The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > NFA Guns and Gear

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 25, 2006, 09:59 AM   #1
Doug.38PR
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 18, 2005
Posts: 3,298
Would a Thompson be a good combat submachine gun for today?

Would the Thompson submachine gun be a good combat submachine gun for today? This gun was used from the 1921s by LEOs, civilians and even bad guys and WW2, Korea and Vietnam and even a little into the 1970s by Law Enforcement.

With it's .45 ACP round, it would be superior to the Uzzie's 9mm
Doug.38PR is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 10:06 AM   #2
Servo77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2005
Location: Southeast OH
Posts: 905
With the introduction of small carbines firing full power rifle rounds (i.e. the M4), the role of the submachinegun is not as prominent as it once was. The m4 is as light and almost as or more so compact not sure) then a thompson (although probably not the H&K) and delivers a more potent cartridge that is effective against body armor. I think we mostly see law enforcement going to carbines and such for this reason. I think the submachinegun is still useful in some roles, but the auto carbine has all but supplanted it.
__________________
"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?!"
Servo77 is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 10:06 AM   #3
buzz_knox
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 1999
Location: Knoxville, in the Free State of Tennesse
Posts: 4,190
The Thompson was a 1st generation SMG: heavy, precision machined, and somewhat complex. It would be expensive to make and, of course, heavy compared to modern designs. It would work, certainly, but a .45 UMP would be as effective and more efficient.

As for .45 versus 9mm, let's not open that can of worms.
buzz_knox is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 10:14 AM   #4
TNT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: Back in glorious Nebraska
Posts: 606
how did I know this was coming
__________________
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man and brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
TNT is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 10:16 AM   #5
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,744
Fun guns, but too heavy, too complex and too expensive for today's world. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I can see it being quite effective for home defense in SHTF situations.

But they are indeed fun to shoot...

Art
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 10:21 AM   #6
TNT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: Back in glorious Nebraska
Posts: 606
.45ACP vs my beloved 9mm the .45 has the biggest advantage here Especially in close combat excellent knock down power the 9mm has good range and penetration but if given Hollow points over Ball ammo it woul have decent knock down w/ good penetration
__________________
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man and brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
TNT is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 10:29 AM   #7
TNT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: Back in glorious Nebraska
Posts: 606
very fun (especially if you put in the 1921 group) gun extremely reliable complex not really IMO action is solid as is the gun as I said before it is the king of the sub MGs not many I know can run through 2500rds in full auto with out stopping until it ran out of ammo. And not malfunction In other configurations like maybe taking the stack off it might be more versitile and mobile but it is heavy and there are many other lighter ones out there. Out dated maybe but definitely not out classed
__________________
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man and brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
TNT is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 11:45 AM   #8
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 13,556
From a strictly military point of view, the Thompson would be outclassed by other weapons in current use.

For a LE application, the market is better served by the likes of the MP5.

Just for grins and giggles and dusting a hillside, the Thompson is about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. It gets expensive in a hurry, though.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 11:59 AM   #9
Tom Matiska
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2000
Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pa
Posts: 1,026
I'd like to shoot it, but hate to carry it. Most models are in the 11-13lb range. Auto Ordinance/Kahr has some with aluminum receivers that are around 8 naked. Not bad, but not light either.

A 5.5lb 30 Carbine with 30 round sticks for me.
Tom Matiska is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 01:08 PM   #10
Musketeer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2005
Posts: 3,733
DOUG.38PR, why all these posts on old firearms? So far you have posted the same question but simply changed the gun. M1 Garand, BAR, and now Thompson.

Many of the responses for one apply to all.

Comming next... Would the Sherman Tank be a good combat tank for today?

followed by:

Would the Quad 40 serve well for fleet missile defense?

Culminating in:

Would the P51D serve well for air superiority today?
Musketeer is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 01:28 PM   #11
High Planes Drifter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2005
Posts: 558
Isnt the Thompson heavier than an M1 Garand?
IIR, doesnt a Thompson wiegh in around 11 pounds?

Kind of defeats the purpose of a handy little rifle. Far better options in todays market. Would it still be effective? Sure, the round would still kill someone just as dead as back in WW1 or 2; no doubt about the weapons lethality. But there are far better options available in the subgun or carbine class just as lethal and a whole lot handier.
High Planes Drifter is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 01:30 PM   #12
TNT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: Back in glorious Nebraska
Posts: 606
Musketeer to answer your questions
Sherman now way no how simply outclassed by the Chieftan, Abram and the Leopard could it serve in other ways yes as a target
Quad 40mm nope the modern vulcan systems in use to day use what as refered to as a wall of steel assisted by a computer system intigrated with the radar and they fire at a much faster rate
P51D..............oh you were only joking sorry couldn't resist
__________________
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man and brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
TNT is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 01:32 PM   #13
Leif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2005
Posts: 1,237
Quote:
DOUG.38PR, why all these posts on old firearms? So far you have posted the same question but simply changed the gun. M1 Garand, BAR, and now Thompson.
Might as well ask if the 1911 would be a good combat handgun for today ...
Leif is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 01:33 PM   #14
TNT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: Back in glorious Nebraska
Posts: 606
on a side note the Marines at Guadal (spelling) Canal that had the M1A1 Thompsons were far and few between and very seldom if every revealed how they aquired them
__________________
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man and brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
TNT is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 02:03 PM   #15
Esquire M Busterbury
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2006
Posts: 445
Musketeer, maybe he just likes discussing old firearms in a modern context. Maybe we do to (he's certainly had no shortage of replies). Either way, who are you to rain on his parade? If you don't like what's on, change the channel.

