Tag Archives: CMP

Whistling up 90K M1 Garands

CAMP AGUINALDO, Philippines - Joint Armed Forces of Philippines and U.S. team conducting M1 Inventory, 2017

CAMP AGUINALDO, Philippines – Joint Armed Forces of Philippines and U.S. team conducting M1 Inventory, 2017

The backstory on how six divisions worth of M1 Garands got repatriated from the Phillipines, where they have seen hard service since the 1950s in some cases, back to the U.S. to be sold through CMP in Anniston. Contrary to what a lot of people think, CMP actually had to spend a small fortune to get these vintage weapons back CONUS.

“It goes almost without saying that accurately accounting for and transporting approximately 90,000 small arms from the other side of the globe is challenging under any circumstances. Throw in termite infestation, monsoon season, and asbestos contamination, and you will have a recipe for disaster.”

More here.

If you are interested in a deal on an IHC Garand, there has been a development

The U.S. loaned 312,430 M1 rifles to NATO-allied Turkey, beginning in 1953 and ending with the final shipment of 5,000 in 1972. A few years ago, several thousand were returned from the Turkish Navy and now, over 13,000 have come back from the Turkish Air Force and are filtering out through the CMP as testing and grading are being completed.

The good news is, as many as a quarter could be rare IHC models.

The neat news is, they also sometimes have Turkish dope charts (marked Nisangah Tanzi) affixed to them.

More in my column at Guns.com

Heard you were looking for a pre-owned M1 or M1911? CMP just got 99K of the first and 8K of the latter..

The Civilian Marksmanship Program has recently received truckloads of vintage M1 Garand rifles long ago loaned to U.S. allies overseas and is preparing to inventory M1911 pistols as well.

Gina Johnson, CMP’s general manager, told me via email Tuesday the federally-chartered non-profit corporation has been moving the repatriated 30.06-caliber rifles into their warehouses in recent days.

“We have roughly 86,000 rifles from the Philippines and roughly 13,000 rifles from Turkey in our possession,” said Johnson.

And then there are the 1911s…

More in my column at Guns.com.

Language added to NDAA to speed up 1911 transfers to CMP

An Alabama Congressman has managed to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act out of committee aimed at moving surplus Army pistols to the public.

In a statement from his office, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican that represents the Anniston area in Congress, announced his amendment to the NDAA has moved out of the House Armed Services Committee and is headed to the floor. The measure is designed to speed up the now two-year saga of transferring a stockpile of 100,000 surplus M1911 .45ACP handguns from Anniston Army Depot to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

More in my column at Guns.com

DARPA XM-3 Marine sniper rifle up for auction

I got a chance to check this out in April when I was at CMP in Anniston for visit and tour (see articles here and here ICYMI) and just absolutely drooled over this bad boy.

Mmmm, smells like Kandahar

There were only 52 made and many have been scrapped. Thankfully, this one (#S6533990) was transferred to the CMP for sale on the civilian market and is complete with the NF optic, PVS22 night scope, case (which is very interestingly marked on the outside!) and accessories to include data book.

What is an XM-3?

From the DD:

These XM-3 sniper rifles used by the United States Marine Corps. In mid-2005, DARPA worked with Lt. Col. Norm Chandler’s Iron Brigade Armory (IBA) to field items to expeditionary units in Afghanistan. Since they already had a great working relationship, DARPA contracted IBA to build and test lightweight sniper rifles that incorporated the improvements the snipers desired in combat. The mission was to be lighter and smaller than the existing M40s, while having better accuracy, clip-on night vision that did not require re-zero, better optics, and better stock, and it had to be suppressed. The barrel had to be short enough to allow maneuverability yet long enough to deliver a 10” group at 1,000 yards. If the barrel was too heavy, maneuverability would decrease, yet if the barrel was too light it would only be able to shoot a few rounds before the groups started to shift due to barrel temperature. IBA tested a number of barrel lengths, ranging from 16 to 20 inches and in different contours. Each rifle with a different length was assigned an XM designator starting with XM1 through XM3. In each case, everything on the prototype rifles was kept the same except the barrel. During the final phases of testing it was found that the 18” barrels had no issues keeping up with their longer 20” brethren. The final barrel length was set at 18.5”, and the contour was a modified #7. The straight taper on the barrel was only 2” vs. 4” and the overall diameter at the muzzle was .85” vs. .980”. This helped reduce a lot of the rifle’s weight while not negatively affecting accuracy or effective range. A number of the groups at 1,000 yards were <1 MOA. The Marines of I-MEF were the first to field test the rifles at Camp Pendleton. Shortly after I-MEF took receipt of the XM-3s, the first units in II-MEF took receipt of theirs. By mid-2006 there were dozens of XM-3s in Iraq. There were 52 XM-3s made.

