Smnagao

Which Thompson for 1st machine gun?

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So I’ve been working with a dealer to get a Thompson. He has 2 options for me that are basically the same price point. One is a new in box west Hurley Thompson that has been reworked by Dan Block to accept GI mags and other parts updates. The other is a late war M1 or M1A1 (not sure which it is. Looks to have had an armory rework with refinishing and a new barrel. Later model with the fore grip reinforcing band. Given the cost is about the same 1k difference, what would be the better option? I’m leaning toward the west Hurley.

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I would rather have an original WW2 USGI refinish, than a WH gun.

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I think if I had the choice I would go with the WW2 gun. That would be a lot neater than a West Hurley gun.

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It seems that the ww2 gun is pretty well kept. The west Hurley had a once over by a gunsmith which is a plus, as well as being new in box aside from parts that require replacement such as the mag catch

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GI gun has history, West Hurley's have a bad reputation.

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Get the military WWII M1A1. I've had them all except the WH guns (no thanks) Colt 21's, 1928's, M1's but like the M1A1 due to it not having the Blish lock like all the rest.

Also the rear sight has protective wings.

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Have you asked yourself why you want a Thompson. Do you want the classic gangster with the drum or a WW2 historic style. 

Though WH have bad reputation for quality control but not all WH had issues. It was worked on by Dan so likely it should run good. If it was a non worked upon one I would 100% say the M1A1.  I would still request to shoot it or a video of it shot in full auto. I would check to see if ALL the internals were replace with Savage or Colt. The original parts are junk. Likely they were changed if Dan looked at it. Get a photo of the internal at the blish area to see if it is pounding itself apart. 

WW2 M1A1 is more likely to run good but I would also ask to run it. 

I would also look up the return value for the Thompson. Typically most people prefer the M1A1 over the WH because of its reputation. WH are sometime not considered real Thompson by the purists. Likely you'll easily sell the M1A1 over the WH unless you had videos and a certificate that Dan worked on it. 

From experience I hate the sights on the 1928. M1A1 has better sights with its simplicity. 

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Posted (edited)

So I have a video of Dan shooting the West Hurley. He replaced a bunch of parts.

The WWII model does not have an A1 overstep next to the M1. Looks to have the correct selectors and the wings for the rear sight, I just don't know if it has a floating pin bolt or the fixed firing pin. Would the GI model with a floating firing pin be a no go or still recommended over the West Hurley?

Edited by Smnagao

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You don't mention what model the West Hurley gun is.  If it's a 1928 you will be able to use drums, which the M1 and M1A1 can't use.  As far as the M1 and it's firing pin go, it's simply a matter of swapping out the bolt if you want a particular version with fixed firing pin or hammer-fired firing pin.  Personally, I don't think it makes much difference, as they both do a good job of turning .45 ACP ammo into noise and smoke.

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The west Hurley is an M1A1 type

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Posted (edited)

Well that makes the WH a little less objectionable since the worst thing about them is the improperly machined Blish slots.  Still it's a WH gun and still saddled with their lesser metallurgy and poor reputation.  For $1K difference buy the real thing it's a better gun and if you ever go to sell it you'll have a much easier time getting your money out of it.

BTW I much prefer the M1 to the M1A1

Edited by StrangeRanger

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Oh.. if it is a M1A1 WH.. I'd go with the WW2 version.

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Just my opinion, but I would also go for the GI gun if they are about the same price.  Since it's an older gun it has history and it's already broken in so you don't have to dread getting the first scratch on it.  Just go shoot and have fun.  NIB guns have too much stress attached, LOL.

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Ok got more info. It has an M1 bolt in it. From what I understand they have a slightly higher fire rate. Any downside to having an M1 bolt vs an M1A1 bolt?

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Posted (edited)

There is absolutely no downside to an M1 bolt vs. an M1A1 and one very significant upside.  With the M1A1 (or any open-bolt firearm with a fixed firing pin) there is a possibility of an out of battery discharge.  That is massively less likely if not downright impossible with an M1 bolt.  There was an incident at the club a couple of years ago when a shooter was running an M1A1 with some crappy Maxxtech ammo and had a case head separation which left a ring of brass in the chamber.  The next round fed until it hit the ring then would go no further.  The bolt strike set it off while not yet in battery.  Fortunately neither the TSMG nor the shooter was damaged; the magazine was not so lucky.  With an M1 bolt, the hammer would never have contacted the front wall of the receiver and the firing pin would never have been extended.  There would have been no loud, unpleasant noise.

The M1A1 was a cost reduction measure pure and simple; it does not in any other way constitute an improvement over the M1

Yet another reason to buy the GI gun

Edited by StrangeRanger
more information

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There is a fairly nice police turn in for $19,000 on gunbroker right now ( not mine).  Seems somewhat underpriced for what it is.

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3 hours ago, Mojopin said:

There is a fairly nice police turn in for $19,000 on gunbroker right now ( not mine).  Seems somewhat underpriced for what it is.

I wonder why they scratched out something before the word MODEL.

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It originally said "US MODEL."  When the military transferred it to LE after WWII, they removed the US

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I say go for the usgi thompson.  As long as it's not a reweld I don't see how you can go wrong.

 

 

 

                                          R/s, Hiller.................................................

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