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Thompson 1928 hollow points

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ironhand54, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    I recently picked up a semi auto Thompson 1928. I know that they are designed for 230 ball ammo but I am wondering if anyone has had experience with nonball ammo in the Thompson, especially hollow point ammo.

    Thanks
    IronHand
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    A friend had a live M1A1 that would feed semiwadcutters.
     
  3. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Try. That's all I think can be said. I hear those new semiauto neutered Tommies can be finicky. If the bullet's profile is at all similar to ball ammo it may well work fine. My only question is why? Not sure I'd choose this gun for defense, which is what hollow points are for.
    '
     
  4. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    I have no actual experience with hollowpoints in a Thompson, but my guess is that it would vary between individual guns and different hollowpoint designs/loads. Even if a particular weapon refused to function with HP's, it's likely that a good gunsmith could make it behave.

    I say try it. What have you got to lose aside from the cost of a box or two of ammo? It's not like attempting to fire HP ammunition is going to damage the gun.
    If it doesn't work, all you'll get is a jammed weapon and a chance to practice malfunction drills.:)
    Actually a fair number of the hollowpoint bullets sold are designed purely for target shooting, not defensive use.

    I doubt there are many knowledgeable shooters/reloaders that are buying bulk boxes of Zero or Rainier hollowpoints with the idea of loading up defensive ammo.

    Berry's, a company that's been making target bullets (including hollowpoints) for over half a century didn't come out with one that was actually designed for reliable expansion until a couple of years ago.
     
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  5. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    Why HP rounds?
    Why not?

    As to using this gun for defense, while it may not be the best choice it is certainly not the worst.

    IronHand
     
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  6. kBob

    kBob Member

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    IronHand,

    No one can tell you for certain if your particular Thompson can use "Hollow Points" every gun has its own quirks AND hollow points are varied. Back in the day when 1911 types needed ramping to use HPs I and friend used the old Remington 185 grain weight HP with no issue while the factory loaded Speer 200 grain Flying Ashtray just would not reliably feed in an un modified gun. I have had a Star that would eat the old Winchester white box 230 grain HP all day and choke on anything else......yet a friend's PD would not think of cycling that stuff.

    Different HPs are loaded to different overall lengths and have different shapes including the size of the effective meplat that is not there...the hollow point.

    All anyone can honestly suggest is that you buy a box of something you like and try it. If it works buy more of that.

    As for using a semi auto Thompson for home defense.....if that is what you have use it.

    Folks' experiences with SMGs is pretty pointless as your gun is one made to shoot Semi Auto only and constructed with that in mind. That said a "real" 1928 I had experience with back in the late 1970s shot everything we bought or hand loaded from the short nasty little 185 grain target Semi wad cutters (Both factory loaded metal jacketed and home cast hand loaded lead) to hand loaded and factory HPs but that is no indication your modern gun will cycle anything. Honestly though it really liked 230 gran FMJ loaded to GI specs, shot to sights and everything.....go figure.

    Now about pictures of your Tommy gun.......

    -kBob
     
  7. Havok7416
    • Contributing Member

    Havok7416 Member

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    I had one of the new commercial semi-auto Thompsons and it hated hollowpoints. Actually it hated ammo generally. I traded it off years ago with no regrets. If you decide to load non-standard ammo and happen to be using a drum mag, watch out! A jam with one of those is nearly impossible to clear.
     
  8. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    A Thompson wouldn't be my number one choice as a home defense weapon, but I don't think it would be a BAD choice.

    Particularly if it were shooting something along the lines of Federal's HST +P hollowpoint load.

    It seems to me that the main disadvantages of the Thompson are weight and poor long range performance.

    Neither of those are major disadvantages for a weapon that'll be carried no further than from the bedroom to the kitchen and used on human sized targets within a residence of normal dimensions.
     
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  9. carpboy

    carpboy Member

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    Try Remington Golden Sabre. It matches the contours of ball ammo closely.
     
  10. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    FA thompsons shot from open bolt and the bolt slamming forward into a halfway smooth ramp from a properly aligned mag is gonna chamber. The chamber entrance is radiused a little on real Thompsons to help this
     
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  11. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Hope the current generation of .45 hollow point ammo performs better than what my guys carried in the mid-nineties ( I retired out of police work in 1995)... Back then I was able to look at actual killing rounds from real bodies -and the ones hit with hollow point 45 ammo never showed the slightest expansion (that includes one that was fired point blank into a car door, then transited through a car seat, then made it almost all the way through a seated car thief, killing him where he sat....).

