The Underappreciated .380 ACP

The Underrated Colt .380

The .380 ACP has been popular since 1908 when it was introduced by the Colt Manufacturing Company. John Browning designed the cartridge for Colt’s Model 1908 pocket semi-automatic pistol. The innovative round is light but has less stopping power than its heavier counterparts. The ammo remained popular during World War II and beyond until the military shunned it in favor of the 9mm. It remained popular among European law enforcement agencies until the 1980s. Despite the waning popularity, the gun and ammo remain favorites with people seeking a compact gun for self-defense or concealed carry.

Legends and Myths

Shooters have criticized the .380 ACP almost since it appeared on the market. Naysayers spread myths about the gun and its ammo, saying things that simply aren’t true. The facts show that those spreading the myths haven’t used a .380 often enough, if at all. If you have doubts about the effectiveness of the ammo, check the ballistics stats.

.380 ACP Isn’t Inaccurate

Shooters unable to hit their targets with a compact gun automatically blame the gun, the ammo, or both. I won’t dispute that compact guns are harder to shoot, and micro-sized guns are even more difficult. However, that doesn’t mean that the ammo is inaccurate. The .380 ACP is made for close range targets, not taking down a bear at 200 yards. Gun owners should know the capabilities of the gun they are using and practice with those goals in mind.

No Stopping Power

Stopping power is directly related to shot placement. Some may claim that their .45 is defective because it didn’t take down their target. What they don’t say is that they shot him in the elbow. Most bullets will stop their targets if the shot is placed correctly, and the .380 is no exception. In fact, it works well in close range situations. If a shooter is unable to stop an attacker or intruder with a single shot, he should return to the range.

.380 ACP is Made For Women

Annie Oakley might take offense to that statement, claiming, “Them’s fightin’ words.” And Annie would be right. The gun is small but that doesn’t mean that it was made for someone with small hands. Shooting any gun, including a .380 ACP, takes skill. Shooters know that small guns are often harder to shoot, and anyone – man or woman – needs to practice shooting to learn to manage the recoil. You can’t pick it up for the first time and follow in Annie’s footsteps.

.380 ACP isn’t Good for Self-Defense

This comment relates to the myth about stopping power. A gun owner doesn’t need a .45 Mag as a self-defense weapon. It’s true that .380 ammo won’t cause hydrostatic shock, instantly debilitating its target. For most purposes, that would be overkill. However, it will stop an attacker provided the shooter knows how to aim and uses quality ammunition.

Conclusion

Ammunition manufacturers are specific about ballistics but knowing how ammo performs in a given situation is up to the shooter. Do your homework and use the right tool for the job.

 

Eras of the Military-Industrial Complex

Military spending by country

President Dwight D. Eisenhower used the term Military Industrial Complex (MIC) in his Farewell Address to the United States in 1961:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Eisenhower explained how the MIC could hurt the nation if the government spent too much money on military weapons. While the POTUS talked about the MIC in a new way, the idea itself was not new. Nor would it end in the years to follow.

The First Era

From the beginning until 1941, the U.S. government used its people to make arms during wartime. The government owned shipyards and munitions factories. World War II changed the picture.

FDR created the War Production Board to use civilians to make weapons for war. The people made a great deal of money at that time. The War ended but the WPB stayed in place. Private companies began to supply services to the government to outfit the military.

The Second Era

The Second Era began with the withdrawal of the Warsaw Pact in 1990 and the downfall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Pentagon asked defense contractors to unite to work within the defense budget, which had been cut.

The Third Era

The Third Era is the state of the Military-Industrial Complex from 1992-present. Defense contractors make other goods, from weapons to other items including surveillance, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and other advancements. Large companies merge with smaller businesses to create bigger companies worth billions of dollars. The Department of Defense imports many forms of technology, but no longer shares them on the open market.

Private industry creates more opportunities for technology companies, but defense contractors have a strong hold on making weapons for the government, just as former military officers cash in on their experiences.

 

Winter Travel Safety

 

Traveling in Bad Weather

If you travel in winter you may be confronted by some unexpected things such as snow, ice, power outages, and more. If you travel by car, you could hit traffic delays, accidents, and breakdowns. Experts report that extreme cold kills faster than extreme heat, yet many people know little about extreme cold preparedness.

Winter Gear

Appropriate clothing is important when going out into extreme temperatures, even if your intention is to go to the grocery store. Wearing layers protects you from wind and snow as well as more dangerous problems like hypothermia. Hypothermia means that your body loses heat faster than it can make it. Extreme cold leads to stress on the nervous system, heart, and other organs.

