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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some decade and a half ago purchased this firearm from Class 3 dealer who felt sorry for me, since I could not afford a "Real" one, and gave me a good price on this semi auto version of a Thompson sub machine gun. Included with the firearm was 3 30rnd. original stick magazines** and one 50rnd. drum type.
It sat on the shelf for couple months before firing the first round and was not pleased with it's performance. Jammed about every 5th shot, whether using the stick magazines, or the drum. Only rounds advised to use is the std. 45ACP hardball 230gr factory and that is all I have ever used in it. Couple cessions or two later, the extractor blew out of the bolt and landed at my feet.
Took it home, cleaned it well, oiled all surfaces and put it away and until few days ago, totally ignored it's very existence. Reinstalled extractor and in doing so discovered how it should be installed and fixed that problem. Had 4 new boxes of Federal 45ACP hardball left over from those many years ago and decided I would try it again. Completely disassembled the firearm, put back together, went to the range and fired all 200rnds. with only two fail to feed, 2% fail rate. Fired slowly and as fast as I could pull the trigger in an attempt to make it fail as it did several years ago. Keep in mind that this "pistol" has no butt stock and firing from the hip so to speak it is quite easy to bump fire the firearm(hope that is not illegal for I am actually pulling the trigger for each shot, just very fast??) Factory rear sight is a ladder type as seen on older military firearms and it flew off from the very outset and never reinstalled it for pretty much useless anyway. This "thing" is intended for point and shoot at 25 to 50yds. with 10" barrel from my experience. Resting barrel/forearm on bag and guessing where to put the front sight(blade type) at 25yds. hits on the target are surprisingly accurate and from the hip you can keep it on target quite well.
The bolt and internals of this firearm are built like a tank, heavy thick steel components and should give good service over time/use. Bottom line I am glad I invested time and energy to revisit the firearm for it has proved to be a lot of gun and it is impressive to send down range those big, fat, 45 caliber 230gr. bullets in quick order. Had my constant companion Glock 26/9mm and shooting it is like a toy compared to this Thompson.
**The GI 30rnd. stick magazines can be had at reasonable cost, but need slight modification to fit properly. Round hole in mag engages the magazine latch system on the Thompson and for them to work they need to be slightly elongated/oval and they snap in securely. As for the 50rnd drum or the 100rnd. drum price is quite high, in the hundreds of dollars and have used it but the drum full of 50rnds. plus the weight of the firearm it is quite heavy.
Would point out though that you can make it much lighter firing from the hip in short order.
Summation, it is a keeper and going today to buy some more ammunition for it and believe it will fit nicely in my motorcycle saddle bag.
 

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That would be quite the scene at the range, you pulling up on a motorcycle and dragging that beast out of a saddle bag. Kinda like an Arnold in a Terminator flick thing.

PS - Pics!
 

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I bought a new TM1 and a used 1928 A/O semi a couple of years ago. Converted the TM1 to SBR and did some minor mods to it. I also had the extractor issue first time firing, and fixed that immediately. It has run great ever since. I find them to be a tad heavy, but none the less a hoot to shoot!
 
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Thanks for posting about your experiences with these guns. I have been somewhat interested in buying one for many years, but very hesitant to do it because every time I read posts about them the owners comment about problems they have encountered. An acquaintance of mine has, or at least had, a 1927A1 model. On his piece, the rear sight was bent; it turned out the elevation aperture was made out of nothing more than pot metal. I stripped a M1917 rear sight leaf aperture and replaced it for him. I mean, for the prices these guns sell for and the problems owners have with them it seems a lot to be desired in terms of workmanship and quality control. If I'm going to fork out $900+ for a non-USGI Thompson, I would expect it to be flawless from the get-go and not require money and time to be sunk into it to make it work like it should.

I am glad when I hear of those who own them and are happy with them; I have just always wondered how much money and parts hunting am I going to have to do if it doesn't run well and I've already spent half a mortgage to get one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As mentioned the Class 3 dealer friend of mine who has the "real deal" told me that key thing to do running one of these semi jobs is to secure good magazines for them. 30rnd. "factory" magazines are quite expensive versus original GI ones and they are not scarce or expensive. You do have to do the modification to the hole in them to fit snugly with the magazine latch, but quick and easy to do. The rear sight is a useless item for the firearm being ladder type with fine increments, it is a pistol and held outright with both arms does not make for precision shooting. The upper receiver is mfg. of aluminum alloy and that sight was attached with four screws and very shallow threads, recoil sheared them out of the holes, I don't miss it one bit. Biggest functioning issue I have is that the bolt is held in battery with two 8-10" quarter inch diameter springs and dual spring guides and pulling back the bolt with top mounted knob is very stout. Bolt knob is knurled and sharp to the hand and while holding it back a small lever in the magazine channel is pushed upward and locks the bolt back. An empty "stick" magazine locks back the bolt on last shot, drum magazine not so. Included with the drum is what is called a "Thompson thumb" which is inserted in the magazine channel holding back the bolt and then drum is removed. Understand that the drum magazine was not that popular with the full auto original ones for time consuming to refill, and the "stick" magazines most popular and much easier to carry plus very quick to change magazines, big plus. Check out the price of those drums!! I bought this "pistol" years ago as sort of a novelty item but with the right magazines it is certainly not a toy and indeed a very potent semi auto
firearm with serious fire power. Being ignorant of the law regarding these "pistols" I purchased a nice walnut classic vertical grip, that is a NO CAN DO on a pistol for we all know that in itself makes the firearm similar to a Stinger Missile in destructive power. Have no idea whatever happened to it and reshaped the walnut one that came with it to suit me, no vertical grip on my pistol. I am considering a way to attach a carry sling for it, a holster would be mammoth in size and I want a method of carrying the pistol on my back or front and of course covered up by my leather motorcycle jacket. Price you quoted is very low for what they go for in my area if you can find one, but if you are bored, tired, etc. of shooting your normal firearms, this Thompson 1927 A1 will rekindle your excitement in shooting, it is a fun gun.
 

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I'm glad to hear you've ended up having success with the one of these new thompsons. After the reading I did on it, I shied away and ended up purchasing a Kriss Vector pistol instead. I looked at it as sort of like a modern thompson (45 ACP, high capacity stick mags). That pistol has been a blast. Maybe I'll have to look into a thompson again too.
 
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