The CMP initially said there would be 10,000 pistols for sale. That number dropped to 8,000 for the lottery-style sale this year.
Next year’s quantities are still a question mark, so maybe getting in early would be a good idea.
And sending out the form is no guarantee you’ll get one of the handguns.
The CMP will randomly pick “winners” for the surplus 1911s on Oct. 5. Then, customers will be contacted and be allowed to select the grade of pistol they wish to purchase.
A Vietnam War-era "tunnel rat" prepares to enter a subterranean enemy warren armed with a 1911 handgun. Soon this pistol may be available to civilian collectors. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The pricing is as follows and includes shipping:
Service Grade $1,050: Pistol may exhibit minor pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.
Field Grade $950: Pistol may exhibit minor rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.
Rack Grade $850: Pistol will exhibit rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips may be incomplete and exhibit cracks. Pistol requires minor work to return to issuable condition.
Auction Grade: The condition of the auction pistol will be described when posted for auction. Note: If you have already purchased a 1911 from CMP you will not be allowed to purchase an auction 1911. If you purchase an auction 1911, your name will be pulled from the sequenced list. No repeat purchasers are allowed until all orders received have been filled.
The weapons must be shipped through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer and the purchaser must pass a background check.
A .45-Caliber round is layed out next to a 9 mm round. The Civilian Marksmanship Program is selling off 8,000 surplus 1911 .45 caliber pistols. Marines still use a much-upgraded version of the venerable weapon which has seen action in all of America's major wars since its adopting more than a century ago. (Sgt. Marcy Sanchez/Marine Corps)
The CMP put up the forms, details and a help line number on June 4. But, they restricted the mailed form submission to the date range we are now in, from Sept. 4 to Oct. 4.
If you have questions, on that date — and only beginning on that date — you can call: 256-835-8455, ext. 461, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Todd South is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War. He has written about crime, courts, government and military issues for multiple publications for more than a decade. In 2014, he was named a Pulitzer finalist for local reporting on a project he co-wrote about witness problems in gang criminal cases. Todd covers ground combat for Military Times.