CMP 1911


Someone on one of the local gun forums recently asked about the CMP 1911. A limited supply of these U.S. Army-issued guns has recently been made available to the public through the government’s Civilian Marksmanship Program. True believers far and wide have been eager to get their hands on one of these century-year-old classics, which were so rare and in such high demand that they were only sold through an application and lottery protocol. As much as I respect the history behind these handguns, I’m a lot less sold on the practicality of owning one.

The guy who cares little and knows even less about actual US military weapons would not be interested in these to begin with. The average gun buyer would rather have a nice shiny new Kimber or Ruger 1911 than one of the CMP military 1911s and that is fine. To each his own. NO one who is buying these guns is expecting a museum piece. They all know they are US Property 1911A1s or 1911s upgraded to A1 spec that likely have seen service and were arsenal rebuilt at some point.

They probably also know that some of the frames will be 80, 90,or even 100 years old at this point….the YOUNGEST ones will be 75 years old because 1944 was the last time the US military ordered 1911A1 pistols other than some tiny batches for the Marines. They also know that as they were rebuilt the armorers at the arsenals used parts from the parts bin with little care or inclination to try to  match manufacturers so many will be “mixmasters” like a Colt frame and an Ithica slide.  Having said that I have seen some that are matching frames and slides, so some buyers might get lucky in that regard.  It will most likely have been refinished in the 1980s and now be a dull gray parkerized finish. It MIGHT have a matching upper and lower but it is just as likely to not. THAT is how REAL military 1911/1911A1s were after being turned back in after WWII.

And THAT is what the people buying these are buying them for. To have a REAL US Govt Property 1911A1 that most likely went to Europe or the Pacific , to Korea or Vietnam and was reworked afterwards in case things ever got hot with the USSR. Is it the ideal carry gun? No. But I doubt ANYONE is ordering one to carry it. There are far more logical choices that are cheaper and easier to get at your local gun store for that purpose…but those guns are not US Property 1911s and to the people ordering these guns that is far more important.