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November 29th, 2015

Army Authorized to Transfer M1911 & M1911A1 Pistols to CMP

m1911 m1911a1 Pistol Army CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program

It’s official — the U.S. Army is now authorized to transfer surplus M1911 and M1911A1 .45 ACP pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for later sale to the public. This development was the result of language in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed by President Obama on November 25, 2015.

Section 1087 of the 2016 NDAA authorizes the CMP to sell surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols and related parts/accessories to the public. This is a boon to gun collectors and should help the Army save money on storage for the 100,000 or so M1911 pistols it now stores at the Anniston (AL) Army Depot, near the the CMP’s regional warehouse and store.

Don’t expect an immediate flood of .45 ACP pistols on the market. The Army is not allowed to transfer more than 10,000 pistols per year, and the CMP says it will take a year or more to inspect/grade the pistols and ready them for sale. With roughly 100,000 pistols in Army hands currently, these guns could be available from the CMP for a decade or more. NOTE: This change in Federal law does NOT apply to surplus handguns held by the U.S. Navy, USAF, USMC, or federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, the NDAA does not compel the Army (at the behest of the Secretary of Defense) to commence pistol transfers. That must still be ordered by the Secretary.

Relevant Language from the 2016 NDAA:

‘‘(h) AUTHORIZED TRANSFERS.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may transfer to the corporation, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this subchapter, surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols and spare parts and related accessories for those pistols that, on the date of the enactment of this subsection, are under the control of the Secretary and are surplus to the requirements of the Department of the Army, and such material as may be recovered by the Secretary pursuant to section 40728A(a) of this title. The Secretary shall determine a reasonable schedule for the transfer of such surplus pistols. ‘‘(2) The Secretary may not transfer more than 10,000 surplus caliber .45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols to the corporation during any year and may only transfer such pistols as long as pistols described in paragraph (1) remain available for transfer.’’.

Writing for, gun expert Dean Weingarten expressed a wish that the language in the NDAA was more open-ended: “I would have thought that the wording could simply have been changed to include surplus ‘pistols’ not just 1911 and 1911A1s. Then surplus .22 caliber trainers, 9mm pistols, and .38 caliber revolvers would also have been available. Perhaps this is the best that the NRA felt [it] could get from this President.”

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Handguns, News 2 Comments »
November 13th, 2015

Proposed Law Would Allow CMP to Sell Vintage U.S. Army Pistols

NCAA CMP m1911a1 Pistol US Armny surplus milsurp handgun

A proposed change in Federal law would allow the U.S. Army to transfer vintage M1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for resale to the public. This would please collectors while saving the U.S. Government $200,000 per year in storage fees. An amendment to the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a plan to transfer the U.S. Army’s remaining stock of .45 ACP M1911A1 pistols to the CMP, including 100,000 highly collectable handguns that predate 1945. The CMP would them inspect, grade, and sell these pistols in the same manner it currently sells M1 Garands and M1 Carbines. The CMP might receive other vintage firearms also.

The amendment allowing transfer of the Army’s vintage pistols was proposed by Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Alabama). Rogers said this “is a common-sense approach to eliminating an unnecessary cost to the Federal government while allowing the very capable CMP to handle the sale of these vintage firearms that otherwise would just sit in storage. This amendment is a ‘win – win’ for the taxpayer… at a cost of roughly $2.00 per pistol per year to store these weapons, we were spending $200,000 a year in perpetuity. This sensible change will save the taxpayers millions over the years to come, as well as aid a great organization [the CMP] that serves the public.”

Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses NDAA Amendment Authorizing CMP Pistol Sales

The amendment to the NDAA (if it becomes law) would authorize the CMP, currently limited to selling .30-caliber and .22-caliber rifles, to receive and sell more types of surplus military firearms. The Army pistols are currently stored at the Anniston Army Depot, located right next door to the CMP’s regional warehouse and store. NOTE: This proposed change in current Federal law would NOT would not apply to surplus handguns now held by the U.S. Navy, USAF, USMC, or federal law enforcement agencies. For more info visit and

Permalink Handguns, News 3 Comments »
October 3rd, 2012

How Hodgdon Powder Co. Started — With a Life Insurance Loan

Here’s an interesting factoid from Hodgdon Powder’s new Facebook Page:

Bruce Hodgdon

The story of Hodgdon Powders begins with one number: 4895. Founder Bruce Hodgdon, a handloader and U.S. Navy veteran, knew that after WWI tons of surplus powder were dumped at sea. After WWII, rather than let it all go to waste, Bruce borrowed against his life insurance and bought 25 tons of 4895 from the U.S. Government. It was the perfect powder for the flood of surplus M1903 Springfield rifles chambered in .30-06. The rest is reloading history.