Of course, the bidding is past $20,000 but hey, it’s not your average Remmy M700

Inside the CMP, and the word on M1s coming back from overseas and possible 1911s…

To see just what the non-profit has on the shelf, I visited the Civilian Marksmanship’s South operations in Anniston. Co-located near the Anniston Army Depot — which is actually in nearby Bynum — and stores much of the Army’s stockpile of guns and items not needed for current operations, the CMP has a series of warehouses dotting the rolling hills of the area.

Unfortunately, most of them are nearly empty.

While now-retired CMP boss Orest Michaels told me back in 2010 the organization had 125,000 M1 rifles on hand including complete rifles, stripped receivers, and welded drill rifles, the group is coy about just what the numbers are today after several years of brisk sales and surging interest in U.S. martial rifles.

As Jim Townsend, CMP’s business development officer, walked me through a tour of their largest warehouse, he swept his arms over a large expanse of empty floor space and said, “When I first started here, this whole side of the building was full of M1s.” Repurposed crates that once contained M1s returning from allies in Greece and Denmark now hold everything but.

Repurposed crates that once contained M1s returning from allies in Greece and Denmark now hold everything but.

Why keep the empty space?

Check out my column at Guns.com for the answer.

Disneyland for Shooters…

I recently had the opportunity to visit the immaculate ranges used by the Civilian Marksmanship Program to support public firearms training.

The CMP is a federally-chartered non-profit corporation tasked with promoting firearms safety training and target practice. It originated as the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship in 1903 under orders from Congress to improve the country’s marksmanship skills to minimize training in case of war.

Split off from the U.S. Army under the Clinton-administration in 1996, it still conducts training courses and holds shooting competitions and clinics nationwide but draws its primary source of funding through the sale of surplus firearms to qualifying members of the public which were donated to the organization by the Army.

With an eye to see just what all those M1 Garand sales have helped pay for, I visited the CMP’s Alabama operations to get a better idea about what they offer the public:

How about a covered 54-positon 600-yard range with targets at 100-200-600, all electronically scored with a monitor at your station…

15 different clays stands on golf-course quality grounds..

Olympic-quality 10m airgun ranges set up for 80 competitors at a time– also with electronic targets

It’s almost like they are into civilian marksmanship training or something…

More in my column at Guns.com.

Some 86,000 surplus M1s could be coming to CMP from the PI

This is my favorite work of Rafael Desoto. The Garand is great

The Civilian Marksmanship Program advises the Army could soon hand over a large stock of historically significant M1 rifles.

A post on an M1 Garand collectors group on Friday mentioned a group of loaned rifles coming in from the Philippines was being processed by the U.S. Army for shipment back to the states. Mark Johnson, CMP’s chief operating officer, confirmed that a large group of rifles may indeed be headed home and wind up in the organization’s hands.

”There are 86,000 or so M1’s hopefully coming back to the Army,” said Johnson. “We hope to see them in the future.”

More in my column at Guns.com

Your non-collectible M1 Garand option

I have been on the CMP’s “list” for years and have bought several M1s and bayonets as well as a couch-sized stack of milsurp (Greek and Norwegian) ammo through their good offices. Unfortunately, it seems their stocks of field grade, rack grade, and service grade Garands have dried up and, other than the occasional collector grade gun put up for auction and some sniper models, the best thing going is a mixmaster rifle they are making that actually sounds pretty good.

