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Old May 29, 2006, 08:29 PM   #1
Striker1
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Firing the Thompasom...what's it like?

I've always wanted to shoot the Thompson but since I heven't yet had the pleasure I was hoping someone here could describe the experience.


Is it controllable?

Does it have a lot of muzzle rise?

Thanks
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Old May 29, 2006, 08:32 PM   #2
trigger happy
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I fired a World War 2 version at a range in Lawrenceville, Georgia

Bulls Eye was the name of the range

no muzzle climb..heavy enough to stay on target..what a blast
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Old May 29, 2006, 09:19 PM   #3
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ONly sub I've ever fired is the UZI. It was a hoot too. I have fired the M16 series often on auto but they like to walk.

The main complaint I always here about the Thompson is the weight, but maybe that's also one of it's good design features!
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Old May 30, 2006, 05:27 AM   #4
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perfect for trench sweeping
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Old May 30, 2006, 07:11 AM   #5
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I've fired a Mini Uzi too..lots of muzzle climb..like the H&K MP-5..that range rented a few others that I fired too..like a Russian PPSh and a Sterling
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Old May 30, 2006, 07:30 AM   #6
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Kinda heavy, but that was good in negating recoil. A VERY fun gun to shoot (M1). Put the second biggest **** eatin grin on my face, the biggest being an original bringback MP40.
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Old May 30, 2006, 08:03 AM   #7
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Surprisingly controllable.... slow cyclic rate & that big, heavy bolt cycling back & forth almost acts like a gyroscope. They are also more accurate than you might imagine. Boringly reliable- I never saw a jam in probably 500-600 rounds fired, between two guns. Both stick (M1A1) and drum (1921 model) were used. Many years ago we shot the 1921 to 150 yards, and had no trouble hitting a B27 on semi-auto. I only shot the M1A1 to about 50, but any exposed opponent within that range would have been 'stitched up' in short order.

They are heavy, and I much prefer the sticks to the drums for mobility's sake. I imagine that 3-6 rounds of .45 hardball landing almost simultaneously was entirely effective at settling accounts. It's no wonder that these guns were popular with the troops, cops & crooks of its time.

Some cool pics at http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg29-e.htm
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Old May 30, 2006, 10:55 AM   #8
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1928 Model

I don't know about the guy who said it had no muzzle rise. Maybe he was firing blanks? The bolt weighs about 3 pounds and its reciprocating motion is enough to cause it to rise pretty hard. The gun is slow firing and accurate. Putt putt putt, but way nicer built than a submachine gun has to be. That's because it was one of the first, and the first 10,000 were built for them by Colt's. Beautiful weapons.
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Old May 30, 2006, 05:25 PM   #9
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I fired this MI Thompson a few months ago. It has a slow cycle rate compared to the early ones and it is easy to fire single shots with the gun set on full auto. I was able to keep three to four round bursts in this at twenty five yards:


If I tried to hold it down for longer burst, not only would it climb off the target but my overcontrol would scatter rounds low and to the right of the intended point of impact.

This large shooter was able to fire long bursts and hold the gun on target. I'm not sure exactly how his group was but the picture was taken in low light. Several cases are visible in the air and there is little or no gun movement.

Shooting the thompson was as much fun as I wanted it to be and more fun than I expected.
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Old May 30, 2006, 10:58 PM   #10
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BigG you live in Atlanta..Lawrenceville is a whole 25 miles away

give it a shot
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Old May 31, 2006, 08:59 AM   #11
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I shot the 1928 Model years ago. Not really interested in the M1 or M1A1 Thompsons.

I go to Bullseye about every six months or so. I fired their UZI, which was fun. They also have a Colt 9mm SMG that is nice.
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o "They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?" Paul Harvey

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Old May 31, 2006, 10:47 AM   #12
Phil Ca
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Many years ago I got a chance to fire the Thompson, a 1928 model at our field office at Fort knox while on a TDY assignment. I liked the sturdiness and reliability. In Vietnam I had a M3A1, "Grease Gun" in .45 ACP. The old M3A1 was easier to care for than the Thompson would be.

BTW, in the 20's the Thompson was advertised as a good ranch gun to keep away bandits and predators.
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Old June 1, 2006, 02:54 PM   #13
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muzzle rise

Controlling muzzle rise on the Thompson is just a matter of technique. Being extremely heavy (compared to later designs), recoil in full auto tends to balance the weight of the gun, and most of the muzzle rise is from the shooter still exerting pressure to hold the gun up. This can take a while to learn, but once you get it down, it is rather amazing what a Tommy gun can do.
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Old June 2, 2006, 12:01 AM   #14
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Technique is the trick to shooting sub guns full auto. If you stand upright and try to shoot them like a target rifle they will rock you back and you will have difficulty keeping control. I have many thousands of rounds through the MP5, Uzi, and Thompson M1A1. Get your weight forward on your weak leg and pull the gun into your shoulder or armpit. The recoil pulse is easily overcome by your body weight. With technique and practice you can dump an entire magazine into a pieplate at 15 yards.
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Old June 2, 2006, 08:01 AM   #15
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Recoil balances weight -

