Military Spending Bill Authorizes Sale of 8,000 Military Surplus 1911s Next Year


Are you going to try and purchase a surplus 1911?  (Photo: Wikipedia)

If Congress does nothing else this year (which is possible), at least they’ll have helped thousands of government-issued M1911s find good homes.

Congress approved last week the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Currently awaiting the President’s signature, the Act outlines $700 billion in overall defense spending. It also mandates the sale of at least 8,000 surplus .45 ACP M1911A1 pistols. The mandate was included as an amendment to the bill during debate in the House Armed Service Committee.

“I call upon the President to sign this important legislation into law—and in doing so acknowledge that this is the level of defense spending necessary to meet current threats, prepare for the challenges of an increasingly dangerous world, and keep faith with our men and women in uniform,” said U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the Armed Services Committee chairman.

The bill instructs the Secretary of the Army to transfer between eight and ten thousand surplus M1911s per year over the next two years. The Army will transfer these firearms to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a federally chartered corporation that seeks to educate the public about firearm training and safety. The CMP generates income in part from selling surplus Army firearms like the M1 Garand.

SEE ALSO: Buying M1 Garands from the US Government – CMP – Civilian Marksmanship Program

The transfer program will be reviewed by Congress each year, but if it continues it could move the entirety of the Army’s 100,000-M1911 collection. In 2015 Congressman Mike Rogers disclosed that each pistol costs the government about $2 per year to store. Transferring these firearms to the public would save the government money and allow gun enthusiasts to own an iconic piece of history.

To purchase a firearm from the CMP, an individual must be a member of a CMP-affiliated organization. Additionally, one must be a U.S. citizen and must prove marksmanship-related activity. Don’t fret. CMP is affiliated with thousands of shooting organizations around the country. And proving marksmanship can be done with a concealed carry permit.

Unfortunately, the normal sales procedure may not apply to the newly-transferred M1911s. The CMP posted the following note on their website on November 22:

Because of the limited number and the exceedingly high demand for the pistol, and the great level of Congressional scrutiny, the Board of Directors will make a decision regarding how sales will be handled. We have no further information at this time.

– Mrs. Judith Legerski, Chairman, CMP Board of Directors

However the CMP decides to sell these firearms, they will likely be priced on a sliding scale.  The scale will be based on their condition grade (e.g. rack-field-service-special-correct-collector).

As soon as we have info on how CMP will be selling these guns, we’ll let you know.  Stay tuned. And good luck!

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  • Roger December 20, 2019, 1:16 pm

    I want to know why the M1 Carbines have not started to be RE-IMPORTED from South Korea so we can buy one? Does anyone have any info on these? It’s rediclious they have been held over there & its time to bring em back where they belong.

  • badland352 May 6, 2019, 3:06 pm

    Nope, Bought and sold all brands of those puppies in the 60s for as low as 35 dollars. Would never jump through CMP’s hoops for the honor of giving them a grand for a used 45. Will have to say though I probably have owned over fifty of them and never had a bad one.

  • Capt. L W Thomas January 8, 2018, 5:01 pm

    Glad to hear of the CMP program for 1911 .45 US Property pistols. I hope the availability of M1 Grands and M 1 Carbines increases as well as Ammo. I have used them in the past, and would like to own one in the future. I am a fifth generation veteran and very proud of that, It is a Privledge to have served our country .

  • Capt. L W Thomas January 8, 2018, 5:00 pm

    Glad to hear of the CMP program for 1911 .45 US Property pistols. I hope the availability of M1 Grands and M 1 Carbines increases as well as Ammo. I have used them in the past, and would like to own one in the future. I am a fifth generation veteran and very proud of that, It is a Privledge to have served our country and would go again if needed! Thank You:

  • Ed Reed December 9, 2017, 10:36 am

    I agree, the WWII vets then VietNam Vets should have the first choice as owners of this piece of history. I qualified on therange with the 1911 45 caliber side arm at Fort Ord California in 1964 along with the M14 (I still have those pins). And I certanly would like to have one of the 1911’s just as a memorable collectors item.

  • Rick Johnson December 8, 2017, 8:29 am

    Please provide information on how to apply to purchase one of the surplus 1911s.

  • Lee November 28, 2017, 11:49 pm

    I spent ten years in the Army. Served in Vietnam and Korea. I would like to see Vets who were honorably discharged and or retired, be able to buy a surplus 1911 for their historic value. And at a reasonable price.

