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West Hurley Thompson Ownership Survey


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Poll: West Hurley Thompson ownership poll (53 member(s) have cast votes)

Did you need a Gunsmith to get your West Hurley Thompson to run reliably ?

  1. Yes (22 votes [41.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.51%

  2. No (31 votes [58.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.49%

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#1 timkel

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 06:43 PM

The poll is for WH owners only. Trying to determine fact from fiction. Any and all comments are welcome.
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#2 timkel

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 06:49 PM

I own a WH 1928 and cast a "no" vote. MFG in 1978. The only parts replaced were for cosmetic reasons. It's been thumping away since 1980.
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#3 DukeNukem

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:03 PM

I voted no too. Admittedly I had just had reconbob put a 1921A barrel on for cosmetic reasons but it's been running fine before that

Edited by DukeNukem, 28 May 2017 - 07:04 PM.

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#4 Chopper28

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:09 PM

The gun would run OK. But it was like a whole new gun when it came back from PK. Slick as snot on a door knob. Action is like glass. Now runs 100%. Well worth the money. I can assure you there is no stock  WH that can begin to compare with a WH that has been PK'd. I thought mine ran good but I was mistaken. His work is AAA+++

 

Chopper1928

 

PS My gun was made in the first year of production #297A


Edited by Chopper28, 28 June 2019 - 11:15 AM.

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#5 Grasshopper

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 08:03 PM

Hi,

 

The WH I shoot is from '78.  Had GI parts installed inside before I got the gun.  While I don't shoot it all the time, it has fed commercial ball and target hand-loaded lead SWC with no problems AFAIK.

 

I've got a '85 WH I've not shot.  Doesn't look as good as the '78 and needs some help.  Rear sight pop rivets are loose to start with.  Lock slots look like the "good" pictures but I've not checked the lock/headspace timing on either gun.  I'll get GI parts, headspace check, and the rear sight secured before it goes to the range.

 

HTH,

 

Grasshopper


Edited by Grasshopper, 28 May 2017 - 08:06 PM.

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#6 Chip

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 07:26 PM

Mine is one of the TF serial number series.  My understanding is the TF serial numbers were originally assigned to the .22 caliber aluminum receiver models.  New .45 cal steel receivers were built and sold instead of the .22's about the time of the Huges Act.  Mine was a jam-o-matic.  It would jam less with a stick mag and could only get 2-3 off with a drum.  It would not fire at all in single shot mode.  I sent it back to the factory (Ira Trask).  They said the chamber was tight and reamed it.  They also greased the hell out of the feed ramp and internals.  It more or less ran after that, but always needed the feed ramp greased, I also polished it.  It originally did not come with a blish oilier,  I added one and a GI parts set. 

 

I did send it to PK and now it's smooth as glass.  The action on the WH is now more like my colt navy.  It was noticeably different before PK worked it over.  PK also machined a GI stock slide to match the WH grip frame so got rid of the aluminum slide and then had Deerslayer make new wood to match.  Also had PK put in his model 21 bolt, ring sight and new bluing.  It runs great now.  Paul did a great job on the gun, and Dan the same on the wood.  Paul and Dan are excellent to work with and are truly craftsmen.


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#7 Tman

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 10:09 AM

My WH (1562A) has a 1980 born on date. It went to PK's Thompson Spa for rehabilitation. My gun had slop between the receiver and the trigger frame, locking slots were out of spec, stock slide was very loose and sloppy, and had non GI parts on/in it. Paul did his magic and it hasn't failed me since it was returned. I shoot live and blanks and it eats everything I feed it. The only things I've had to replace since its return was a broken extractor and the buffer. Paul's buffer are the best out there. Every '28 owner should have one (or 2).


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#8 DukeNukem

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 10:24 AM

My WH (1562A) has a 1980 born on date. It went to PK's Thompson Spa for rehabilitation. My gun had slop between the receiver and the trigger frame, locking slots were out of spec, stock slide was very loose and sloppy, and had non GI parts on/in it. Paul did his magic and it hasn't failed me since it was returned. I shoot live and blanks and it eats everything I feed it. The only things I've had to replace since its return was a broken extractor and the buffer. Paul's buffer are the best out there. Every '28 owner should have one (or 2).


I'm sure he made it a lot better. But did it function for you before PK worked any magic on it?
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#9 1921A

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 10:50 AM

I voted "YES" and here's why....

 

I've owned several Westy's including the M1s.  For what they were, a $400 transferable machine gun, they were a good buy at the time. 

 

Unfortunately, my experience is that they are all out of spec to some degree.  Some worse than others and some so bad you can't get them to function at all without professional help.  Generally, the later the production, the worse they became. Some of them seem to work fine but the parts are quite likely beating the hell out of each other and it's only a matter of time before something breaks.  You might be one of the lucky few with a virgin Westy that works OK -  but now it's a $15-$20K investment!  If it were mine,  I'd have it checked out, and if necessary, corrected to original specifications to protect the investment. 

 

Having said that, I like the guns and they have been a great entry level weapon for the Thompson community.

 

Greg Fox


Edited by 1921A, 30 May 2017 - 10:53 AM.

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#10 Chromebolt

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 12:06 PM

I voted no.

 

When I bought my Thompson (M1 WH), it had already been to PK. The previous owner told me it ran ok, but he had heard too many stories and had PK work on it.

 

I have the receipt in case I ever want to resell it. It's a great shooter now, it may have been an ok shooter then.


