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Gangster Gun, Serial # Revealed !


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#1 Colt Chopper

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 11:15 AM

About 6 months ago I had the opportunity to purchase a Colt 1921AC that had the serial numbers ground off.

 

Mid last week on our way to the TCA shoot, we had a chance to pull the barrel at a friends house, thanks much to SIG for

 

providing his knowledge, tools and expertise. And to Dave Albert for video taping the discovery.

 

After carefully removing the barrel, the hidden number revealed was 5487.

 

Gordon's latest book provided some interesting information.

 

Originally sold May 1929 to Momsen-Dunnegan-Ryan Co. East Overland St. at Ochoa El Paso Texas.

 

We then cross referenced Momsen-Dunnegan-Ryan Co. and some very interesting information was found.

 

According to Gordon's book, and if I interpreted it right, it was 1 of 14 shipped to them and sold to Hyman Saul Lebman !!!!

 

Of these 14, #6315 was recovered after the shoot out at Little Bohemia !

 

I shared this find with OCM. Sandy and his cohorts wasted no time in finding some additional information, that I hope

 

they will chime in and share.

 

It's things like this that keep it interesting and keeps "The Hunt" going.

 

Thanks again to everyone that has helped thus far, and for keeping the history alive

 

Hopefully more to follow on this Colt in the future !


Edited by dalbert, 22 September 2016 - 07:16 PM.

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#2 OCM

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 01:14 PM

A remarkable find. we knew of the Little Bohemia Thompsons as Colt Chopper points out, when we were chasing all the Dillinger guns 3 years ago, but this one is also directly listed in the FBI Dillinger files. I won't go into all the rather complex details, but it has connections with a shipment thru Mexico, then into El Paso.

It appears to have traveled thru two sources, then sold directly to HS Lebman in San Antonio, with some others, and is listed in the FBI files.

It drifts off a bit here as it hit the underworld, but looks like it was possibly/probably sold to Baby Face Nelson. There is also a chance it was kept by two other Dillinger gang members and disappeared, but I'm guessing Nelson by the information we have.  

These guns don't pop up unless recovered, this one escaped being caught. If Lebman had it, which he did , it has some extremely interesting history.

Good chance Colt Chopper just took possession of a Baby Face Nelson Thompson.

Next is to find it's history after Lebman sold it. I'm guessing it went to the Dillinger/ Nelson group is St Paul.

What luck to bother taking off the barrel to get the hidden #. The serial numbers being ground off lit the fuse I guess you'd say.

Thanks to my " partners In crime"  for jumping on this so fast with me.

We'll keep the search going.  

 

OCM 


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#3 jl7422

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 02:07 PM

Congratulations and well done!   What a find. . .


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#4 dalbert

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 07:46 PM

I took video of the whole barrel removal process, hidden serial number discovery, and the subsequent lookup of the serial number in Gordon's book.  I need to check with one participant before I may make it available online.

 

David Albert

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#5 OCM

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 08:48 PM

Just having a Lebman related Thompson in your possession, is a big deal- Leading to a potential BIG deal. To be honest, there is a lot( few) of paths this gun could of taken, The next phase of research is critical. Historically it points to Nelson.

Looking forward to the video.

Again, hat's off to you guys for looking up the secret #-  Wonder how many are out there with historical connections, few I'm sure.

 

OCM


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#6 Colt Chopper

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 06:34 PM

Attached File  TCA 2016 002.JPG   138.74K   205 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 003.JPG   91.13K   198 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 005.JPG   128.81K   181 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 006.JPG   130.03K   178 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 007.JPG   91.59K   175 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 009.JPG   114.86K   178 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 010.JPG   97.58K   168 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 011.JPG   84.11K   184 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 012.JPG   96.57K   196 downloads


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#7 Colt Chopper

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 06:49 PM

Attached File  TCA 2016 024.JPG   106.26K   132 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 027.JPG   110.49K   134 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 030.JPG   182.55K   131 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 034.JPG   81.37K   122 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 032.JPG   84.48K   111 downloadsAttached File  TCA 2016 035.JPG   110.41K   113 downloads


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#8 dalbert

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 09:01 AM

This is an absolutely spectacular discovery!  I am still thrilled to have witnessed it.

 

Texas!

 

David Albert

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#9 giantpanda4

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 09:14 AM

Awesome. Just super awesome!