  • Phil November 27, 2017, 12:46 am

    I have tried to get on a waiting list every time I get a email like this. I think the cmp gets them all and no one else can get one.
    I would love to have one.

    • Alan November 29, 2017, 9:57 am

      Go to the CMP website and check it out. Just click the link.
      However, these aren’t for sale to just anyone, you must be engaged in a CMP affiliated club and qualify by shooting, just like I did to get my Garand.
      Most clubs make it relatively easy, but you most likely will have to shoot in a match, or take their formal training course.

  • LG November 26, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Another comment here on surplus American firearms. Many, if not most countries in the world have stored, American weapons: 1911s, M1 Carbine, M1 Garands,”Victory” 45s Colt and Smith, .38 Smith issued in Vietnam to pilots, SW Mod.39. and I don’t even the NFA Thompson, BAR, even Browning HP, procured by our government to some “irregulars’ or spooks. They are not far, only ONE government decision away from South Korea, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, UK, Belgium, Greece, all of South America, Mexico, Philippines, Malaya, Burma and so many other places/
    Let them come home and sell them under a decent and honest program to American Citizens, please Mr. President.

    • Sgt. Charles Tilley November 27, 2017, 4:23 pm

      Absolutely bring them back home and allow our retired Military buy and own a piece of American History.

  • LG November 26, 2017, 8:46 pm

    Like most on this forum I would just LOVE to get one of those. My uncle was 8th Air Force B17 pilot with the 91st Bomb Group, he did the Berlin Airlift and several tours in Vietnam. I have the holsters for his 1911 and his .38 and I would just love to put the correct pistols in those. Unfortunately, I am a realist and know that I shall NEVER get one because the profiteers will put their hands on them to make a few pieces of silver by reselling them at abusive prices.
    I say one gun per citizen for a lifetime with priority to veterans who served while the 1911s were issued.

  • Fred Trevino November 26, 2017, 7:30 pm

    I would love to have a Colt Model 1911, ,that would be a dream come true!.

  • Ronald November 26, 2017, 2:54 am

    I would like to know how to get on a waiting list please

  • Robert Parker November 25, 2017, 9:36 pm

    If a list is floating around, how can I get on it. i.e..M 1911 .45 cal. military issue

    • Ronald Kascsak November 26, 2017, 9:35 pm

      Interested in purchase.

  • Sam November 25, 2017, 12:50 pm

    I have always wanted a Colt made 1911 not a1. I think they should be sold to whomever at a decent price. Selling only to vets is ridiculous. If you did that, no one else would ever own one. Prices have gotten stupid. A very common Remington-Rand that cost $400 a few years ago is now a joke in price. No one should have to jump through a lot of hoops or take out a loan to get anything from the CMP.

  • joe martin November 24, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Maybe Faith is not that good conservative gal we all thought she was. Maybe Faith is a liberal Hollywood person against a lawful American from owning a firearm of their choice. Lets keep an eye on Faith’s gun positions. Maybe her partnership with the NFL has given her an anti-gun position. Stick with singing and don’t take a knee.

    • Thomas Hindley November 25, 2017, 1:02 am

      It’s true both her and hubby Tim were huge Obama supporters . Libs for sure !

  • Jim Ferenz November 24, 2017, 7:56 pm

    My dad served for 26 yrs. I was born at Aberdeen as a result. My mom bought him a 1911 when he made field grade. It was stolen in a burglary and never surfaced. He is now gone but not before making me a 1911 guy. I own a couple of Kimber’s but would love a price of history fir his legacy!


  • Resolute November 24, 2017, 7:31 pm

    First and foremost; veterans should be issued the first quality weapons (at the least, a minimal transfer fee). LEO would be next, then the civilian population. Transfer is limited to one unit (of type) per social security number. Each transferred unit must be held a minimum of two years by the receiver.

    • tommy jones November 26, 2017, 9:41 am

      We should be cautious about creating 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier/classes of citizens….where one class always enjoys priveledge over the others, whether it’s restaurants, car lots, jobs, mortgages, or government liquidation of assets ALL Americans paid for through taxes, those 1911’s are not the sole property of the military or LE, they are owned by ALL the citizens….as such ALL citizens have a RIGHT to equal access to purchase them. PERIOD

      • David Perry November 26, 2017, 11:34 pm

        As a 22 plus year recent Army retiree, I have to say I… 100% agree that there should never be a tier system on selling these or any other firearm through the CMP. Remember what the the original charter was for the CMP, and it will be painfully clear that no particular type of citizen should have dibs over another. I may be a proud Army veteran and retiree, but beofe that, I am a citizen.