Besides, sooner or later, he's bound to hit upon a firearm that's still worthy of being carried (1911 maybe?).

How about this for a thread-Would a modern M4A3 be a good combat rifle for today? (especially in comparison to other rifles & calibers?)
Esquire M Busterbury is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 02:54 PM   #16
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 13,556
I think it's always nice to reminesce, but we need to avoid projecting our misconceptions onto others. Perhaps it's a search for historical context? Perhaps trying to gain insight from older, more experienced shooters? Maybe he has idealized all those old guns as being the best because they were used in the last really big war?

All of them (including the guns I love and idealize) were great in their day. Newer weapons have supplanted them. Would you go out against a troop of Mexican soldiers armed with a Walker revolver? Not likely, but 150 years the Texas Rangers did. Would you go to war with a Garand? No, but many of our fathers did. Would you . . . you get the idea. But sometimes it's fun to ask.

Think up something different to ask about, like is an AK better than an AR.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 03:09 PM   #17
Eightball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 31, 2005
Location: On my Computer
Posts: 289
The UMP would be more practical, but I think the tommy would be a great firearm for our troops nowadays. Fired one a while back....yeah, heavy, but it was plenty accurate, recoil was nonexistant (muzzle rise excepted), and all that fun jazz. Granted, drums still have the same reloading problems, so it'd probably stick with sticks, but think about it---if we were to go for the WWII version instead of the intricately complicated closed-bolt-firing weapon as it was designed, but with use of modern metals, machinings, and plastics for grips (maybe use the navy-issue folding stock?), and you've got the makings of a good weapon. Better SMG purpose than an FA M4--becuase why? Because it is.

I've seen pics of our troops raiding houses with antiquated soviet PPSh SMGs, because they didn't think that the M4 was adequate for the job. That seems to me to say that "WE NEED AN SMG NOWADAYS".....and if we were to apply modern methods into a tested & honed design, whose to say it wouldn't be a good firearm, either for noncom personnel or, say, close-quarters combat, etc? Because no matter how you look at the issue, the M4 using FA is NOT the thing that fills the hole SMGs left in our military.
__________________
Own (among others): S&W 620
RRA 16" Middy AR15
M1 Garand, July '42
M1 Carbine, Inland '43
Eightball is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 03:38 PM   #18
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Posts: 9,789
Quote:
.45ACP vs my beloved 9mm the .45 has the biggest advantage here
Maybe with placed shots in semi, but in FA, shooting bursts, caliber really isnt much of an issue.


Quote:
...not many I know can run through 2500rds in full auto with out stopping until it ran out of ammo.
My MP5 has run through multiple tens of thousands of rounds with only a rare stoppage.(truthfully, I can only remember two in 20+ years) In all that time, only one part broke, the roller retainer, and the gun was still functioning fine with the part broken.

The Thompson is a fun gun to shoot, especially with the fast bolt, but if I had to pick one to actually use, it would most certainly be one of the 9mm guns with the MP5 in the lead, the Sterling second and the M45 third.
AK103K is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 05:07 PM   #19
'75Scout
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2005
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 815
This is the one of the three threads that I'll have to say no. I think the Thompson is too heavy for its purpose. Would I take an M1 Garand or BAR into combat, sure. But not a Thompson. I would much rather have an MP5 or UMP.
'75Scout is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 05:29 PM   #20
TNT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: Back in glorious Nebraska
Posts: 606
nothing against your MP5 because I happen to want one myself but could you take yours and run it through 2500rds non-stop in one sitting in full-auto taking time out only to reload and fire until all 2500rds were gone? ANd not worry about the barrel or any of the other parts?

Of all the years my dad has had his since 1978. (not bragging just saying) he has never ever had any malfunction that I can recall I will ask him tonight and verify

For yours to fire that many rounds and not malfunction is excellent is yours a early one or newer. and if older would you say that it is better or worse to the newer MP5s

