If you’ve been waiting to grab one of the Army’s surplus M1911 .45 caliber pistols that officials announced last year would be sold to the public, the wait is nearly over.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program last year announced it would sell 10,000 of the legendary pistols that have been in Army stocks for decades to collectors. But that number has dropped to 8,000 for this year as of a recent posting by CMP.

Thing is, not all of the 8,000 to be made available will be up for purchase by those select few who’re given the go ahead. Instead, some have been deemed “unusual and worthy of being auctioned,” according to the CMP website.

We cannot emphasize enough that details really matter here, gun fans.

To get one of these pieces of U.S. military history, you’ll have to fill out the order documents posted on June 4 on the CMP website. If you have questions, on that date — and only beginning on that date — you can call: 256-835-8455, ext. 461, or email cmp1911@thecmp.org.

A Vietnam War-era
A Vietnam War-era "tunnel rat" prepares to enter a subterranean enemy warren armed with a 1911 handgun. Soon this pistol may be available to civilian collectors. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The forms must be postmarked between Sept. 4 and Oct. 4. Only one form per person is allowed. You must be a U.S. citizen, a member of a CMP affiliated club and provide proof of participation in a marksmanship activity.

The CMP 1911s must be transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer with a completed purchaser background check.

A .45-Caliber round is layed out next to a 9 mm round. The Civilian Marksmanship Program is selling off 8,000 surplus 1911 .45 caliber pistols. Marines still use a much-upgraded version of the venerable weapon which has seen action in all of America's major wars since its adopting more than a century ago.
A .45-Caliber round is layed out next to a 9 mm round. The Civilian Marksmanship Program is selling off 8,000 surplus 1911 .45 caliber pistols. Marines still use a much-upgraded version of the venerable weapon which has seen action in all of America's major wars since its adopting more than a century ago.

The CMP will randomly pick “winners” for the surplus 1911s on Oct. 5, where customers will be contacted and be allowed to select the grade of pistol they wish to purchase.

The pricing is as follows and includes shipping:

Service Grade $1,050: Pistol may exhibit minor pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.

Field Grade $950: Pistol may exhibit minor rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.

Rack Grade $850: Pistol will exhibit rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips may be incomplete and exhibit cracks. Pistol requires minor work to return to issuable condition.

Auction Grade: The condition of the auction pistol will be described when posted for auction. Note: If you have already purchased a 1911 from CMP you will not be allowed to purchase an auction 1911. If you purchase an auction 1911, your name will be pulled from the sequenced list. No repeat purchasers are allowed until all orders received have been filled.