New Information Out on Army Surplus 1911 .45 Sales

The U.S. Army is expected to transfer thousands of surplus M1911 pistols for civilian sale in fiscal 2018 (Photo: Wikipedia)
The U.S. Army is expected to transfer thousands of surplus M1911 pistols for civilian sale in fiscal 2018 (Photo: Wikipedia)

The leadership of the Civilian Marksmanship Program recently updated its website with the requirements, guidelines and background checks needed to purchase an Army surplus 1911 .45 pistol in fiscal 2018.

The U.S. Army is expected to transfer thousands of surplus M1911/1911A1 .45s, according to this year's National Defense Authorization Act, a massive defense policy bill recently approved by Congress and awaiting President Donald Trump's signature.

The legislation includes an entire section -- Sec. 1091, to be exact -- detailing how the iconic firearms can be transferred to the entity that oversees the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a government program that allows eligible civilians to purchase surplus military weapons.

Specifically, the bill would allow recently confirmed Army Secretary Mark Esper, previously the top lobbyist at defense contracting giant Raytheon Co., to transfer 8,000 or more .45-caliber M1911/M1911A1 pistols, spare parts and related accessories to the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety as part of a two-year pilot program.

The program would cap the number of transfers at 10,000 a year and also require the Army secretary to send an annual report to Congress on the number of pistols transferred, number of pistols sold, and information on any crimes committed with the pistols.

The CMP updated its website Dec. 12 with the following information on future surplus 1911 sales:

"The CMP Board of Directors has discussed at length how the sales of 1911s would be handled, if the CMP were to ever receive them from the United States Army," it states.

The CMP will have an all-new 1911 order form, 1911 purchasing instructions, a 1911 page on its website, a dedicated 1911 Federal Firearms License fax number and email address for the FFL holder to send their license with customer's name attached, according to the website.

"The customer will have to send in a complete new order packet with all new qualifying criteria included," the website states. "Everyone will be a new customer, everyone starts with no advantage or disadvantage."

Decisions concerning the grade and pricing of the 1911s will not be made until a substantial number have been inspected, estimated to take 150 days post receipt, according to the website.

Potential purchasers must provide CMP with a new set of documents exhibiting:

1) Proof of U.S. citizenship.

2) Proof of membership in a CMP-affiliated club.

3) Proof of participation in a marksmanship activity.

4) A new form 2A with notary.

5) A signed copy of the 01, 02, 07 Federal Firearms License to which the 1911 will be transferred. These are "store front" FFLs.

A NICS background check will be performed by the CMP to assure the customer is eligible to purchase prior to shipment to the "storefront" FFL licensed dealer, according to the website. The customer must receive a "proceed" from NICS prior to shipment of the pistol to the dealer.

The CMP customer will be required to complete a form 4473 in person at the FFL dealer's place of business, successfully passing a NICS check -- in which the information is provided by the FFL holder to NICS, before the pistol can be transferred, according to the website. This is a second NICS check performed on the customer.

Qualified CMP customers will be allowed to purchase only one 1911 per calendar year, the website states.

No 1911s will be available in the CMP stores, or online. Only mail order sales are authorized. All 1911 orders will be shipped via the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx etc, according to the website.

The CMP will set a date on which it will accept orders for the 1911s, according to the website. Once it receives 10,000 orders, customer names will be loaded into a random number generator.

The random number generator will provide a list of names in sequence order through a random picking process. Customers will be contacted in the sequence provided.

When the customer is contacted, a list of available grades and pricing options will be offered, the site states. As the CMP proceeds down the sequenced list, fewer grades and pricing options will be available.

The CMP has been selling M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, 1903s, .22s, etc. for 21 [plus] years, "and we have never taken advantage of anyone," the website states. "CMP is not going to start price gouging people now with the 1911s. The 1911s will be priced at fair market value just like our M1 Garands."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at

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