Winter gear should include several layers of clothing made of waterproof or insulated materials to stay dry and preserve body heat. Synthetic fabrics like polyester or natural materials like wool are best for base layers; outer layers should be weatherproof against wind, rain, and snow.

Driving in Bad Weather

Weather experts warn drivers to stay inside when storms or extreme temperatures are in the forecast. If you must travel in bad weather, let someone know your departure and arrival times, along with your route. A mechanic should check your car to make sure that the brakes and exhaust are functioning well, that your tires are adequate, and that all fluids, including antifreeze, are full. Carry additional washer fluid to combat slush on the highways.

Emergency gear should include:

  • First-aid kit
  • Thermal blanket
  • Compass
  • Kitty litter or sand for traction
  • Water
  • Tire chains
  • Food
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Emergency signals/signal flares
  • Bright-colored cloth to mark the vehicle in a snowstorm
  • Extra boots and gloves

Stranded

If you become stranded while traveling, winter survival dictates that you should stay with your car if at all possible.  Leaving your car is dangerous, particularly if the there is a snowstorm, since the chances of being found diminish. Your car provides shelter and has heat as long as it has fuel. Run the motor for ten minutes every hour to stay warm. Crack the window to allow for ventilation and, if there is a lot of snow, make sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not clogged.

Tie a bright cloth to the antenna to signal distress.

Shelter

If you must leave your vehicle for some reason, you may need to build a shelter to protect yourself during a snowstorm. Stay as close to your vehicle as possible. A snow wall will create a wind block and help to keep you warm. Stay as visible as possible so that you may be found. If traveling with another person, use body heat to keep warm. Move around as much as possible to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

Understanding Tax Deductions

How to calculate income tax deductions

Filing federal income taxes is a necessary evil most people don’t like to discuss. The 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or the federal income tax amendment, requires all U.S. citizens to pay state and federal taxes on or before April 15th of each year.

To some people, understanding taxes is more difficult than untying the Gordian Knot, in other words, impossible. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has made big changes in the tax system and is considered the largest tax overhaul in over 30 years. It eliminates deductions and credits yet increases the standard tax and child tax credits. As a result, some people will see larger refunds. While others will mourn the loss of deductions.

Some tax breaks may return after provisions of the law expire in 2025. Following are tax deductions that have changed or are no longer available:

The Standard Deduction

The good news is that there is an increase in the $6,350 standard deduction. Single taxpayers will get a much higher deduction for the 2018 tax year. The standard deduction for individuals is now $12,000. Married couples receive a standard deduction of $24,000.

Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions

Several miscellaneous itemized deductions have been eliminated under the Tax Act. Taxpayers can no longer take deductions for tax preparation, professional dues, investment fees, fees for financial services.

Deductions for an Employee’s Unreimbursed Expenses

Workers who buy uniforms and other job-related items can no longer claim them as a deduction.

Moving Expenses

Only military personnel can deduct moving expenses if their job requires the move.

Casualty Loss

Taxpayers can’t deduct casualty losses unless they reside in a presidentially-designated disaster zone.

Alimony

In 2019, alimony is not taxable income; therefore alimony payments can’t be deducted.

Overlooked Deductions

Tax deductions are overlooked every year. Following are deductions taxpayers should consider when filing federal taxes:

State Income or Sales Tax

Taxpayers who itemize can choose to deduct either state income tax or state sales tax payments. Either way, the cap on the deduction is $10,000.

Medical Expenses

In 2019, the expenses must exceed 10% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

Car Registration Fees

Flat fees and weight-based fees are not tax deductible. The law allows taxpayers to deduct value-based fees.

Non-cash Charitable Giving

Making a cash donation to a charity is deductible. However, so are non-cash gifts, such as clothing.

Property Taxes

Starting in 2018, there is a $10,000 cap on property taxes, sales tax, and state income tax.

Traditional IRA Contributions

In 2018, workers under age 50 can contribute up to $5,500 per tax year, while those age 50 or older can make a $6,500 contribution.

Educational Expenses

Educational deductions include the Lifetime Learning Credit, the American Opportunity Credit, and student loan interest.

Child Care

Working parents may be able to receive the child and dependent care tax credit. The deduction may also include other forms of child care expense such as a day camp or summer program. However, the deduction requires detailed documentation.