    • Dan November 30, 2017, 7:28 pm

      Sorry resolute, we are not a country of classes. I know many honorable soldiers, I know of many dishonorable soldiers. I’m not going to ‘class’ them as more deserving of anything of a civilian. LE can buy many weapons that I can not, I see them sell them to others for a profit. As far as reducing the cost for vets, hell no. They got paid for their chosen profession as I do mine, except I can’t retire with full bennies after 20 years.
      I have a son who is being deployed again, my father served on the Missouri, he was killed in action. I would love to have had his weapon, my chances are slim. I have respect for our military in all capacity, but you made a choice and that does not make you any more deserving of my fathers side arm instead of me. My argument isn’t with the military, it’s people who enlisted and have gotten many, many benefits for education that I have to pay for. Come to think of it, I paid for our military hardware like any other tax payer. Shut up and get in line and wait your turn. No doubt, you’ve been told that more than once. Get over your self.

  • Jerry Moesley November 24, 2017, 6:42 pm

    How do I join and become able to try and buy one of the 1911 45 Automatic?
    Jerry Moesley
    Life Time Member of NRA
    Golden Eagles
    Benevolent Member

  • mauser6863 November 24, 2017, 5:45 pm

    Save time and money and just BUY A GLOCK – Better gun at a cheaper price.

    • Winston November 24, 2017, 7:11 pm

      I agree, A Glock 30 is superior to any 1911..

      Super retarded that they are going to sell off 8,000 of 100,000 next year. Whatever.

    • Jim Ferenz November 24, 2017, 7:58 pm

      Glock’s not the answer for a 1911 shooter!

  • Ray Hamilton November 24, 2017, 5:22 pm

    Disabled vets first then other veterans, civilians after that. My 2cents.

    • RJ November 30, 2017, 10:36 am

      How did you come up with that order? Are you a disabled vet?

  • Larry November 24, 2017, 4:22 pm

    I carried one in Korea, as a medic, in the mid 70’s. Would love to own one, when they hit the market. Wish I knew serial number of the one I carried?? How cool would it be to buy the one I was issued?

  • Kb31416 November 24, 2017, 4:05 pm

    I’m also interested in when they will have more M1s. Obozo prohibited importation from Korea and Philippines, so they should be getting repatriated soon.

    • MICHAEL A CROGNALE November 24, 2017, 8:30 pm

      The ban was overturned earlier this year, if I recall correctly.

  • Marty November 24, 2017, 2:42 pm

    These are going to be overpriced, worn out surplus guns. If you want a piece of history, they will be great to own. But if you are looking for a good shooter or a good deal on a 1911, you’ll be better off buying a new off the shelf gun for $500.

    • Rich Zellich November 25, 2017, 1:31 am

      Have you never dealt with the CMP before? The guns the DoD has in storage will range in condition from New-Never Issued, to Used-Serviceable, to Used-Arsenal-Refurbished, to rack grade, field grade, and more. In addition, if marginal or unserviceable guns are transferred, the CMP will probably run them through their own refurbishing program, using good parts salvaged from multiple unserviceable guns.

      Go online and check how the CMP handles sales of M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, and .22 target rifles (they also sell ammunition, and a few other items and services).

      Basically, your in-advance claim of the price, and suitability for use, of the 1911’s is nonsense.

      Oh, yeah – from other reports on this subject, which has been going on for a few years now, they also have some WW1-vintage 1911’s in storage, not just 1911A1’s. We would have had these historic pistols some time ago if Obama’s Defense Secretary had not ignored Congress’ authorization to conduct a limited-number trial run and then move into wholesale transfer to the CMP – essentially the same thing this Defense funding bill is _requiring_ instead of leaving it to the discretion of the Secretary.

      • OFBG November 25, 2017, 8:14 pm

        Your comments about the grading of CMP guns is correct, but not really to the point raised. Marty is correct to suggest that “if you are looking for a good shooter or a good deal on a 1911, you’ll be better off buying a new off the shelf gun for $500.”
        Most of the folks I know who purchased Garands from the CMP – actually most from the DCM – wanted “shooters,” not just “a piece of history” and so went well beyond the CMP’s refurbishing after they received them.

  • Capn Stefano November 24, 2017, 1:10 pm

    GREAT! They will sell us overpriced, worn out antique handguns!!!! Meanwhile we don’t have national reciprocity, we still have to deal with the BATF nightmare in order to purchase a gun muffler (suppressor) we have no right to manufacture or import new machine guns, and Congress is talking about banning belt loops and rubber bands. Swell

    • Bradd B. Smith November 25, 2017, 2:40 pm

      So the perfect Winchester Garand I shot for was a fluke? I think not. Qualify and get one and do it because you can. Your comment is inane.

  • Deadmeat99 November 24, 2017, 12:21 pm

    Limit these to one (maybe two) pistols per SSN or the gun show flippers will ruin the market just like they did for Garands, Carbines, and all of the HXP ammo that they peddle for 2-3x the price CMP sold it for.

    • Joel November 24, 2017, 3:24 pm

      Unfortunately, this is true. There needs to be limits of how many can be purchase a year and five (5) is too many!

    • Kb31416 November 24, 2017, 3:58 pm

      Amen to that!
      Actually, they will probably sell them at grossly excessive prices compared to commercially available new guns. The CMP has sort of lost their way in an effort to fund their taladega marksmanship palace.

  • artymgysgt November 24, 2017, 11:29 am

    I own a civilian Springfield Armory 1911 but would love to own a military surplus model as I carried one for more then 15 years in the USMC until we got the M-9. Most of the ones I had in the Corps rattled like a bucket of bolts.

    • Blu Nos November 27, 2017, 10:32 pm

      Yes they rattled when shaken, but you could drop it into muddy water, pick it up and shoot it. Try that with a Glock!

  • Richard England November 24, 2017, 10:54 am

    I am all for passing these 1911’s though propper channels to Veterans!
    Ret. Vet. USN

    • Keith Soisson November 24, 2017, 4:42 pm

      That’s a great idea.

  • Norm Fishler November 24, 2017, 10:49 am

    Did I miss it? Read through the article many times & have yet to see even a guestimation of price. I realize that they’re not $40 anymore, but a ballpark figure would be nice.

    • Joel November 24, 2017, 3:26 pm

      I would imagine they’ll be close to market value if not the buyers will be predominately resellers.

    • Matt Moore November 25, 2017, 12:01 am

      Here is what they told me about pricing. The pricing is expected to start at about $1,000 per pistol with the better grades “priced accordingly.”

  • Edward Hunt November 24, 2017, 9:13 am

    To be fair to everyone, there should be a strict limit of 1 per person per year, this would stop a lot of resellers like that occur with the Garands.

    • Mike November 24, 2017, 9:57 am

      So you agree with my post in part. Have the CMP do it like they did 30 years ago. Too much pressure from dealers made the CMP cater to them and their collector friends.

    • John November 24, 2017, 11:50 am

      It should be limited to one a lifetime like Garands were. There are only 100,000 of 1911s, and they should go to people who are not going to turn right around and sell them.

      • Don November 24, 2017, 2:39 pm

        One only, to vets only, with a signed promise to not sell the 1911 for a period of 10 years, or death of the buyer.

    • Joel November 24, 2017, 3:26 pm


  • Edward M Pate November 24, 2017, 9:08 am

    Love the 1911 but I got out in 1985 and the ones we were using were worn out beyond belief. Anyone who gets one of the surplus weapons had better be ready to rebuild the entire gun.

    • Jeff November 24, 2017, 9:28 am

      We can safely assume that the CMP will be going completely over these pistols to ensure safety before selling them.

    • John R November 24, 2017, 11:02 am

      I got out in 84 and I have to agree with you. Sure it would be nice to own a piece of history but modern 1911’s are superior to anything I carried for 11 years.

    • Joel November 24, 2017, 3:29 pm

      I would imagine CMP will go through these pistols thoroughly you will not have to worry about the safety or condition of the 1911’s you will know by there grading system.

  • John Ebensperger November 24, 2017, 8:21 am

    To own a piece of American history would be an honor. My Dad and his buddies all served in WWII. Dad was stationed on Midway Island, Mr. Whitney was a submariner and Mr. Strader flew P-38s. These heroes were my role models. The .45 is iconic for that time period and should be shared with ‘we the people’.

  • ejharb November 24, 2017, 8:16 am

    If I can latch on to one of these and the grips are OK all I’d do is change the springs and shoot it with new magazines.
    And soak in the history in that steel!!

  • William Sweeney November 24, 2017, 7:42 am

    each pistol costs the government about $2 per year to store. MY GOD, ridiculous….use them or curb the waste !

  • David November 24, 2017, 7:28 am

    I am definitely interested in purchasing a surplus 1911 when the CMP finally is able to release them for sale. My great great uncle Joshua M. Parker (J. M.) was a US Border Patrol officer who was stationed on the Texas-Mexico border starting around World War I until he retired in the mid 1950s. My dad has his trunk inside where some of Uncle Parker’s possessions include the grips which he’s initialed from his issued 1911 45acp sidearm. I would love to aquire a proper vintage pistol to put those grips on.

  • jim November 24, 2017, 6:47 am

    So this means you have to know someone on the inside to get one?:

    Because of the limited number and the exceedingly high demand for the pistol, and the great level of Congressional scrutiny, the Board of Directors will make a decision regarding how sales will be handled. We have no further information at this time.

    – Mrs. Judith Legerski, Chairman, CMP Board of Directors

    • Joseph H Harris Jr November 24, 2017, 9:50 am

      Not true, it will be on a first come first served basis with a limit of how many you can purchase(to keep the gun dealers from buying them up in big lots)

    • Michael B McShea November 24, 2017, 2:12 pm

      I purchased my 1911 from CMP many years ago. It was shipped to me about two weeks before I left for VietNam in 1966. As I recall, the price was about $14.50. I would never think of modifying this firearm for competition as so many others have done. Given the extremely small number of pistols that MAY become available, approx. 100k, I hope the CMP BOD will impose restrictions on their sale to limit the potential price-gouging that could come from individuals or dealers in subsequent “flipping”. When I bought my first Garand I seem to recall there being significant hoops through which a person had to jump as well as there being a one-in-a-lifetime limit. That eventually eased as, I’m guessing, CMP needs demanded and more rifles became available.
      One hundred thousand 1911s is a very small number. I implore you to re-institute the one-in-a-lifetime limit on these pistols! I have been an ardent supporter of and contributor to CMP for many decades and continue to compete in CMP matches every year. Your serious consideration of my suggestion would definitely be appreciated.

      Mike McShea
      Prescott, Arizona

  • Mike November 24, 2017, 6:45 am

    To the CMP.
    Make the program like the way the Garand program was 30 years ago. 1 pistol per qualified citizen, at an affordable price due to the fact citizens already “paid” for these guns through taxes.

    And that’s my 2 cents

    • Deacon November 24, 2017, 1:21 pm

      Im on board with the one piece per VETERAN/citizen idea or something along that line….ANYTHING to keep
      It fair for “Joe Citizen”😳!

  • William Taylor November 24, 2017, 6:16 am

    Wonder if vets will get priority for a change? Especially at a reasonable price, not the $1,000+ the rumors have it at. Probably not, greed will take over, no doubt. RB’s and dealers will scarf them all up in no time.

  • Al Cloutier November 24, 2017, 5:34 am

    I would love a .45 but rather an M1 Carbine.

  • Wayne Hoyerdahl November 24, 2017, 5:25 am

    Does the NRA members have any priority in buying these 1911s ?

    • Mike November 24, 2017, 8:57 am


    • Glenn Thomas November 24, 2017, 9:18 am

      No, should be limited (lottery) to active and retired military, like me 🙂

      • H November 25, 2017, 2:23 am

        NO! Limiting to ONLY “retired and active duty” is unfair to all the rest of us Veteran’s, whether served a regular enlistment or, as in my case, I’m a Disabled Veteran, disabled due to Military participation.
        If you are still active, you get to shoot guns at the government expense. Those who have ALREADY served should get consideration since any shooting we do comes out of OUR OWN pockets.

  • James Rosa November 24, 2017, 4:00 am

    NOW more than ever American Civilians need the best firearms available due to the rise in active shooters firing on large crowds of unarmed people. Law Enforcement can’t be everywhere at all times and remember the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

  • Aloyisus Fornortener November 24, 2017, 3:19 am

    Yes, I am going to try and buy a surplus (one or more, whatever is allowed) 1911’s. My older brother received our Father’s that was issued to him and he used and brought home from the Pacific ( PT boat commander, Lt.) upon his death in 1987. My paternal Grandfather had one from just after WW1 and it was stolen in a burglary in the 1950’s, according to family history. I hope to receive one in satisfactory shape, as I would like to take it as often as possible to the range and then leave it to my Grandson upon my death.

  • Robert Rey November 24, 2017, 3:15 am

    Maybe Faith hill should stick to what she does best, singing and stay out of the firearms discussions if she knows nothing about it.

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