US Military surplus Guns

Miles went shopping at the CMP last year.Gun nuts throughout the USA are desperate to know how much the CMP 1911 pistols will cost once they go on sale. There is a lot we do not yet know about the CMP 1911 pistols. In fact, there is a lot the CMP does not yet know about the program. We contacted them but have not yet heard back.

Before making a guesstimate on how much the pistols will cost let us first look at what we do know for sure:

  1. We know the US Army has about 100, 000 pistols in storage. The cost of storing these guns is upwards of $200, 000 each year. Less than 10, 000 of these 1911 pistols were given away by the Army to law enforcement or to equip allied military forces.
  2. These pistols were manufactured during or before WWII. The last of these to be manufactured is thought to be an Ithaca M1911 in 1945.
  3. New legislation instructs the Army to release 10, 000 of these 1911s each year to the Civilian Marksmanship Program over the next ten years.
cmp auction

Now more importantly, what do we know about how the CMP prices its current inventory of rifles.

  1. The cheapest grade of CMP M1 Garand is the “Rack Grade”. Rifles in this grade are sold as-is with no returns allowed. Rack Grade rifles are a mixture of parts and sold infrequently in very limited quantities.
  2. Field Grade is the next grade up. In 2015 a CMP Field Grade M1 Garand costs 0. The price seem to rise at a rate of about 1% each year.
  3. CMP Physical Store prices are about 0 less than the online / mail order prices. Online prices include shipping and a hard case.
  4. The next grade up is Service Grade ($730 online)
  5. Lastly there is Special Grade ($1030 online) which are completely rebuilt rifles with new barrels.
  6. Ultra rare rifles are sold at an online auction. You can expect ultra-rare 1911s to also be sold at auction.

How do the CMP prices compare to the free market? A Field Grade M1 Garand sells for about $800 – $1000 plus $40-$80 shipping on about a 30% premium over the CMP price.

I would expect CMP 1911 pistols to be about 30-50% less than the current market price. The market price for WWII M1911 pistols is about $1000 – $4000+. $2000 seems to be the going price for Service Grade pistols.

Based on the market prices, the CMP’s pricing history and the the increase of supply that these pistols will bring to the market, my guesstimate pricing for CMP 1911 pistols are:

Grade Price
CMP Rack Grade 1911 Price – *
CMP Field Grade 1911 Price $750
CMP Service Grade 1911 Price $850
CMP Special Grade 1911 Price $1100
Other ** $1800 +

* I do not expect there to be rack grade pistols for sale initially.
** Depending on what is in the Army inventory, there could be a range of rare pistols in their own categories, but not rare enough to go to auction.

I hope the prices will be lower than my estimates. I know many of you are hoping for $500 1911 pistols but I do not realistically expect this to happen. Modern 1911 pistols are popular enough in their own right without the added attraction of being military surplus.

What do you think of my guesstimates? Let me and other readers know in the comments below.

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