 

The History of U.S. Prisons

2014 picture of the Old Jail in Barnstable, MA

The United States has more prisoners than any other country. American jails have the largest number of inmates per capita – 655 per 100,000 adults. The number of people that have been in prison at one time is more than 70 million, or 1 in 35.

States have been unable to keep up with the demand for prisons or the funds to build them. As a result, private companies fund prisons and run them as profitable businesses. It seems to be a good solution to the problem. However, the prison industrial complex is a controversial issue.

Nineteen states use private prisons to house their inmates, creating a “prison for profit” model. Private companies report making over $7 billion dollars per year. Detractors claim that the companies view prisons as cash cows, cutting corners and providing bad service to inmates. Prisoners released from private prisons have a higher recidivism rate than those from government-run facilities.

In the Beginning

The U.S. Constitution is based on British law. Incarceration in England was rare. Police sent criminals to workhouses with bad conditions. The government hoped that their “houses of correction” would rehabilitate the criminals. In the 1700s the practice of reform began. Philosophers believed that criminals needed to become “morally pure.” Inmates often ended up in solitary confinement to ponder the error of their ways. When the first settlers came to America, so did the British rules on punishment.

The Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colony courts built the first jail circa 1690 in Barnstable, MA. “The Old Jail” housed up to six prisoners, and was used until about 1820 when it was replaced by a stone building. In 1968, the Old Jail was moved onto the grounds of the Coast Guard Heritage Museum. In 1971, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

While there were jails in America in the 17th and 18th centuries, there were no prisons. Colonists built the first prison in Philadelphia in 1790. The existing Walnut Street jail had been expanded to hold convicted criminals. The prison was established by the peace-keeping Quakers, who intended to use the prison for hard work, self-examination, and spiritual reflection. The plan was not successful. By the 1820s, prison had become the ultimate punishment. The government was able to keep criminals in horrific conditions, and to use them as slave labor.

Incarceration

Law enforcement locked up prisoners for a short time. People arrested for public drunkenness slept it off. Sheriffs told fighters to calm down. Those accused of more serious crimes were held over for trial, which usually occurred within a couple of days. Criminals were branded, shamed, or run out of town. The law used corporal punishment for more serious crimes.

Most people that came to America worked as laborers, so it didn’t make sense to lock them up for long periods of time. Additionally, the colonists could not feed and house criminals, so they were set free. The colonists did have a restriction on who could come to America from England. Those refused included rapists, burglars, witches, and murderers.

The era of the American Revolution changed things. The government installed two systems of punishment. One system locked up prisoners alone while the second system incarcerated prisoners in groups. At that time, the issue of incarceration was considered a Northern problem. Most of the prisons were in the North; the South used violence and the honor system to keep crime at bay.

Very little changed in the prison system until the 1970s. The War on Drugs began, causing an explosion in the number of prison inmates. States sorely needed funds to house prisoners and began to rely on corporations to fund the system. Prisons for profit were born.

Prison laborers provide big profit

Prison Labor

Prison labor goes back to the days of the convict lease system in the late 1880s. Prisons began to “lease out” their prisoners, making a profit from the work. Judges sent prisoners to plantations. Other common uses for labor were coal mining and building roads and railroads. However, the death rate of convicts was high.

The convict lease system died out. However, the government replaced the program with systems similar to convict labor. Chain gangs and prison farms became popular.

The 13th Amendment permits prison labor if the prisoner has been convicted.  The 13th Amendment states, “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Today, privatized prisons make billions of dollars from inmates who are typically paid a few cents an hour.

Prisoners went on strike protesting forced labor. Inmates demanded that prisons pay them to work. They wanted to work under better conditions. In 2018, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and Jailhouse Lawyers Speak sponsored a prison strike. Inmates told prison officials that the inmates should not be excluded from the 13th amendment, claiming that such low pay equals “modern-day slavery.”

 

 

Who is Nicolas Maduro?: A Look At Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolás Maduro Moros is the current President of Venezuela. Born in 1962, Maduro became the President of Venezuela in 2013 when his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, died from cancer. In 2018, Maduro was reelected to the office by a with 67.8% of the vote. The legitimacy of the election was in question and deemed as fraudulent by neighboring countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, the United States, and Canada.

Previous to serving as the President, Maduro was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and served as Vice President to Hugo Chavez from 2012 to 2013.

Controversy

Currently, Venezuela is undergoing an extreme socioeconomic crisis. Many blame Maduro for his governmental policies, referring to him as a dictator. At present, the country is experiencing hyperinflation, the Venezuelan exchange rate is plummeting, and there is mass emigration to neighboring South American countries and the U.S. Over 3 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015, citing starvation. The IMF predicts that the Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach 1 million percent by the end of 2018, the highest rate seen since the beginning of the 20th century.