Shown below is the life insurance loan contract that funded Bruce Hodgdon’s Purchase of 25 Tons of 4895 Surplus Powder:

Bruce Hodgdon Powder Loan

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 3 Comments »
September 25th, 2010

CMP Open House at Camp Perry Store Next Weekend

CMP North WarehouseIf you’re located anywhere near Camp Perry, Ohio, you may want to plan a road trip on Saturday, 2 October, a week from today. On October 2nd, the CMP North Store is running a special Customer Appreciation Day and Open House. The store opens at 8:30 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

Over 400 surplus military rifles will be on display. If you don’t have an M1 Garand yet, here’s you chance to hand-pick a classic rifle for your collection. CMP Armorers will help customers inspect the rifles they have picked out and assist customers with the purchasing process.

CMP North Open House

Open House visitors get free complimentary coffee and donuts in the morning and complimentary hot dogs and chips in the afternoon. In addition to food and refreshments CMP will give out free summer event T-shirts to the first 50 visitors to the store. Guests may also take home free CMP giveaways while they last, Conrad said.

The CMP North store recently reopened following an inventory organization period following the 2010 National Matches. The store sells surplus M1 Garand rifles to qualified buyers along with ammunition, books, clothing, memorabilia and a limited supply of .22 caliber rifles, air rifles and accessories. For more information, call the CMP North Store at 419-635-2141 Ext. 1505. CLICK HERE for a map and directions to the CMP North store.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
August 31st, 2010

CMP News: M1 Carbines Sold Out but Barreled Carbine Actions Available, Garand Receivers on Sale, M14 Parts Kits

The CMP announced it has SOLD OUT of M1 carbines except for a few reserved for its auction program. CMP officials state: “At this time, we have no reason to expect to receive more”. However the CMP still has a few hundred M1 Carbine stripped Barreled Recievers, item number R017BRZ, left from the CMP’s inspection and repair operations. The barreled actions will cost $125 each plus $12.95 S&H each. For more information, visit the CMP Carbine Page. Choice of manufacturer is luck of the draw.

M1 Carbine CMP

M1 Garand RecieverGarand Receivers Offered for Sale
CMP has once again accumulated enough Grade B receivers to offer them for sale. The stripped M1 Garand receivers are SA manufacture, recently refinished and parkerized. These can be the starting point for a Garand match rifle project. The Garand stripped receivers, item RMIRECSAB, cost $195.00 + $9.95 S&H per receiver.

M14 Parts Kits for Upgrading M1As
The CMP has acquired a large quantity of M14 parts and assembled a few hundred Grade A kits which are now being offered for sale. Each Kit includes every semi-auto part except barrel, bolt and receiver. Metallic parts will show signs of use and may have some minor rust or pitting. Stocks may have some dents and dings and minor cracks. Stocks may be walnut, hardwood, or synthetic. Item number is PSM1AKIT. Price is $600 per kit plus $22.95 shipping.

NOTE: If you have a Springfield M1A you may want to order this kit to upgrade to superior USGI components. This Editor’s M1A would not run reliably until the sand-cast Springfield op rod was replaced with a forged USGI op rod. Likewise you may want to replace the Springfield front gas black with genuine USGI parts.

Permalink Hot Deals, News 9 Comments »
June 22nd, 2010

Stinger Missile Box Makes Dandy Double-Gun Safari-Style Case

Cabelas safari gun caseYou have to hand it to the Texans. Forum member Paul Scott (aka “FTRinTexas”), has created a sturdy double-gun case from a surplus Stinger Missile transport box. Measuring roughly 63″ x 11″ x 13″, the aluminum Stinger box is big enough to fit two, long-barreled match rifles side by side, stowed vertically, toaster-style. There’s even room inside for a spotting scope and other accessories. With a little effort (and some after-market foam), the Stinger box can be converted into a very practical (and rugged) gun case.

The converted Stinger box is also an attention-getter according to Paul: “Other guys at the range definitely do a double-take when you haul a missile case out of your truck! They’re kind of disappointed when I open the lid and they see there are only rifles inside.”