Quote:
Maybe with placed shots in semi, but in FA, shooting bursts, caliber really isnt much of an issue.
in urban combat I believe it is a issue IMO having 9mm is all right but the .45 shines extremely well in situations such as house & room clearing due tio the range but if given the choice between the two for such duties I would take the .45 over the 9mm again all this is all IMO (all this said respectfully)
__________________
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man and brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
TNT is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 05:43 PM   #21
HorseSoldier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: OCONUS 61°13′06″N 149°53′57″W
Posts: 2,282
Quote:
I've seen pics of our troops raiding houses with antiquated soviet PPSh SMGs, because they didn't think that the M4 was adequate for the job. That seems to me to say that "WE NEED AN SMG NOWADAYS".....and if we were to apply modern methods into a tested & honed design, whose to say it wouldn't be a good firearm, either for noncom personnel or, say, close-quarters combat, etc? Because no matter how you look at the issue, the M4 using FA is NOT the thing that fills the hole SMGs left in our military.
The M4 and similar rifle-caliber carbines don't fill the need for an SMG, they simply eradicate it and makes the whole concept of an SMG obsolete. Or more exactly, the rifle caliber assault carbine is the weapon the original SMG designers, Thompson included, would have made if they'd set out to make an SMG with 1990s or turn of the century technology rather than 1910s and 1920s technology.

Modern body armor does the same thing -- renders the pistol caliber SMG obsolete.

The Thompson ain't the answer for any questions we're currently asking in the military (the Thompson especially, being longer than an M4). A handful of MP5s handle those extremely rare situations where you do need something like that, but even those weapons, never very common to begin with, are dwindling fast. The rifle caliber carbine does the trick better than the pistol caliber SMG ever did.

As for a full automatic M4 (well, M4A1, actually) versus a fully automatic Thompson -- either allows troops to waste ammunition as fast as they can and otherwise accomplish very little.
HorseSoldier is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 05:54 PM   #22
Doug.38PR
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 18, 2005
Posts: 3,298
Muskateer,
a couple of the other fellows in here have already answered your question. Yes I do like talking about old firearms. Yes there is certainly an interest for it. But really it's just what the questions says "would ________ be a good combat weapon today" It's not necessarily a question if they are better or worse than those made today (although cases can be made for better or worse 30.06 vs. .223, rifle grip vs. pistol grip, etc.). As someone else in here hinted at, the 1911 A1, although just over 100 years old, is still considered one of the best (if not THE best) semi automatic pistols available today. I have seen MANY men, young and old, LEO, Military and civilian who given their choice prefer the .45 ACP 1911 A1 over the Glock or Sig or Berretta 9mm or .40 S&W.
Can the same case be made for the BAR or the Thompson or the Garand? Are they still valid weapons? Well, that's what prompted this thread.
Doug.38PR is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 06:03 PM   #23
onemsumba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2006
Location: Back In Oregon now!
Posts: 314
ummm last i checked it was still 2006, hence the 1911 isn't quite 100 years old yet....

I'll take my P220 over a 1911. Though if i had some more money to waste on guns I'd buy one...

Given the tommy gun over nothing I'll take the tommy gun.

I kind of agree the posts are getting repetitive.
__________________
No Wife
onemsumba is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 06:38 PM   #24
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Posts: 9,789
TNT,

Mines a converted HK94 that was done by Flemming back in the 80's. I dont think it works or shoots any different than any other HK MP5, other than its a conversion.(there are differences in the guns though) I've shot a number of others, both actual MP5's and conversions, and one that was converted like mine from a 94 to a MP5 by HK themselves here in the states. They all worked pretty much the same and I dont remember anyone ever having any troubles with them.

I've slowed down a good bit now, but when I first got it, we were putting a couple of cases a week end through it. Its had more than a couple of cases through it during a day at one sitting, and thats been more than just one or two times. Its been shot hot enough you wouldnt want to touch bare metal, but its been allowed to cool in between shooters and mag loadings.

I also have a el cheapo SWD M11/9mm that has as many or more rounds through it. Its had a lot more failures (mostly due to bad mags) and broken parts, but not all that many when you cosider, and with good mags, its reliable and still going strong. Not bad for a $225 gun.


I really dont think the caliber is as much of an issue if your shooting them on full auto. The SMG's work like a shotgun with buckshot, and its the "instantaneous multiple hit" effect on the nervous system that makes it so effective. A solid burst COM, works, be it .380, 9mm, or .45, just like 9 or 16 .30 or .33 caliber pellets out of a 12ga. do. As others have mentioned, it can all be pretty much moot these days once armor comes into play. Pistol caliber guns, along with shotguns, are behind the rifles curve when it comes to power. A solid burst from a M16 or AK will punch through "most" vests that will easily stop the others.

The biggest advantage the MP5 has over the M1A1, and other open bolt guns is, on semi (even on full actually, as you can easily get "one round bursts" once you learn the trigger) it has sniper grade accuracy out to 100 yards or so, due to its firing from a closed bolt and can easily make head shots at that distance, on demand, especially when equipped with a scope or red dot.
AK103K is offline  
Old August 25, 2006, 07:11 PM   #25
Esquire M Busterbury
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2006
Posts: 445
Quote:
I kind of agree the posts are getting repetitive.
So are the shows on tv, but instead of complaining to the producers, can you GUESS what I do instead? I'll give ya a hint, it's NOT complaining about it while I continue to watch...
Esquire M Busterbury is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11654 seconds with 8 queries