In case you think you're going to get the Golden M1911 and remodel your dream home from the sale of a mint Singer you got for $50, think again.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 continues to roll toward going from a bill—just a bill—into law. Included in that act is “Section 348 on Repurposing and Reuse of Surplus Army Firearms,” in which “The act prevents the destruction by the Army of 22 rifles, M1 Garand rifles and M1911/M1911 A1 pistols.” The bill has passed the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, gone through conference and is headed to the president. Last week, the Civilain Marksmanship Program Board of Directors made some preliminary decisions on how the M1911s and M1911A1s that the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, well, authorized, will be handled. This has been a multi-year process, and it was actually in the 2015 NDAA, but Obama’s Secretary of Defense prevented the guns from getting to the CMP. That changed with this year’s NDAA.
The CMP’s Board of Directors met on Dec. 5, and you can read the text of the update from the CMP’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Johnson. Note that Johnson used the words "if the CMP were ever to receive them from United States Army" in his preface.
This is not going to be something that will happen overnight. The CMP has what appears to be a well-thought-out plan on how to handle the influx of M1911 pistols. Right now, they cost Uncle Sam about $2 per gun a year to store.
Those familiar with the process of obtaining a Garand from the CMP will be familiar with part of the M1911 process. Potential purchasers need to be able to prove they are U.S. citizens, prove they are a member of a CMP-affiliated club and show proof of marksmanship activity.
New steps will include filling out a new form that has to be notarized and then supplying a signed copy of the FFL where the pistol will be sent. Those seeking to purchase a pistol from the CMP will be run through a National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) before the gun is shipped. Then another NICS check will be done in person by the FFL.
There will only be one 1911 pistol sold to a single qualified CMP customer in a single year.
Pricing will not be available until the CMP knows what it has, so be patient. There may be a Singer or U.S. Springfield, or even an NRA-marked pre-World War I gun in there, or there could be the worst armor-assembled parts gun in the history of U.S. Army Ordnance. They simply don't know yet. And don’t look for a rare or historically significant—aside from the historic nature of service from 1911 until the 1990s with U.S. troops in two world wars and numerous other conflicts—to just be mailed to your FFL as a standard grade gun. The CMP has marksmanship and other worthy programs to fund, including its new state-of-the-art Talladega facility, so the guns will be graded and priced accordingly. When CMP has come across extremely rare or collectible guns in the past, it has done auctions or just priced the guns higher than standard or rack grade guns.
The CMP will announce when it will open up ordering, then cut it off at the first 10,000. These first 10,000 will then be drawn at random. And while you may get a trip at some point to the Anniston Army Depot where the CMP will be overhauling and inspecting these M1911s, you need not worry about falling into a chocolate river. Cosmoline, maybe. Chocolate, no.