The United States Army could soon transfer up to 8,000 surplus M1911 service pistols to the government-sponsored Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), allowing civilians to purchase the weapons, Guns.com reported.
Based on the $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that was approved by Congress and awaits President Donald Trump’s signature, an amendment would allow Army Secretary Mark Esper the ability to transfer the M1911 pistols to the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety as part of a two-year pilot program that would later be reviewed.
According to the program, the number of transfers would be capped at 10,000 a year.
“In 2015, President [Barack] Obama signed the FY16 [Fiscal Year 2016] spending bill into law, which authorized the Army to send up to 10,000 of their estimated 100,000 surplus 1911s to the CMP during a one-year pilot program, though none were transferred,” Guns.com reported.
“We are waiting patiently and quietly to see how the NDAA 2018 turns out,” Mark Johnson, CMP’s Chief Operating Officer, said last month. “All prescribed steps have been taken by CMP to fulfill the mandated requirements for receipt of the 1911s from the United States Army. CMP is in a constant state of readiness. The CMP has no further information at this time.”
The United States military spends $2 per gun a year to store the pistols.
The M1911 joined the service in 1911 and was replaced in 1985 by the Beretta M9. The Beretta M9 is currently being replaced as part of the Modular Handgun System by Sig Sauer’s P320.