CMP General Manager: What you can expect to pay for a surplus 1911

The buzz surrounding the World War II-era 1911s destined to be released to the public through the Civilian Marksmanship Program is amazing.

CMP is ready to sell thousands of surplus  pistols, assuming President Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Congress recently passed.

It’s one of the hottest events the gun community has ever seen.

CMP is feeling the heat too.

Steve Cooper is the general manager of CMP North as well as their marketing manager.

He said 1911-hungry collectors need to “pump the brakes” a bit.

“It’s still being held up in political channels now, and we haven’t decided the specific method to distribute them, other than the general idea that there are approximately 100,000 pistols, and we’ll parcel out 10,000 annually.

Pricing, Cooper said, is expected to be between $800-$1,000 for shooters.

“It’s hard to say exactly, but a good guess will be around $1,000 minimum,” he said. “One reason for this is that the 1911 is a very valuable pistol. Even though they may be shot out or busted up, we don’t want them falling into the hands of people who will just leave them in a glove box. We want a perceived value — more of an heirloom. We don’t want them considered a standard sidearm. All we need is to have someone commit a liquor store robbery with one and then we’ll be held accountable.

“Their values might be a little bit less, but we want some sort of threshold to prevent anyone from coming in off the street and plunking down $400. I would guess they’d sell for $800 to $1,000 but they’ll go by grade like our M-1s — service grade to collector grade. The rarer ones — ones with all matching numbers or ones carried by celebrities or heroes with provenance, will go to our auction house.”

We shall continue to update this story until the pistols are shipping.

Click here for the requirements to purchase a 1911, or other surplus weapons, through the CMP.

Click here to listen to our “Think, Aim, Fire” podcast about the CMP 1911s.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. It’s good to know that the threshold for responsibility for gun sales is
    $400 = responsible
    $1,000 = NOT responsible.
    i guess Wilson Combat is safe.

    • The iphone-x is 1k, plenty of irresponsible people own them.

      CMP: irresponsible people can still afford 1000,better raise the price to 5k

    • I think you have that backwards. If you can only afford to pay $400 you are not responsible enough to own one, but if you can pay $800 to $1000 you’re good to go. I guess to be able to buy a shot out, broken 1911, you need to be able to afford at least $800. A total rip off if you ask me. CMP has gone from being the gun organization of the average American to an elitist, money grubbing business.

      • Responsibility has nothing to do with buying a used and abused service firearm… At those prices I might as well buy a new one and save a couple hundred dollars. I’d be able to get a better quality firearm as well. At these prices I would argue that it would be irresponsible to buy one for the simple fact that what good is a $1000 gun if you can’t trust your life to it in the event that it is the only thing near you when you need one? If this was a limited edition pistol or as they worded in the article “One carried by a celebrity or a hero with provenance” well then yeah its worth it as a display piece. I agree with you though about CMP becoming about the money due to the above though.

      • I fear you are correct. They seem to be more in it for themselves versus the American public. The government needs to redo the law under which they operate.

      • Erastis freeman on

        WTF?? If it meets a class description or fits in a box, who cares who makes it? Wilson only has to be FAKE NEWS.

    • It’s funny since they only sell to CMP members and not anyone off the street. That’s ok CMP I’ll just buy a Rock Island GI 1911 for under $500.

      • That’s exactly what I was thinking. I paid $455 for my Rock Island and it shoots like a dream. I can get two more for the price of one CMP 1911. If they’re selling used guns then they should be the fair market value of used guns. I don’t think they should start higher than $600 on the lowest grade. As long as the CMP is fair about pricing I’ll jump through the hoops to get one. If they set a $1,000 price tag and force you to jump through a ridiculous amount of hoops “fair” has left the building.

  2. LOL, no one is going to pay $1000 for a used surplus 1911 when they can get a new one for the same price or cheaper that has no function problems or cosmetic issues. CMP thinks by jacking up the price of something they are getting for free that it adds “responsibility” and “value” to it. No, it doesn’t. I

    • Yeah… They are probably actually going to get 2-3x the orders than they have guns for. Clearly you’re ignorant kf the market and demographic.

    • Take a look and see what a good WWII 1911A1 sells for now, not going to find one for less then a $1,000 that is for sure

    • Aaron Horrocks on

      I paid $1300 for a 1942 dated Remington Rand M1911A1 about 10 years ago. A little on the high side, but still worth it. It’s a vintage military firearm. It’s collectible, and holds it’s value or appreciates.
      If you want a new gun, buy a new gun. The days of military surplus being cheap is long over.

  3. Pingback: CMP: You know those 1911s coming from abroad? You can’t afford them, sucker! 

  4. Pingback: CMP 1911 Pricing | The Weapon Blog

  5. Let’s see. AT least 60 years old, rebuilt who knows how many times, and “mil spec” (which means loose and sloppy), And you want 1,000? LMAO. MAYBE 300, but for 1,000, anyone with two working brain cells will buy a Kimber, Springfield, or some such. Face it, the surplus guns are clapped out, beaten up, and basically worthless as a shooter. For the small number of people who want ‘a piece of history” I would think that a high of 500 would be about right., But, to each his own. When I bought a CMP Garand for 300, it was about right Now they want 1,000 for a rack grade. Nah, I’ll will shoot my NEW M1A, and be happy.

    • You are right. Americans just wanting a piece if history should make them proud. Trying to get $800- $1000 for a piece of history to keep Americans from owning one is as Unamerican as you can get. I shoot as much as I can. What I do with my piece of history is none of anyone’s business. I have several firearms from the wars which I carry daily or use daily. I am going to buy a new one so I will know I can protect myself. So let them set on them 1911’s. If they want to be selfish let them. Officers have killed people for no reason too. So let them crucify all of us for a thought in their head. How do we know they want kill someone?

    • I wouldn’t take a Kimber if you paid me to. Wait, yes I would. Pay me $1000, give me a Kimber. Then I’ll buy a real, non-MIM 1911, and sell that pretty but sloppy QC POS for another $750!

  6. What? 800 to 1000 for some used busted up 1911s? Ptsh. I understanding the reasoning, but that’s going to be a hard sell I think. Surplus should be a deal. Might as well get new from a pretty good mfgr for half that. Rock Island 1911 .45ACPs for 400-500 all day.

    • Why don’t you look and see what a WWII 1911A1 sells for now in the private market. A simple completed auction search on GunBroker will tell you.
      Most are $1,000 or more, not going to get any for $400…that’s 20 years ago prices

  7. Price should not determine responsibility!!! There are many people who are responsible it have limited resources and the fact that you have to be in the CMP to get one is going to limit who receives a 1911!

  8. 800 to 1000. No way .I’ll buy new or atleast newer used for half. The wore out ww2 1911 would be sitting in a shoe box after awhile .

  9. Pingback: SayUncle » CMP 1911 prices

  10. I guess as a disabled veteran, I’ll just have to go hungry, cancel the tv and save my money. Then hope to afford one of their prestigious 1911’s. Probably won’t be able to shoot it with the grand kids, but for $1000 what do you expect. I mean it will have a U.S. stamp on it. That has to be worth, what $750.

    I had been hoping to get one for my military collection. Looks like another ak. This is what you get when the government gets to big. I’ll be opting out of the CMP now, so those more deserving can have one.

  11. I did all the stuff I was supposed to do to be eligible to purchase one of these 2 years ago when I first heard of it in the meantime I’ve seen surplus junk rifles selling for way too much
    Now that I read this I’m done waiting
    I’m not gonna pay 1000 for a 400 dollar pistol

    • Exactly I guess getting a CCW license or being a retired veteran being active in a prestige gun club that is authorized by CMP is not responsible enough. After all of that you still have to go through the NICS to get background check. I’m sure dirtbags are going to go through all that to get an old 1911.

  12. Sad ! Rip off the American public, when we already bought them, paid for there storage ect. By the way poor people may cherish them more!

  13. Somebody tell that stupid POS that you can buy lots of guns for less than $400.00 if that is what you want. And they are not worn out and hold a lot more than seven rounds and are reliable.

  14. Charging extra to keep these guns out of the hands of criminals does not make sense. A drug dealer may have plenty of money for this gun and a law abiding citizen not be able to afford it.

  15. This guy is a fool. He’s worried about being “held responsible ” , well, in that case better not sell even one of them, because sooner or later, yeah, guess what? One will be used down at da licka stow! Come on, the Market will drive the price, otherwise the CMP will just be a storage facility. ..filled with old automatic’s and old men reliving their only glorious moment of their lives.