Referred to as the CMP Special Field grade, this is a “completely refurbished rifle consisting of an original M1 Garand Springfield or HRA receiver, new production Criterion barrel, new production American Walnut stock and handguards, and new web sling. Receiver and most other parts are refinished USGI, but some parts may be new manufacture. Receiver will have considerable pitting above the wood line”

The price? $830 plus shipping, which when you consider that Criterion does nice work on their barrels and typically asks $200~ for them alone, is not that bad of a deal.

Speaking of non-collectible M1s:

Robar offers a service to bring non-collectible “beater” M1s up to a really sweet grade.


Robar’s Service Grade Enhancement Package ($1895) consists of:

-Supply and Install New Barrel, Headspace and Time
This service includes the removal of the old barrel and installation of a new barrel. The chamber will be finish reamed to give proper headspace within military specifications. The take off barrel will be returned unless directed otherwise.

-Supply and Install New Op Rod

-Metal Refinish
This service includes the disassembly of the rifle, surface preparation and coating/plating of the metal parts to match new laminated stock. Rifle will be reassembled and function fired. Includes NP3 plating 10 M1 Garand Clips. Removal of excess pitting is not included.

-Fit New Laminated Stock/Return Old Stock
This service includes the removal of the old stock and transfer of the stock hardware from the old stock to the new laminated stock. We will also make sure the hand guards have appropriate clearances and the trigger group lock-up is properly tight, but not too tight.

-Supply and Install New Gas Cylinder

-Trigger clean up, remove creep, 4.5 lb+
Remove all noticeable creep from second stage, but maintain a crisp military two stage trigger pull and a trigger weight of at least 4.5 lb.

-Supply and Install Ultimak Scout Mount

Endangered Marine XM-3s being preserved via CMP

In 2004, the Marine snipers deployed in the sandbox needed a rifle that was shorter and lighter as well as quieter, than their standard M40s.

This led a small group of sniper wonks including Steve Reichert (then SNCOIC of the 2nd Marine Division’s Pre-Sniper course) and others to hammer out what was known as the DARPA XM-3 rifle, using an 18.5″ Hart 416R Stainless Steel (Mil-Gauged) barrel that was suppressor ready.

That's a full length rifle

That’s a fully asssembled sniper rifle…

What was so special about them?

From Steve Reichert:

-The receivers were clip slotted to accept the reverse-engineered titianium picatinny rail (IBA Design) to fit firmly.
-The receivers’ internal threads were opened up to 1.070” to allow a perfectly true alignment with the bolt face and chamber/bore dimension. The chamber was cut to accept M118LR ammo.
-The titanium recoil lug was built with the 1.070” diameter opening for the larger-barrel threads and surface ground true.
-The stainless steel magazine box was hand fitted and welded to eliminate movement when assembled.
-The stocks were custom made for the project.
-The barreled actions were bedded in titanium Devcon and Marine Tex to allow for decades of hard use without losing torque or consistency.
-Nightforce made a full 1 MOA elevation adjustment on their NXS 3.5-15X50’s to allow for faster dope changes at distance. These scopes had 1/4 MOA windage.

While successful and a hit with the Devils who got to use them, the 56 or so XM3’s were all pulled from service by 2014.

Thankfully, some have made thier way to the CMP and, as surplus bolt-action rifles, can be sold to the public.

They just auctioned off XM-3 rifle, serial number S6534025 with a factory green stock finish, built at Iron Brigade Armory by D. Briggs, USMC (Ret), 2112.

The rifle included the scope, sniper data book with some firing information; PVS22 Night Vision Device and other goodies.

xm-3-rifle-serial-number-s6534025-has-a-factory-green-stock-finish-and-shows-signs-of-use-but-was-well-maintained-and-cared-for-was-built-at-iba-by-d-briggs-usmc-ret-2112 pvs-22

Talk about functional history…

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