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: