View Full Version : thompson sub machine gun someone got one?

August 14, 2007, 12:13 AM
I am really thinking about getting one of these. Could anybody tell me what parts on these are most likely to go first?
How are they in extreme heat/ sand, and extreme wet/mud?
Easy to breakdown?
Are they a good choice for car defense?

thanks guys

August 14, 2007, 12:31 AM
Better than an Uzi;)

As far as parts breakages, I can't remember what it is that fails, although the 2 guys I know with them have had the same aprt fail....

August 14, 2007, 12:39 AM
1. Guatemala, not Gutemala
2. You have excellent sentence structure and colloquial English for a person who lives in Gutemala
3. I hope that you understand that over 300,000 people have died in the recent civil war in your purported country
4. Don't let the local military read your postings, you might end up terminated. Or if you have friends in the local military and are really shooting 2500 acp rounds a month as you have posted, then don't worry about it, you can simply ask your friends for spare parts when your new Thompson submachine gun breaks down.:p

August 14, 2007, 05:46 AM
But to answer your questions;

How are they in extreme heat/ sand, and extreme wet/mud?

They saw duty in the deserts of Africa and the jungles of the South Pacific during WWII with great success, so historically speaking? Good.

Easy to breakdown?

They are military weapons, and are pretty basic to field strip.

Are they a good choice for car defense?

If your boss has the last name "Capone" or a girlfriend named Bonnie, (well actually that would be a BAR as well as a Tommy) and the car your driving at the time is a 1931 Willy's. :-)

The M1A1 was a great submachinegun in it's time. It's heavy by todays standards but packed a nice punch. The "Tommy Guns" came out with 12" compensated barrels making then very manuverable in small places.

But Tommy Guns don't come cheap. They are a few around, but I don't think I have seen any under $18,000.00. That's allot of cookies for a "Car Gun".

August 14, 2007, 08:07 AM
I just tried one recently. It seemed sturdy enough, but it was heaaaaaavy, and tended to climb unless you really had a grip on it, plus it's a bit long.

For car defense down there, I'd prefer an M3A1 Grease Gun, myself. Short, very easy to control, very simple design.


And FS2K, that's the price for a Thompson in the US, where they're heavily regulated. The OP is in Guatemala.

August 14, 2007, 08:46 AM
Sorry for my spelling, yeah there are a lot of ex-military around here (to be expected after a 30 year civil war) in an environment like this you get some pretty interesting feedback on firearms and tactics. There is still quite a bit of violence,(small time gunfights, probably 2 or 3 a month in my town) so we still get to see what works first hand.:cool:

It’s not quite as fascist as you might think, but you can run into trouble wth the guns. Just need to make sure papers are good for everything., and as you said , hitting the nail right on the head. Knowing the right people so as to not get hassled.

August 14, 2007, 08:47 AM
You also might want to consider something that uses 5.56. The shiny Guatemalan 5.56 I've gotten is good stuff, bit hot, even.

August 14, 2007, 08:52 AM
Yeah a Thompson only goes for up to 1000 bucks down here,:) there are not too many but they are not too expensive. People down here are not really into collecting guns, as much as they are into using them.

Prices are really weird down here.

A glock 17 goeas for $1500
A sig .45 for $3-4000
A mini ak-47 for about $400

It’s weird.

August 14, 2007, 08:57 AM
I am one of the crowd who is not a big fan of the 5.56, Not enough anyway to justify getting one down here, because there are a lot of military sanctions against the round,(since the army uses it) it is not impossible just a hassle.

I was just interested in that little galil because I have heard such great things about it, as far as it holding up so well against the elements.

You have actually gotten Guatemalan manufactured ammo in the states? Thats pretty interesting.

August 14, 2007, 08:58 AM
Not really weird. Supply and demand.

Loads of rifles, but you can see a rifle coming.

Good quality civilian make foreign (adds up to expensive, obviously) handguns, you can't.

Awesome to hear from about your situation, though. Take care.

August 14, 2007, 09:05 AM
But the Galil is a 5.56 rifle! :)

And yeah, a lot of importers were bringing it in, but it seems to have dried up. You had to inspect it in person, because most was shiny, but some seemed to have gotten into salt water, perhaps in Hurricane Stanley, and looked like corroded batteries.

The stuff I got is in sealed battlepacks or 30rd boxes, marked for the Guatemalan military, headstamps of 1994 or 1996. It's apparently the same as US XM193...lead core boattail bullet, brass case. And rather hot. I'm not sure how it'd be in an AR, but my Saiga 5.56 likes it just fine. It just "pushes" more than the British Radway Green M855.

August 14, 2007, 09:05 AM

I didn't know that there was an over flowing world supply of 80 year old open-bolt M1A1's just laying around in the world market that could be gotten at pennies on the dollar...in Guatemala.

Was Guatemala part of the Allied Forces in WWII? Seriously, I don't know, nor do I know of any contract with either the US military or Thompson had to supply the Guatamalan Military with any firearms that include this gun. Cause that's the only way I know of that would make a gun like this so readily available for anything close to an affordable price there, or anywhere else other than the US.
So the only real M1A1 .45ACP SMG's I know of are in the hands of collectors. Anything else would probablly be converted Springfield Armory Tommy's which aren't the same thing. :)

Heehee, Nah, point taken Manedwolf!

