Input sought on A.O. Tommy Gun


April 2, 2003, 03:59 PM
Anyone have experience with the Auto-Ordinance Tommy Gun? How reliable, well-built, etc. Any advice is welcome. I just might get one but don't want to make an 800.00 mistake! Thanks.

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April 2, 2003, 04:53 PM
If you can find one for $800, your not making a mistake! :)

April 2, 2003, 05:41 PM
kahr arms is making them now.mag issues with some.get an early one.

April 2, 2003, 06:33 PM
I can't speak directly to the semi-auto, as the one I had was full-auto, manufactured last-minute in 1986.

It was tight. So tight, in fact, that I just about broke my back disassembling it. The dealer I bought it from said it would take time to break in.

It was not at all accurate.

It jammed frequently (the feed lips on the magazines are very touchy).

That said, it was very very cool. And I wish I had it now.

April 2, 2003, 06:47 PM
Theres a boy at our range who has an Auto Ordinance that is full auto. It has the bolt kit in it and runs like a MAC. I know for a fact that he's got thousands and thousands of rounds through it. I dont think I've ever seen him shoot it from his shoulder. He holds it in an "assualt" type stance and just shreds the center of a large bull pistol target at 15 yards. He shoots his reloads through it and I dont remember it ever really having a problem. He's been there just about every Sunday morning I go there, and thats been for years. I think that's all he does, shoot that thing and reload for next week. :)

GI Joe
April 2, 2003, 08:26 PM
I have the 1927 Lightweight version (if you call 9 1/2 lbs lightweight). It had issues with the bolt not going into battery upon cocking it. Two trips back to the factory and a new bolt and it works fine now. The only things I do not like about it are the ridiculous weight for a pistol-caliber rifle and the hernia you get trying to cock the bolt (HEAVY pull). It is very accurate and definitely cool-looking. I think it's overpriced at $800, but that was what I paid for mine.

Two other points:

1. If you use GI milsurp magazines, you will have to enlarge the hole in the back of the magazine so it locks into place properly.

2. Use only FMJ ammo.

Hope this helps.

April 2, 2003, 09:14 PM
They certainly are colorful but their weight with a 50 drum is something to behold. Way too heavy for the caliber it shoots and the quality has declined over the decades while value haven't gone up as fast as other firearms.

April 3, 2003, 04:36 AM
They certainly are colorful but their weight with a 50 drum is something to behold.
Have you seen the prices for the drums? I was loking for one on the web for a friend. That 50 rounder will set you back about what the semi guns cost, around $750, and a 100 rounder will cost you about $2000.

April 3, 2003, 10:07 AM
I have an older production A.O. Thompson (the M1A1 variant) made by A.O. before Kahr bought them out.

Got it from a guy NIB, never fired. It runs great. I have about 700 rounds through it, and only had a couple hiccups, due to handloaded ammo.

I modified the mag catch so it will take unmodified USGI mags, and it eats everything from them.

Heavy as a brick $&%*house, moderately accurate, but fun as heck.

The newer Kahr produced ones might be a little spotty out of the box, but from everything I've found Kahr will make it RIGHT if it has any problems.

April 4, 2003, 07:36 PM
Commando arms make a POS copy of the Thompson but IMHO the Commando is still the better value. One of the funniest sights I ever saw was a short, fat young man in shorts firing away with a Thompson. Made for a very odd picture:D

Carl N. Brown
June 13, 2005, 04:31 PM
Thompson Type L drum magazines are currently available from
Numrich Arms (Gun Parts Inc) and Auto Ordnance (Kahr Arms)
in the $275 price range, with the AWB 10 round (??) drum at $180.
That's new, current 2004-2005 production and I have seen them
at local gun shows.

Original collector grade drums are out of sight pricewise.
All type C 100 round drums seem to be original 1920s production
and are priced as collector's items.

If want to make the range noisy, buy the cheaper new manufacture
drums and let the collectors have the over-priced collector item drums.
One collector item drum priced out-of-sight comes from a maker
whose product was so out-of-mil-spec most were scrapped by Army
ordnance: it was so bad the few that were not scrapped are curios.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 14, 2005, 09:37 AM
Used to shoot a 80s era Auto Ordnance Thompson 1928 semi-auto. Probably only had about 1,000rds on it, if that. Worked well with no problems... only major issue was that 30rd USGI Thompson mags wouldn't work in it without relieving the lower part of the mag catch hole in each mag a few thousandths of an inch.

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