H.R. 2810: Here Come the Military Surplus 1911s to the Public!

By Dave Dolbee published on in Firearms, Military Surplus, News

On Tuesday, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA)—yada, yada, yada… The military currently has about 100,000 1911s just sitting in storage and costing the taxpayers money to store them. H.R. 2810 requires military surplus M1911/M1911A1 pistols (1911s) to be made available for sale to the American public!

Colt 1911 pistol left side

The Colt 1911 was the greatest gun of its day and it still is.

To be fair, President Obama signed a similar order. However, Obama’s order left the transfer to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) optional. However, neither Ash Carter nor Eric Fanning decided to commit political suicide by making it happen under President Obama.

H.R. 2810, on the hand, solves that problem by making the transfer mandatory.

H.R. 2810 starts with a pilot program that will transfer between 8,000 and 10,000 1911s to the CMP for sale to the public. The Secretary of Defense, currently Gen. Jim Mattis, will then report the outcome of the program to Congress. The Secretary of Defense is then authorized to continue transferring up to 10,000 1911s per year for sale to the public through the CMP.

The Process

All pistol sales will occur through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the purchaser’s state of residence, who will have to obey all state and local laws of the point of sale. Sales records allowing for the tracing of the firearms—should they later be found at a crime scene—will be kept both by the CMP and by the transferring FFL.

Furthermore, the buyer must receive the pistol from the FFL in a face-to-face transaction at the FFL’s business premises. Pistols will not be provided directly to the buyers by the CMP. This is different than the way M1s were distributed, but conforms to current firearm conventions. However, the process will go beyond current regulation due to certain enhancements.

The CMP has further indicated two background checks will be conducted in connection with each sale. The first will be conducted through the CMP prior to shipping the pistol to the specified FFL. The second will be conducted through FFL before releasing the pistol to the customer at the FFL’s place of business. Another variance from the process we are used is demonstrated by the fact that while federal law allows an FFL to transfer a firearm three days after a “delay” response by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the CMP will only transfer the firearm to the FFL if NICS provides a “proceed” response to the first background check.

.45 ACP at Work

.45 ACP at Work

Additional Requirements

Those wishing to acquire one of the surplus 1911s must be U.S. citizens, eligible to receive firearms under federal law and the laws of their places of residence, members of a CMP-affiliated club, and able to provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity. Only one 1911 will be available to each customer per calendar year.

Once 10,000 orders are received, the CMP will assign a random number to each customer. These customers will be contacted in sequence with the grading and pricing options that are then available. No timeline for release or pricing information is currently available.

This is another major victory for gun owners under the Trump administration. The NRA released a statement stating its thanks and appreciation to thank Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) for their leadership in this historic effort.

As soon as further details or release dates become available, The Shooter’s Log will pass them along.

Are you interested in buying a 1911 through the CMP? Share your answer in the comment section.

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Comments (1411)

  • Tabor Sloane

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    Oh Am I Interested

    Reply

  • Fred Ball

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    Definitely interested. Keep me informed of release dates and prices.

    Reply

  • Michael E Pohlman

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    I am a current veteran with a whole line of military family both sides of family fought for the US in WWII. I would love to own one of these surplus 1911’s for my collection. How do I get on the list?

    Reply

  • Donald F Henry

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    Yes I would like to purchase a 1911…How? and where?….thnx

    Reply

  • Trayton jay

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    Depends on how much premium they try for on the pricing. A good used 45 from police duty is $350 these days, and there’s no rigamarole to buy one (meaning it’s just the standard background check + having a FOID here in Illinois). That would be my starting point to evaluate. These are historic guns, but getting close to the category of a Desert Eagle when compared to all the tech and development in modern semi-autos. The M9 as standard sidearm goes back at least to the mid-80s, so they’ve been storing these 1911s for a LONG time.

    Reply

    • TomC

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      The price range being talked about is in the $800-1000 range which would be totally absurd — but that hasn’t come publicly from any official source so hopefully it is wrong.

      CMP has officially stated that they plan on requiring two NICS checks on every sale, one they will run when you submit paperwork to buy one, then a second NICS check at the FFL where they will ship your gun. These would be the first guns sold by CMP that they don’t ship directly to the buyer (as well as the first that cannot be bought in person at CMP’s own store).

      Reply

  • Timothy Brooks

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    I’m retired Army Officer. I carried a 1911 during my Army career.

    Reply

  • Robert Lindley

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    No doubt there would be long list of requirements & qualifications, the government is in charge of distribution!!! Any, I definitely want to attempt to be one of the few to secure one. Please continue to keep us updated on info.

    Thanks

    Reply

  • TomC

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    So far, the CMP plan appears to consist of
    1) Ignoring the fact that almost all these guns are C&R Eligible
    2) Imposing as many hoops as possible for buyers to jump through
    and
    3) Pricing the guns at easily twice the market value of a random, heavily used, 1911 that wasn’t especially good to start with.

    Reply

    • JGAW

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      I agree. Everyone’s getting all worked up like they’re going to be pristine colts when the reality is these pistols have been rebuilt several times already.
      If they’re anything like the grade my brother trained with, they’re more like to jam than a hi point.

      Reply

  • James C. Porter

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    I would very much like to acquire a 1911 since I had one issued to me when I was in the Army 1963-1969. However, being on the west coast, there is not a CMP so obtaining used Military equipment is difficult. I do have a local FFL to use, but would need more details to give them when purchasing from CMP.

    Reply

  • Bill

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    No……….. Too expensive and not recognizing my C&R FFL is unacceptable.

    Reply

    • NormV

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      Agree. Why is a C&R not recognized or accepted? A background check has already been done prior to obtaining a C&R license.

      Reply

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