Advantages of Side-by-Side (Vertical) Rifle Cases
For wide-forearm rifles with big scopes, we have always liked the vertical storage (drop-in style) cases such as the Plano AirGlide. Vertical placement allows the gun’s weight to rest on the stock with no side-pressure applied to the scope turrets. We’ve asked Plano to make a double-gun case of a similar design, but that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Cabelas safari gun caseThere are companies that make large, metal-bodied safari cases that stow two rifles vertically, side-by-side. These cases are super-secure, but they are also very expensive. Cabela’s side-by-side Safari Case costs $399.00, and it will only hold rifles up to about 50″ overall length. Ziegel Engineering makes a beautiful two-rifle, top-loading Expedition case, but it costs $639.95, and is also limited to a 50″ rifle OAL.

The Stinger Solution — Inexpensive, Rugged Side-By-Side Storage
Paul Scott was clever to source a Stinger Box and transform it into a side-by-side double rifle case. With over five FEET (61.5″) of internal length, the box will secure guns with barrels up to 38″ with ease. And the Stinger box is wide enough to hold two F-Class guns side-by-side with plenty of clearance. Stinger boxes come with an O-ring seal, air relief valve, and handles on each end. Hasp locks are easily added, as are wheels (just slide an axle through the lower “bumper” flange on the box end.)

Cabelas safari gun case

As received from Uncle Sam, a surplus Stinger storage box needs some modification to work as a double rifle case. Paul removed most of the internal foam padding from the lower section, and then used an electric knife to carve cradles to support the two rifles under the forearms and buttstocks. The original hard foam blocks in the Stinger box lid were replaced with closed cell foam like that used in Pelican cases. Paul found that the new foam in the lid would press down on the scopes’ elevation knobs, so he cut round holes in the top foam to provide additional turret clearance.

Cabelas safari gun case

As you can see in the photos, Paul had enough room forward of the rifles to stow his spotting scope and disassembled spotting scope stand. Paul simply placed another layer of foam in the bottom of the box and then cut the foam to fit the equipment. Another foam layer can be placed over the spotting scope and stand to prevent slippage during shipment.

If you are interested in making your own double-gun case from a Stinger box, email PScott [at] . Paul has a few extra Stinger boxes he may be willing to sell for around $175 each. Each of these Stinger Missile containers cost Uncle Sam $2066.00 originally! The photo below shows the Stinger transport box before modification.

Cabelas safari gun case

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip 10 Comments »
April 16th, 2010

ATK Halts Controversial Military Brass De-Milling Program

Some weeks ago we reported that ATK was involved in a program with military-base commanders, under which one-fired cartridge brass was “de-milled” and then sold as scrap metal to ATK. The unit commanders then retained the proceeds for “discretionary use” at their bases. This procedure drew flack from gun owners and various members of Congress who believed the brass should be sold in reloadable condition — thereby returning its “highest use value” to the U.S. Treasury.

Lake City Arsenal surplus brassApparently ATK has abandoned the process of purchasing, at scrap value, demilled once-fired brass from military base commanders. According to Jim Shepherd’s Shooting Wire: “Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg has been ‘personally assured’ by Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) that the company’s controversial purchasing of demilled, once-fired military brass from individual military post commandants was ‘done’. That program launched a firestorm of protest from ammunition reloaders toward the small arms ammunition manufacturer after Montana Shooting Sports Association president Gary Marbut alleged ATK was trying to ‘pull an end-run’ around a Congressional directive to stop the process of destroying once-fired military brass.”

We hope that ATK has abandoned the de-milling program for good, and that once-fired military brass will, without exception, be made available to surplus vendors through public auctions. This was the intent of a Congressional Directive which stated that once-fired brass should be sold in reloadable condition. The U.S. government should certainly receive the highest value for surplus cartridge brass which the taxpayer paid to produce in the first place. Once-fired military brass is a popular resource for recreational and competitive shooters nationwide.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 2 Comments »
March 25th, 2010

Is Military Fired Brass Being Reduced to Scrap Metal Again?

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, has revealed that once-fired military brass is being converted into scrap metal rather than being sold in reloadable condition with revenues going to the U.S. Treasury. The destruction or mutilation of once-fired brass runs contrary to the efforts of Congressional leaders to ensure that fired military brass be resold rather than destroyed. Marbut claims that once-fired brass is now being destroyed as the result of “sweetheart side deals with installation commanders that [are] being aggressively promoted by ATK.”

