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New member seeking advice on market value for 1928 Savage British Proo

1928 Savage British Proof

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#1 Glimpseofglory

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 04:29 PM

I am a newbie to the Machine Gun Board, but have been a proud owner of a Thompson Model 1928 Savage for 38 years. When I first acquired the gun, I took it out and shot it frequently. In recent years the gun has remained in the gun safe and not seen action, so I decided to pull it out of the safe to reacquaint myself, do some research on the genre of the gun and to get a handle on relative “market correct” value.  

 

Two books have been mentioned very positively on the Board so I have ordered them and waiting for their arrival: 1) “Great Britain – The Tommy Gun Story” and 2)“American Thunder III”.  In the meantime, I thought I would reach out to the group for comments regarding my particular Thompson (1928 Savage made - British Proof) as well as guidance on market values from those who might have insight.

 

Background: My Thompson was purchased from a Class III dealer in the southeast (ERMCO - Pony Maples). The gun was presented as a 1928 “British Proof” Savage Thompson (and the bill of sale lists that as well).  It has been so long that I don’t recall details regarding my gun’s history or story if it had one. Unfortunately, Mr. Maples passed away years ago so I am unable to ask for his assistance.   

 

The serial number is a Savage production in the 71,000 range (upper and lower receiver have matching numbers). It has the “GEG” inspector markings and British crown stamp at the forward end of the receiver. There is a “P” on the flange of the barrel at the 12:00 o’clock position where the barrel screws into the receiver and other markings on the top side of the barrel between the fins and Cutts Compensator.

 

On the right side, the address is listed as New York, NY. U.S.A. (with 13 patent numbers listed). Some of the other general features include finned barrel, Lyman rear sight, knurled actuator/cocking knob, checked selector switches, checked mag release with hole (and I believe a nickel-plated bolt).  It has other British proof attributes such as rear stock with top swivel and screws on the side, the front vertical grip has left side swivel mount. Internal parts bear the “S” stamp and even the rear grip wood has an “S” stamp (which is viewable when the grip is removed).

 

The gun came with a 50 round Bridgeport drum and a 20 round mag.

 

I have attached a couple pictures of the gun. Looking forward to your comments.   

With appreciation, Glimpseofglory

 

 

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#2 TD.

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 11:25 PM

Glimpseofglory,

I do hope you enjoy my book, Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story. I believe you will also enjoy Frank's book, American Thunder III

 

You have a very nice early Savage Arms Thompson that was most likely purchased by the British Ministry of Supply (MoS) directly from Auto-Ordnance Corporation during the cash and carry era. My book will explain this in detail. Your Savage looks correct except for the gloss finish on the wood. It appears someone in the past has refinish the wood with a gloss or semi-gloss finish. Boiled linseed oil was the original finish.  It also appears that sandpaper was used during this process. I really like the British proof markings and what appears to be the Woolwich mark (crown with the letter W inside) on the upper left side of the receiver. S-71870 is definitely in the known serial number range where the Woolwich mark appears with some regularity. The proof marks on the barrel are commercial proof marks most likely applied long after World War II ended. I would guess your Savage was imported into the United States in the 1960s. A Freedom of Information Act request would establish when it entered the USA and was entered on the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).

 

I would like to see a picture of the "P" or proof mark at the 12 o'clock position on the barrel. I would also like to see a larger or higher resolution picture of the right side of the receiver nose with the proof marks and index lines. The knurling (not checkering) on the fire control levers is a big plus. Same with the knurled actuator and milled ejector. If you remove the vertical fore grip from the grip mount, I believe you will see the letter "S" stamped in the grip mount channel. The bolt is not nickel plated. The correct terminology is "bright" or "in the white" - basically unfinished. 

 

You need to join one or both of the Thompson organizations and attend a show and shoot in Ohio later this year. Tennessee is not that far away! I guarantee a great time. 

 

Thank you for sharing. 


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#3 john

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 12:17 AM

Lovely gun.....thanks for sharing the story and the images.
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#4 TD.

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 10:54 AM

One thing I forgot to mention is S-71870 appears to have the original dulite finish. The pictures indicate the barrel is a much brighter blue, which would be correct. That is a major plus and adds a lot of value to your Thompson gun. 

 

In addition, the L drum appears to be what is referred to by enthusiasts as a "Bridgeport" drum. These are excellent drums that work extremely well. 

 

All in all, a very nice package.


