Colt Patent XX Mag
Posted 06 September 2004 - 01:15 AM
One mag turned out to be a "Blank mag" of origins I cannot identify and which I am still working on.
The second, a correct patent date 24/24 mag looked good but there was something different about it. The stampings looked "deeper" than usual so I went and got Doug Richardsons book on stick mags and compared it to his discriptions and photographs.
The only thing it compared to was the 1920 prototype mag....no way,,, not here in New Zealand.!!!!
So, I gingerly removed the plate and looked inside and low and behold, there are the MSCO letter stamp peculiar to the original Colt prototype mag!
I don't beleive it!
So I compare the writing to Dougs photographs and the writing is exactly the same as the photographs down to the tilted legs on the "A"s and the wavy hyphen!!
According to Doug, only one is known to exist.
This is clearly and engraved correct patent date mag with the MSCO stamp inside the strip.
I will e-mail photos to anyone who can post them for me.
Posted 06 September 2004 - 02:44 AM
Sounds like you may just have a winner if everything checks out. Imagine finding a twin to the only other one known to exist! How would this work - would the value of the first one be halved because now there are two, or would yours be worth even more than the first due to its unavailability? Just think of all the reference books that may now have to be revised!
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Edited by Bob B, 06 September 2004 - 02:46 AM.
Posted 06 September 2004 - 03:14 AM
Here is the "Prototype"? mag together with a normal Patent mag.
Note the "wavey" hyphen and the funny shape of the legs on the "A".Also the shape og the "G" in Aug.
This is exactly the same as Doug Richardson's photos in his book.
Here is a photo of the inside of the strip.
Hope you can see what I mean.
Edited by The1930sRust, 06 September 2004 - 11:55 AM.
Posted 06 September 2004 - 10:14 AM
Posted 06 September 2004 - 10:47 AM
The answer you are looking for may be contained in Thompson Collectors News (TCN), Vol. 131, dated August 15, 2001. (This newsletter should have been Vol. 130; another Vol. 131 newsletter was published the next month with a September 2001 date.)
To briefly summarize the TCN article, the XX box magazines you have pictured are listed as the third production box magazine for the Colt TSMG. It is interesting to note that these magazines have been incorrectly referred to by collectors for years as the "corrected patent date magazines." According to TCN, there was never a patent issued for the TSMG on August 20, 1920 so these third production magazines should really be referred to as the "Incorrectly Dated Patent Magazines." The article states there were two production runs of this third model box magazine, thus accounting for the two versions of this box magazine. The article goes on to state in one of the production runs, the magazine markings were "panographed" or "panagraphed" into the magazine body. I believe the correct word or spelling is pantographed. Both versions of these magazines are marked as you described with the "MSCO" markings. Research performed by Frank Iannamico has lead researchers to believe that MSCO stands for Mitchell Stamping Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mitchell later became a division of United Specialty Company.
I hope this helps. If you can't locate this article, I will be glad to mail you a copy. I think I have both types of magazines. I will try to check later today.
Posted 06 September 2004 - 11:18 AM
Actually what Murray has is the prototype repeat correct date XXrd mag that followed the initial run of the blank mag. The photos of the one in the TCN article are not the same as Murray's. They don't show the corrected date with the "climbing" hyphen. Doug's 1995 mag book predates the TCN article by six years. In fact, the TCN article refers to the existence of 2nd and 3rd type MSCO mags, yet gives identical descriptions for both and even shows the same photo. More confusion. How could the TCN article miss out on the Richardson info?
It seems that Doug may have been somewhat premature with the one-off theory about this mag. Where there are two, there are probably more.
Posted 06 September 2004 - 01:55 PM
I have been thinking about how a mag as rare as this could end up here in New Zealand.
I spoke to the collector who sold it to me last night and he claims that he bought it of another collector a few years ago together with a M1A1 Thompson, a 1928 oil bottle and a WW2 cleaning rod. This second collector had owned it for years
He sold the M1A1 with out the accessories. I only found out that he had a couple of mags for sale by chance.
I hold the view that this mag possibly came to New Zealand in the 1980's from the sales of Weller and Dufty in Birmingham England.
They were selling a heap of 1921 Colts (all ex Ireland "irish swords".) plus early number "C" and "L" drum mags plus XX mags.
