The gun will come in a hard blue plastic case with two magazines, instruction manual etc. You need to talk your receiving FFL about returns, restocking fees etc. Odds are your receiving FFL will hang on to the gun if you do not want it.
As for year of manufacture, the Combat Elite in it's most recent version has only been available for the last couple years. 2011 and newer should have genuine Novak sights, if the rear sight says Novak, you've got a newer gun.