Thompson SMG Gun Case


June 30, 2008, 06:50 PM
Hi folks. My father-in-law, Earl, gave me a Thompson SMG gun case that he'd gotten after WWII. It came from one of the refineries in southeast Texas that were provided the weapons in case of an invasion. I think Earl said they had a half dozen or so of the guns. Anway, I've had this case and for the last 25 years or so it's held my scoped Winchester 69A with a 16" barrel (that's another story). The case is made similar to a heavy duty suitcase made in two halves. It's rectangular: 5" thick x 8.5" wide x 38" long made of fiber board (masonite?), rivets, corner protectors, three rear hinges, two front latches, one carrying handle between the latches. At one time there were probably fitted spaces for the firearm, magazines, and other accessories. The original green felt was mostly gone gone when I got it. I put foam in both sides to pad the Winchester. The case is black. Would anybody have a feel for what the value of this case might be? Thanks, this is my first post.

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June 30, 2008, 07:28 PM
do you have any pictures?

July 1, 2008, 10:21 AM
Are there any labels or tags that might identify the manufacturer?

July 1, 2008, 07:41 PM
I don't have any pictures, j-easy. Got a digital camera. Might take some and figure out how to get them on the forum.
Also, OFT, I went over the case looking for labels/tags/etc. with a Shurfire light and magnifying glass. Lo and Behold, after finding nothing, I checked the case's latches (they're like guitar-case latches). After some cleanup I could see that each latch was stamped on the front with three lines centered above each other: USA, EXCELSIOR, STAMFORD CONN. Maybe that's the company that made the latches or the case (?). The case is just like a rectangular guitar case (on steroids). All exterior case surfaces are joined by 1/64th steel angle riveted every 1.25 inches along the edges. There's a steel reinforcement piece that covers the gap between the edge joiners at each corner. The case top opens about 100 degrees. So, if you took a Fender guitar case design (a box), made one out of 3/8 plywood, the size of the Thompson case, edged it in steel ala muy rivets, painted it black, and put a suitcase handle on it, you'd have what I'm a-lookin' at.

July 2, 2008, 01:10 PM
Figured out the picture schtick (I was trying to upload billboards rather than postage stamps).--here they are: what a box, huh? You know, a little sanding and some black paint would clean 'er up. Thanks, guys. Jim.

Jim K
July 2, 2008, 03:35 PM
That case is not like those sold by Auto Ordnance with the TSMG, but it could well have been something bought on a separate contract by the government. Since there are no compartments, as there are with the original cases, it could be just a generic case, used for shotguns, rifles or any other item that needed a carrying case, including a musical instrument.


July 2, 2008, 09:27 PM
Hey Jim, Welcome. Are you talking about the modern cases that are currently provided with the TMSG? Where could I look at one of those? That government contract possibility is sure feasible. That's what I thought, too, when I found the Excelsior stamping on the latches.

I think this old case may have had compartments that were either removed before disposing of them at the refinerey, or maybe removed by my father-in-law: it's too late to ask him. There are some sporadically-located, "mystery" holes in the surfaces of the case for countersunk screws, about size 8. They could have anchored strapping for securing the gun, mags, and accessories; or they could have fastened compartment divider structures in the top and bottom compartments. There's not very many of these holes, however, only eight, if I counted correctly.

Just a theory but I'm looking at the case now and there are two countersunk holes in the top surface: one 12" from the left end, 2.5" from the front edge; and a second hole 5" from the right end, 4" from the back edge. That's it for the top surface, which probably held accessories only just to keep its weight down.

The bottom compartment, which likely held the gun and magazines, has two holes in the front surface: one is 9.5" from the right end. The other hole is 19.75" from the right end, between the handle fasteners. Both holes are just off the steel edging on the front surface of the bottom compartment.

On the left end of the bottom compartment there's one hole just clear of the steel edging, about 2" from the rear edge. On the right end there's one hole just off of the steel edging, about 2" from the front edge.

On the right end of the bottom compartment there's one hole just clear of the steel edging 1.75" from the front edge.

There's one hole on the bottom surface of the bottom compartment 4.5" from the left end and 3" from the front.

Well, I think this has about run this thread into the ground; but let me know what you think.

July 3, 2008, 08:17 AM
or any other item that needed a carrying case, including a musical instrument.

The first thing I thought of when I looked at it too. Ju t has that "look", like there should be a clarinet or something inside, not a Thompson.Doesnt mean it isnt a genuine, purpose built gun or Thompson case, as I wouldn't know, but just thought it was funny I thought of the same thing. Still a neat case regardless.

July 3, 2008, 09:26 AM
Hi Jrfoxx,
The only thing I'm certain of is that my father-in-law got the case at the refinery where he worked and where the Thompsons were provided. He was one of the finest men you'd ever want to have the privilege of knowing. I still miss him. My two sons are named after him. I think Earl gave the case to me in the 70's. I married his daughter in '68 (not for the case). The case is really put together in a way intended to keep it together for a long, long time.
Thanks for your comment. Jim

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