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Tell me more about Volunteer Arms' Commando Mk.V - Tommygun copy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AirPower, May 6, 2005.

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  1. AirPower

    AirPower Member

    Jun 14, 2003
    Just bought this used Tommy gun copy, it's made by Volunteer Arms, Commando Mk.V. It's not exactly like a Tommy gun unfortunately, especially the lower being made of plastic. What's it worth? It came with 3 welded together stick mags. Anything I should be aware of, and is there someone making a more accurate Tommy gun clone?

  2. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 26, 2002
    Auto Ordnance/Kahr Arms makes a much better Thompson clone. I don't have much familiarity with the particular clone you mention, so I'll refrain from commenting.
  3. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    I had a friend who had one 20 years ago. It had a serious F-T-F problem with all ammo tried. It was soon sold off to someone more gullible than he.

  4. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    Ah yes sold with the tagline "Now You Can Have An Attitude Problem AND Back It Up."

    Nowhere near as 'engineered' as a semi-auto Thompson clone, dubious metallurgy, etc.

    In fact I haven't SEEN one for sale outside of "Soldier of Fortune" 20 years ago.

    I'd pass on this one.
  5. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Bakersfield, California
    The one I used to have fed any ball you threw at it without a hitch. it uses Grease gun magazines.
  6. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    What Bartholomew said. I saw their booth at the NRA convention.
  7. saltydog

    saltydog Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    From The Free State of Okla
    When I had my FFL back in the early 80's I use to sell a few of them because of their cheap price. I think dealer price was about $135.00 ea. back then and I would buy 3 at a time for re-sale. I bought the 45 cal. models only and I am not fimilar with the 9mm version. I have test fired them and found that the ones I had for customers would feed ok and yes they had plastic lowers and internals. My biggest gripe was the burr's and sharp edges on the trigger. Your finger ended up getting cut most of the time. They looked OK and some came with all wood except for the pistol grip. They were a far cry in quality from the real Federal Ordenance Thompson but like I said, what do you want in a carbine for $160.00 over the counter back then. There wasn't a whole lot to choose from back then with that price in mind. :eek:
  8. anapex

    anapex Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Free at last in PA!
    My Dad picked one up used. It's been awhile since I've shot his but the only thing I can remember about it was a HEAVY trigger pull. Worse then my Taurus PT-111.
  9. thereisnospoon

    thereisnospoon Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    At my house
    Volunteer Arms Commando .45 carbine


    I sent you a PM.

    I have a Vol Arms Mark III that I picked up REAL cheap due to condition, as I like to tinker, I figured what the heck.

    I have found there are VERY limited resources for this weapon system, so if you decide you want to pass this item onto "someone more gulible" as someone put it, I may be interested. :evil:

    Call me a sucker, but I'm optomistic enough to think that anything can be made to work better with enough grinding from a dremel tool :D

    If you decide to keep it, I have a manual and some other info I could share with you.

    Check out this page:


  10. telewinz

    telewinz Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I've had my nickel plated "Commando" .45 for quite a while now. I love IT! Shoots my lead reloads (RN & SWC) without a hitch. NO recoil so even a small women can bast away (had "volunteer" try it last fall :D ) Much lighter and more reliable than my friends Kahr "Thompson" at less than half the price (I finally opted for the "Commando" but looked REAL hard at the Auto Ordnance and Kahr). Great rapid fire at 25 and 50 yards but hits way low at 75 yards. A real fun, reliable blaster! :cool:
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    Volunteer Commando Arms

    These were made about 90 miles from where I live and I looked
    at them often in the 1970s and accumulated some factory brochures.

    Volunteer Enterprises made tommy-gun look-alike stocks for the
    M1 carbine as Commando Mark I with fixed shoulder stock and
    Command Mark II no shoulder stock, and Commando Mark IV with
    detachable M1928-style buttstock.

    Their sheet metal clones of the tommy gun included Commando
    Mark III using M3 grease gun clips, Mark V using Thompson clips,
    Mark 9 in 9mm and an improved Mark V called Mark 45.
    Notice the bolt handle is on the LEFT side of the receiver.
    Weight was about eight pounds (compared to eleven for the Thompson).
    Volunteers Enterprises sold magazines in five-shot, thirty-shot
    and three thirties welded in a Y configuration.

    Local Police bought these in the aftermath of the 1968 GCA because
    they could no longer get full-autos. A county deputy let my son shoot
    his Mark III gun at my uncle's farm. Unfortunately, the Commandos
    also showed up in the Washington County Sheriff's display of
    confiscated weapons along with the usual sawn-off shotguns,
    sawn-off rifles, zip guns and RG10s. Moonshiners and drug dealers
    favored them to impress (deter) potential robbers.

    I have seen Commandos at local gun shows prices between $300
    and $800. $300 seems reasonable.
  12. eggbert30

    eggbert30 Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    more questions about the commander mark 45

    Any one know if the barrel threads match the auto ordinance (GI) spec threads and if not any idea what the threads are? Looking at changing a barrel.
  13. cesoir45

    cesoir45 Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Volunteer Arms' Commando Mk.V

    i have 2 , i dont know about the plastic lower,my lower is metal with some kind of flake like coating and are a blast to shoot other ,than they do shoot low,and but throw anything, you throw down the pipe . i bet, i shot it a thounsands rounds,never a jam,look at the price difference in mags too.would been nice for a drum mag,but y-mount three 30 rounds mags and go to town. mine are quite nice looking too,acuallty. i guess you get good and bad,but mine have been all good.
  14. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    Commando Mark III, metal lower, M3 Grease gun magazines.
    Commando Mark V and Mark 45, plastic lower, Thompson magazines.
  15. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Is this the one ATF ordered off the market because it was too easy to convert to full auto? I know one of these Thompson clones was shut down by the feds.
  16. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    from my notebook

    The Spitfire Carbine was manufactured by the Spitfire Manufacturing Co.,
    Phoenix, Arizona. The Spitfire Carbine was a .45 ACP caliber rifle
    which resembled a Thompson submachinegun in general outline, firing
    from an open bolt semi-automatic. It was originally marketed as
    a semi-auto plinker and it reportedly worked great and was accurate.

    The Spitfire is very similar to a model called the Eagle.
    The Volunteer Carbine is very similar to the Spitfire.
    Volunteer Enterprises was located in Knoxville Tennessee.
    The Spitfire, Eagle and original Volunteer carbines all had round
    receivers and were Tommy gun look-alikes.

    Spitfire was banned by ATF because it could be easily manipulated
    to fire full-auto by pressing up on the safety while pulling
    the trigger. Eventually all open-bolt semi-autos were banned by
    ATF as "readily convertible" to full-auto.

    The Commando Arms carbines made by Vounteer Enterprises
    had square receivers and fired from the closed bolt position.
    They were not readily convertible to full auto. The Commando
    Arms included Mark III, Mark V and Mark 45 in .45ACP and a
    Mark 9 in 9mm. Later, Manchester Arms made the Mark 45
    in rifle and handgun versions.
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