According to a new government report, there has been double the demand for surplus M1911 .45 caliber pistols released for civilian sales from the Army, and the same program received 100,000 more requests for surplus M1 Garand .30 caliber rifles.
The sidearm was a low priority for decades, taking the back seat to bigger systems such as vehicles, tanks and artillery — but that's all about to change.
The CMP uses much of the revenue from those sales to support civilian marksmanship training and matches.
In January 2018, the Army transferred 8,000 of its 1911 pistols to the CMP for sale to the public. It received 19,000 requests for those pistols, according to the report.
It has stopped taking orders for those pistols and is still processing the flood of requests, according to the CMP website.
Upgraded variants of the 1911 are still in service with Marines and some special operations units, but the pre-World War I handgun was replaced by the M9 Beretta in the 1980s.
In late 2019 the Army began fielding its replacement — the M17 9mm Sig Sauer handgun. Other services have also adopted the M17 to replace the M9.
Those that have sold or will sell through the CMP program range in price from “service grade” for $1,050, “field grade” for $950 and “rack grade” for $850, according to the report.
As of December, CMP reported that it had sold 632 service grade 1911s, generating $663,600 in revenue.
The CMP officials determined that 145 of the 8,000 they received were unsellable. So, as of December, 7,223 surplus 1911 handguns remained in the initial batch transferred from the Army. GAO estimated that could provide the program with nearly $8 million once they’re all sold.
CMP expects to have processed those sales by this spring.
The primary item that CMP has sold for nearly two decades has been the M1 Garand. From 2008 to 2017, it sold 304,233 rifles, the vast majority of those being the M1.
The average sale price was $650. And 279,032 of those were from the Army.
Two-thirds of those were M1s. But the other third included the following:
- M82 Kimber rifle – 5,014
- Mosin Nagant M44 Carbine – 3,397
- M12 Mauser rifle – 675
- M52 rifle – 573
- M513T Remington – 570
- M40X1/M40 rifle – 503
- M14 National Match rifle – 486
- M1917 Enfield rifle – 443
- M1903 rifle – 183
- M13 rifle – 182
- Mossberg M144 rifle – 99
While there is not a detailed breakdown in the report of what kinds of rifles are still in the inventory, it did note that 148,714 sellable surplus rifles remain in stock. That surplus — along with the anticipated future pistol sales — could bring in nearly $105 million to CMP, according to the report.
And early last year, the CMP received 100,000 M1s from stocks in the Philippines and Turkey, according to the report.