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AlexUSMC0311

Thompson advice for new owner please!!

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I started the long wait back in November on a WW2 Savage M1A1 Thompson and I now realize that I know absolutely nothing about them or how they work. so what are some of the ins and outs of them? the good the bad and the ugly? some of the things to know as well as quirks and/or faults of these guns? is there a way to modify the reciever or an existing drum to make them fit and if so is it really worth it? is one maker objectively better than the rest? thanks in advance!

Edited by AlexUSMC0311

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I don’t own a Thompson but I’ve herd of some one modifying drums some how to work in such a thompson but I’ve not seen it in person...  hope some one else chimes in but no matter what I would NOT tinker w the receiver.

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Back when Thompsons (especially the West Hurley guns) weren't that expensive, some people had the drum cuts installed on their M1 receivers and there's still some of them floating around.  Nowadays that is generally regarded as a very bad idea, even more so for an original GI gun, so please don't do that.

It's not that difficult to take the channel off the back of a 20 or 30-round box magazine and weld it to the back of a drum magazine and this is not a new idea.  There are Taiwanese-made repro drums available for very reasonable prices (SARCO just ended a sale for them for around $100 each) that work beautifully.  Sacrificing a box mag for the needed channel isn't too painful, so it is practical to make drums that work on the M1 series Tommys.  I would suggest you go over to http://www.machinegunboards.com/forums/index.php?showforum=3

and ask about this process here.  This is a dedicated Thompson site with VERY knowledgeable people on the subject of the Thompson and I'm sure they can direct you to someone who can make the modifications to the drums or even suggest where to find them already modified.

 

As far as the M1A1 as a whole, they are very robust mechanisms that are easy to operate and maintain.  I would suggest a new recoil spring ASAP as cheap insurance, and perhaps a spare extractor or two.  They like to run relatively "wet" like most WW II era guns, so give the bolt a generous coat of oil, buy a couple of cases of ball .45 ACP and have fun.

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  DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT CUTTING YOUR RECEIVER AS SOME HAVE DONE OVER THE YEARS.  ALL YOU NEED DO IS FIND A GOOD WW II DRUM, BRIDGEPORT WOULD BE FIRST CHOICE. ON THE BOTTOM OF THE REAR DRIP COVER, IS A RAISED RIB THAT ENGAGES A GROOVE THAT SHOULD BE CUT IN THE GUN.  GENTLY KNOCK THAT RIB FLAT AND YOUR GOOD TO GO. MAKE SURE YOU GO ONLY FAR ENOUGH THAT IT STILL HAS A TIGHT FIT.  THIS WILL BE HARD ON YOUR MAG CATCH SO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOME SPARES,  HOLDING THE DRUM AS YOU FIRE WILL HELP.  IT WILL TAKE A DECENT BODY HAMMER AND A SOLID FLAT BODY DOLLY TO KEEP THE BLOWS FOCUSED WHERE NEEDED. IT MIGHT BE WORTH PRACTICING ON ONE OF THE MANY BROKEN REPO DRUMS OUT THERE. THEY HAVE NO VALUE OVER DISPLAY.  I MAY HAVE ONE OR 2 AROUND IF YOU CANT FIND ANY.  CHEERS MIKE


I only accept postal money orders. contact me DIRECTLY before sending any funds                                           email  myoldiron@outlook.com        

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