Recently, The Shooter’s Log ran a story, detailing President Trump’s order to go a step further than his predecessor and actually release the 100,000 or so 1911s currently being stored by the U.S. Army to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Several of you left your email and asked to be informed as soon as the CMP began taking orders. While I wish we were reporting that the 1911s were ready for distribution, that’s not the case. However, we have something as good, if not better.
During and after World War II, the U.S. loaned tens of thousands of M1 Garands to our allies. Among those allies were the Philippines and Turkey. Approximately 100,000 M1s have been returned and are, or were until very recently, being stored by the U.S. Army. Although technically authorized for sale through the CMP under President Obama, most reading this right now likely believe it was unlikely to ever happen under his administration. However, President Trump’s administration looks at firearms through a different lens.
For the Obama administration, many readers have expressed a belief that signing a piece of paper as a showpiece was one thing, but actually releasing the guns was quite another, and the Obama administration knew it. Fair enough… However, behind the scenes, the U.S. Army (authorized by President Obama’s order) laid the groundwork with the CMP for the eventual release of the rifles, and that has now come to fruition. Today, the Garands are in the hands of the CMP.
The CMP received the Garands over the last month or so. Currently, the CMP is busy prepping the guns for sale. Each of the M1s will have to be cleaned, inspected, potentially repaired or rebuilt, and then test fired. Afterward, the M1 Garands will be sorted and graded, which ultimately determines each rifle’s sale price.
“We’ve already begun on the Turkish rifles,” CMP Chief Operating Officer Mark Johnson said in an interview with the NRA. “They’re already filtering into the system and there are some on the racks for sale now.” Apparently neither country added any marks on the rifles, so the repatriated guns are not distinguishable from any other M1 Garand, Johnson said.
As previously mentioned, the government also has about 100,000 1911s, which will be sold at a rate of 8,000 to 10,000 a year. Due to the limited supply and anticipated high demand, at least the first lot is scheduled to be sold on a lottery basis.
The CMP is authorized to sell designated surplus military rifles, parts, and ammunition to qualified U.S. citizens “for marksmanship purposes.” There are regulations and hoops you’ll have to jump through to qualify to buy one—like a background check both when applying through the CMP and another from the FFL when you pick it up. Some will squawk about this, but it is Uncle Sam’s guns and his rules. Besides, The revenue from CMP sales is used to fund operations and programs and to supplement a permanent endowment. For eligibility requirements, check out the CMP website. There you’ll find the CMP has two retail stores, one in Alabama and one Ohio. The CMP also has an online retail site and sells items through an auction site.