The U.S. Army is planning to transfer up to 10,000 surplus 1911 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) as early as 2018, according to the Army Times.  The .45 caliber pistols would then be put up for sale to civilians who qualify to purchase them from CMP.  The move comes as part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would order the sale of the handguns, and which only awaits the approval of President Trump to come into effect.

The Army replaced the 1911 back in 1986 with the M9 Beretta 9mm pistol, according to Army Times.  The Beretta is now in the process of being replaced by the Sig Sauer P320Modular Handgun System,” which will be known as the M17 (full size) and M18 (compact) in U.S. Army nomenclature.

It seems, then, that the U.S. Army is finally ready to be rid of its stores of surplus 1911 handguns.  CMP is a logical recipient of the weapons, as the nonprofit organization educates the public in responsible firearms use, and conducts marksmanship competitions across the United States.  It also receives military surplus firearms to sell to support its mission, according to Army Times.

So, just how would such a sale to the general public work?  According to the CMP website, as of December 5th, 2017, the following guidelines would be adopted by CMP if the 1911 handguns were in-fact provided for sale to the public:

  • Decisions concerning the pricing of the handguns will follow a CMP inspection of a “substantial quantity,” which would take an estimated 150 days post-receipt of the weapons.
  • Potential purchasers will have to provide to CMP documentation of U.S. citizenship, proof of membership in a CMP-affiliated club, proof of participation in a marksmanship activity, a new form 2A with notary, as well as a signed copy of the Type 01 Federal Firearms License (FFL) to which the 1911 will be transferred.
  • CMP will perform a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check on a potential buyer to insure that the buyer is eligible to purchase prior to shipment to the FFL licensed dealer.  The buyer must receive a “proceed” from NICS prior to shipment of the pistol to the FFL licensed dealer.
  • The CMP customer will be required to complete an ATF form 4473 in person at the FFL dealer’s place of business, successfully passing a NICS check performed by the FFL holder, before the pistol can be transferred.  This is a second NICS check performed on the customer.
  • A qualified CMP customer will only be allowed to purchase one 1911 per calendar year.
  • No 1911s will be available in the CMP stores, or online; only mail-order sales.
  • CMP will set the date in which it will accept orders for the 1911s.  The date will be posted to the world, and orders will only be accepted post-marked on that date or after.  There will be no early orders.
  • Orders will only be accepted via mail order delivery.
  • Once CMP receives 10,000 orders, the customer names will be loaded into the Random Number Generator, which will provide to CMP a list of names in sequence order through a random picking process.
  • Customers will be contacted in the sequence provided by the Random Number Generator.
  • When the customer is contacted, a list of 1911 grades and pricing options that are available will be offered for selection of one 1911.
  • As CMP proceeds down the sequenced list, fewer grade and pricing options will remain available.  Again, this will be done completely randomly.

Finally, you can sign up to receive email updates from CMP on the potential sale of 1911s here.

The whole process is a bit complicated, and there is the whole issue of knowing that you will be assigned a number by the random number generator that will dictate your place in line, but all in all, this is a good opportunity to own a piece of U.S. military history.  There is no doubt that the demand will be high, and the handguns will sell out quickly.

Good luck!

Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia.