CMP Auction Room Readies Rare and Fascinating Items for Auction Site
November 30, 2015Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸CMP Auction Room Readies Rare and Fascinating Items for Auction Site
By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Most people who have heard of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) associate the organization with its rifles. Many travel miles, far and wide, to rummage through the shelves of the North and South Stores – looking for the perfect new addition to their growing collections. But for those searching for more valuable, select items, they can only be found online – and are sold to the highest bidder.
The CMP Auction Site has been an important facet of the company since 2009. Each year, the site features exclusive, high-end items sold solely through the website – not in CMP stores. In 2015, from October to mid-November alone, the site brought in $350-400 thousand dollars in sales revenue – serving as one of the main sources of income for the organization.
The gateway of each item’s journey from warehouse to website is the Auction Room in Anniston, AL. From the warehouse, employees within the Auction Room receive the items that have been deemed worthy of being sold through the site – unique rifles with rare parts or intriguing stories – and are tasked with describing each component through high-resolution photos and a short, detailed description on the site.
“You’ll get rare stuff – stuff you can’t get anywhere else,” said Josh White, one of the CMP employees within the Auction Room. “The pictures we take are what tell the story. You have to look at the pictures to see what you’re getting.”
Because the items are auctioned “as-is,” rifles or parts sometimes contain grease or their original packaging foil – making them unlike any of the items sold in the CMP stores. Garands, carbines, bayonets, scopes and even small rifle parts are put to auction and sold to the most persistent bidder.
“What we get is what we take pictures of,” said Chance Cover, another Auction Room employee. “We don’t do any cleaning – we don’t do any working. That’s what makes the Auction Room items so unique.”
Sometimes, out-of-the-ordinary items come to the auction room – like Army Marksmanship Unit 300 meter rifles, Marine Corps Sniper Rifles, paratrooper Carbines and proto-type rifles. Some even come with fascinating histories attached to them, such as an item currently being readied for auction: an XM3 that includes a log book of all of the recorded “confirmed kills” the marksman made with the rifle. Besides the rarity of the log book, the rifle is also one of only 54 ever made – making it even more attractive for gun collectors.
Another rifle similar to the XM3 came with a letter from the Marine who used the rifle in combat. In the letter, the Marine described how a suicide bomber blew up a vest filled with ball-bearings. The Marine said that the rifle, which helped shield him from the ball-bearings, saved his life.
“You definitely get to see and touch things that nobody else gets to, so that’s pretty neat,” White added.
Though in demand, Auction Site items won’t be dwindling any time soon. Currently equipped with enough pieces to last the foreseeable future, a cage that only the Auction Room employees can access holds an enormous amount of items, ready to be sold. It’s rare, but some CMP supporters have even donated items for the organization’s use to be auctioned off.
On the site, Auction items are set for bid for a period of two weeks. During that time, buyers are welcome to make bids on the item until the closing second. The highest bidder at the end of the two weeks is the winner of the item.
An assortment of about 30 different auction items are listed each week. Rifle conditions vary from service grade (decent, imperfect quality) to collector grade (the most pristine quality). Sold items are then placed into a spreadsheet and then, pending on the customer’s paperwork, sent to the shipping department for distribution.
“Through the Auction Room site, you’re going to have a better opportunity to get something rare and something you actually want instead of going to the mail order or the store,” said Cover. “Most of the people don’t buy off of the Auction site to resell – if you’re buying from the site, it’s mostly because you really want the item that you’re bidding on.”
Registration for the Auction Site is simple. Those already registered on the eStore can use that email and password to login to the Auction Site. A link on the Auction Site for new users to register with just a few clicks of a button can be found here: http://cmpauction.thecmp.org/login.asp?return=index%2Easp.
Current items listed for auction can be found at https://thecmp.org/cmp_sales/guns-on-auction/. Log on now and see some of the intriguing items that are found exclusively on the CMP Auction Site!