Included in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which President Donald Trump intends to sign soon, is a provision that will allow the military to save an estimated $200,000 per year by selling surplus M1911 pistols to those in the public interested in purchasing them.
Used widely during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, these historic firearms have been officially out of service since 1985, when the military replaced them with Beretta 92 pistols.
Since then, the military has been forced to store leftover M1911 pistols at a price of $2 per year. The International Business Times reported that the military currently possesses roughly 100,000 of these pistols, bringing the price for storage to about $200,000 every single year.
By allowing the military to sell these firearms to the public, Trump will therefore kill two stones with one bird: He’ll save the Pentagon money while also putting a smile on the faces of many gun collectors.
According to Task & Purpose, there’s a lot of history intertwined with the M1911 pistol: “For more than a hundred years, (it) has traveled with American troops into almost every crisis, hot spot, and war the United States has participated in.”
Militarily speaking, though, it’s not much use anymore for our men and women in uniform due to its very antiquated design.
“The new generation of polymer guns such as the Glock are also much easier to disassemble and incorporate new features such as striker-fired operating systems, trigger safeties, loaded chamber indicators and larger magazines capacities,” Task & Purpose notes.
Dovetailing back to the 2018 NDAA, which includes an amendment authorizing the government-funded Civilian Marksmanship Program to sell these pistols, it’s actually Congress that deserves most of the credit for both crafting it and then later passing it in mid-November.
And though it pains me to admit this, former President Barack Obama deserves an iota of credit as well.
The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action explained that the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act passed by Obama two years ago “authorized the Secretary of Defense to transfer 1911s no longer in service to the CMP for public sale.”
Here’s the catch: “That language made the transfers subject to the Secretary’s discretion and capped them at 10,000 per year. Unsurprisingly, no actual transfers were made under the program while Obama remained in the White House.”
However, the NDAA slated to be signed by Trump would make these transfers mandatory and also remove the unnecessary cap.
What remains unclear is when the sales will begin and how exactly the M1911s will be sold:
What’s known, though, is that the CMP’s eligibility requirements are pretty strict, so in case you’re interested in securing an M1911 pistol, I’d start getting my paperwork ready now.