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

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.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (1,415)

  1. I was issued a Colt 1911 when I was in the Army (963-1969) and would very much like to have one of the 1911’s from this program. I think Congress making this program available to the american public is fantastic.

    1. There was an article her on shooters log about 3 weeks ago, I think they’re available now, but you have to join the CMP and from what I’ve gathered they want you to shoot or at a range! I’m still trying to get more info. but hadn’t really had time and kinda got turned off on the prices that they want for these guns, they start at $600.00 up!!!

  2. I served in the Army from 1972 to 1994 and before making Sgt I was a 90mm recoiless rifle gunner and had a 1911 as my side arm. I enjoyed firing that weapon and always wanted to own one, maybe now I can.

  3. I am a former Marine and would like old military weapons only I am a retired police officer and my funds are limited; therefore I have not been able to purchase many (2 only).

  4. I would love to have one, I am a veteran of the Coast Guard and I served from 77-82 and carried a 1911 45. I have tried over the years to acquire one but they have always been to expensive and sometimes to damaged to be recovered. I have several 1911 types but nothing like this. I need to know everything that has to be done to have a chance to purchase.

    1. I hope to find out more real soon, I know they’re NOT CHEAP, think they start at 7 to $800.00 and that kinda turned me off! But as soon as I find out more I will post!!

  5. A Gub’mint Colt? Sign me up. I love the 1911 and enjoy shooting a Mil-Spec Springfield I’ve had for the past 17 years.

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