December 19th, 2017

New Law Mandates Civilian Sales of Historic M1911 Pistols

CMP NRA-ILA 1911 surplus military pistols
Photo courtesy

Report by NRA-ILA
Last week, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA). Included in the law is a provision long sought by collectors of vintage firearms and militaria that would require military surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols (1911s) to be made available for sale to the American public. The military currently has some 100,000 excess 1911s sitting in storage at taxpayer expense.

A previous version of the NDAA signed into law by then-President Obama in 2015 authorized, but did not require, the Secretary of Defense to transfer up to 10,000 surplus 1911s per year to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for sale to the public. Unsurprisingly, no such transfers were ever made while Obama remained in the White House.

The language in the 2018 NDAA effectively establishes a mandatory pilot program under which at least 8,000 (and as many as 10,000) 1911s would be transferred to the CMP for public sale in 2018. The Secretary of Defense must then report to Congress on the outcome of the program. Thereafter, the Secretary would be authorized to continue transferring up to 10,000 [more] surplus 1911s a year to the CMP for further public sales. READ More about CMP Sales of Vintage 1911 Pistols on

CMP NRA-ILA 1911 surplus military pistols

The Process to Acquire a Military 1911 Pistol
Sales of the surplus 1911 handguns will be handled a bit differently than most other CMP firearms transfers for M1 Garands, M1 Carbines and other vintage rifles. All transfers must go through a local FFL in a face-to-face transaction. In addition, there will be two background checks of the purchaser before the gun can be transfered. The first check is done by the CMP prior to shipping the pistol, while a second check is done by the FFL before releasing the pistol to the customer at the FFL’s place of business. Customers will be limited to one 1911 pistol per calendar year.

Additional CMP Requirements
The CMP has a number of “threshhold” requirements for purchase of a surplus 1911. To acquire one of the CMP 1911s, you must be a U.S. citizens, eligible to receive firearms under federal law, and the laws of your city/state. In addition you must belong to a CMP-affiliated club, and able to provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity.

CMP NRA-ILA 1911 surplus military pistols

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