There were no XXX mags with them. I should know as I was Importing them.
All of the 1921's here are three digit serial numbers save one, The Douglas County Sheriff engraved Colt. I recently found a "Gentry" Colt here and have handled it.
I reckon that the early numberColts of the EAST SIDE shipment would have had some early XX mags with them. Most of the guns arrived here with XX mags and some were "blank" mags of which I have three.
So I agree with you that there must have been more than the one MSCO engraved mag that probably were shipped with those first guns to Ireland.
Posted 06 September 2004 - 02:31 PM
I think your post sheds some light on the mystery. It is amazing how these mags have remained outside the province of the U.S. for so many years long before the 1992 ban.
Just when you think there can no longer be any additional info on anything concerning Colt TSMG, one need merely check this board for the latest in archaeological revelations.
Posted 06 September 2004 - 09:14 PM
Thanks for catching me on this one. The question does involve a repeat patent date magazine. I spent too much time looking at the hyphens and not enough time looking at the numbers - duh!!! I promise never to post in the morning hours again. I agree that the TCN article I referenced above does run two pictures of a repeat patent date magazine. However, my observations lead me to believe that the two pictures are identical to the repeat patent date magazine Murray has requested information about. I see the wavy or climbing hyphen in these TCN photos in TCN Vol. 131, August 15, 2001.
A complete review of the TCN reveals Doug Richardson writing about this prototype magazine back in 1992 - complete with pictures - See TCN Vol. 26, December 15, 1992. A careful review of the magazine pictures Doug posted in this 1992 article may be the same pictures used in the TCN article in Vol. 131, August 15, 2001. Look at the vertical mark after the "J" in JAN. 11, 1921. It looks the same in all three pictures. My mistake was concentrating on the hyphen and not paying attention to the dates.
I don't know why TCN would not have referenced Doug's article in 1992 when doing an update on the box magazines for it appears TCN may have used his pictures. These are very good questions. Tracie may be trying to correct the wrong information he published on the repeat patent date magazine on Page 343 of Thompson: the American Legend. (NOTE: look at the picture of the repeat patent date magazine pictured on Page 343. Note the vertical mark after the "J" in JAN. 11, 1921. Is this Doug's picture again?)
I may have to remove the floor plates on my patent date magazines to see exactly what I have. Unfortunately, I see no wavy or climbing hyphens. Thanks again for catching my mistake.
Posted 07 September 2004 - 04:17 PM
These are interesting mags. After reading your post, I looked through my Colt Thompson magazines and found two "repeat patent date" mags with the same identical markings inside and out. I've never read Richardson's book but it appears there are now at least "four" of them. One of mine has the "viewing" holes soldered indicating one time British posession.
I also have a very early blank model with a "milled" follower. It has the royal blue Colt type finish but looks like it was hand applied. Don't know for sure what it is but I suspect it's one of the early mags made for the 1919s. I got it from an NYPD source about 25 years ago so it's possible. Most of the tool room XXs have a S/N stamped on them - this mag does not but is otherwise identical.
If anyone is interested, I'll post photo's to the server if I can figure out how.
Posted 07 September 2004 - 05:38 PM
Just checked through some of my magazines and located the same one you pictured in your earlier post. Apparently, they are not as rare as first thought, unfortunately. Maybe as a result of this discussion some other members will turn up other examples.
Posted 08 September 2004 - 02:44 AM
The most significant difference between these early magazines, from what I can deduce, is the "A" in the AUG in the line above being directly above the 20 in the line below on these so called "prototype" magazines, while on the so named "correct" patent date mags the "A" in AUG lies directly over the "0" in the 1920 in the line below, notwithstanding "wavey" hyphens or not!!! .
It is a bit like the difference between Colt 1928 "L" drums and Worcester 1928 drums.
What is really interesting, in my opinion, is that we may have uncovered a whole previously unrecognised batch of early XX magazines of which there was only one known, but in two days this has grown to four or five at least as the direct result of my discovery.
Doug Richardson is overseas in Europe and due back Friday. I have sent him an e-mail in the meantime. It should be interesting to obtain his view on this subject.
The import of these posts is that here we are witnessing real early Thompson History being researched.
