US military surplus 1911s available. Almost.

| May 15, 2018 | 71 Comments


Been waiting to grab one of the Army’s surplus M1911 .45 caliber pistols? The wait is nearly over.

Army Times reports the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) announced it would sell 8,000 1911 .45 ACP pistols that have been in storage. That number has dropped from the originally announced 10,000 pistols.

And not all the 8,000 to be made available will be up for purchase by those who are selected. Some have been judged “unusual and worthy of being auctioned,” according to the CMP.

To get one of these pieces of U.S. military history, you’ll have to fill out the order documents posted on 4 June on the CMP website. If you have questions, on that date — and only beginning on that date — you can call: 256-835-8455, ext. 461, or email at

The forms must be postmarked between 4 Sept and 4 Oct. Only one form per person is allowed. You must be a U.S. citizen, a member of a CMP affiliated club and provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity.

The CMP 1911s must be transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer with a completed purchaser background check.

The CMP will randomly pick “winners” for the surplus 1911s on Oct. 5, where customers will be contacted and be allowed to select the grade of pistol they wish to purchase.

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.

I have a couple 1911s, but none from the military. A piece of American history would be a welcome addition to my gunsafe. Now to convince CINC-House…

Updated from:

Category: Guns

Comments (71)

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  1. The Other Whitey says:

    Mrs. Whitey has decreed that I must buy each of the kids an M1 carbine before I can buy any more guns for myself.

  2. 5JC says:

    Postal Delivery guy on 4SEP18: WTF?!?

  3. Reddawg_03 says:

    Question of the day…

    I just bought a very nice quality 1911 that was being sold by a family member that inherited it. He needed money very badly and he offered it to me for a good price.

    Is there anyway I can find out the history on this? He believes it saw service in the military.

    Appreciate the assistance

    • The Other Whitey says:

      For basic provenance, who was the manufacturer, does it have a date stamp, and is it stamped “U.S. PROPERTY” or bear any Army Ordnance or other acceptance stamps?

      Guns & Ammo and American Rifleman magazines both have researchers who will look up manufacturer records and other data through the NRA Museum and other sources to dig up whatever they can on a gun’s history for the owner. You have to provide the serial number (which they don’t publish).

  4. FatCircles0311 says:

    Sorry but the CMP is total crap and these 1911’s are not worth the ridiculous prices they want for them. Go out buy yourself a nice commercial 1911 that is far better and cheaper. Don’t reward this organization that is doing the exact opposite of their chartered purpose to make a profit.

  5. sj says:

    When my dad passed my bro closed out the house and garage. He found a butt load of gun parts including 1911. Bro picked out the best of the 1911 stuff and came up with a complete pistol! He took it to an amazing armorer who refined everything into a sweet shooting weapon as a gift for me. I call it a Johnny Cash 1911 since it was assembled 1 piece at a time. Years in the future someone will wonder why it has components of Colt, Singer, and others that made the 1911 for the USG.

  6. 26Limabeans says:

    I’ll keep my Colt pre war commercial.
    The other one marked U.S. is a safe queen.


    I have a nice WW2 era US marked 1911. I rarely shoot it.
    I would much rather beat up my $150 Norinco clone that shoots just as well.( after some serious polishing)

  8. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    I bought a .45 ACP through the NRA in about 64 for about $20. These .45’s are going from $800 up depending on condition. I don’t follow prices anymore but it seems a tad on the expensive side through a government resale program.

    • rgr769 says:

      You can buy a Rock Island copy made in the PI for about $450.00. For about $900.00 you can buy a lower end 1911 from Kimber. They are much more accurate than any GI 1911.

  9. rgr769 says:

    Sure would like to get back the one confiscated from me by the MP’s at Rhine-Maine airport when I first arrived in FRG in 1969. Unfortunately, it had US Gov’t property stamped on it, even though my father had purchased it for me from a sporting goods store for $75.00.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      That’s not cool. How much you wanna bet one of them pocketed it?

