Over the course of 2018/19, the United States government will be clearing out their storage of WWII firearms. One specific type of gun, the Singer M1911 combat pistol, used in both WWI and WWII is expected to draw a lot of interest as it is very rare.
Once the President has signed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the vintage weapons will become available for sale to American citizens. It is believed there may be up to eighty thousand .45-caliber M1911/M1911A1 pistols and accessories available for sale. Only ten thousand per year will be sold.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is the entity selling the guns. When that organization has received ten thousand orders for the M1911, their names will be uploaded to a computer, which will randomly assign a number to each. The prospective buyers will then be contacted and offered one of the M1911 pistols. An individual can only purchase one pistol per year – probably at the cost of around eight hundred to one thousand dollars. The guns will need to be unpacked from crates and inspected before any are purchased.
The valuation of the Singer M1911 is to ensure only serious collectors are considered. According to one CMP marketing manager Steve Cooper, they do not want to sell to anyone who does not acknowledge the unique history and value of the weapon and plans to keep it as “just a gun.” The Department of Justice has made it clear that if one of these guns is recovered from a crime scene, the CMP will be questioned.
To reduce crowds and avoid a Black Friday type of mayhem, the pistols will be offered by mail order only. The time frame for receiving one will be almost six months once each buyer is confirmed. The Army will send crates of guns to the CMP when they are requested, and, after an inspection, they will be ready to go.
At this moment, neither the Army nor the CMP know what condition the pistols will be in before they are unpacked. Some may be completely pristine with very little use, while others may be in pieces.
Many collectors like having a well-worn gun, as they know it was used in a battle and can fantasize who used it and in which battle. There may also be other types of guns or weapons packed among the M1911s.
All current laws regarding the sale of handguns will be observed. An intense background check will take place by the NICS and each pistol will be shipped to the customer’s dealer of choice, who will conduct a second, local background check and all other required paperwork. All information regarding the sale, condition, and buyer of the gun will be turned over to Congress.
Each buyer will need a copy of their birth certificate or passport. Military ID cards for ranks E5 and above are also acceptable. Each buyer must be a member of a CMP organization, with a membership card and proof that either a gun safety program has been completed or that the buyer can prove knowledge of gun safety and the rules of shooting ranges.
A valid copy of either the 01, 02, or 07 Federal Firearms License will be required as well as an M1911 order form. Any other documentation required by individual states will also be necessary. Shipments will be allowed to be sent to California because they fall under that State’s definition of a relic.
On the CMP website, Mark Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, states, “CMP has been selling M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, 1903s, .22s, etc. for 21+ years and we have never taken advantage of anyone. CMP is not going to start price gouging people now with the 1911s. The 1911s will be priced at the fair market value, just like our M1 Garands. The CMP’s enabling legislation directs sales of items at fair market value.”