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Reactivating a full auto Thompson M1 SMG

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by GarandOwner, Jun 22, 2006.

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  1. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Member

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    I recently purchased a new semi-auto Thompson M1. Im a big WWII buff so I didnt mind paying the extra $200 ATF fee + $250 for barrel and gunsmith charge to have one of the 16" barrels replaced with a 10". I lucked out and found a Thompson at the local gunshop that was NIB for only $700. While doing research to find a place that would convert/register the SBR Thompson. I came accross a company that reactivates full auto thompsons that were deactivated. I dont fully understand how this works and was wondering if someone could provide some insite as to how you can get one of these, and if it is cheaper than buying a $17k full auto thompson. I know full auto weapons have to be registered with the ATF prior to 1986, so can this only be done with deactivated guns that are still registered as machine guns, or can you just get a parts kit that has a reciever made prior to 1986 to have it done Any thoughts?
     
  2. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Basically, there's no legal way to get a post-1986 manufacture MG if you're a civilian. Sorry!
     
  3. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Member

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    No I dont mean to have the one that I have now converted. I mean having a pre 1986 receiver reactivated.
     
  4. harvester of sorrow

    harvester of sorrow Member

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    What you're talking about is a registered De-Activated War Tropy, or DEWAT. Those can be re-activated (rewatted), but because they can be, they cost essentially as much as other transferable thompsons by the time you're done.
     
  5. Diamondback6

    Diamondback6 Member

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    Can't be done with a West Hurley or Kahr AO 1927A1-series. ATF made them redesign the entire gun to be incapable of full-auto conversion; the 1921/1927 (original semiauto conversion, still legally MG according to ATF)/1928-series are completely mechanically different beasts that just have cosmetic similarity and SOME LIMITED parts interchange with the '70s-now 1927-series. Ditto the original M1/M1A1 models vs. West Hurley/Kahrs.

    Even if it were technically possible, you'd be inviting ATF over for an uninvited little party that makes gangbangers look almost like good houseguests by comparison...

    If you're a Thompson fan and can hold your nose about some rampant elitism (not all of us are like that), you might try the Thompson forum over at MachineGunBooks.com for Thompson-specific issues.
     
  6. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Harvestor of Sorrow got it right. You won't get much of a price break buying a Thompson that was DEWATTED and needs to be reactivated. The gun still needs to have been registered in the NFA registry to be eligible for re-activation and to be legally transferable. Registered Thompsons are still expensive, whether they are currently running or need to be repaired before they run.
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The only way I know of to accomplish this legally is to find a Dewat that was registered in the 1969 Amnesty after the passage of GCA '68 as though it were a live gun. Then have it rebuilt to shoot. I know a guy who did that with a Maxim gun, in hopes that he could round up the necessary parts and skills.

    I do not think that would be permitted with a gun or receiver that was on their books as a Dewat between 1969 and 1986.

    There is a guy I have seen at Long Range matches, testfiring Rewats and kit guns before the rifle match. What his legal basis is, I haven't a clue. He had a Thompson with receiver in the white and with a lot of Dykem on the parts - but Auto Ordnance marked - the last time out.
     
  8. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Member

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    Thanks all, my main question was answered: So it does have to be a deactivated gun that was still REGISTERED prior to 1986, not just one that has a reciever made before 1986. I'd assume then that transfering of this deactivated gun would be the same as if it were a real machine gun and still requires the $200 Uncle Sam fee.
     
  9. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Same paperwork. No transfer tax.
     
  10. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    DEactivated WAr Trophy DEWAT

    It is my understanding (as I recall from that time)
    that DEWATs were not papered between 1955 and 1958
    and were treated as non-guns. So many turned uo
    reactivated, however, that the ATTU (as ATF was known in
    those days) re-instated the NFA registry paperwork
    requirement for DEWATs. If an unpapered DEWAT
    was not registered during an amnesty period, it is
    contrband. :( A registered DEWAT can legally be reactivated
    since it is on the NFA registry as a machinegun. Ammo
    companies like that. :D

    I am sure that true MG and SMG fans will have more complete
    and up-to-date info on this subject. In '57 or '58 I missed out
    getting a nice Chauchat for 19.95 (Dad would not give me an
    advance on my allowance). Dewat Thompsons and Ingrham
    Model 6 were listed at 49.95 out of my price range as a
    10 year old.
     
  11. Diomed

    Diomed Member

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    How's that working out for him?
     
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Hanged if I know. That was in 1969, my last year at Georgia Tech, and I have not stayed in touch with the class. He kept it in his dorm room and nobody said a thing after a little initial startlement. Times have changed.
     
  13. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    You ask me, each and every eligibly registered DEWAT oughta be rounded up and rewatted.

    ....Anything and everything to increase the number of citizens lawfully armed...with machineguns. :)
     
  14. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Let's see, National Firearms Form 1 to make a SBR -- $200.00 tax,
    short barrel $95.00, cost of proper tools for barrel removal and
    installation ????
    OR
    factory built through a Class III dealer
    [​IMG]
    Kahr Arms Auto Ordnance Short Barrel Rifle version M1928 "T1SB" MSRP $1,596.00
    [​IMG]
    Kahr Arms Auto Ordnance Short Barrel Rifle version M1A1 "M1SB" MSRP $1,482.00
    PLUS
    transfer of registration form and $200.00 tax
    Pricey but cool.
     
  15. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Member

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    Well the one I have, I bought because it was only $700 at the local gunshop. For the barrel and a gunsmith to install is going to cost me $250 plus the $200 tax, so all together it was way less than getting one manufactured that way. ($1150 in the end)
     
  16. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    There is a certain satisfaction in having something
    that special custom made.

    If you have not done so already, you should replace
    the "civilian" magazine catch with one that will allow
    you to use unmodified GI magazines.

    Unfortunately, I have four 30 shot and three 20 shot
    magazines modified for my TM1 semi-auto carbine.
     
  17. 68'chevelle

    68'chevelle Member

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    What all would you have to do to make the Phlord 80% machined receivers into 100% machined receivers, anyone know?
     
  18. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Member

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    If you have a line on a specific DEWAT then write atf and check status of it by serial no . My understanding is that some may be put into service as NFA items and some may not . The best thing to have in hand is a letter from ATF to YOU listing serial no ect.. and stipulating if it is ok or not to REWAT it as a nfa item .
     
  19. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    All these acronyms and abbreviations are making my head spin; it's like trying to read W2's and W4's (had to do that today >.<).
     
  20. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    Since, you are doing a Form 1 and "making" the SBR yourself. Don't forget to have it engraved with your name, city & state as per BATFe regs.
     
  21. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    1. Own a licensed machinegun manufacturing business to make machineguns for sale to government agencies or for export.

    2. Violate US firearm laws and illegally manufacture an unregistered machinegun.
     
  22. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, it must be "on the books" before that date, not just manufactured.
     
  23. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    If you rewat a registered dewat you must pay up the 200 bones and make sure the legal hurdles are dealt with. You can't do the work and then announce to ATF that you did it--you really need to contact them first I think.

    Here in IL even the SBR's are a complete no-no---Rep. Jim Sacia is trying to get a 'historical' re-enactor exemption (for weapons like the Thompson). Of course, Jim is also trying to pass a law making it a crime to paint a firearm a non-original color (???). He is a hard nut to crack at times.
     
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