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Who here has experience collecting and shooting the Thompson? I've always wanted one. I know that Auto Ordnance was still manufacturing them in the 1970s and 80s, and I wonder how those compare to earlier models. If I were to purchase one, it would have to function well. I would definitely want to shoot it on occasion.

I've also thought about the possibility of an M2 Carbine.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Tim
 

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I have a rewat M1 made by Savage that I bought years ago under NFA rules and regs. I have shot it in subgun matches and had lots of fun. Many other shooters had Thompsons.

The Thompson was designed for trench warfare and is a heavy gun that was made to shoot from the low ready. While it can be shot like a rifle it's very heavy to shoot from the shoulder. They are generally accurate and run better than most subguns. Magazines are dual feed and reliable. Military guns were well built and the aftermarket guns seem to run well but like any other model it depends on who put it together.

If you really look at the Thompson it has an unusual bolt. It's one of the reasons it runs so well. The rear of the bolt runs in a well machined receiver and the front of the bolt is guided through a hole that keeps all the dirt and debris out of the reciever.

Sights on the M1 are crude but they work fine

Can't say much more except they are really fun
 

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Who here has experience collecting and shooting the Thompson? I've always wanted one. I know that Auto Ordnance was still manufacturing them in the 1970s and 80s, and I wonder how those compare to earlier models. If I were to purchase one, it would have to function well. I would definitely want to shoot it on occasion.

I've also thought about the possibility of an M2 Carbine.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Tim
Have had a WWII Bridgeport-made 1928 Thompson for many years.It runs like a top.Liked to be well oiled.
Utilize WWII and earlier 50 rd drums ,XX mags, and WWII 30 rd mags.

The WWII Savage -made and Bridgeport - made 1928's and M1/M1A1's are the sweet spot of quality/price ratio, IMHO.

Your other options are (the very short version)-
Colt's from 1921- the 1921A,1921AC, 1928 Navy: the most expensive, parts more expensive and harder to find. C drums several thousand $.
XX mags and L (50 round) and C (100) drums.

WWII 1938-1945. Savage NY marked guns for Britain, later for US military Savage and Bridgeport AO 1928A1's and AC's, then Savage and Bridgeport M1 versions.:
Expensive, most parts not too expensive or hard to find. L drums, XX. XXX mags made then.

Post -WWII guns put together by successors of AO, from leftover parts.
These may be referred to or marked "NAC." Can be good shooters.
A bit less expensive, maybe.


West Hurley NY . Current user of Auto Ordnance name. Made 1975 or so -1986.
1928's and M1's.
Spotty history of reliability of these,and of their drums.
The first couple thousand reported to be more reliable due to using leftover original internals from WWII.
Many later ones however have been re-worked by outside Thompson smiths since 1986, and might be fine shooters.
Less expensive.

There are a few pre-86 manufactured frames from other entities, for example Phila. Ordnance or Marty Pearl. These can be good shooters.
Least expensive.

I have shot all of these.

Buy the best , most original, and oldest you can afford.Do not skimp on cheap parts or ammo...

Your best bet might be an original WWII version, known to run well by a knowledgeable seller. Or from a known FFL/SOT dealer in these.
Hope this helps...


P.S.-
M2 Carbines are usually converted/overstamped M1's. The C&R - original M2-marked (Inland and Winchester , IIRC), can go for 2x the price of the others.
The have a a spotty rep for reliability, magazine issues, etc.
Haven't found them that much fun. But some folks that like M1 carbines do.
 

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I have a friend who owns a 1928 AC Thompson. It has the fixed rear sight and a Cutts Compensator. Very reliable and fun to shoot.

When I was a sheriff's deputy in the '70s, the chief deputy kept a M2 carbine in his patrol car. He had me take it home and clean it. Of course, I had to make sure it functioned. :D The third shot in full auto was at 45 degrees. I cleaned it again and returned it to the chief.
 