Military Cartridge Brass

According to Marbut, ATK/Alliant Techsystems has encouraged military base commanders to sell their used cartridge brass directly to ATK. The brass is then demilled and rendered down to scrap metal for use in ATK’s future new cartridge production. Marbut states: “ATK even provides portable equipment to demil tons of cartridge cases at the military installations, destroying the brass for reloading purposes. Because the destroyed cartridge case brass is not suitable for reloading, it cannot command a price driven by auction for the highest-value use of reloading. Military installation commanders sell the Alliant-destroyed brass to ATK at a private, non-auction, special price. Commanders are willing to accept the reduced price because the sale proceeds go to the commanders’ discretionary accounts and not back to the U.S. Treasury via Government Liquidations.”

As a result of this reported arrangement between military commanders and ATK, Marbut believes, millions of used military cartridge cases, which otherwise could enter the commercial market for surplus brass, are being destroyed rather than sold at auction for fair value. In a time when there are still acute shortages of reloading components, this reduces the supply of reloadable brass, while depriving the U.S. Treasury of sales proceeds. Marbut calls for Congressional action to stop the “sweetheart deals” and ensure that “expended military brass of civilian-usable calibers generated domestically goes through the public auction process.” Marbut believes that “will benefit the U.S. Treasury, America’s gun owners, and the adequacy of the ammunition marketplace.”

CLICK HERE to read full story: Military Cartridge Brass Destruction 2010 – Round 2

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 9 Comments »
March 18th, 2009

Surplus U.S. Military Brass Remains Available — Mutilation Orders Reversed

Over the past few days, there has been a storm of controversy surrounding sales of surplus U.S. military cartridge brass. The concern arose because DOD Surplus, LLC had announced to wholesale brass purchasers that future shipments of spent cartridge cases would have to be “mutilated” and sold as scrap metal. (DOD Surplus, LLC sells surplus brass under a contract with the Department of Defense.)

Shooters nationwide, fearing that surplus U.S. military brass would no longer be available, protested loudly to members of Congress and Department of Defense officials.

We are pleased to report that the “mutilation” requirement has been rescinded, and vendors such as Georgia Arms and GI Brass will continue to sell reloadable surplus cartridge cases obtained from the U.S. military.

How the Controversy Arose
The Department of Defense (DOD), on behalf of all the branches of the military, collects fired shell cases. Rather than sell surplus brass directly, the DOD has disposal contracts with DOD Surplus, LLC and Government Liquidation, LLC, two private companies. These companies aggregate and sell the brass in bulk to wholesalers, primarily through online auctions.

DOD Surplus, LLC had notified Georgia Arms that future lots of surplus brass would be subject to a NEW multilation requirement, effectively rendering the brass useless for reloading.

Where did that “mutilation” requirement come from? Was this some evil, new directive from the White House? Apparently not. Here’s what happened. Surplus brass has been handled under a “DEMIL B” product category. Prior to 11/2008, DEMIL B items required no mutilation for sale to the public. That policy changed last November, but several exemptions (waivers) were granted. Expended munitions brass was covered by a waiver.

After the new administration took office, some new manager, probably in the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), eliminated ALL exemptions for DEMIL B products. Why this was done, we don’t really know. It appears no consideration was given to the impact on the shooting industry. But this elimination of the DEMIL B brass waiver was communicated to DOD Surplus, LLC last week. DOD Surplus, LLC, in turn, told its purchasers that milsurp brass would have to be mutilated (rendered unusable) from here on out.

DOD Surplus brass

Surplus Brass Now Re-Classified DEMIL Q, so No Mutilation Required
Yesterday, March 17, at 5:15 pm a letter cosigned by Senator Tester (D-MT) and Senator Baucus (D-MT) was faxed to the Department of Defense asking DOD to reverse its new policy requiring destruction of fired military cartridge brass. That joint letter, combined with thousands of email messages sent to Washington, convinced the DOD to reverse the recent change in surplus brass policy.

At 5:30 PM on the 17th, the DOD faxed Senator Tester’s office announcing that the policy requiring multilation of surplus brass had been rescinded. Specifically, surplus military cartridge brass has been reclassified as a “DEMIL Q” product (not “DEMIL B” as before). DEMIL Q requires no product mutilation unless the item is sold to a foreign country.

BOTTOM LINE: Stocks of U.S. Military surplus cartridge brass will continue to be offered for sale, via wholesalers, to the general public. Problem solved. As announced by Georgia Arms: “DOD Surplus, LLC, has rescinded its prior directive that ALL small arms spent casings be mutilated rather than recycled. This was a huge victory for common sense and we would like to thank each and every person who made an effort and played a role in correcting this mistake.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 5 Comments »