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#5 Glimpseofglory

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 06:26 PM

TD,

First it is an honor to connect with you and I appreciated your observations and kind comments regarding my Thompson package.  As a side note, your book was just delivered by Amazon a couple of hours ago and the early reading is absolutely fascinating  (not to mention very helpful). 

 

Let me respond to some of the questions or points you made: 1) Picture of the "P" on barrel is attached (as you requested), 2) Picture of the right side of receiver is attached which shows the markings more clearly, 3)  I removed the wood/front grip and there is indeed an "S" stamped into the wood on the top, 4) Regarding the color of the barrel being a brighter blue, you are absolutely correct....it is. It shows up more clearly in person and in some pics.

 

Thank you for nudging me in the right direction with correct terminology on items (knurling vs checkering), (bolt is unfinished/bright not nickel plated). Nothing worse than saying the wrong thing. Thank you for sharing the names of the two Thompson associations.

 

Final note, your biography indicates that we are both alums of the same undergrad university. Regards, Steven

 

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#6 Adg105200

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 06:38 PM

Welcome to the board!

Definitely a very nice Thompson you have there! As TD mentioned, I also noticed the shiny finish on the furniture. Is there any S stamped near the mount channel on the front vertical grip?

Also, I could be wrong, but I would have thought a gun of earlier SN like yours would have had a early Savage rear grip, which may indicate that the rear grip has been replaced at some time.

Is there any chance you could also check to see if there is any number stamped under the rear buttplate on the stock, on the buttplate, or stock slide hardware?

All in all a very nice and interesting 1928. I didn't know actuators on British guns we're stamped as well.

Andrew
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#7 Speeddemon02

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 09:52 PM

Can you show a picture of the top front of the receiver?  Curious of the dimple marks in recent discussions.


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#8 TD.

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 09:53 PM

Stephen,

Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I had many a great time there! 

 

Thanks for the additional pictures. I do hope you can join one or both of the Thompson organizations and attend a show & shoot. I would enjoy seeing your Savage Thompson in person. The All Thompson Show & Shoot sponsored by the Hill family for members of The American Thompson Association will feature Tracie Hill's fabulous collection as well as displays from many Thompson enthusiasts. It is an education in its own right. Information about both organizations are on this Board.

 

It appears the grip was manufactured and marked by Savage Arms with the "S" mark as per your picture. Can you remove the vertical fore grip and see if a "S" mark is located in the grip mount channel. I find the double strike for the Woolwich mark interesting, the first one like that I recall. The British proof mark on the actuator is not unique but very uncommon or rare. Congrats on a nice early British Tommy gun.  


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#9 Glimpseofglory

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 11:11 PM

Andrew,

Good questions. Even when I purchased the gun over 3 decades ago, I didn't even know there would be so many individual locations that the "S" would be stamped into the gun. I had to disassemble the vertical front grip and rear stock area to inspect to find the answers.  In answer to your first question regarding identifying marks on the front grip, there is an "S" stamped into the wood (in the channel of the front grip). The metal support which the grip is affixed to also has an "S" stamped into it. When assembled, both are hidden from view.

 

Regarding your second question regarding the butt stock, the butt catch assembly has an "s" stamped into and also has a number stamped in a flat area. The number is 8746. The stock has a small unrecognizable stamp, but no "S" and also has a number stamped into it. I've attached a pic of that as it may mean something.  The number on the stock is 5443. The plate on the rear of the stock has a number (7359), but I could not find an "S".

 

The sling attachment hardware on the front grip and rear stock have "S" stamped into them

 

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#10 Glimpseofglory

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 11:36 PM

TD,

Indeed, go Blue Raiders. Campus is huge now.

 

Thank you for the additional pointers on the gun. The Woolwich mark is indeed double stamped. The lower of the two stamps is more complete and prominent. 

 

Regarding the marks on front grip, I just posted an answer to Andrew's questions, regarding identifying marks on the vertical wood grip and rear stock. 

 

Vertical Grip: The vertical wood grip does have an "S" stamped into it as does the metal support that it affixes to. Sling attachment hardware also have "S" stamps on them.

 

Butt Stock: The butt catch on the rear stock has "S" stamp but also has numbers stamped into it (8746). The wood stock does not have an "s" stamp that I can find but has some type of mark under the butt catch. The wood stock has number stamped on the end which is hidden by the butt plate cover. Number is 5443. The butt plate cover has a number stamped (7369). I incorrectly noted the number as 7359 to Andrew. 7369 is correct.


