The U.S. Army is preparing to sell around 8,000 retired M1911 semi-auto pistols to the public in 2018. The impending sale comes after Congress approved a defense policy bill--the National Defense Authorization Act--that now awaits President Trump's signature.
The bill contains a number of amendments, but the one that is grabbing headlines is that which explains how the iconic, .45 ACP pistols (and related parts and accessories) can be transferred to the Civilian Marksmanship Program and then ultimately sold to the eligible general public.
Other firearms in the liquidation of retired military weapons include M1911A1 pistols, M-1 Garand and unidentified .22 rimfire rifles.
The bill limits the number of pistols that can be transferred to the CMP at 10,000 and requires oversight and tracking of sales by the Army secretary.
John Browning designed the 1911 pistol in the late 1890s, and it served as the standard-issue sidearm for the U.S. military from 1911-85. The Beretta M9 replaced it in 1985, and the Sig Sauer P320 is now replacing the M9.
But, the M1911 is still an iconic pistol for millions of shooters and gun collectors.
The CMP catalog indicates that the firearms will be availabe in a variety of conditions, from "like-new" to "well-used."
The last CMP update on the semiautomatic pistols came from CMP Board of Directors Chairman Judith Legerski, who wrote, "Because of the limited number and the exceedingly high demand for the pistol, and the great level of Congressional scrutiny, the Board of Directors will make a decision regarding how sales will be handled. We have no further information at this time."
Currently the U.S. government has around 100,000 pistols in storage. The government spends around $2 a year to store each handgun, and the sale of the firearms helps offset that cost.
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