Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 5.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Research Synopsis

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback210 pages $42.00

Research Questions

  1. Is CMP effective in carrying out its statutory functions?
  2. How does CMP compare with similar organizations?
  3. How do the benefits that the Army receives from CMP compare to the resources the Army provides CMP?
  4. What are some prospective funding models that would support CMP's transition to self-sustainment?
  5. What are the costs and profits associated with the transfer of excess firearms from the Army to CMP with respect to surplus caliber.45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols?

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) began in 1903 with the goal of encouraging individuals to develop marksmanship skills in case they were called on to serve during wartime. Congress expanded the program's focus over the ensuing decades, and in 1996 created the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to govern and promote CMP. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 required a federally funded research and development center to conduct an evaluation of the Corporation for the purpose of assessing future transfers of excess firearms to the Corporation. This report summarizes the RAND Arroyo Center evaluation of the Corporation, with analyses of the five discrete tasks in the legislative language: an assessment of the effectiveness of CMP, a comparison of CMP with similar organizations, an evaluation of the benefits the Army receives from CMP relative to the resources the Army provides CMP, an assessment of CMP's present funding model and prospective funding models that would support CMP's transition to self-sustainment, and an assessment of the costs and profits associated with the transfer of excess firearms from the Army to CMP with respect to surplus caliber.45 M1911/M1911A1 pistols.

Key Findings

CMP is effective in its functions to instruct in marksmanship, conduct firearms competitions, and promote firearms practice and safety

  • CMP offers a broad range of instruction to multiple audiences.
  • CMP conducts and sanctions many of the most-valued competitions in shooting sports.
  • CMP invests considerably in promoting shooting sports by publishing a robust range of supporting materials and maintaining a growing social media and electronic presence.

Out of ten comparison organizations, none that provided data match CMP in scale and comprehensiveness of functions

  • CMP has a significant national presence in marksmanship instruction, competitions, and promotion of shooting sports.
  • A definitive leader in conducting firearms competitions, CMP and its affiliates draw more participants than all the other organizations for which we have data.
  • When comparing financial assistance provided by organizations to promote firearms practice and safety, CMP ranks fourth among the organizations that provided data.

Overall, CMP benefits to the Army likely outweigh its CMP-related costs

  • The benefit-cost ratio is sensitive to assumptions. Moratorium language in annual appropriations bills prevents the Army from destroying surplus firearms, and it is not clear what the Army would be allowed to do with those firearms if CMP did not exist.
  • Much of the incurred cost is the time spent by Army personnel on CMP-related activities.
  • All CMP-related benefits to the Army are avoided costs; many of these are because CMP provides support to programs and activities that the Army would have provided otherwise.
  • CMP programs and firearms sales have not significantly impacted the Army in terms of public relations, but could in the future.

Excluding receipt of future excess firearms from the Army, CMP would still have a sustainable business model

  • Central to this finding is CMP's core endowment fund.

CMP has the potential to earn $3.4 million in profits in 2018 and $2.0 million in 2019 from the sale of M1911/M1911A1 pistols

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army and conducted by the Personnel, Training, and Health Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.