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#11 Glimpseofglory

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 11:46 PM

Speeddemon02, I will take a pic of the top tomorrow and post. Are the two dimples you are referring to at the front of the receiver or elsewhere in the pics?


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#12 bob241

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:55 AM

Glimpseofglory, see the second set of pictures that Speeddemond 02 posted, showing the nose of the receiver and the barrel, there is no dimple on the nose of the receiver, and the P stamped on the barrel also does not have a dimple in the P Lupe.


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#13 bug

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 10:23 AM

Speeddemon02, I will take a pic of the top tomorrow and post. Are the two dimples you are referring to at the front of the receiver or elsewhere in the pics?

 

Be advised that there are two S marks that could be on the gun. The Savage mark is a rounded S. The Stevens s mark is rather squared off and resembles a 5. Sorry I don't have a pic of the Stevens s.

 

Bob D


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#14 TD.

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 01:29 PM

Excellent point Bob.

 

Steven, on the left side of the barrel collar (the part of the barrel touching the receiver), directly opposite of the Index marks should be a letter "S" that is either rounded (Savage Arms) or squared (Stevens Arms). I have seen this manufacturers mark down further on the barrel collar so keep looking if it is not in the 9:00 o'clock position. Please post a picture, if possible.


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#15 rpbcps

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 03:17 PM

 


Speeddemon02, I will take a pic of the top tomorrow and post. Are the two dimples you are referring to at the front of the receiver or elsewhere in the pics?

 

Be advised that there are two S marks that could be on the gun. The Savage mark is a rounded S. The Stevens s mark is rather squared off and resembles a 5. Sorry I don't have a pic of the Stevens s.

 

Bob D

 

Savage? Attached File  S 541933 Foregrip 'S' stamp.JPG   140.5K   9 downloads

 

Stevens? Attached File  S Stamp.JPG   8.33K   9 downloads


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#16 Speeddemon02

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 10:10 PM

Yes, yours is missing the dimples.

 

rpbcps, those are the appropriate style fonts


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#17 Glimpseofglory

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:21 AM

Speeddemon, Forgive me for asking again, but I am not sure what dimples you are referring to. Can you share a picture from another gun which shows the dimples you are referencing so I will know exactly where to look?

 

Bob241, In an earlier picture I sent, there is a top down view of the barrel and receiver interface. There is a "P" stamped on the barrel at the union of barrel and receiver. Less than 1/4 back, on the top of the receiver , there are two marks (on the right side). I don't know what these markings are, but they appear to have been stamped. Are these the dimples you were interested in seeing?

 

Andrew & TD, a question was asked about "S" marks and numbers on the butt stock assembly. As I mentioned, I didn't see any "S" stamps anywhere but there was an odd looking impression in the wood under the butt catch. I also found numbers on the wood, catch and butt plate. May I ask from the contributors here for an opinion on the significance if any of those findings (i.e., is this common to have numbers on these parts and what does it mean if they match or don't match)?

 

TD, I have not had time today to retrieve the gun from the safe to inspect the area on the barrel you inquired about. Will try and get to it tomorrow. I do have a question about the differences in the "S" stamping and the "Stevens" stamping. Educate me a bit, what is the difference between the two and is there any history regarding a British Proof Thompson that I should know and does it affect the overall desirability or value of a gun?  At an earlier time, I tool some pics internal workings of the gun when I was cleaning it and the pictures all reflect the "S" stamps. Attached is a pic of the blish lock and the bolt. 

 

Thank you all for your input and feedback on the gun. I do want to add some flavor to the earlier comments on the shiny finish on the furniture of the gun. When I first took possession of the gun in 1982, I was encouraged by a friend who owned a Colt Thompson to cleaned up the wood (his looked great). I did not sand it, but used 0000 steel wool to apply a linseed type of oil/sealer. Hell, 37 years ago it seemed like a harmless thing to do (and it made the wood look much more presentable).  I hindsight it much be like repainting a collectible car, eh? 

 

Regards, Steven

 

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#18 Glimpseofglory

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:23 AM

Forgive the typo in last sentence of my previous reply, it should have read "In hindsight, it must be like painting a collectible car".


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#19 Speeddemon02

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 10:47 AM

http://www.machinegu...ic=22880&page=2


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#20 Stampcollector

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 10:47 AM

Here is a pic of the square Stevens "S" on a Thompson grip mount.

Attached Files


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