Special Episode: 1911 Pistols From The Government! (TFBTV Weekly Ep. 3)

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

As part of the passing of the new NDA, a provision allows the government to transfer 10,000 surplus M1911 pistols per year to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a 501(c)(3) corporation that will allow the public to get ahold of them. So how will this work? What does it mean? Well, pardon a bit of optimistic speculation on our part, but we dive into the subject here in this special episode of TFBTV Weekly.

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The full transcript …

– Hey guys, it’s Alex C. with TFBTV and for this week’s TFBTV Weekly we’re actually gonna cover a special topic that’s been in the news a whole lot.

I’ve been asked to cover this by a whole bunch of readers on both The Firearm Blog and in the comments of TFBTV Weekly.

Also by the editor Steve, Steve said that this would probably be a good idea and I really agree.

Basically, for those that don’t know a program called the Civilian Marksmanship Program, was chartered in the early part of the 20th century, and it was in fact chartered to give civilians experience with marksmanship.

They were, from what I’ve read basically, civilians were very good at using things like lever action rifles, and single shot breach-loaders, like Remington Rolling Blocks, but this didn’t really carry over very well to military bolt-action rifles, which weren’t popular for sporting use at the time, such as the 1903 Springfield and the Krag-Jorgensen of that time period.

So in 1996 the, well, until 1996 it was actually administered by the Army, and then in 1996 a 501(c)(3)-ed organization was formed as part of the NDA passing of that year, and that now administers what’s known as the Civilian Marksmanship Program, it actually receives no federal funding.

They have a corporate structure, they have a Chief Operating Officer and everything like that, but basically the way it’s set up is you can get a cheap M1 Garand, formerly things like 1903 and Carbines were available but those have run dry, but you can to this day get Garands if you qualify, we’ll get to that a little bit later.

But the passing of the new NDA, the defense bill, had a provision in it where basically, if they passed it with this wording, 10,000 of these 1911 pistols, have to be released to the public and sold by the Civilian Marksmanship Program per year.

So 10,000 of these babies will be sold by a previously government owned organization, to the public.

Which is pretty cool, you have to excuse me I might be looking up, I wrote my notes on a poster behind the camera.

But, basically everyone’s asking how do I get one of these guns, and it’s not that hard, a lot of you might be familiar with the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

You do have to qualify, it’s not like buying a gun from a regular FFL, but you do have to be of a certain age, obviously for a pistol that’s presumably gonna be 21.

You do have provide proof of citizenship, probably not gonna be an issue for most of you guys.

You do have to be a member of a qualified Civilian Marksmanship affiliated club, which is not hard, check on their website to find a club near you.

These aren’t necessarily clubs like a gun club where you have to sit in a Star Chamber and discuss the month’s minutes and everything like that.

Some of these are just internet-only clubs.

Lastly you do have to provide proof of some kind of marksmanship training.

That can be a concealed handgun license, police, or military experience, really not that big a deal.

You can actually check out their website, there’s some things that are pretty easy to do if you would like to qualify.

Other than that, if I read it correctly, they will be required to get a federal firearms license if they want to deal in pistols.

Not that big of a deal either, especially if you bought a pistol over the internet before, just have it shipped to a dealer and you’re good to go.

Other stuff, let’s see…

Like I said 10,000 per year, strikes, this is cool, it strikes rifles, and puts surplus firearms, so potentially this could actually open the door for other kinds of firearms.

For example, if there’s something other than Garands or M1 Carbines or something like that still sitting around, it is possible and foreseeable that those could trickle in, this is all speculation mind you but, I never thought that these would become available from the CMP, so.

You know it’s not foreseeable, or it’s not unforeseeable that other stuff will make it’s way through that pipeline.

Lastly, let’s see.

As of 11:30, that’s gonna be yesterday, you can tell the CMP themselves have been getting tons of emails regarding how do I get one of these, I’d like to get one, stuff like that.

The COO himself posted basically something that said, guys we, this is great but we don’t have any other information, we have no more information than you do.

Which basically means, they don’t quite know how to move forward yet, they haven’t figured out how to administer this yet.

I’m sure they will mind you, but this would almost be like if your boss came into your job and said, “Alright guys, we’re expanding our new “product line to something that we’ve never done before.” There you go, so they’re kind of in this weird spot right now where they have a lot of time to figure it out and I’m sure they will but…

We don’t want to jump the gun and give you any false information or speculate too much, but we can assure you that this is really fantastic news for everybody.

You know on that, this is great news.

I’m really happy about this.

This could mean cheap 1911s, I think the first 10,000 or so will go for a lot of money because people will be foaming at the mouth to get one, but in a couple years they might be pretty affordable and reasonable, we’ll see.

I’m sure the usual gun show vultures will be scooping ’em up and tryin’ to resell ’em and what not, but who knows.

We’ll see what happens and I for one, really look forward to getting a surplussed 1911.

You never know, you could get a Remington Rand, Ithaca, a Colt, and I’m sure that maybe some rare stuff like Singers will trickle in through the auctions.

But we’ll see about that, so.

Anyways, this was a special episode, I’m sorry we didn’t get to more.

I was asked to do this, I think it’s awesome though.

I’m Alex C. with TFBTV, big thanks to Ventura Munitions for helping us out normally.

Heck, I’d almost like to thank the CMP for moving forward with this and trying to figure everything out.

But that’s pretty cool that this is a reality.

We hope to see you next week, hit that subscribe button.

What we do have in store next week is someone asked how does a belt-fed machine gun work, by pulling the links and loading into, loading into the chamber of various belt-fed firearms.

We can definitely cover that.

By far the most asked question was how do I buy a machine gun.

I’m actually gonna make a separate stand alone video for that rather than addressing it in Weekly so that you guys have the best possible information.

Other than that we hope to see you next week.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 28 comments
  • Peewee Sierrafour Peewee Sierrafour on Dec 03, 2015

    This is the beginning of the end of the 1911 as an adopted model. Long live the 1911.

  • Ambassador Vader Ambassador Vader on Dec 03, 2015

    So if they get an FFL for the pistols, would that mean they could no longer sell the garands in the current fashion since they would be held to different rules?