I'll try that next time I shoot a Thompson. Just need to make sure to stop the gun from falling as you let off the trigger.
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o "In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain

o "They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?" Paul Harvey

o TODAY WE CARVE OUT OUR OWN OMENS! Leonidas, Thermopylae, 480 BC
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Old June 2, 2006, 08:19 AM   #16
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Long time ago I had a chance to shoot a full auto Thompson and a Uzi. The Uzi had typical muzzle climb and the thompson did not. It was heavy, but it felt so right holding and shooting. Recoil was not too bad, and I love the slow Chunk,chunk,chuck rate of fire.
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Old June 2, 2006, 01:43 PM   #17
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I have fired both a '28 and M1 and have a Grease Gun and if you think the '28 has a slow rate of fire wait till you cut the ROF by a third (down to 400) then you will have a slow firing gun !! I took my Grease Gun to the range (outdoor and not supervised) and used one hand, swung the gun up and down range and fired the whole 30rds!! I had no problem holding the gun up and level while holding it with one hand, But when the mag was empty it fell down to my side. I would not recommend this, but it was FUN!!!!!
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Old June 2, 2006, 04:42 PM   #18
hockea
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A great shoot Thompsons are!
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Old June 4, 2006, 10:52 PM   #19
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Thompsons are HEAVY, around 15 lb. empty! On single shot use, there is no recoil since it's weight vs. .45 acp negates it. They are fun and cool and neat, but they are HEAVY. Not a good gun for fun plinking in the woods, too HEAVY. If you know where you can get a full-auto Thompson that's not hot and won't break the bank to buy, you better grab it. There weren't that many made in the first place, and you have to know someone that wants to sell theirs (or be damn lucky and in the right place at the right time with more money than the last guy). They don't show up very often. And they're gone quick!
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Old June 5, 2006, 02:20 AM   #20
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Personal impressions

Yes, the TSMG is heavy. Small Arms of the World, Smith & Smith, lists the M1928A1 as weighing 10.75 pounds, and the M1 and M1A1 at 10.45. My '28 with horizontal forearm, Kerr sling, and loaded 50-round drum runs near 14 pounds.

I read most of this thread before attending a submachine gun match last Saturday and tried to make some objective observations that would prove of value. Unfortunately, I was the only one shooting a TSMG in the contest, so my observation of others was limited to one man with an M1A1 and two guys shooting my gun and one other, after the match was over.

If you examine the images posted by mec, it is clear that the line of the bore is well above the buttplate of the guns. The drop at the heel of the stock is pretty extreme, and it can be seen that, given the low pivot point, the tendency is for the muzzle to rise under heavy recoil. The substantial weight of the gun reduces the felt recoil effect greatly, so there is little "kick" felt by the shooter. At the same time, there is a fair amount of energy being expended. The shooter really contributes to the muzzle rise thusly: As he fires, he holds the foregrip tightly, trying to control the muzzle rise. The muzzle does indeed rise somewhat but the weight of the weapon is not allowed to hold it down, because the the shooter is actually holding it UP. When the next round fires, the muzzle rises a bit more, and so forth with suceeding shots.

A 1921 or 1928 with a Cutts Compensator is fairly easy to control, because a portion on the muzzle blast is redirected upward, forcing the muzzle downward. Even the uncompensated guns, such as am M1A1 with a 30 round magazine, is heavy enough to sty fairly level, IF the foreend is not held in a death grip, and gravity is allowed to hold down the gun. Decades ago, I learned from Bill Toney, Border Patrol firearms instructor, that a TSMG is easily controled by resting the foreend or magazine on the open palm, and restricting bursts to five or six rounds. The gun just bounces up and down a bit but settles between shots. With sufficient practice, it is no great trick to take down five or six bowling pins, spaced a couple of feet apart, with one long burst, at about 25 feet.


My neice weighs about 110, and she has no trouble shooting a compensated M1928 with a Type XX magazine.


Of course, the gun looks a bit smaller when the shooter is six-five and 250 or so.

Speaking of slow rates of fire, I've never had the pleasure of shooting an M3 grease gun, but I'm impressed with how gentle and sedate a Sten Gun can be. And I fired a Swedish Carl Gustav M45 on Saturday. SMOTW shows it weighs 9.25 pouinds with 36 rounds loaded. Same reference indicates rate of fire as 550 to 600 RPM, but I doubt this particular gun ran over 450. Firing it was a hoot!
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Old June 5, 2006, 03:58 PM   #21
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firing a Thompson is almost better than sex
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Old June 5, 2006, 05:11 PM   #22
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TNT, nope i wouldent take it that far
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Old June 5, 2006, 06:10 PM   #23
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Almost is the key word here
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Old June 5, 2006, 09:04 PM   #24
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almost i noticed, its the word better that i disagree with.
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Old June 18, 2006, 08:08 AM   #25
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Sorry for the delay on the learning curve in posting pics.
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