View Full Version : Thompson questions

Double Eagle
December 23, 2002, 06:54 PM
I recall reading somewhere that one of the problems with the Thompson sub machinegun during WW2 was that it took a relatively long time to complete one, that the materials, fit and finish were of excellent quality in comparison with later designs designed to be mass produced easily.

Was this the main failing of the Thompson, or are there other design flaws? (I am aware of the failure of the 'drum' magazines versus the 'stick' magazines)

If the Thompson is obselete today, then why? Rate of fire? Weight? Dimensions? How would it stack up against a truly contemporary .45 carbine design like Heckler and Koch's USC?

December 23, 2002, 07:57 PM
The Thompson is obsolete in the following. The Blish Block is not needed. The parts are all milled, too expensive to manufacture. The sights are not the greatest, The flip up ladder is too nice and optimistic, the M1a1 version is not adjustable. The mag area could use some flaring for quicker mag changes. And the number one reason is that is weighs almost 11 pounds. As for shooting, no modern subgun will outshoot it. It is a work of art.

December 23, 2002, 10:19 PM
The early Thompsons were complex to manufacture. They simplified the process and mass produced them. Many WWII veterans swear by them. The main problem was that they were heavy.

It is "obsolete" in the same way the Colt Single Action Army is considered obsolete. There were improvements made in the firearms technology areas which resulted in "better" SMG's. Like the Colt 1911, it is a classic, still well regarded and perfectly functional in today's society. It is still used in some machinegun matches.

guy sajer
December 24, 2002, 12:06 AM
Even the simplified M1 and M1A1 would require a substantial amount of machining . However , with modern computerized methods and programs , I don't think it would be a big problem .

I think the MP5 shoulders and points easier and more naturally than a TSMG . Also , allows for quicker mag changes as stated earlier . The sights are more adjustable is true , but the fixed TSMG sights are well regulated out to 50 yds .

Given the chance to trade my 1942 Savage M1 for any modern smg , I'd keep my Thompson .

Double Eagle
December 24, 2002, 10:15 AM
Thanks guys...

4V50 Gary
December 28, 2002, 03:08 PM
Expensive to manufacture (machine) and weight prohibitive. 10 lbs for a 45 ACP smg is a lot compared to a plastic HK UMP.

December 28, 2002, 05:39 PM
... 10 lbs for a 45 ACP smg is a lot compared to a plastic HK UMP.
Exactly! A HK UMP .45 only weighs 4.93 lbs.(w/o a magazine). ;)

4V50 Gary
December 31, 2002, 08:15 PM
Psst... The Blish lock was deleted in the military version. It wasn't needed and it saved time & $.

December 31, 2002, 08:31 PM
I've read recently that the Thompson is much more reliable with FMJ than with hollowpoints. This may be of little concern to some but I hope newer designs are better at feeding the best available defense ammo. I have fired a couple hundred rounds from both a Thompson SMG and a MP5. I would love to be able to legally own either one in my home state. The MP5 would be my first choice, however. Happy New Year!