  16. Sounds like these may be like the ones I was issued in the Army Reserve in the early 80’s. So loose you couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.

  17. I’ve been following this for awhile now and I puzzled by the logic behind this price tag. Who wants a shot out, mil surp pistol that we having hundred of thousands of to have artificial value of $1000? I’m guessing someone robbing a gas station isn’t going to wait for a relatively low capacity .45 when high points are always going to be cheaper. Massive let down if it stays at that inflated price.

  18. Sad, I retired form the KyANG and received a Bronze Star for my service in Desert Storm. I was a young cpt. and carried 1911 for 6 year and in combat. What a rip off to charge the American people $1000 for a weopan that belongs to them. Would love to have one,but could never justify that price.

  19. No sense bitchin just put the word out do our best to make sure No One buys one believe me the price will fall
    Do not renew your membership

  20. What do they mean with that the more collectible versions will have matching serial numbers? For a bloody Grand I’d insist in all matching serial numbers all day long and breakfast in bed for at least a year.
    I can also foresee a mass stampede of a hundred million Americans wanting a 1911 – or not.

  21. Another college graduate who thinks they have the answer. No common sense. Works in theory but not in reality. Cooper needs to be banned from firearm ownership because is has been smoking something. The DIPSHIT is STONED!
    I think I will buy a Kimber, a Ruger or any other American made 1911 and keep our American jobs and American manufacturing going strong. We an get enhanced versions of 1911’s with rails, dove-tailed sights, high gripped, enlarged ejection ports, combat hammers, beaver-tailed grips, beveled mag wells, great triggers, ETC., for LESS YOU FOOL. KEEP YOUR SHIT.. Signed, ROY COLLINS in Nevada.

  22. Matthew Porter on

    We the people own these already. Have a lottery, charge a minimal processing fee, and hand them back to us. To do otherwise is theft.

  23. Steve Cooper’s views on social class are reprehensible and he is working counter to the CMP’s mission of encouraging civilian marksmanship. He should be encouraged to pursue other employment opportunities.

  24. Ryan Dodsworth on

    So much for promoting marksmanship there CMP. As a veteran who enjoys collecting and shooting the arms that protected my brothers of the past and the freedom of speech I’m about to use…you can go bury yourself in a mountain of those 1911’s and rot. Spouting off about responsibility as if it’s bought and sold. You should be ashamed.

  25. Patrick W Coder on

    About the cheapest you can get a 1911 is 450 ! That and the hoop you have to jump through any more than that melt them down!

  26. To all you people belly aching about the price and saying nonsense like ” they should sell for $400 because I can buy a modern plastic pistol for that…and it holds more bullets” you need to come back to earth.
    Sort of like saying “$50,000 for that ’62 corvette! I can buy a new Honda for half that!”
    Take a look to see what WWII Colts are selling for right now, not going to find a good one for less then $1,000 I don’t think. I have two WW1 1911s and two WWII A1s
    We are talking about probably the most iconic US military handgun ever.
    I remember when you could buy a nice one for $300…and people complained that was too high then too

  27. theres a reason they call them FUDDS and if this pricing makes sense to you then you are one of them and if your involved on the pricing you should be fired.

  28. Scottershooter on

    I looked on their website once and was asking crazy money for everything. Don’t know why even have cmp cause regular Joe can’t afford anything they want sell.what a joke

  29. I’m an enlisted soldier, an E-3. I make roughly 1400 a month serving the country. I guess I’m just some effing trash down by the street corner, huh? Can’t trust me because I can’t afford a 1k beat down mix master pistol… Go screw yourselves, CMP. The gall of this guy is insane, but hey look at all the money he makes, must mean he’s a superior human being to me. I’m trusted with grenade launchers, .50’s, Mk19’s, and (dear god) FULLY AUTOMATIC M4’s…. But that’s not enough responsibility for the CMP. So much for buying a piece of my profession’s history, and so much for the CMP promoting marksmanship among the public.

