No one thought it would happen, but Barack Obama actually did a few days ago sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which included an amendment introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL3) authorizing the Civilian Marksmanship Program to sell to Americans some 100,000 Model 1911 Colt pistols which have been sitting in warehouses since the US Military replaced the beloved .45 1911 with the 9mm Beretta M9 in 1985.
Gun collectors have pushed prices for existing 1911s up to serious levels. Meanwhile, the gospel of the late Jeff Cooper has made the old 1911 into a tremendously popular choice for both target matches and personal defense. These days, everybody, Ruger, Remington, even Smith & Wesson is manufacturing his own knock-off of John Browning’s century-old masterpiece.
Nonetheless, guns which saw military service possess a special cachet and will always be particularly appealing to collectors. Frankly, I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these myself.
Mike Weiser, astonishingly appearing at what El Rushbo likes to call the Puffington Host, finds the glass half empty.
There’s only one little problem. Right now if I want to sell one of my 1911 service pistols with the original markings on the slide and frame, the gun will fetch me somewhere just south of two thousand bucks. Know what’s going to happen to that price when thousands of surplus army pistols hit the street? The value of my 1911 stash just disappeared. Thanks for nothing, NRA. Thanks for nothing President Obama. And Merry Christmas to both of you too.
I think his fears may be exaggerated. In the old days, the CMP’s mission was encouraging civilian marksmanship by getting surplus military weapons into the hands of shooters. Before WWII, the CMP sold through the NRA and my uncles used to get Springfields and Enfields for $25 and Krag carbines for $5. These days, the CMP only sells to individuals who jump through lots of hoops, including proving that you participate in matches at a CMP-recognized shooting club, and they sell carefully-graded Garands at pretty steep prices. My guess is that the CMP is going to let go of those 1911s in a slow trickle at very retail-ish prices. They will probably also sell a lot of them at auction. And the supply will be kept low and slow, precisely in order to keep prices up.