The Thompson Submachine Gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Brubz, May 7, 2021.

  1. Guy48065

    Guy48065 Member

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    "The old man's still an artist with a Thompson."
     
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  2. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    lightman: " A friend loaded one [full auto Thompson] with target grade ammo once and that was an experience! The lite target loads were not powerful enough to lock the bolt back and he had to hold it until it was empty!"

    In an open bolt blowback that fires on closing, that's called a runaway.
    The Italian Beretta M1938 submachinegun had a heavy bolt and recoil spring for a M38 9mm cartridge at what we would call +P or even +P+ levels. The Italians issued three types of 9x19mm cased ammo: M38 for the Beretta, 9mm Parabellum for standard pistols, and a light loaded 9mm Glisenti load for the Glasenti pistol. The M1938 Beretta SMG fired at a low rate with the 9mm Parabellum load, but ranaway with the 9mm Glisenti: it recoiled enough to eject the empty and feed and fire the next round, but not far enough to get caught by the sear if you let go of the trigger.

    (ATF banned open bolt semi-autos because they were too easy to convert to full auto. I think it was a good idea to ban them because the potential for runaways with weak ammo.)
     
  3. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    Many years ago got to shoot a WWll Thompson---The stick mags worked fine but the round mag (50 or 100rds ?) was a jam-a-matic. Only shot short bursts
    but great fun out to 50yds. WOW! Even though I was a lot younger it was heavy. Recoil was manageable though.
     
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  4. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Well, that's a Coen Brothers film, they turn out excellent movies.

    Many of the "Motor Bandits" who sprang up after the Bank Collapse in 1930 typically raided NG Armories (often with "inside" help). Prohibition involved moving bulky supplies of booze around, so tossing a few shooters in was no real bother.
    NFA was about an attempt to ban all handguns, it was gussied up with "anti gangster" stuff as a way to get it through Congress.
     
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  5. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I got to shoot a couple of "Tommy Guns" while I was stationed at Ft Devens, MA. Yes they are neat, and they are pretty accurate. But man are they heavy heavy heavy!!!!!!!! After being issued a M3A1 "Grease Gun", I can see why it was developed. Not only is the M3 a lot lighter but also way easier and cheaper to produce. All in all, the Thompson is a neat piece of history that I got to shoot.
     
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  6. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    This is a repro FBI case:
    IMG_0181a.jpg
    And the gun, assembled:
    IMG_0183a.jpg
    The violin case, closed:
    IMG_0190a.jpg
    The L and C drums:
    IMG_0189a.jpg
    Layout of the violin case:
    IMG_0187a.jpg
    Compartment for the sling, and the cleaning rod:
    IMG_0186a.jpg
    More detail, showing the case layout:
    IMG_0184a.jpg
    Both guns are dummies, built on Richardson receivers using Russian re-import parts kits. "If you can't tell the difference, what difference does it make?"
     
  7. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    My cousin was in the very early part of Vietnam. Drove a Jeep for a colonel. Evidently at that time you could pretty much use whatever you wanted and could find. This was early or pre-M16 as I understood it.

    He kept a Thompson in a scabbard beside his drivers seat. Said if you had to shoot, you basically aimed low, pulled the trigger, and let the recoil pull it up

    When I worked at the LGS, I had a guy that had found a war bring back in a relative’s attic they were cleaning out. IIRC, he wanted $800 for it. I told him that I considered the offer hypothetical, and informed him that I wasn’t interested in doing ten years in club fed, and that it should be surrendered to the sheriffs dept. Last I ever heard. He may well have been ATF and doing a sting.
     
  8. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    A story from Combat! was that Rick Jason (Lt. Saunders) was tole to pick a prop weapon. He hefted the rubber duck tommy gun and picked a Carbine instead. And gave Vic Morrow grief about toting a boat anchor around.
     
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  9. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    :rofl: Rick Jason played Lt. Gil Hanley, Vic Morrow was Sgt. Chip Saunders. Jason refused the Thompson first day on the job because of its weight; he was a hunter who loaded his own ammo and knew he'd be on set shooting 15 hours a day. Morrow inherited the Thompson and complained about the weight (d'uh ....) so the prop dept. built him a wooden dummy. BTW the B. A. R. Kirby hefted around was also a wood dummy unless it was being fired. Interesting minutia; the name of the prop master who distributed weapons to the cast ??? ......