    This type of attitude is just another way that the country is circling the drain…

  30. Charles Steele on

    Maybe if and when they sell a couple of the 1911s they can take part of the money and hire someone to answer the phone and remove the recording that keeps saying you have one minute waiting time 45 minuets later and possibly someone might be able to purchase some targets for there use

  31. In response to the person spamming the board with his nonsense about WW2 era Guns regularly selling at $1000 and we shouldn’t expect less… I’ll point out that those are private, for profit transactions. The CMP was created with a clear mission statement. Once 100,000 pistols hit the market over a 10 year period, the prices will naturally fall across the board. Instead, the CMP sees the possibility of raising 100 million dollars at $1000 each. And the reasoning for the prices runs contrary to the CMP’s goals. If their main consideration is “responsibility”, than the mandatory NICS check should be all that’s necessary to assuage their fears. At $500, I’m a buyer of American history. We aren’t even talking about fully functional, reliable firearms here. Each gun is nothing more than a collection of loosely fitted, worn out metal. For a grand “minimum” this guy can go pound sand.

  32. I have zero interest in a 1911 at $1000. On the other hand, I went out on a limb and paid $1525 for a 1955 Springfield Armory M1 Garand 30-06 from Collectors Firearms and that price was after my 10% Veteran discount. Apparently it was at one time a CMP rifle.
    I have a FFL03 and collect WWI and WWII military rifles. All shooters and in very nice condition. None were more than $400.

  33. No way would I want one of these at a price like that… especially since CMP is just arbitrarily setting the prices that high for what is nowhere near as good of a pistol as you can buy on the open market.

  34. I have a beautiful CZ Shadow 2, which is much better than a 1911, that I paid $1100 for.
    I love a 1911, and I love the old 1911 from WWII, BUT, this is a “surplus” sidearam. It was already paid for with tax dollars.
    Asking $1000 for this is a slap in that face and a serious kick in the nuts with his “responsibility” statement.

  35. Wow! This guys a moron. THE CMP FEDERAL CHARTER SHOULD BE REVOKED!!!!! They are gouging the American people. Their purpose isn’t it make as much money as they can for there organization. I have always wanted a 1911 ever since I was a young man. Now at 60, I though my time has come. It would be an honor for me to have, literally a piece of history. I’m on a fixed income and pay over $1000 a month for health care. I guess It’s for the better that I didn’t get one. I would probably just throw it in my grove compartment.

  36. Gun nut from Indy on

    How many shootable USGI 1911s can you buy for $1000 in today’s market? Answer: None. $800 to $1000 is the market rate. If they sold them cheaper, they’d be bought and flipped on Gunbroker for their real value in a day by many.

    Sure, it would be nice to see USGI 1911s for under $500 again, but that’s not going to happen. If all someone is looking for is a cheap 1911 shooter, RIA and others like that fill that void.

  37. Why not qualify the bidders and auction the pistols? All of them, not just the best ones, and with little or no reserve. Let the market decide. Must be a foreign concept to a government chartered organization.

  38. Many here are under a lot of misconceptions. First is that the 1911s will be worn out junk. They will not be. They will be serviceable pistols. Part of the reason for the cost will be that each one sold will have to be inspected and tested. And repaired as needed, which should not be much as they are stored serviceable in the first place. Per dad, he would never trust his life on a 1911 that didn’t rattle. They need to be loose to work properly. That is why many new firearms require at least 200 rounds down the pipe before they can be trusted.

    Now about someone not being able to hit the broad side of a barn with one. Heck, many couldn’t do it even 50 years ago. And it wasn’t the firearm’s fault. An example of that was dad’s time in the Navy. The Navy got match ammo while the Air Force got reloads. So when both went to the range for qualifying, the AF guys traded 5 reloads for 3 Navy match so they could qualify. Then the Navy guys would qualify with the AF reloads to the AF guys’ dismay. The difference, the Navy took care of their 1911s while the AF just made sure they would fire. A loose 1911 can be tightened up if the armorer knows what they are doing.

    Now here is something many do not consider, it may not be the firearm but might be the magazine. I have a number of brand new military 1911 mags. They are right out of the factory sealed wrapper. Some of them won’t even go into a firearm without excessive force. And all of them need loaded and downloaded to get them to feed right. They require a break in period.

  39. I was told I was an idiot for buying a 1911a1 in the late 1970’s for $100.00 with tax, a WW II Remington Rand, that was accurate out to 100 yards, still have it with a few others to this day, I still shoot an original 1911 that is nearly 100 years old, so what is the problem with old pistols?? It is usually the shooter-The CMP has not has a 1911 pistol for sale since it’s predecessor the DCM had them for sale over 50 years ago– These guns will support shooting for years to come, as well as matches, that’s where the money goes too. And if you must think about it, would you rather the idiot’s shear all these guns up into scrap metal like they did with other surplus weapons since the 1990’s and again at Crane about 10 years ago ??

