30th Infantry Division

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Here's the process for getting a rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. There are some hoops to run through, but it's not too bad.

1. First off, attend a CMP sanctioned shoot and lob 50 rounds down the range. Being able to hit the target is not paramount - I certainly didn't qualify as a marksman. Here in the Twin Cities we attend the Bald Eagle Sportsman Club. If you're reading this from somewhere other than Minnesota look in the phonebook for your local rifle range.

Cost is generally $15 for the range fee and $15 for ammo. If you've never been to the range before there may also be a $2 charge for a chamber flag. This is a yellow plastic rod that goes into the receiver of your rifle and up into the barrel to show that no rounds are loaded. Safety is king!

2. Join a CMP sanctioned organization. I recommend the Garand Collectors Association. Cost is $25 per year and you get their nifty magazine. Keep the canceled check from the GCA - they don't issue membership cards or numbers, so you'll need the check to prove to the rifle range you're a member. Photocopy the front and back of the check so you can show it's a legitimate canceled check.

The GCA shares its membership information with the CMP if you give them the authorization. There will be a check box on the signup form to accomplish this. Make sure you check it. This lets the CMP know you're a member of a sanctioned group and makes the whole process of getting the rifle much easier.

3. After the shoot, send a copy of the check to the range along with a letter explaining that you would like a CMP certificate. Include the date of your shoot.

4. Choose the grade of rifle you want from the CMP's site. The URL below takes you directly to the pertinent page.


5. Fill out the form below. Make sure you meet all the qualifications. You must sign it in front of a notary. If you don't know someone who's a notary, check with your bank - they'll usually do it for free.


6. Send the form along with a check or credit card information, a copy of your CMP certificate, and a copy of you birth certificate or passport to the address below.

Civilian Marksmanship Program
ATTN: M1 Sales
1401 Commerce Blvd
Anniston, AL 36207
Telephone (256) 835-8455

If everything is in order you should get yourself a rifle in 2 - 6 weeks. Keep in mind though that it won't be blank adapted, so you'll have to get that modification done if you want to use it at tacticals. As a bonus though it does come with one clip and a chamber flag.

One last tidbit: the CMP ships UPS ground and someone over 18 must be home to sign for the box.