      • rgr769 says:

        Could be what happened. The MP’s told me I could get it back if I showed up at their headquarters in Frankfurt with proof of purchase. It took several months to get a purchase receipt from my dad, and to get a day off. (The first 11 weeks I served with the 2/509th I never had a day off.) Anyway, I contacted the MP station in Frankfurt about four months after the confiscation, and the guy I talked to said, “too late, that weapon was released back into the supply system.”

  10. AW1Ed says:

    Some seem to be missing the point here. Are there cheaper and better 1911s available? Of course. A friend just got a Rock Island clone for around $400, and is perfectly happy with it, for what it does. It ain’t no Les Baer, nor does it pretend to be.
    What the CMP is offering is a piece of American history, a memory of different times you can hold in your hand. I’ll most likely put a bid in, and if I get the nod it will be a safe queen, looked at much but shot very little.

    • RGR 4-78 says:

      One of my BiL’s picked an M-1 Garand and an M-1 Carbine through CMP. Both of them in very good condition.

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      CMP purpose isn’t to gouge for pseudo collectors to sell 2nd hand which no doubt will be what happens to the majority of these that are bought. Buying this overpriced shit is just silly. It’s worth as a collectors piece is close to nothing, it’s just old.

      • 5JC says:

        It’s value is determined by what people will pay for it. I am willing to bet they sell out. Will a serious firearm collector care? Doubt it.

        Just like they did not care about $69 Mosin’s ten years ago. Those were way more crappy than a surplus 1911 and are now selling at four times what people paid for them ten years ago. Silly it may be but to someone who simply wants a good, functioning old service pistol with clear background and history it will easily be worth it.

  11. Yef says:

    I don’t like .45s
    Recoil is too great, mag capacity too low, and price too high.

    • SFC D says:

      Yef, my wife shoots a compact 1911. Consistent center mass hits at 25M, prefers it over her 38. And 45 ACP means never ever having to shoot somebody twice. That’s just wasteful.

    • AW1Ed says:

      To each their own, Yef. I don’t judge on personal preferences, but lighting up the firing line with 125 gn .357 Mag rounds is a lot of fun on several levels.

    • rgr769 says:

      C’mon Yef, man-up. 9mm’s are for girls, that is why the FBI went to 9mm, twice. Although, I must confess I went to .38 Special for Cowboy Action Shooting for economy and improved accuracy. Got tired of getting beat by most good .38 shooters when I was shooting .45 long Colt.

      • Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

        rgr76niner; I have a Kimber ultra carry .45 but don’t like to carry cocked and locked, then to the Springfield DA/SA XDSC .40 which feels a little bulky so I now carry the single stack Springfield XDE .09. Love it.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      “Recoil too high?” Seriously, Yef?

      I’ve mentioned before that my wife is a skinny Asian chick with tiny hands, and she can handle a 1911. Is my petite wife manlier in the hands than you?

    • IDC SARC says:

      “I don’t like .45s”

      What do you prefer, Yef? Do you change up depending on whether or not you’re carrying concealed? Carry a BUG?

    • Mick says:

      If one is a good, well-trained marksman with a 1911 .45 ACP pistol, one doesn’t need a high capacity magazine. Accuracy matters. “You don’t hurt ’em if you don’t hit ’em.”

      If one finds the recoil of a 1911 .45 ACP pistol to be ‘too great’, then one should get into the gym and build up some hand and arm strength. (A female colleague at work with a CCW permit carries a compact 1911 .45 ACP as her EDC weapon, and she doesn’t have any problem handling the weapon. And I’ve seen her shoot with great accuracy.)

      As rgr769 astutely advises, man up Yef.

      • Mick says:

        Saved round, Yef.

        Since you “don’t like .45s”, it’s a good thing that you never had to carry a 1911 .45 ACP pistol as your issue sidearm, as many of us here did “back in the day”.

        Just imagine the distress that that would have caused you.

        • Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

          When I shot comp matches with our Brink’s matches, I have a Colt series 70 Gold cup .45 which I bought around 1973 or 74, have to check out the date. I shot semi wads out of the gun and used the short recoil spring. Only bad thing about this model is the solid pin for holding the rear sight on the receiver. I used to replace their pin using Brownells one sixteenth inch roll pins after a couple of hundred rounds.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      SERIOUSLY Yef, my Nephew who just graduated high school LOVED shooting my 45’s since I taught him how to shoot at age 12 and he’d shoot them until we ran out of ammo or the barrel melted!

  12. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    The NY National Guard Armory out in Huntington LI, NY where I did my monthly weekend drills had 1911’S made by Remington typewriter and the parts rattled around when shook. My friend has his Grand Fathers Govt. 1911 and Officers .32 from WW1 in mint condition still inside the box. Got a slight film of rust on them when his house in Long Beach LI off of Reynolds channel got 7 feet of water in it. I told him to use 0000 very fine steel wool and lightly work some gun oil into the rusty parts and it took care of the rust.

    • SFC D says:

      Just take off the grips and soak it in a bucket of JP-4.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        You mean charcoal lighter fluid? No shit, I’ve been told that is JP4.

        • AW1Ed says:

          JP is refined kerosene, not naphtha.

        • SFC D says:

          I learned that trick in Somalia. UN had Russian helos in Kismayyo, one of the pilots found an old M1917 revolver that had been laying out on the weeds for who knows how long. Grips rotted off, corroded all over. After a week in a bucket of JP-4, it was pretty much clean, no corrosion, had a lot of pitting but with a little ore scrubbing and some oil, it was still pretty functional. Ain’t now way I’d ever fire it, but Sergei got a hell of a souvenir.

  13. 3/17 Air Cav says:

    I have a 1944 Colt 1911. It survived ww2, Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. Sadly, it’s last stop, Cambodia, it survived. The pilot, co-pilot and gunner did not.

  14. USAFRetired says:

    I have a US Army Model 1917 (S&W Variant) that my maternal grandfather brought back from France following WWI.

    I have some half moon and full moon clips to use with .45 ACP. I’ve bought a few boxes of .45 Auto Rim and have reloaded a couple more boxes from components.

    My maternal grandfather gave it to my father, a Marine, as a wedding present. Some friend of my father’s later presented a 1911 to my paternal grandfather who swapped it to my Dad for the Model 1917. Years later my dad swapped the 1911 for a Ruger 22 before he went to Vietnam as my mother had gotten a black eye when shooting the 45 during her time in the Navy.

    When my paternal grandfather died my father inherited the M1917, and when my Dad passed it passed to me.

    I have a Series 80 1911 Combat Commander in .45 ACP. I’d kind of like to have one of these 1911s but don’t know if I’d want to pay that much for something of strictly historical value.

  15. Roger in Republic says:

    We have a 1911 that was built in 1914 in 455 British and sold to the UK. At some point it was returned to the US gov and converted back to .45 acp. It saw service in both world wars, but I can’t say for sure that it saw any combat. It ended up with the US navy where it was tuned up as a practice piece for the Pacific Fleet Pistol team. It has been in our family for three generations and a few years ago I passed it down to my nephew on the occasion of his commissioning in the Army. It could have gone with him to Afghanistan but didn’t. In service to America for over 100 years.

  16. Cacti35 says:

    I carried a 1911 for a short time in Vietnam when I was humping the M-79. No matter how well I cleaned it, it would jam. Luckily, I never had to use it in a firefight. Looking back and know what I know now I suspect the damn thing was worn out and surplus from the Korean Conflict. The magazine springs were probably wore out. Think I will stick to my Glocks, they always work fine for me. The prices are way too high to buy an old pistol that will need a gunsmith to make decent.

    • rgr769 says:

      My gov’t issue .45 1911’s always worked flawlessly, but then they hadn’t been in the Viet of the Nam for however many years. I know many of our weapons over there were in pretty poor shape. I carried an XM177 (the pre-cursor to the M-4) that had poor accuracy because the bore was quite ate up after over three years in the field, but if I ever had to use it, we were in the deep nuoc mam, cuz my job was to fight my rifle company and call in fire support, not be trigger-pullin.

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