key role.

Latest

Qamain
Qamain

Rifleman Q&A: Shotgun Proofmarks?

Read this 'Questions & Answers' column from the American Rifleman archives to learn about Belgian shotguns and their proofmarks.

Preview: Winnerwell Fastfold Titanium Camping Stove

Winnerwell, in partnership with Dwell Outdoors LLC for U.S. distribution, has upgraded its line of stainless steel tent stoves to include a design that is lightweight with increased durability provided by the company’s use of titanium.

New for 2021: FN 502 .22 LR Pistol

FN America offers the industry's first slide-mounted optics-ready .22 LR pistol in the form of its FN 502.

The MSR-15 Valkyrie: Savage's .224 Valkyrie Powerhouse

Not many modern sporting rifles were chambered for the .224 Valkyrie cartridge when it was officially unveiled at the 2018 SHOT Show, except for the Savage MSR 15 Valkyrie.

NRA Gun of the Week: Rock Island Armory STK100

On this week's "Gun of the Week" video preview, watch as American Rifleman staff examine and range test a Rock Island Armory striker-fired handgun in 9 mm Luger that features an aluminum frame with an internal steel chassis.

Smith & Wesson's Triple Lock: A Look Back

The Triple Lock was the first Smith & Wesson revolver built on what is now called the N-frame—S&W’s N-frames have defined the modern wheelgun.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.