As many as 10,000 of the 1911A1 pistols may be released for sale by the US government. The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act has a provision requiring the sale of between eight and ten thousand M1911A1 handguns. If approved, the weapons will be made available through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).
The nonprofit CMP’s goal is to educate the public about using firearms responsibly and promoting marksmanship competitions around the country. The military provides its surplus firearms for the organization to sell in order to support its mission.
The CMP receives most of its funding from the sale of surplus military firearms, donated to the organization by the Army. Due to limitations on the return of firearms from overseas allies which were put in place by the Obama administration, the number of guns available to sell has been limited.
If President Donald Trump approves the transfer, the weapons will be moved from the military to the CMP from 2018 to 2020.
The Colt Firearms Company, which is a federally chartered non-profit corporation promoting firearms safety and training, hosts a number of marksmanship competitions across the country. The company has been renowned in their field for more than a century, and the M1911 pistol is a classic example of the high-quality firearms they have produced over the years.
In the late 19th Century, extensive research was being carried out in the weapons industry into the possibility of self-loading guns. In America, the government was keen to arm the US military with the best possible technology, and in the 1890s alone they adopted numerous new pistols and rifles. Among their top priorities, however, was the development of what would later become the first semi-automatic pistols. After years of work, the Colt M1911 was the culmination of their efforts.
In 1910, this new firearm was tested over the course of two days, during which 6000 shots were fired. Only one pistol was used, and no problems or malfunctions were reported. The US had found the self-loading pistol it had been looking for, and in March of 1911, the weapon was officially adopted by the US military.
Initially, only the Colt Firearms Company and the Springfield Armory produced them, but as demand skyrocketed, the work had to be contracted out to even more companies. This model saw extensive use during the First World War, and by 1917 more than 68,000 units had been supplied to the American military.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is currently selling the M1 Garand, the .30 caliber rifle used in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. This weapon has also found popularity with collectors after being replaced with the M16 rifle.
The Colt Model 1911 is a very popular firearm among collectors and aficionados. It was designed by John Moses Browning, the inventor of many well-known firearms. The 1911 was designed to meet the needs of the US Army. The .38 caliber revolver they used in the Philippines to battle the Moros in the early 1900s was found to be lacking in stopping power and a replacement was sought.
The Army formed a committee in 1906 which began the process of selecting from weapons proposed by several manufacturing companies. After requesting refinements and undergoing extensive testing, the proposed .45mm handgun from Colt was accepted in 1911, thus influencing the name.
In the early 1920s, the weapon was tweaked further and named the Colt M-1911 A1 Government Model. They still manufacture variations on this gun for police departments, militaries, and other agencies around the world. The gun has been used by the US military in every war since World War I. It is also an iconic weapon seen in movies starring Humphrey Bogart, John Travolta and Sam Elliott.
In 1986, the military replaced the 1911A1 with the M9 Beretta 9mm pistol. They are now replacing that weapon with the Modular Handgun System, including the M17 and the compact M18.