View Full Version : Thompson Sub Guns: Need Some Answers

September 9, 2004, 12:13 AM
i am a .45 guy.....
love that round so much and i have always wanted a rifle or auto rifle that fired that round.....

thus.....the Thompson.....

so maybe someday soon ill procure me one.....


i would like to get one and am aware of some of the reproductions available......but some dont accept drums and are semi auto.....?

are the semi autos convertable?

or will they start producing full auto again?

were the originals switchable from full auto to semi with a switch? because that would be nice....if there was something current that could do that......

which ones accept the drums and are fully auto?

will they become legal with the AWB sunset?

who makes the best ones?

i would like a full auto, but it isnt absolutely necessary (would be kinda fun to shoot though out in the desert or country) this would probably be a conversation piece/sporting gun that i would take out to grandpas ranch and blow about $20 bucks worth of ammo feeding through it in a heartbeat...

he shot one about 20 years ago and said it was an absolute rush.....he said you really have to put your shoulder into it or it will come up on you.....

any answers you could provide would be greatly appreciated......

September 9, 2004, 07:42 AM
Someone else will surely give more detail but FA Thompsons are starting at around $12-15K. I haven't priced them in a while so I may be off. The drums themselves go for over $1K.
There were many different variations of the Thompson and the Thompson is still being made today. The company is now owned by Kahr Arms. The Thompson website is www.tommygun.com. You can find info on the Thompson there.
I should say that the semi-auto only is still benig made as the 1986 machinegun ban precludes the manufacture of any new FA. So there won't be any more new FA Thompsons.
As to conversions, let's just say that it would cost you several years in Club Fed and a hefty fine to convert one to FA.
If you want in-depth information, there are several good books on the Thompson; Thompson, The American Legend is excellent and gives probably more info than you'll ever want to know. There is also a follow-up book on the Thompson M1 that is just as entertaining to read.
And yes, there are a blast (pun intended) to shoot!

Johnny Guest
September 9, 2004, 09:35 AM
I'm sure others will have more and better information, as well.

TriggerFingers - -

I’ll try to answer some of your questions, not necessarily in order - -

Thompson Submachine Guns (TSMG) were produced in the Model 1921, 1928, 1928A1, M1, and M1A1 versions, ending with WWII. There was also a semi auto “carbine,” not properly an SMG, called the M1927. In the 1970s, Numrich Arms, then-owner of the Auto Ordnance name and rights, began producing the 1927 with a 16-inch barrel. They also produced some selective-fire/full auto versions they called the 1928. A little later, they also brought out the M1 version, in both semi and selective. These are called the “West Hurley” guns, from the location of manufacture.

With the ban in 1986, no more legally transferable full autos were produced. While the Pre-1945 guns are more valuable from a collectors’ standpoint, the West Hurley (WH) guns are usually good shooters, and have skyrocketed in price since 1986. My WH 1928 originally sold for around $800. When I got it in 1993, the going price was around $2000. I recently saw one identical to mine sell for $9500. Supply and demand, you know. :rolleyes:

An interesting point - - Kahr, the current owners of the brand, recently introduced short barreled versions of the ’27 and M1 guns. They are semiauto only, but have the proper “LOOK,” and are becoming popular for reenactors and shooters, and they look good in a display. These must be registered as Short Barrel Firearms, and the tax paid, but they CAN be had for a semi-reasonable price

were the originals switchable from full auto to semi with a switch?
Yes, except for the 1927 model.

are the semi autos convertable?
Not legally, no, and I am told it would be quite difficult to do a decent conversion even if ‘twere legal.

or will they start producing full auto again? . . . will they become legal with the AWB sunset?
The sunset of the Assault Weapons Bill will not effect the ’86 machine gun ban. We HOPE it will set the stage for an amnesty to register some currently illegal guns. It seems doubtful the law will change enough to allow new production of transferable machine guns. :(

i would like to get one and am aware of some of the reproductions available......but some dont accept drums and are semi auto.....? . . . which ones accept the drums and are fully auto?
The ’27 and ’28 guns (as well as the old ’21) will accept the drums. The M1 and M1A1 will not without expensive machine work.

who makes the best ones?
I believe the originals were all produced by Colt’s and Savage. Colts tend to bring more money on the collector market. The postwar guns came from Numrich and, later, Kahr.

For more information, check out the list of links at:

They have more interesting stuff at:

Hope this helps in your quest for information - -

September 9, 2004, 09:33 PM
If you want FA in .45, why not save some money and get an UZI and a .45 conversion kit? I'm in the process of buying one now with a suppressor, and plan on getting both the .22 and .45 kits.

September 26, 2004, 08:30 PM
I own three Kahr Tompson 1927 A1 just nkow a little bit about them.

There are four model availabel now, one call 1927 Carbine have shorter barrel and have bolt habdle at the side this one will not accepted drum just stick magazine only and did not have front pistol grip just wood forearm. second call the deluxe model come with hard case and fancy wood longer barrel with front pistol grip and bolt handle on the top will accept both drum and stick magazine, I did know it will accepted older 50 rounds drum or not the new drum is 10 rounds only, third are the same as the second without hard case and the fourth call The Commando same as the above with black wood stock price range from $800 to $1,000 for each gun.