“While the National Defense Authorization Act granted transfer of a maximum of 10,000 1911s per year to the CMP, the Secretary of the Army allowed only 8,000 1911s to be transferred to the CMP for sale and distribution this fiscal year,” said the CMP’s Mark Johnson earlier this year.
There are over 90,000 more pistols still in storage. The CMP and the Army are using this as a pilot program to gauge the 1911 surplus process.
“These 8,000 pistols fought on battlefields from Europe to Southeast Asia, only to then be consigned to long-term storage in a government warehouse,” explains Martin Morgan, who got a tour of the CMP’s new facility. “Although at one time it looked like they might be destroyed, the story of these pistols has a happy ending.”
Shooters across the country have been waiting for these pistols for a long time. Not only did it take years to craft the legislation to get these guns to the CMP in the first place, the CMP had to build a special facility to store the pistols.
With most of the hurdles behind them, the CMP is getting ready to start shipping. The CMP will have 1911s in four grades: Service grade, Field Grade, Rack Grade and a special Auction Grade.
The Auction Grade guns are pistols of specific historical significance and the prices will be announced at auction. Also, the CMP announced the prices for the other grades. They range from $850 to $1,050 depending on their condition.
Finally, buyers are limited to a single 1911 per person, including auction pistols, until the CMP gets another batch.
“The M1911s currently in the CMP’s vault came from two sources: the Army Museum System and the Defense Logistics Agency’s long term strategic reserve,” says Morgan. “We spent almost an hour sorting through the museum crates, finding the pistols to be mostly of Colt manufacture with a variety of all original and mixed A1 parts.”
“They all appeared to have original factory finish and they all are equipped with World War II-era plastic grips,” he said. “There are even a handful of National Match M1911A1s among them.”
If you are interested in picking up one of these historical handguns visit the CMP website for more information.