The huge reduction in oil production, Venezuela’s main source of income, has caused severe decreases in resources including food and medicine. Maduro has recently put a plan in place to revitalize the country’s wealth by mining for gold in the Orinoco Arc. The plan may be sound in theory, but to date poor treatment of workers, environmental crimes, and murder have been the only outcome of Maduro’s mission.

Citizens believe that Maduro’s form of socialism is what will be the downfall of the country, not the lack of oil.

There are other controversies surrounding the President, including his place of birth. By law, a citizen must be born in Venezuela to serve as the country’s president. In the past it has been stated that Maduro was born in Colombia, not in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. No proof has been brought forward to substantiate the claim though.

Background

Maduro attended Liceo José Ávalos, a public high school. He allegedly became interested in politics during high school, but never graduated.

In 1979, Maduro was named as a person of interest in the kidnapping of American, William Niehous.

Maduro began his professional career as a bus driver for the Caracas Metro company. He ventured into formal politics in the 1980s, when he became an unofficial trade unionist representing fellow bus drivers.

At age 24 , Maduro lived in Cuba with other South American leftist militants. He attended a one-year course at the Escuela Nacional de Cuadros Julio Antonio Mella. Reportedly Maduro studied under Pedro Miret Prieto. Prieto was a close associate to Fidel Castro and senior member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Maduro’s introduction to Hugo Chavez is unclear. The Cuban government allegedly assigned Maduro to work as a mole for Cuba’s Dirección de Inteligencia, with the aim of approaching Chávez.

In the early 1990s, he joined The Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200), a political and social movement founded by Hugo Chávez in 1982. In the 1990s, Maduro also co-founded the Movement of the Fifth Republic, the main supporter for Chávez’s presidential election in 1998.

Maduro rose quickly through the political ranks:

  • 1998 – The Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies
  • 1999 – The National Constituent Assembly
  • 2000 – The NationalAssembly
  • 2005 – Assembly elected Maduro to the position of Speaker
  • 2006 – Appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs

In 2012, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appointed Maduro as Vice President. Shortly after Chavez’s victory and Maduro’s appointment, Chavez announced that he would have to return to Cuba for cancer surgery. Chavez secured Maduro’s position as President by naming the VP as his successor.

Sanctions

In 2017, the United States sanctioned Maduro following his election. The U.S. labels him as a “dictator,” which prevents him from entering the United States. In 2018, Donald Trump placed more sanctions against Venezuela regarding their gold mining operation, forbidding any U.S. entities from participating in the process or from buying any of the gold mined in the country.

Collectors List of Best Places to Buy Antique Guns

Antique Revolver

Collectors are always looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They want the rarest of the rare, the one gun that they can’t live without. We’ve all heard the story about that Picasso in the attic. Does that happen with guns? The answer: it just might.

The Search

When you’re looking for the ultimate collectible, anything can happen. The best deals can pop up in the unlikeliest places. Unless you are a seasoned collector, be sure about the items you buy. Not everyone is out to cheat you, but know the basics. Knowing what’s authentic can save tens of thousands of dollars. Newbie collectors should be educated. Know which maker’s marks are pertinent to your weapon. Examine the provenance. Check to see if there have been modifications. If buying from a private seller, know state and federal laws. No one wants to buy a gun only to turn it over to law enforcement. Investing time in research can be the difference between going home with a Mercedes or a Yugo.

Auctions

Places to Buy

Fellow Collectors

Gun collectors have their own community. Becoming a serious collector is made easier if you can find that community. Developing relationships within the group can be extremely beneficial. You can gain knowledge and get rare opportunities to buy guns before they go on the open market. Good friendships can form over common interests, but don’t be foolhardy. Even if you’re about to realize your lifelong dream of becoming the next Sgt. York, don’t buy that vintage Colt 1911 without an appraisal or before checking the provenance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Live Auctions

A tried and true way to buy collectibles is to attend a live auction. Each auction publishes a catalogue available to the public. It allows you to be able to browse the offerings beforehand. Each listing gives info on items for sale and makes it easier to decide what to buy. Reputable companies like Christie’s have been holding specialty auctions for more than a hundred years. Rare items may be easier to find, but can cost you. Auctions may be more expensive than buying privately, depending on the item being sold and the amount of interest. Don’t get caught up in auction fever and spend more than your bank account allows.