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#11 mike in pa

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 05:57 PM

My WH 1928 is a 1983 model and runs great with all of the original parts.


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#12 jpw43

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 05:30 AM

I didn't pay too much for mine and it needed some work. Got so bad it wouldn't fire anymore.
The slot had gouges in it and the hammer pin would get caught in the gouges and was made it difficult to pull the actuator back.
Also had the rear of the receiver beefed up.
It runs perfectly now.
I also had the barrel replaced with a Richardson 21 repro, had the rear sight replaced with a proper Lyman, compensator pinned, mag release modified to 1921 look,grip hanger replaced with a 1/2 inch version.
If I had paid many thousands for the WH originally I might have been upset at the cost, but I'm more than satisfied by the work PK did.
Well worth the wait.
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#13 Sandman1957

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 06:16 AM

When I bought my WH 1928 in 1986, I paid 1,200 for it and it did not run.  When I test fired it, the cast actuator knob instantly broke off and hit me in the face.  Good thing I wear glasses.  Numrich replaced the actuator with another cast one.  That one didn't work, but a local gun smith honed it down so it ran.  However it was a jam-a-matic.  Ran OK with drums but not with stick mags.  Since I was still active duty USMC. It became a safe queen until I retired in 2000.  At that point more info was out about the fantastic work Numrich did on making the lowers different for the SA and Fulls.  At that point I had a local gunsmith replace all parts including barrel  from a WWII parts kit I bought.  Has run like a top since.  At that point it became a superb shooter.  

 

Concur with 1921A.  Great entry level gun.  As far as having it tuned up by PK.  I would not have done that at the beginning since I could only afford an entry level gun. However, if I still had the gun now, it would go to PK, only because I could (now).  Sort of like taking an old Volkswagon beetle and restoring it.  They weren't that great when they came out, but having an original one now in great shape is novel.  (no I do not have a VW Beetle) 

 

Bottom line.  It your gun, do what you want.  If it runs fine that great.  If you want to have it detailed, then PK and others can smooth it out.

 

Cheers,

Sandman1957


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#14 Tman

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 09:39 AM

In response to DukeNukem, my gun ran OK. It chugged along but the rear of the bolt was being chewed up by the spring as the original non-GI pilot was crooked. I also wanted a quick change barrel system done as I shoot both live and blank ammunition. Paul was the logical choice as he knows the TSMG inside and out. I forgot to add in my original post that he also refinished the metal and installed an original Lyman rear sight.


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#15 johnson184

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 09:39 PM

Roughly how much does it cost to send it off to PK? And wait time?

 

Wanting a M1 or M1A1... and they're like $4-5k less for a WH. I'll probably keep saving up for a C&R one... but just curious.


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#16 Chief762

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 10:27 PM

I bought my 1979 WH 28 in 2012. Once it was cleaned, oiled and a 2 piece pilot replaced it ran quite well. A few light primer hits now and then. Lock slots are not good. I voted 'no' as to the question because my gun is pretty reliable but that said, I've been on PK's list for almost 4 and a half years. I want the magic. It's only money. Maybe next year. 


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#17 buzz

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:37 AM

Roughly how much does it cost to send it off to PK? And wait time?

 

Wanting a M1 or M1A1... and they're like $4-5k less for a WH. I'll probably keep saving up for a C&R one... but just curious.

 

 

My understanding is that the total cost for a "makeover" is on the order of $4,000 when all the parts and labor are added up.

 

I actually had a deposit down on two WHs back when I first decided to buy a Thompson.

 

After I researched the whole WH saga on this site and others, I found another buyer for the two WHs and backed out of the deal.

 

From an economic standpoint, it didn't make sense to buy the WHs since I had no way to test fire them.  One was NIB and the other was "test fired only".

 

 

A lot of these guys here on this site are looking at WHs from the standpoint of someone who paid a few thousand for it a long time ago.

 

But right now, a WH 28 costs between around $16,000 for a mutt to over $20k for NIB.  Figure around $18k on average.

 

A USGI 28A1 is around $25k.

 

To my mind, if you have to dump $4000 more into the WH, you might as well get the USGI 28A1.

 

 

As far as M1 type WH Thompsons go, I don't think they need as much work as the 28s.  The WH M1s seem to suffer from some sort of problem with the mag well dimensions.

 

Maybe someone who had that fixed can chine in.

 

Also, I think WH M1s run a few Gs less than the 28s.   USGI M1s and M1A1s are kind of rare and the price is high now.  I've seen them get knocked down for over $25k.

 

 

The prospect of a 4 year wait is also a factor.  That's a long time.

 

 

You might want to start searching for your M1 or M1A1 right now, even though you're saving.  Sometimes an amazing deal will pop up and you have to jump on it.

 

It's rare but it does happen.  But you have to be looking all the time. 


Edited by buzz, 01 June 2017 - 06:40 AM.

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#18 jpw43

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 01:07 PM


"A lot of these guys here on this site are looking at WHs from the standpoint of someone who paid a few thousand for it a long time ago."

I agree.
If I had to pay the current price for a WH I wouldn't do it.
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#19 timkel

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 07:27 AM

With only 27 votes so far, the survey results are not very reliable one way or the other. With a total WH production of approximately 3500, a sample size of 300+ votes would be much more reliable.


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#20 buzz

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 09:32 AM

We need to get the MSNBC and New York Times pollsters involved in this topic.

 

It was amazing the way they nailed that "Landslide for Hillary" prediction.


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