 

Can't wait if a FOIA will shed any light on when it hit the registry. Or previous owner will set out and have any info for you. 

 

Enjoy the thrill of the chase!!!


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#10 OCM

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 09:16 AM

As you pointed out, your gun has the same type of serial number removable as the Nelson Thompsons pictured here , captured after the Little Bo battle. Further adds to the possibility of the Nelson-Lebman connection. Toss a little logic in here, Lebman probably removed the serial numbers in his San Antonio shop, as not to be traced back to him.

Playing the Devil's Advocate tho, would not Lebman of known about the secret # --- Maybe not. 

However, I see the numbers have been removed on both the receiver and lower on your Thompson. We need to find out if the two captured Nelson Thompsons had the same as they are listed by the FBI as two El Paso traced guns, # 6315 & 6141.

This to me would indicate the numbers were visible on the Thompsons captured-

Conclusion:  the one pictured here at the garage after the little Bo battle could possible be yours. Let's find out....

 

OCM 

 

Edit : Indicate the numbers were visible..... after the numbers were acid raised. Type faster then I can think.

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Edited by OCM, 29 September 2016 - 06:58 PM.

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#11 gijive

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 10:01 AM

Sandy,
 
The Thompson in question has an IRS number stamped beneath the area where the serial number was ground off, this indicates it was registered by someone many years ago.  I am guessing a police agency took possession of it somewhere along the line and used it for their own use for years before selling it to a dealer.  An FOIA would at least give the details of the timeline.  If it had remained in the hands of gangsters, of course it wouldn't have been legally registered. Hopefully, Colt Chopper can get the name of the agency it came from and trace it back to how it was confiscated.  Very interesting gun, I am looking forward to "the rest of the story".
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#12 OCM

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 10:31 AM

I was telling Colt Chopper, much the same- As with the Tucson guns that stayed with the Tucson PD. It could of stayed local at a PD or Sheriff's office. Or ?

 

Yes, still after it. There's a story to be told on this prize.


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#13 OCM

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:25 PM

Better shot of the Little Bo guns- Clearly the numbers have been removed on the Thompson on the right, just like Colt Chopper's .

A comparison of the marks might be critical here, side by side. A small tail, loop something like that. This means for sure the FBI would of had to acid  lift the numbers or pull the barrel. OR left as is and became the possession of a local Sheriff's Department till IRS registered as Chuck says.

Moving a hair closer. Got a feeler out to glean the massive FBI files from our pal Hans.

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Edited by OCM, 24 September 2016 - 01:35 PM.

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#14 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:31 PM

This is the gun that Midwest Tactical (i.e., Frank G.) had, and was sold pre-auction, right?  In any case, a great find.  Congratulations!


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#15 Colt Chopper

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:42 PM

Merry Ploughboy,  you are correct.


Edited by Colt Chopper, 24 September 2016 - 12:44 PM.

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#16 Motorcar

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:48 PM

That is major league cool stuff. Imagine that, when we think everything has already been discovered about such items, a new piece of history reveals itself. A time capsule opened, neat!


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#17 Ron Mills

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 01:45 PM

Wow, an ultra cool thing. Those who dig deep and remove barrels uncover amazing history!

Thanks so much for sharing; it must've been quite a thrill to witness.

Road Ron
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#18 OCM

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 04:14 PM

Another view of the Little Bo Thompsons, showing both Thompsons with their numbers removed, same as Colt Chopper's..

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#19 full auto 45

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 05:22 PM

I was playing around today and looking at the photos Colt Chopper put out and compared the was the grind was shaped on both. From what I can tell, it is shaped the same. I would just about put money that the gun that is the same one, the one closest to the 1907 Winchester.


Edited by full auto 45, 24 September 2016 - 05:24 PM.

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#20 dalbert

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 07:53 PM

I was playing around today and looking at the photos Colt Chopper put out and compared the was the grind was shaped on both. From what I can tell, it is shaped the same. I would just about put money that the gun that is the same one, the one closest to the 1907 Winchester.

 

Mike,

 

That's what I was thinking.  The grind marks could almost be looked at like a fingerprint.  I would be interested in gijive's opinion on this.

 

Colt Chopper,

 

Could you take photos of it at the same angles in the Little Bohemia photos?

 

David Albert

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