    The good news is that the standard GI hardball 230gr. rounds work just fine within their limits.... I can can understand the urge to have the best rounds possible in a self defense encounter but the basic GI round has been a documented fight ender for all the years it's been employed...

    If in fact current hollow point 45 ammo does in fact expand as claimed in real life situations I'd love to read any documentation for it...
     
  12. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Yesterday tested five different rounds in a new 27A1 with the fixed comp.
    Two were ball (185 & 230), two were JHP (Win PDX1 & Hornady Critical Defense), one was American Eagle Syntech with the polymer round nose.

    One of the Wins did a feedramp jam, otherwise all of the Wins fed perfectly.
    No problem with the Hornadys.

    I had an older semi-Thomp M1 version 20 years back, it was more finicky.
    As others have said- success depends largely on the bullet nose profile & just have to test your own gun with your own ammo.

    I test rifles with 3-round groups, and this one did its best at 50 yards with three holes in 7/8 of an inch.
    Denis
     
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  13. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    As requested
    20170617_191850.jpg 20170617_191840.jpg

    Took Tommy to the range. 15 rounds at 25 yards off hand
    20170617_191626.jpg

    I think that will do for self defense.

    IronHand
     
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  14. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    My only experience is with a FA Thompson owned by a friend. It would not feed SWCs. Didn't try hollowpoints.
     
  15. DPris

    DPris Member

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    The only way I'd use one of these for SD is if it were the only gun I had.
    Too heavy, too much mainspring.
    Hard to lug around, slow to maneuver, and the bolt takes a gorilla to manipulate. :)
    Denis
     
  16. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I love the Thompson. My dad had a "real" one, and I loved it so much I got a "close enough for me" AO version.
    I guess they are pretty heavy, and they aren't the easiest to charge I suppose. But for a physically fit person, they could be pretty darn effective! Especially if something/someone needs to be struck with the butt end.

    It had never occurred to me to try....now I'm tempted to see if it'll digest JHPs.
     
  17. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    Dpris, your right. A Thompson isn't a AR or a PS90. Just as a 1911 isn't a Sig. However, the Thompson, like the 1911, has served the military and law enforcement well for the last 100 years. To each his own.

    IronHand
     
  18. DPris

    DPris Member

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    It's past history is irrelevant.
    Today, it's an unduly heavy gun for SD, the action spring & small cocking knob make it very difficult to use quickly & efficiently, and it's a very poor choice.

    Many far better options with less weight, less bulk, and less strength needed to deal with the action.
    Swords used to serve the military well, too, but we don't choose a sword for SD today in the face of so many more efficient alternatives.

    The military hasn't used the Thompson for well over half a century, and LE hasn't since the last holdouts in the 1960s.

    It's a fun toy, but it's obsoleted itself for PRACTICAL defensive purposes.
    The A1 here weighs 12 pounds unloaded.
    I can barely get the bolt fully retracted with its inadequate cocking knob.
    When I had an M1, I had to put an extended cocking side-handle on that one.

    These things are simply too clumsy, too heavy to lug around, too slow to react, too slow to reload, and too inefficient in serious circumstances.
    Denis
     
  19. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    it may not be ideal.

    But if you know a person is in your house, you're holed up in a room, and he's coming your way....
    I'll take that Thompson with 30 rounds over a 1911 with 7 any day. Twice on Sunday.

    For a person that is familiar with them, the weight of it and difficulty of the mechanism can be overcome.
     
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  20. DPris

    DPris Member

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    More easily overcome simply by making a better choice in the first place. :)

    I'm not saying don't buy one, just be realistic about its capabilities.
    Denis
     
  21. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Member

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    There have been scores of people killed with a Thompson. Here's the deal, guns change, people don't. We're still soft and squishy. If it worked 50 years ago, it still will. There are better guns out there but I have no doubt if you practice and become proficient the Thompson can serve you well in a serious situation.
     
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  22. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    As far as the utility of a Thompson is concerned, I agree with DPris. The "coolness" for mine wore off shortly after slapping an Olympic upper on a GNCGuns lower that uses Grease Gun magazines.

    My two West Hurley AO Thompsons ate every round of brass-cased ammo I put in the mags. Numerous JHPs ranging from Gold Dots to the cheap UMC, and even a few boxes of the late 90s/early 00s 185gr HyShocks. SWC were also trouble free.

    Aluminum-cased Blazer didn't work so well, but Blazer Brass did.

    Edit: The 50 round drum didn't feed anything but 230gr ball. It also had to be wound an extra two or three clicks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  23. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    Dpriss,

    I don't agree with you but I don't want to argue with you. I have no wish to be hammered for straying from the "true path". I am done with this.

    IronHand
     

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