The CMP is getting a passel of 1911's
Previous Post
Next Post

By Philip Van Cleave via

Virginia Citizens Defense League member Clayton Vieg, who often updates members at the Annandale VCDL membership meetings on Civilian Marksmanship Program ( CMP ) getting new guns, sent me this earlier this month:

I also wanted to follow-up re: your post below regarding Al Steed’s chance meeting with Mr. Orest Michaels re: the CMP program. I too got to meet Mr. Michaels at an event during the Garand Collectors Association (GCA)’s biennial meeting that was held in Fairfax and Chantilly the weekend of Sept. 28th – Oct. 1st 2017.

I second Al’s comments regarding Mr. Michaels.

1. In recent years, the inventory of M1 Garand rifles and other surplus rifles offered for sale through the CMP has come primarily from returns of weapons previously loaned to foreign governments by the U.S. military through military assistance programs. Under such loans, the weapons remain the property of the U.S. Government and are to be returned to U.S. custody once they are no longer needed. This is to be differentiated from outright sales or donations of U.S. weapons to foreign governments. (See #3, below.) The CMP’s charter does not authorize it to act as an importer of surplus weapons, even if they are Garands or other surplus U.S. weapons they are authorized to sell.

2. Earlier this year, CMP announced that the Philippine government would be returning approx. 86,000 M1 Garand rifles to the U.S. Army as they were no longer needed. Under existing law, the U.S. Army is supposed to donate such surplus rifles to the CMP. No word yet as to when the rifles will arrive at CMP or when they will be made available to qualified CMP customers; grading and inspection-related activities alone can take several months before rifles will be offered for sale.

3. As Mr. Steed notes, the latest issue of the GCA magazine has an article about the Garands and similar weapons currently held by the South Korean government. These weapons were the subject of prior attempts to import them to the U.S. via licensed importers (e.g., Century Arms, etc.) and would be sold on the private market without any involvement by the U.S. Army or the CMP. This would have been the case if the weapons were in fact the property of the South Korean government (see #1, above). As is well known, President Obama blocked issuance of import permits for those weapons in the summer of 2013.

4. The same article indicates that the Army may not have pursued further returns of surplus loaned weapons (for eventual transfer to the CMP) during the remainder of President Obama’s term of office as his decision (to block private sales of the Korean Garands) placed the Army in an awkward position regarding making additional weapons available for sale thru the CMP, even though his action (blocking the issuance of import permits) did not apply to the mechanism used to return U.S.-owned weapons to U.S. custody and (eventually) to the CMP (see #1, above).

5. The same article also went on to indicate that the previous ownership status of the Korean Garands (i.e., owned outright by the Koreans) might now be in doubt and that they would be returned to the Army, bypassing the private importers and thus giving them in the end to the CMP. (The article did not elaborate further as to how the ownership situation was being determined.) If so, this would bring many more Garands (and perhaps M1 Carbines and even some M1911 .45 pistols) for disposition thru CMP.

6. Regarding the sale of M1911 pistols thru the CMP, the conference between selected members of the Senate and the House is ongoing to determine the compromise version of the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will hopefully address this issue once and for all. (The conference first met on October 25th.) As of this writing, no information has yet been released regarding the NDAA compromise, including the details of the proposed changes to the current legal status of the M1911 sales program. Hopefully something will be announced before the Holidays. The legislation would then have to be approved by both the House and Senate and also signed into law by President Trump.

7. As I have reported at several of VCDL’s meetings in Annandale, both the House and Senate agree to mandate the transfer of the surplus M1911 pistols to CMP. (Current law, signed in 2015, authorizes a limited transfer that is discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Army but does not REQUIRE such transfer.) The difference in the two versions is that while the House would remove most other restrictions on the sales program (also approved in 2015), the Senate’s version would retain them (e.g., annual limitation on transfers – not-to-exceed 10,000 pistols per year, etc.) and also adds a potential “poison pill” that would require the proceeds (from the sale of the pistols) to be returned to the U.S. Treasury and NOT the CMP. By comparison, the CMP receives the proceeds from the sale of Garands, carbines, etc. and uses them to fund their current and long-term operations. (When I spoke to Orest about this, he didn’t seem to think this was a big problem for the CMP, but I don’t see it being in the CMP’s interest to be nothing more than the dealer for these pistols, since they will incur certain costs in handling and distributing the pistols if they are ever transferred to CMP.)

