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Thompsons In The News

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 07:45 PM

When Devenyns was appointed director of the Wicomico County Detention Center in 2000, he discovered an antique arsenal consisting of an M-1 Garand rifle and two Thompson submachine guns.

The weapons were purchased years ago by one of his predecessors.

The "Tommy guns" were in mint condition -- unfired -- still wrapped in cosmoline from the 1930s.

He sold the pair of guns to a licensed collector for $15,000, and added the small windfall to his operating budget.

"I didn't need them," Devenyns said. "And I could never imagine myself giving the order: Break out the Tommy guns!"

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#2 Sgt


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Posted 08 October 2005 - 08:33 PM

I was curious what they meant by a licensed collector. I wonder if the Thompsons were on a regular transfer. If so, someone got a good deal, the pair for 15K.
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#3 TommyGunner


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Posted 09 October 2005 - 09:53 AM


I agree. I would not be suprised if an acutal unfired colt could bring $100,000. As a matter of fact I am positive that I know of more than one person in my rolodex that would have that much on hand ready for such a gun. Or maybe even more. Colt #206 went for 40K off of my website several months ago and the buyer was aware of the guns history and that it was refinished....and the wood was refinished badly. I would expect an unfired Colt to go much higher...even without the verified history. I think it would be very interesting to watch an auction with such guns and see what the high bid brings. At any rate is sounds like nobody involved knew what they had or this gift would not have gone unnoticed. At that point it makes me wonder if the guns were really unfired...or if that was just the assessment of the one who sold them so cheaply. Is this verified...are these guns around and generally accepted by people that are in the know as unfired?


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#4 Roland, Headless Thompson Gunner

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 12:12 PM

I just sent a letter to the editor of this paper pointing out some of the points stated above. It will be interesting to see if anyone cares.
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#5 TNKen


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Posted 09 October 2005 - 12:23 PM


Heard from a Colt employee a few months ago about a small firearms manufacturer that had not kept up with the Title 2 world and cut 100 NIB M-16's. He called to buy them, but about 2 weeks too late. Guy did not realize he had destroyed $1,000,000 in firearms. Guy also told about watching Colt cut up neat stuff, like NIB LMG uppers.

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#6 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 01:28 PM

The "Tommy guns" were in mint condition -- unfired -- still wrapped in cosmoline from the 1930s.

This article rivals Raymond Chandler 's "The Big Sleep" for confusion. It says the Wicomico County Detention Center was completed in 1988. Director Devenyns discovered the TSMGs' in the arsenal in 2000 that he figures one of his predecessors purchased "years" ago.

Who preserved these TSMG's in cosmoline? It wasn't Colt, Auto-Ordnance, or Federal Laboratories. Is this guy guessing on the decade of the Thirties or is it the 1920's, or even the 1940's? Are these Colt TSMG's or actually Savage/AO's?

What law enforcement agency orders new firearms and then proceeds to encase them in cosmoline to insure their uselessness in an emergency?

Maybe at some point in the 1960's, when the correctional institution had no further use for these antiquated firearms, they were then given the cosmoline treatment. But Devenyns' NIB TSMG recollection sounds like a compilation story he borrowed from a SAR show dealer.

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#7 colt21a


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Posted 09 October 2005 - 07:16 PM

in all my year's including talking with roger cox.bob perry,and j.curtis earl. and a host of other collector's whom i had some ounce of respect for!i have not seen or held a certified unfired colt thompson. have seen a few close to that and owned them...but never one still in waxy shipping wrapper...with all proper paperwork,[even the so called semi 27 model still in shipping box in a new orlean's parrish police dept. about ten year's back...

REMEMBER: these were made to shoot and use,not for some museum back when. even the chicago trib thompson had some wear. and that was bought to protect the col.himself.

i have to keep repeating myself.you believe the one's that have been around the block...not the one's who have a gun broker ad. or sold a few thompson's over the year's, not even 20 or 30 qualifie's anymore as a expert...

or even a 100 for that matter.

so in cosmo and unfired.... you have a better chance of a m-16 or m-16a2 in that cond.today... i know i had them and sold them that way...or a maremont m-60 new in factory carton....went through over 20 of those...

maybe one is still out there..however everybody in that time period 1921 /1945 just wanted to shoot one...at least to see if it worked as reported>wink!

and as far as national guard,bank security,fed.reserve,and military, they all tried them out.

and #167....the jury is still out on that one...

funny thing..of all the talk on that one.he never let me touch it, take it apart, or look closely at it...

i guess he had no respect for me,however other's it seemed tho got to take it apart and play with it..THEY MUST HAVE:otherwise how could they say the best in the world right???

a simple gaze doe's not make a unfired 100% anything...

not braggin just fact...i have had alot of dealer /collector's not want me to value whatever gun they had or look at it for my opinion...... maybe,just maybe, they had something to hide...

some don't like a honest and fair opinion or rating.

it's never my problem, anything i ever owned or sold...they could check it out till kingdom come. and maybe,just maybe,thats why they always bought.wink!

have fun guy's...and what would i put on a unfired new in shipping carton,with all paperwork colt1921a myself...personally and pay it. $50,000.00 and not a dime more.and it would be nothing short of a gun autopsy i would do on it before cutting the check.
{since i have seen some great work on these} follow the paperwork>
take it from there...

have fun guy's,stay safe. take care,ron
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#8 DC Chris

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 11:07 PM


You are the man. Thanks for the insight.


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#9 billie32


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Posted 11 October 2005 - 10:24 PM

at least he didn't have them destroyed....
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Posted 26 December 2005 - 06:09 PM

Los Angeles county sheriffs' officer Jay Phillippi looks over a fully automatic Thompson machine gun that was turned in during their "Gifts For Guns" program in Compton, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005. Residents can swap firearms for $100 gift cards at a sheriff-sponsored gun exchange aimed at reducing crime and violence in this gang-scarred city. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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#11 full auto 45

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 08:39 PM

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! He said as he fell from his chair clutching his chest. And those pricks will cut it up for scrap metal!

I just email the Sheriff BACA and asked what they plan to do with it and would they sale it to a "licensed" collector? Let's see what I get back. I'll post it here.
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#12 Zamm


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Posted 26 December 2005 - 10:14 PM

That damm thing sure looks Coltish to me.
What a shame if they butcher it, fools!
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