  40. Donald McKinley on

    The criminals aren’t going to be coming into CMP to buy a 1911 to rob a liquor store, they are going to steal whatever they can get their hands on, or buy something from some some hood rat who stole it to sell. Please don’t blame your inflated prices on the criminals.

  41. You would be buying a piece of American history, if you don’t like the price that’s okay, you can get a better gun like a Romanian TTC in 7.25×25 Tokarev that is more powerful than a 45ACP + P for about $245. I would like a Colt service 1911 but I am not willing to pay the price. I don’t think their asking price is far off the market price, so that’s fine, i’ll just buy more ammo for my TTC.

  42. So CMP isn’t about civilian Markmanship , but who has more money.

    I can’t believe this jacka** is actually in charge.

    What A sham.

    Gun owners need to call their senators and complain about this crap

  43. Wow. What a weaselly statement. You either trust the citizens of this country to own firearms or you don’t. You’re signalling that you don’t. Do you actually support the Second Amendment or not?

  44. Pingback: CMP announces how Army surplus 1911s to be sold | Patriots With Guns

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  47. I used to have my own Nickle/Chrome plated Mark 4 but sold it to pay property taxes, now have an all Stainless model Govt model an I paid a thousand for it. Think I’ll just stick with what I have as it has been worked into a trusty mode where there are no hang ups or fail to feed or fire problems.

  48. Pingback: This Is How the CMP Will Sell the Army's Surplus M1911 Pistols

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  50. Pingback: This Is How the CMP Will Sell the Army’s Surplus M1911 Pistols

  51. Pingback: The Civilian Marksmanship Program to Poor People: No 1911 Pistols for You - The Good Gun

  52. It seems that they are trying to keep the street values up of the ones already on the market a flood of A 100,000 new fire area can drive values down

  53. Pingback: CMP Updates on NICS Checks, Pricing for Surplus 1911 Pistols

  54. Wow. Me and my brother were so excited when we heard the news of the CMP 1911s. But now after reading this idiot’s message about how the CMP is going to jack up the price, well…for me that’s just a major turn off. So I just took my $1200 and bought a brand new Sig 1911. I already paid the CMP $900 for a rebuilt M1 Garand, and I think I’m pretty much done patronizing the CMP if they are going to do crap like this. Perhaps Trump should drain the CMP swamp to get that organization straightened out. Clearly the CMP no longer has our best interests in heart. What a sad thing. Big govt sucks bad.

  55. Roland Beaver on

    I was an impoverished young Marine when the old DCM sold a lot of surplus guns in 1960. Prices ranged from $15.00 to $20.00 for 1911’s, ’03 & 03A3’s, and carbines. There was little interest in the 1911’s since there was little use for one of them in those days, before that model became a mainstay of numerous “combat”competitions, and the platform for ongoing upgrades and refinements. Jeff Cooper, known to all through his writing and shooting exploits, was a founding influence in all things pertaining to use of the 1911. The club he founded at Big Bear Lake, CA held monthly free form matches devised by Jeff to encourage experimentation with whatever tools and procedures a competitor chose, subject only to safety considerations. Only two shooters, Jeff Cooper and Hugh Carpenter, used 1911’s initially. I became the third when it became evident that I could not win with my Ruger Blackhawk. I was a member of my base pistol team, so simply started using my USMC issue Match Accurized pistol and became a frequent winner.

    By the way, the old sales method was pot luck, just sending the next gun at random. It happened that Jeff got a new three digit 1911. I took that gun down to the R.T.E. shop where I worked and upgraded it to USMC Match standards (sob).
    Those guns were sold at prices that encouraged shooters, and eventually collectors, to get involved with them and there was a surge in home “gunsmithing” and emergence of numerous real gunsmiths that brought high skills to improvement and refinements of those old guns. One could pay the price for a new Colt Gold Cup target model or have a superior gun built by a custom gunsmith for less money.

    This is all in stark contrast to how CMP proposes to sell this batch of guns, and, I believe, in violation of their Congressional charter.

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