    Tommy Thompson.:what: Yeeeup. How does THAT go over as a coinky-dink????o_O
     

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  10. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I bought one of the Kahr M1A1 Thompsons a year ago. I've seen and handled real ones. Weight and ergonomically they're really very similar (meaning heavy & clunky) but I don't find the 16" barrel too off-putting, really. For me it fits the "way cool range toy" niche and it's not a gun I'd choose for serious applications. :cool: In a previous post I noted actor Rick Jason chose an M1 carbine when he joined the "COMBAT!" cast in the 1960s and you know, I think he made a excellent choice.;)
     
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  11. IMAhobbyist

    IMAhobbyist Member

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    Don't like the 16" barrel, both the 1927A1 Deluxe pistol and M1 SBR have 10.5" barrels.

    One of my Dillinger books claimed a .30 caliber variant was popular with the gangsters of that era; however Wiki doesn't support that contention.

    There are several modern versions that don't get shot much around here anymore, I'll leave it to the offspring to decide their disposition.

    As shown here we shot a version every summer as kids when the carnival would come around.

     
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  12. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    uXZpD-1593447106-2570-list_items-1oixq-1506444637-9900-list_items-untouch_doorkick.jpg

    Robert-Stack-role-scene-television-series-Eliot.jpg



    For watching a Thompson at work, Combat was good.....but the Untouchables was better. Nearly every week Bruce Gordon (Frank Nitty) or Robert Stack (Eliot Ness) had an episode with choppers in action.
     
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  13. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    The Thompson was briefly chambered in a caliber called .45 Thompson, which was basically a lengthened .45 ACP round. There were plans in WW2 to make a version in .30 carbine. I can't remember if any were actually made or not, but it didn't come to anything because the M3 Greasegun was designed to supplant the Tommygun, though it never quite did, and the select fire M2 Carbine came about, which eliminated the necessity of a .30 Carbine Thompson.

    I don't believe any Thompsons were made in a .30 caliber. It was designed during WW1 and John Tafaglio Thompson started out with a .30-'06 designed but when the delayed blowback Blish operated version couldn't be made to work, it was decided to go to a pistol round and the "submachine gun" came into existance.
     
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  14. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Rembrandt, I recall watching a dvd of THE UNTOUCHABLES when Stack dropped a Tommygun and I could see it wriggle as it hit the ground. I realized it was a rubber "stunt gun." Freezing the image and zooming in (DVD is great technology, you can freeze frame anD magnify every blemish! :evil:) I could see that the surface of the weapon was pretty rough and irregular .... far worse than any real gun could be.
     
  15. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Member

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    Nothing beats a good 1927 for home defense. AFAIK it has the original foregrip.

    TommyAR.jpg
     
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  16. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    THAT'S a Thompson???:confused: ..... :scrutiny:
     
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  17. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Those Finns made some tough, resourceful and effective soldiers! The Suomi K/31 was one good sub gun... I’ll say it was better than the Thompson M1 and it’s offspring.

    I think the Russians were so impressed they copied the gun (or the magazine?) when they made their PPsH.

    Stay safe..
     
  18. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    [​IMG]

    By the 1930s, it was clear that Prohibition had become a public policy failure. The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had done little to curb the sale, production and consumption of intoxicating liquors. And while organized crime flourished, tax revenues withered. With the United States stuck in the throes of the Great Depression, money trumped morals, and the federal government turned to alcohol to quench its thirst for desperately needed tax money and put an estimated half-million Americans back to work.

    The End of Prohibition - HISTORY

    Yep, Tax gangster guns to give ATF someone to chase and arrest AFTER the ban on booze went away
     
  19. Jimbo80

    Jimbo80 Member

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    As someone lucky enough to get a lot of trigger time with a tommy gun I never once thought about how heavy it was. I was too busy thinking about how much fun I was having.
     
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  20. IMAhobbyist

    IMAhobbyist Member

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    From what I've read there are two known .30 carbine examples, one of which I believe will be offered at RIA on the 15th of this month.
    Perhaps I could have worded .30 caliber better as I meant it to include .30 carbine, .351 WSF, and .30-06
     
  21. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    That's an interesting AR PCC. Is that yours?
     
  22. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    Marketed for ranch protection against cattle rustlers and such.

    Interview-with-Midwest-Tactical-9.jpg
     
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  23. tark

    tark Member

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    Years ago I got to shoot an M1A1 at a friends farm. We were shooting at old kitchen appliances. One of the refrigerators suddenly charged......and the Thompson quickly demonstrated its stopping power!!!

    My favorite subgun of all time!!!
     
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  24. Brubz

    Brubz Member

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    Those darn refrigerators you just can't trust them
     
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  25. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Jennifer Connelly ;)
     
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