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Old June 2, 2006, 02:12 PM   #1
cdoc42
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Thompson sub

How does one sell a Thompson submachine gun? A friend passed away and his wife is selling his gun collection. One is a "USMC 078" Thompson, gold muzzle brake, commemorative model apparently, never fired. I cannot find any listing in the Blue Book of Gun values for a commemorative model. If someone wanted to buy it, I assume one cannot just sell it without going through a FFL holder - or, in fact - in this case, is it even legal to sell?
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Old June 2, 2006, 02:26 PM   #2
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Moving this one to NFA Guns & Gear Cdoc; I think you'll get better response there.
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Old June 2, 2006, 02:58 PM   #3
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Sounds like a WW2 commemerative gun, like those gold plated 1911's. It's most likely semi auto, with a 16" barrel. That gun will sell just like any other regular rifle. I'm assuming there's no "Auto" selector, and thast it's a closed bolt rifle; ie, rack the bolt and let go, it should close. Have a pic for confirmation?
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Old June 2, 2006, 04:40 PM   #4
cdoc42
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No picture but I'll work on that. I'll have to look at it again to see what caliber it is. There's no book with it. All I know at this point is he was in the marines, was in Korea, so this signified that era of his life. Hence the designation "USMC 078."
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Old June 2, 2006, 06:15 PM   #5
Hkmp5sd
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Assuming that it is something like this:



It is considered a standard rifle and you treat it like any other rifle based on your state laws. It is NOT a submachinegun. The value of these guns go from a few hundred dollars to $10k or more. It all depends on who wants one and how many there are.
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Old June 2, 2006, 11:25 PM   #6
cdoc42
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Thanks, hkmp, that's what it looks like. I'm going to check for details tomorrow. I'm sure my friend had a different impression of the value of this piece, but isn't that how we all feel about the stuff we have?
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Old June 3, 2006, 12:12 AM   #7
Bill DeShivs
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The commemorative gun was made in a full-auto version, too. It will have a shorter barrel.
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Old June 4, 2006, 10:36 PM   #8
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If it's new in box semi-auto, I've seen one priced at $3000.00 + tax. If it's a full-auto, you can get triple that or more. Such a gun is not mean't to be shot if it is to retain it's value. Since it is a modern production, it's not worth anywhere near a genuine M1, but a show gun is still worth a nice figure nib.
Best bet might be to auction it off at a site where rich people buy things. It just might "explode" in value!
A genuine original Thompson can bring $25,000.00 or much more to the "right" buter. I've heard (unconfirmed) that a buyer gave $250,000.00 for a real gangster type Thompson.
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Old June 5, 2006, 03:51 PM   #9
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My dad has a 1921-28 overstamp Commercial Thompson with over 95% of the blueing still on it last he seen the price for them was 25,000 starting for a ratty one and going into the 45,000+ range bought it in 1976 for 2,000. Got it from a School teacher in Ill. lol
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Old June 7, 2006, 08:03 AM   #10
cdoc42
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I've not been able to get a ballpark value on this gun. It looks exactly like the picture presented here. There is no box. The barrel does not indicate the caliber. But there are two clips; it's never been shot because there is a tag on the trigger guard indicating proof that it has not been shot. It is part of a 15-gun collection my friend had. I used the Blue Book and came up with prices in the 90-95% range. I had Cabela's look over the collection list (did not see the guns yet) and the offer was $2000 UNDER my prices, INCLUDING the Thompson. I understand they need to make a resale profit, but the deal here essentially gives the widow an average of $300 for every gun - one is a 100% Model 94 Deluxe, another is a Weatherby Deluxe Mark V - between these 2 alone I feel the values are easily $1500.

I'm getting the impression I should seel my own guns before I die so my kids don't have to go through this. Whew!
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Old June 7, 2006, 08:06 AM   #11
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You/They might want to consider an estate auction for the guns. Might get more money.
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Old June 7, 2006, 12:38 PM   #12
James K
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Measure the barrel. If it is 16", the chances are 99.99% that it is a semi auto and can be sold (local law permitting) like any other rifle.

If it is 10-11 inches, then check back; it is at least a short barrel rifle and possibly a sub machinegun.

Jim
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Old June 7, 2006, 01:16 PM   #13
44 AMP
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Semi auto

From reading the thread, I gather you have one of the semi auto commemoratives. Saw a price on a new (standard) Thompson at Sportsman's Warehouse last week, $1049.

Legally, it is just a semi auto rifle. I remember seeing ads for these guns years ago, and it was something like $1000-1200 when the regular gun was around $600.

Most definately, DO NOT SHOOT IT. Shooting a gun like that one will reduce it's value down to close to a USED regular model.

If you are looking to get the most value out of the gun (collection) do not sell to a dealer. Sell on consignment at a dealer, or at auction, or just sell direct (if legal in your location). If you are in a hurry, expect to take a loss.
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Old June 9, 2006, 12:34 AM   #14
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As has been mentioned several times, the first thing you need to do is determine if this is a machine gun or not.
Without knowing that, it is impossible to tell you it's value. Everything posted in this thread is purely a guess without knowing if this is a submachine gun or not.

There is a guy in my local club that shoots something just like you describe in our club's machine gun matches. Gold Cutts Compensator and all. I can assure you that his is full auto.
I think he paid around 14k for it within the last year. These arn't real C&R Thompsons. They were manufactured in the 80s so they don't command the price tag of a real, back in the day Thompson. But, any select fire Thompson should get you at least 10 grand. One of my best friends bought a Thomspon that was legally converted from a semi-auto Auto Ordinance gun before the ban. It looked like it was built in a 7th grade shop class at the sheltered workshop. The rear sight is welded on with chewing gum welds and looks like hell. But, he paid 9k for it.
Not that this adds much to the discussion but I know another guy that bought a commenrative (sp?) M16 with gold flash suppressor and all the bling. Yes, it was full auto. He replaced all the gold stuff with standard parts.
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