Fellow military history buffs and shooting enthusiasts rejoice, good news is coming your way: An amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is set to allow the U.S. Army to, at long last, sell off its surplus Colt M1911A1 pistols.
The Army currently has around 100,000 surplus Colt 1911A1s, the iconic sidearm used throughout both world wars, as well as the fighting in Korea and Vietnam. But by the 1980s, the 1911 had officially been replaced, shunted aside for the sleeker Beretta M9. Now, in a Lion King-esque circle of life, the M9 too has reached its expiration date, and will follow the venerable 1911 into the great beyond (err, storage facilities), as the Army begins to receive shipments of shiny new M17 Sig Sauer pistols.
This day has been a long time coming: In late 2015, President Obama signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision authorizing the Army to transfer 100,000 surplus pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program as part of a one-year pilot program. The program was then given the green light to sell up to 10,000 of the guns per year. Alas, the transfer never took place, and civilian shooters itching to get their hands on a significant bit of U.S. military history were left sorely disappointed. Now, their wait my soon be over.
On July 14, House lawmakers passed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, along with an amendment tacked on by Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama. Rogers’ amendment, if okayed by the Senate, will allow the Civilian Marksmanship Program to receive, inspect, grade, and prepare the surplus 1911s for sale to the waiting public.
The CMP, a program that has spanned more than a century, has a storied past itself. Created back in 1903, the CMP has long offered civilians the chance to learn the ins and outs of some of the U.S. military’s most well-known service weapons. The program is perhaps best known for selling off the military’s surplus M1903s and M1 Garands,thelegendary infantryrifleusedthroughoutWorld War IIandKorea.
In parting with excess, outdated guns, the Army will save a little cash as well. Storing surplus weapons is more expensive than you’d think (representatives from Rogers’ office have estimated the cost at around $200,000 per year). With that in mind, Army officials are psyched to sell off the pistols to open up storage space for the M9s, as soldiers transition to the Modular Handgun System’s M17 and M18 pistols.
So cross your fingers, history buffs and firearms lovers. With a bit of luck, you’ll soon be holding your own personal piece of U.S. military history, an iconic Colt 1911.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."