Any further input would be appreciated.
I don't wish to be seen as trying to "teach my grandmother to suck eggs" (old English saying), but if anybody can clarify this puzzle, please feel free to do so.
Posted 08 September 2004 - 05:35 AM
Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:08 AM
But the reason the "A" in "Aug" is between the "2" and "O" in "1920," is because of the "climbing" dash allows for the "AUG" to be spaced closer in.
Posted 08 September 2004 - 09:52 PM
Colt Blank magazine - No maker markings on or in the magazine body.
Aug 20/Aug 24 - All of them had the MSCO markings inside the magazine body.
Aug 24/Aug 24 (no wavy hyphen) - No maker markings on or in the magazine body.
Aug 24/Aug 24 "For 18 Shot Cartridges" - No maker markings on or in the magazine body.
Now I have to find one of the wavy hyphen Aug 24/Aug 24 magazines. Just when you think you have most of the bases covered...
Posted 09 September 2004 - 12:43 PM
As to your "how did it get here": While I do not claim to have imported your mag I did send 100's of Garand clips and quite a few Thompson mags (Both XX and XXX) and some M-3 mags as well as repair parts for most WWII US weapons being used by re-enactors down there. (all done legally of course). I was able to scrounge on level not attained sinced Gen. Freyberg and his men first came to Africa!
In 94-95 I lived in Pakuranga for about 8 months. I helped start WWII re-enacting there and still maintain contact with tons of people in and around Auckland. Starting in 1995 I began shipping some large quantities of original WWII US gear to New Zealand. This stuff was offered for sale in several shops around NZ and accounts for many of the 'I don't know how it wound up here' stories in NZ.
I will not even go into the WWII German items that are now there via myself.
Posted 16 September 2004 - 12:34 PM
I finally had a chance to look at my patent mags and found one that is identical to the one that Murray found. It even has the additional marks from the Isreali military along with their parkerization, so it is well traveled as well. My other 24/24 mags are not MSCO and do not have the unique features of this one (wavy hyphen, bigger font, period after 24 on second line, etc.).
The fact that a number of us have these mags suggests that the mag you found was indeed not a prototype but rather one of the first run of mags from MSCO with the correct patent dates, as noted in the TCN article mentioned above. Their second run made the infamous Aug. 20 error, so it looks like whoever was handling final approval of the roll dies at MSCO wasn't a detail person....
I agree with the comments about the pics in the TCN article (and also American Legend for that matter). Incorrect pictures and/or captions do create confusion. It appears that Tracie did not have a pic of the "Colt" 24/24 mag handy when he published the article, so he just used the MSCO pic again. Having said that, I also appreciate the time that Tracie takes to publish the newsletter. It has been an open job for a couple years, and so far nobody has stepped forward to do the job.
As with so many things concerning our beloved Thompson, we may never know for sure about this version of the XX mag....
Posted 16 September 2004 - 03:15 PM
It seems that those of us viewing this post and have posted have found about a total of 6 or 8 in total so far.
If after 80 odd years we can still find 8 of these "prototype" mags one would have to draw the conclusion that they are not prototype as such but very early mags by another manufacturer MSCO and a quite a number were manufactured.
This also makes me think that maybe they were not engraved at all but simply a deeper stamping of an earlier tool.
They are all correct patent date , 24/24.
I have 3 Colt blank mags which have no marks in the strip (MSCO)
I have 3 Colt correct patent mags which have no mark in the strip (MSCO)
I dont have an incorrect patent date mag.
Could you all please have a look inside your early mags and see if the MSCO mark appears in any other mag other than the "Wavy Hyphen" mag as we shall refer to them.
By this we might be able to establish a pattern, just for history sake,
Please post your results and or email me if you wish.
We may produce a new chapter in the Thompson history book.
Murray the mag man
Posted 16 September 2004 - 05:47 PM
Attached is a picture I just took of an "incorrect patent date" magazine in my collection. It is marked MSCO on the inside back strap. Hope this helps your research.
Posted 16 September 2004 - 08:26 PM
I have one blank Colt mag with no marks in the strip (MSCO)
I have 2 dated double date mags, one with the wavy hyphen and the second with the straight hyphen.