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68python's summation is right on the money. I've had a Colt 21/28 overstamp and a Bridgeport 1928 both of which I sold. They both ran great but I didn't like the way the guns felt with drum mags. My current one is a Savage M1A1 but I run an earlier bolt with the firing pin assembly instead of a fixed firing pin. There is less chance of an out of battery slam fire with the earlier style bolts. This Savage runs runs like a sewing machine.
I have a Inland M2 also and it's a lot of fun but I've never been able to get the 30 round mags to run right. No problems with the 15's except they don't last long enough. You just get started and the mag is empty.
My recommendation is to find a good WWII M1A1.
Here's a picture of the disassembled bolt mentioned above and a picture of the M1A1.


 

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I have a friend who owns a 1928 AC Thompson. It has the fixed rear sight and a Cutts Compensator. Very reliable and fun to shoot.

When I was a sheriff's deputy in the '70s, the chief deputy kept a M2 carbine in his patrol car. He had me take it home and clean it. Of course, I had to make sure it functioned. :D The third shot in full auto was at 45 degrees. I cleaned it again and returned it to the chief.
The clamp on muzzle brake makes a big difference!
 

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I have a WWII Savage made 1928 A1 that was probably sent to Britain under the lend lease program.

Fantastic gun, beyond the myth and legend, it’s a very well build weapon, heavy sturdy and reliable. Seems like a lot of parts were oversized. And it’s very accurate in semi auto mode for an open bolt. Due to mass and caliber, recoil is negligible.

https://www.coltforum.com/forums/lounge/341999-thompson-1928a1.html

 

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I've never owned one, but I did get to shoot a Thompson a few times when I was in the service (Navy). Each year the SeaBee battalion I was assigned to went to Camp LeJeune for weapons training. The Thompson was one of the things we got some training on. The battalion armory had a small number of them but I never saw one handed out for any reason. We, the enlisted guys, all carried M14s with the full auto lever and 1911 pistols. All the ones that I got to shoot were apparently WWII versions with the horizontal front handguard. Great fun, especially when someone else was paying for the ammo!
 

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I've always been fascinated by the Thompson mostly from watching "COMBAT" as a kid.
My only experience was with a Kahr AO Semi-Automatic. Mine was the LWT model, well made, fun, but the longer barrel made it awkward imo. If I were to get another I get the SBR because its the closest thing to an original without taking out a second mortgage.
 

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When the government set up the NFA rules that taxed NFA firearms and suppressors it was during depression times in 1934. $200 is the tax, if you think it out by inflation the $200 tax back then is $3,800 today. The $200 was meant so only the elite could afford a NFA purchase. Today because they banned the manufacturing of Full Autos it's driven the price up to do the same thing, only the rich elite can afford full autos. The happiest folks are those who bought before the ban, they hit the sweet spot before prices rose.

The idea of the ban is that the guns will wear out and be no more. If you wait to buy one, well who knows what the future will bring but as the parts dissapeared so will the guns.
 

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The issued M2 Carbine - with all-GI parts and magazine, and with new springs - works just fine, and works better with a 'recoil check'.

The key here, is 'all-GI' - aftermarket parts are generally the reason for spotty performance
 

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I had a good bit of experience gunsmithing the semi-auto Thompson models and owned three of them over the years, but never got to shoot a full-auto.
I once was called on to repair a full-auto gun, even though I had no license to work on full-auto.
When the local FBI man, a State Trooper, and the local sheriff bring one in and say "Fix this, we need it for a class" you do so, licenses be damned.

As I recall (note the qualifier) the actual full-auto trigger and trip lever assembly of the M2 Carbine is actually the registered part.
"Apparently" you register the full-auto assembly and you can put it on another Carbine.
This is because the military made the M2 parts so as to be installed in any M1 or M2 Carbine.
If that's true, a good WWII original M1 Carbine can be bought and the M2 parts installed.
Then if the Carbine wears the M2 kit can be installed in another rifle.
 

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I've got this Savage rewet that eats any kind of 45 ACP I can feed it without a hitch. The work was done by a fellow named Frank Hatten out of Indiana if I remember properly. Like a great Colt pistol, they are a good investment, never go down in value.
 

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In "The Gun That Made The Twenty's Roar" there is a chapter that addresses the late production Auto Ordnance Thompson as well as getting an ATF okay on new production semi-auto, M1927A1s.
I remember when they came out and considered buying one as they were not real expensive iirc.
 
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