You may examine the merchandise if you attend the auction. That’s when knowledge is most important. If you have any questions, ask. There are sure to be experts everywhere that will help out.

Firearms auctions are usually advertised nationwide. Catalogues may be posted on the internet, giving you time to peruse before the event. If unable to attend the auction in person, you can bid as an absentee buyer. You may also be able to bid through an online service. An absentee bidder must have complete faith in the auctioneer, the process and the gun’s value. Due diligence can determine the reputation of the auctioneer and auction house before bidding.

Specialty Dealers

Looking for one specific item? A reputable specialty dealer may be your best bet. It also saves time if you don’t want to traverse gun shows or spend hours at auctions. A good dealer will have access to items gun shops may not. They also tend to be at the top of the list when a vintage piece or collection goes up for sale. Choose dealers with experience and a longstanding reputation. They tend to have the best connections and aren’t willing to risk their business by hoodwinking a potential customer.

Online

Buying online can be a blessing or a curse. Experienced collectors have been buying online for years. Some find it the easiest way to track down hard to find gems or rare collectibles. Buyers should be savvy to state and federal laws regarding the sale and purchase of firearms. A boon to the industry is that eBay prohibits the sale of firearms. That policy made way for several top sites to create their mark – GunsAmerica.com, GunAuction.com, and GunBroker.com to name a few.

Sadly, there are more disreputable dealers that reputable ones. Before buying, have direct contact with the gun owner. Do not work through a third party. Check references and ratings. Know the seller’s return policy and check out their ratings and references before laying down any money.

Online classified sites may offer opportunities to buy weapons. Seasoned collectors tend to avoid them or proceed with extreme caution.

Gun Shows

Collector shows aren’t as common as commercial shows, but they do exist. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals. You can see what other collectors and sellers have to offer. Chances are that you’ll get to see things you’ve never imagined. While you may not be able to buy, you’ll likely go home with a very long wish list.

Yard Sales

Yard sales often offer more than baby strollers and chipped dishes. People saddled with a garage full of boxes often put them out for sale. High end locations may offer valuable surprises.

Storage Lockers

Think buying a storage locker is a sure way to find treasure? Think again. Chances are you’ll end up with a pile of junk. Also, guns found in a storage locker must be turned over to authorities. Save your money and your time.

Estate Sales

Estate sales can be gold mines. Check published listings of items to be sold. Listings aren’t often too specific, but rare gems can be found. Stay until the end and  you could walk away a winner.

No matter which path you choose, be smart. Learn to do your own appraisals to save time, money and heartache. If that’s not an option, develop a relationship with an antique rifle appraiser. You’ll always have someone that can be trusted to steer you in the right direction.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Gun Collecting

So, you want to start gun collecting. You’ve outgrown your rock collection and stamps don’t excite you, so guns seem to be a good choice. There are many types of collectors out there, from the marksman to the history buff. Each with their own tastes and budgets. No matter what the reason, gun collecting is a noble and interesting way to increase your knowledge, make a few dollars, and decorate your man (or woman) cave.

Some experts will tell you to start with the basics such as a .22 LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 30-06, and the like but it comes down to your taste and if you are collecting the guns to use, sell or display. Following are some of the types of collectors you’re likely to run across at your local gun show.

Heirloom

Gun collecting often starts with a gun inherited from a family member or perhaps a first hunting rifle. Heirloom guns may also include antiques purchased by the collector or specialty sport shooting models. Typically, these guns are kept for private use or for show although some, if valuable, may sold. Top choices for heirloom guns may include models that are antique or rare such as the Colt 1911 or nearly anything manufactured between 1900-1930.

Military/Historical

Military and history enthusiasts are often rabid about their collections and know their guns down to the finest detail and the name of the artist that incorporated the scroll work. These people are serious collectors. As with any kind of collection, it’s important to verify the history and provenance of the weapon as it directly affects the gun’s value. Whether it’s an antique dueling pistol or military surplus from Desert Storm, know your maker’s marks and get proof of authenticity before laying down your money.

Eclectic

Much to the chagrin of the hard-core collector, some people just like guns and collect them with no discernible rhyme or reason. It may make them more difficult to categorize, but no less valid. Eclectic gun owners tend to start with a gun they have owned and build upon that collection. Usually with something that is handed down or bought second hand. Although the owner of the eclectic gun collection is less likely to sell his collection, it is still important to know the history and use of each piece, if only for personal reference.