8. One thing that won’t change – even if the House version is eventually enacted into law (and the pistols are transferred), the CMP will still have to act just like any other FFL dealer when selling the pistols – the main impact being that if you DON’T live in Ohio or Alabama (where CMP has retail stores), pistols will require transfer to a FFL dealer in your State of residence, and any other restrictions regarding pistol sales in your State will also have to be observed. (Whether C&R FFL holders will have any privileges in this area remains to be seen.) This does NOT impact on the existing rifle sales program.

NOTE: On October 12th 2017, as the House was preparing to send the House version of the NDAA to conference with the Senate, a group of Democratic House members (led by Rep. Jim Langevin, D-RI) attempted to obtain a nonbinding motion instructing the House’s conferees to essentially kill the proposed improvements to the M1911 program, in the wake of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, because of longstanding Democratic objections having to do with selling Government surplus pistols to civilians. The measure failed by a vote of 184 (for) to 237 (against).


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Let loose the dogged weapons of war ! . . . to the happy and peaceful civilians.

    When are they going to start the repatriation of loan returns of M-16s ?

    • M16s probably won’t be part of the CMP. Lot of work in changing out all those trigger packs to semi auto only and since they couldn’t guarantee that A1s (full auto with forward assist and triangular handguards) wouldn’t go full auto after being converted to A2s (3 round burst forward assist round handguards and no rails) they probably won’t chance it going to civilian friendly. Saw lots of “converted” A2s run full auto because some genius put the wrong part in the wrong spot or the sear wore down pretty badly.

      • Wouldnt all/most of those A1s be pre-’86. Why would there be any issue with reselling them into the civilian market as is?

        • Not necessarily, see a lot of those were refurbished and turned into A2 models sooo knowing the government we all know and love they’ll go off date of refit for the date of manufacture.

    • When they can be returned as parts kits for civilian semi-auto builds. They should be giving us all the M16A1s as kits and converting all the M16A2s, A3s, and A4s and M4s into M4A1s and giving us the leftover parts. They also ought to start stripping most if not all of the M14s down into parts kits too since they keep trying to replace them with various .308 ARs, SCARs, HKs, and bolt-actions. Also, they should take all the functional M1 Garands out of honor guard service and only retain 1903A3s for such purposes. It would be less work for everyone involved if they used a bolt action, and would be even better for that “traditional look” that keeps them from using M16s for honor guards. We shouldn’t be dumping our guns on Third World rebels and dictatorships who usually turn out to be fascistic religious zealots.

  2. Being authorized to sell to CMP and actually sell to public are two different things. Don’t be surprised if you never see them for sale.

  3. Two things here:

    1. Wait until the Pelosies, Blumenthals, Murphys, Feinsteins and Schumers find out that heaps more semi-automatic weapons are coming into the country, and under the auspices of the US government no less, for that shit to hit the liberal Democrat fan…get out your umbrellas;

    2. And second: what to do with all those Beretta M-9s now about to be replaced by the military?

    • Those M9s will probably go be rebuilt and given to the National Guard, Reserves, and any other unit not high enough on the food chain to warrant getting the newest stuff. Then any left overs will be given to foreign armies (Iraq, Afghanistan, and a few others we train regularly) for their use.

      • The National Guard and Reserve Armories are already filled to the brim with hand-me-downs. They dont need them.

        • “You’ll take it and you’ll like it Nasty Girls and tell your little sister in the Reserve scouts she’s gonna be takin some too.” – Big Army.

          Remember there is nothing and no one on this planet the Big Green Weenie won’t viciously victimize.

    • Headline: “President Trump authorizes the importation of tens of thousands of military-grade weapons to be sold to anyone over the internet.”
      …or something like that…

  4. Has anyone tried starting a petition to get President Trump to overturn Obama’s import bans? If no one has recently, I’ll make one.

      • I doubt they are doing anything about it. Their marketing folks know that the people who would buy a Garand wouldn’t buy an AR-15.

        • Maybe.

          But maybe the people who’d buy both eventually, but the AR first, would have half their plan fulfilled out of order from what would help some U.S. manufacturers and parts providers.

        • I own an AR15, might someday buy another, and would still love to buy a Garand.

          Good point though that Garands and ARs probably don’t directly compete much.

        • Most of us so-called “gun nuts” will have, or would like to have both, just sayin.
          I have been looking for a nice M1 Garand for quite a while now, most of them are priced pretty darn high for me.

