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Thompson .45 ACP smg VS. HK 9mm smg

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 12GA00buck, Oct 2, 2006.

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  1. 12GA00buck

    12GA00buck Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Just wondering how everybody feels about the two, and if anyone knows why the military switched over. Did it have something to do with the switch between the 1911 and the M9?
  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    The Thompson was dropped before Korea, and supplanted by the M3 grease gun which was in service (issued to tankers) until the 80's. many Thompsons ended up in the Phillipenes and other US allies hands post WW2.

    Select fire M-16's and Car/XM177 replaced the .45cal submachine gun in main line units sometime in the Vietnam era, though the M-3 was issued/given away to Montagnards and other RF/PF forces in Vietnam and saw use with Spec ops.

    Before the HK was an 'official' weapon of US forces it was a 'clean' weapon, like the Swedish K that could be 'denied' having US origins. It was also issued to Iranian forces in the Shah era, and I'm pretty sure one of the first deployments of the MP-5 was to Delta Force for the failed hostage rescue attempt.

    There was a drawing of an engraved HK MP5 with 6 pounds of ivory made as a presentation weapon for the shah in Gun Digest in the 80's.

    .45 cal ammo was never a NATO standard, the switch to a 9mm SMG came before the swith to a 9mm sidearm, teh 9mm SMG is still only issued in limited numbers.

    (On a side note, I know a guy who served as a Bradly commander in Desert Storm that was issed a 1911a1. He said it was the most worn out handgun he'd ever handled but it went bang every time. The switch to 9mm handguns had a lot to do with the supply of .45's being old and worn out, as well as the switch to NATO standard ammo.)

    The thompson is a HEAVY weapon that's hard to machine, whereas the MP5 is light, using stamped parts. The later M1A1 Thompson had rudimentary sights, while the 1928 had an overly complicated Lyman sight (given what the weapon was designed for). The M1a1 is a simplified 1928 design, the HK is a design derived from the best of German WW2 weapons and US Vietnam era weapons ie stampings, in-line recoil, plastic parts, alloy parts etc.
  3. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thompson was expensive to make - so they switched to the 'grease gun'. I hear that the MP5s are no less pricey than a Thompson... and I doubt that the closed bolt makes much difference for most situations. It's a SMG, not a sniper rifle.
    The M249 is a better SMG than either.
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Machined receiver = high cost of production. So ends the Thompson as a production weapon.
    stamped receiver = low cost of production. The advantage of the STEN(ch) gun, the M3/M3A1 Grease Gun, the Soviet PPsH and the HK MP-5.
  5. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

    May 31, 2005
    NC, USA
    The Thompson also has alot of little fiddly bits over the Mp5 and is an overly more complex mechanism that takes along time to construct and weighs nearly twice the amount of an equivilent Mp5. Not to say the Thompson has anything wrong with it, its just outdated and been replaced with a much better design.
  6. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Alma Illinois
    Very few units in the US military used the MP5. Submachine guns were on their way out before WWII ended. The M3 grease gun soldiered on in the US Army until 1997 when the M4 was procured in quantity. In it's last 20 or so years it was a basic issue item for an armored vehicle. I think a tank each had two. The M4 replaced it in this role.

    Submachine guns are almost non-existant in modern armies. Very short 5.56mm carbines have taken over that role.

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