Investment

Guns make great investments. They aren’t based on the daily market and rarely does the value significantly decrease. Perhaps more than any other category, condition is key when collecting for investment purposes. As a rule of thumb, the older and more unique a gun is, the more it will be worth if it is well preserved, not refinished, and, of course, authentic. The worst guns for investments tend to be modern weapons such as the AR and AK-platform guns. Want to make the most money? Collect a particular style or guns from a specific manufacturer, e.g., Smith & Wesson to get the biggest bang for your buck.

 

Feds to Release Surplus M1911s

Plans are finally falling into place for the government release of surplus M1911s. On December 5, 2017, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), the non-profit organization that holds control over responsibility selling surplus military firearms and surplus ammunition, released information regarding how it will handle the handguns.

Thousands of Surplus M1911s

Per the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, the US Army is to release 8,000 to 10,000 surplus M1911s to CMP for resale in both 2018 and 2019. If all goes well, the organization may receive up to 100,000 M1911s throughout the following years.

CMP states it needs at least 150 days to price and evaluate the pistols, which includes inspecting, grading, test-firing, and cataloging the guns.

Eligibility to Purchase M1911s

CMP also released the eligibility requirements for civilians to purchase these authentic military guns. To be considered, you must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Join a CMP-affiliated club or association
  • Demonstrate marksmanship activity, via concealed carry permit, military record, or participation in a shooting competition

Beyond these eligibility requirements, two NICS background checks need completed, the first at the time of purchase and the second upon receiving the M1911 at your local licensed gun dealer. Unlike other military firearms, the surplus M1911s are only available via mail order and must be received through a local gun broker.

Sales of Surplus M1911s

Once sales open, CMP will begin to accept applications for purchase, along with all requested documents. After the organization receives 10,000 requests, CMP will put the information into a random number generator and, in the order randomly determined, give applicants the option to buy one of the M1911s available based on their prices and grade.

Due to the expected demand, CMP is regulating sales to one M1911 per person, per year. Although not officially announced, the marketing manager of CMP North, Steve Cooper, told Sarasota Herald-Tribune that they anticipate most shootable guns ranging from $800 to $1,000.

Value to the Collector

 

the surplus M1911 .45ACP pistols that the government is releasing have been in storage since the 1980s when they were replaced with the Beretta 92F, but they’re must older than those thirty-some years. Most government contracts for the production of M1911s ended by 1945, which makes many of these pistols more than military-grade handguns, it makes them collectable antiques.

Although these guns haven’t been categorized yet, many of the M1911s used by the Army were manufactured by:

DIY Gun Appraisal: Tips on How to Do It Yourself

It doesn’t matter if you own one gun or more than 40 (if that’s the case, let’s be friends), it’s good to know what their value is. Even if you don’t plan on selling your firearm, it’s important to understand its worth. Although the idea of doing a DIY gun appraisal can seem overwhelming, the first one’s always the hardest. The more you do, the easier they become.

Consider What’s Your Gun Worth to You

A gun’s value doesn’t always lay in what someone’s willing to pay for it.

It could be the Colt 1911 that you’ve shot over a 1,000 times and no matter how many other guns you try, nothing feels as good as it does in your hand. Or maybe you have a snubnose S&W Bodyguard that may not bring in top dollar, but your dad gave it to you when you moved out of the house and it holds sentimental value. That’s fine. Never underestimate the personal value of a gun. The first time you sell one that you really don’t want to sell, you may regret it for the rest of your life.

Do a DIY Gun Appraisal to Determine Your Gun’s Worth

While you may feel like there could never be a price associated with your gun, the fact is there is. Every gun has a specific value that’s determined using a variety of things. Some of the most influential factors that impact your gun’s value include:

  • AGE: In most cases, the older a gun is, the more it’s worth.
  • TYPE: The type of gun influences its value, and some of the most sought after gun types include 1911s and military firearms.
  • CONDITION: Perhaps one of the most important factors during a self appraisal, gun conditions can range from brand new and never shot to so old and rusty you can’t fire it
  • MAKE AND MODEL: When it comes to gun value, the make and model of your firearm makes a difference, with Luger pistols and pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 rifles both having high values.
  • RARITY: Generally, the harder it is to find a gun, the more valuable it’s going to be.

To complete your DIY gun appraisal, write down all of this information about your firearm and start researching. Check out your local gun shop, go to gun shows, hit some (decent) online forums, or maybe even purchase a Book Book of Gun Values to get the best idea of your gun’s worth.