  5. Dead horse I know but…

    Not sure why this is such a huge deal, its not like 1911’s aren’t commercially available EVERYWHERE already.
    These are antique collectables, not state of the art military grade death machines….. ish….

    Dang, Just when you thought you left high school level stupidity in high school….

  6. Highly doubt the Philippines are going to return the Garands when they have an ISIS cell taking over a city and their Marines are using M3 Grease Guns held together with duct tape and prayers.

  7. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-RI was paralyzed when he was age 16. He was in a Warwick RI police scout program when a swat team member negligently discharged his handgun in the locker room. The bullet ricocheted off a locker and hit him in the back of the neck. The gun used was a .45 Colt Series 70 handgun.

  8. If and when Garands come back to CMP from the Philippines, you can safely bet your paycheck that they will not be in tip-top condition. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is notorious for not taking care of weapons it is given. When the U.S. Marines used to go down there regularly for exercises, they had to spend 75 per cent of their time refurbishinng AFP weapons and re-teaching them how to clean/PM the things.

  9. Luckly, I live in Alabama! God Bless Bama. I would love to get one of these historical treasures, but in all likelihood, it would be a wore out unshootable POS that would cost $500+

    • $500? We all wish! CMP has alluded that lowest grade guns will probably start at $1000, with nicer examples being much more. At those prices these guns will end up as safe queens, not shooters. And that truly is a sad thing, since the CMP was founded to encourage marksmanship.

  10. Selling the M16’s would require an act of Congress as the weapons are not transferable even though they were manufactured prior to 1986. The US military is exempt from registering NFA weapons. The best you could realistically expect is the sale of parts kits. Although the idea of ODCMP refurbishing the parts kits and assembling them on a semi lower could be interesting.

  11. Here is a quote from an earlier post…

    “At those prices these guns will end up as safe queens, not shooters. And that truly is a sad thing, since the CMP was founded to encourage marksmanship.”

    I agree, however the current way that they are selling rifles does not “encourage marksmanship”, it does however encourage collectors and profiteers. Maybe they show go back to requiring proof of firearms competition?

  12. I think few people realize that as long as 40 years ago an inventory conducted on the 1911’s showed a large majority of them had cracked frames. Also the slides on WWII 1911 were extremely soft. We found this out in the 1950’s when these guns were cheap as a song and when they were accurized the soft slides went south very quickly. I sometimes wonder how the 1911 WWII guns ever met the government specs for a 20,000 round service life. Accuracy was terrible and trigger pulls atrocious. Sights were so small even an 18 year old could not see them. I guess during WWII they made exceptions to all the rules on weapons just as they did in WWI when the 1917 Enfields were deliberately made with defective receiver’s after the company inspector caught the bad lot of steel but the Govt. inspector said to hell with it ship them anyway we have quota’s to make and of course some blew up and hurt people. NOTE: BEFORE YOU SHOOT OFF YOUR BIG MOUTHS I AM SPEAKING OF THE 1917 GUNS NOT THE 1903’S THAT ALSO BLEW UP. SEE THE BOOK “THE 1917 ENFIELD BY MR. FERRIS” AVAILBLE THROUGH THE NRA. Its interesting to note that the 1917 Enfield was such a piece of shit that it was for the most of its production life not made from blue prints but from drawings and all the manufacturing changes resulted in new parts not fitting older weapons. AS A MATTER OF FACT THE GUN HAD SUCH TERRIBLE WORKMANSHIP THAT WHEN MR. FERRIS LOOKED UP FROM HIS DESK AT 11 ENFIELDS SITTING HORIZONTIALLY IN HIS GUN RACK HE ALMOST FAINTED WHEN HE REALIZED NOT ONE GUN WAS THE SAME OVERALL LENGTH. THIS IS WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT THE 1917 RIFLE REALLY WAS.

    I look for these worn out 1911 guns to start at $1,000 dollars and of course double and triple that for rarer models. Remember you will be getting a collector gun so do not butcher one or try and make it not something other than what is should remain and that is a rare and valuables piece of history not some gun Jethero Bodine will declare his “project gun” that he will take a hack saw to so he can create a Franken Monster out of it worth little more than the scrap value of its metal. But never mind this is all way over Jethro’s head who loves to screw himself financially 3 ways. One he cuts the value of the just purchased gun in half by butchering it. Two he destroys all future rise in the collector value because he now has a piece of scrap iron and 3. All the money spent butchering it is down the drain as well. Brilliant! Even a monkey in a zoo is more educated.

Comments are closed.