August 14, 2007, 09:15 AM

There's a lot of other sources for the Tommys. The lend-lease program sent M3 Stuart light tanks to the Soviet Union in WWII, and they all had Thompsons on board as shipped. The Soviets, not having .45 ACP and favoring the PPSh, just put them in storage and sold them. Some are showing up back here now sold as parts kits, but a lot probably went elsewhere in the world.

Obsolete weapons have a habit of wandering to where they're most needed. I was just watching a video from Afghanistan where someone asked a tribal leader what he would do if the Taliban came...and he went into his tent and came back out with a pristine Lewis gun! :eek: :D

The prices aren't surprising, either. Full-auto-only guns like a Thompson are most useful to a military that has an endless supply of ammunition. Poorer populations can't afford to hose out all their ammo in seconds, they might only have a little bit and not be sure of where or when they can get more, so they're more likely to prize semi/full auto and select-fire weapons, not full-auto-only. When you can't just get ammo from your supply depot in endless cans, every shot counts!

August 14, 2007, 09:20 AM
That’s pretty interesting Manedwolf, I will have to look into that ammo, 1996 is when the war ended here, by the way. Yeah I know the Galil is 5.56 I was mixed up with a posting on another thread where someone showed me a pic of a baby galil, really small(almost worth the hassle of getting one) I am sure that ammo would work fine in an AR because the military used m16 A1s down here (They have since moved over to the A2 and the police have the A1s)

August 14, 2007, 09:28 AM
The Guatemalan civil war was supposedly against communism, (actually about a lot of other things) and the US gov supplied Guatemala, with advisers, and weapons. The M1 Garand and M16 among a lot of other guns made there way down here. Now after the war they are all over the place. I was actually able to get a Colt 1911 A1 .45 for $400 the other day.:)

Oh by the way, the tommys are real, not knockoffs

August 14, 2007, 09:36 AM
You are sure right about the ammo being precious. Down here a box of 50 rounds of Seller & Bellot .45 acp goes for $31.00 US.

1 round of 308 ammo goes for about 1 dollar.:eek:

that will put a hole in anybodys pocket real quick.

As a matter of fact one of the best favors you can do a cop down here(not to encourage corruption of course, but just to be friendly;)) is to give him a couple boxes of ammo so he can actually practice firing his weapon. Police have to supply their own ammo with which they train, so most of them just donw.

August 14, 2007, 11:08 AM
I stand corrected! I did not know that..perhaps I should have remembered that movie "Uncommon Valor" eh? LOL!

James K
August 14, 2007, 01:33 PM
The TSMG is a great collector's item but in today's world, I think there are better SMG's. The Thompson is heavy and awkward, and very unhandy in a close environment (like a car). If you just want a TSMG, OK, but if you want a practical SMG, an MP5 would probably be better, or even an M3A1 "grease gun" if they are available and you want .45 caliber.

The parts that you should have for a M1 Thompson would be the hammer and firing pin, and a spare extractor, sear and disconnector. For the M1A1, just the latter parts, plus a buffer. For an M1921 or M1928A1 - spare hammer, firing pin, extractor, sear, "H" block, and disconnector, and a spare oiler (the part with the oil pads). For all models, a couple of spare recoil springs.


August 14, 2007, 03:32 PM

August 14, 2007, 06:29 PM
thanks alot guys, great feedback.

Johnny Guest
August 15, 2007, 08:21 PM
I have a 1928 Thompson which I very much enjoy owning. I shoot it in submachine gun matches. That said, I'm not too sure I'd want to carry one in a situation where I'd have any probability of needing to use it. I say this, not only as concerns MY personal, rather valuable, gun, but it would apply equally to a beat-up old M1A1 I picked up for under $1,000.

This entry is largely an expansion on the one by Jim Keenan, whith whom I agree.

The Thompson is (was) a first-generation SMG. Later designs are (were) lighter and shorter, and, arguably, easier to use.

The TSMG is heavy. The ammo is heavy. It is long and cumbersome to use inside a vehicle, unless the stock is removed. Then you have a separate piece which should be attached before use.

From what I think I understand of your situation - - -

If the M3A1 "Grease Gun" mentioned aboveis easily available, with sufficient magazines and spare parts, I'd tend to want one of those. Only drawback I can see is that the magazines are HEAVY - - But they are very sturdy.

Otherwise, I might very well opt for a short barrel, folding stock AK model, especially when they are economically priced. There may be times you'd prefer to keep it out of sight. The MP5 is very nice, if the 9mm cartridge is acceptable. Others I'd use are the British Stirling and the M45 Swedish "K" SMG. I'd want to make sure, whatever I chose, that magazines and ammo were plentiful.

Really, a standard M4 would be nice to have - - recent production and, usually, plenty of mags.

No one's even mentioned the difficulty of effective use of an SMG in a defensive situation. Training and practice are mandatory. Otherwise, SMGs are just good noisemakers. The instant massive suppression fire is not needed, the selector should be placed on "SEMI."

Best of luck to you.