Can anyone ID this old .45 semi-auto rifle?


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Topgun121
January 9, 2011, 04:39 PM
My father in law let me borrow this gun that he found in his attic, to clean it up and lube it. I don't know anything about it. Stamped on the side is ".45 cal semi-auto, Volunteer Inc., Knoxville, TN". Anyone have any info to share?


http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e370/topgun121/Guns/101_3304.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e370/topgun121/Guns/101_3303.jpg

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Ian
January 9, 2011, 04:45 PM
It's a Commando, and old and inexpensive Thompson lookalike. There's at least one thread on them:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=137852

srkavanagh6621
January 9, 2011, 04:45 PM
what he said!

VA27
January 9, 2011, 08:31 PM
Wow, that's an early one! Pretty cool old gun. It uses the old WWII 'Grease Gun' magazines. Later models used Thompson mags. Happy Shooting!

Carl N. Brown
January 9, 2011, 08:51 PM
That is an early Volunteer carbine (later models designed by the same guy
were known as the Commando Arms Mark III (with a square rather than
round receiver) and later as the Manchester).

Early versions used the M3 grease gun magazines. The Mark V and Mark 45
used the Thompson magazines. There was a 9mm version called the Mark 9
but they seem to be had to find. They still show up at wildly inflated prices
at East Tennessee gun shows.

A few years back, I started research on Commando Arms but got
sidetracked. According to my notes:

""A central person at Volunteer Enterprises/Commando Arms was
James McCown. He worked at Spitfire in Arizona and then started
Volunteer Enterprises in Knoxville TN; Volunteer Enterprises was also
known as Commando Arms. Finally McCown went to
Manchester Arms located in Lenoir TN. The last Commando carbine
was the Commando Mark 45 by Manchester Arms.""

The original Spitfire was a tommy gun look-alike that was discontinued
because ATF decided it was "readily convertible". The Volunteer carbines
were redesigned to avoid the problems with the original Spitfire carbine.

Commando Arms also made stock kits for the US GI M1 carbine that
made the M1 Carbine sort of look like a tommy gun. Mark I had a fixed butt
stock, Mark II was stockless (but over 26" and still made a Title I rifle), and
Mark IV had a detachable buttstock. Plainfield Machine Company did sell
some of their M1 Carbine replicas in Mark II Commando Arms stocks.

Topgun121
January 9, 2011, 10:37 PM
thanks guys! It must be an older one, it has a number (serial number?) stamped on it that is one hundred and something.

SaxonPig
January 10, 2011, 12:15 AM
I believe the ATF put this gun out of business because it was too easy to convert to full auto.

rondog
January 10, 2011, 12:39 AM
"Found in his attic?" As in, he didn't know it was there? Maybe I should look around in mine.....

Carl N. Brown
January 17, 2011, 12:03 AM
I believe the ATF put this gun out of business because it was too easy to convert to full auto.
The Spitfire carbine was taken off the market, but the Volunteer and Commando carbines were designed.

brandon_mcg
January 17, 2011, 12:50 AM
man, the only thing my family members and in-laws find in their attics are old newspapers.

looks like a fun toy

nwilliams
January 17, 2011, 05:22 AM
Man that grip looks so uncomfortable but that's a really cool find!

Check this out. The guy selling this gun provides some good info on it.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=210643326

Apparently it fires from an open bolt which would explain why it went on the ATF's hit list.

Definitely a gun to hang on to, I imagine if kept in it's original condition it will only increase in value over time.

dafitch
January 17, 2011, 07:13 AM
Where's the cocking lever?

hirundo82
January 17, 2011, 01:43 PM
Perhaps it is charged like the M3A1, using your finger in a slot machined into the bolt?

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