Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

1921 Colt Military Thompson Markings (Project Gun).

1921 colt military Thompson jhb inspector marks markings logos logo

  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 MICK1WV

MICK1WV

    New Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3 posts

Posted 29 March 2017 - 06:45 PM

Greetings,

 

My name is Michael Phelps and I am new to the forum. I have a project in the works. I want to recreating a 1921 Colt Thompson for use in my WWII reenactments. I have an order placed with Philadelphia Ordnance for one of their high-quality Colt receivers. I am considering using serial No. 12087 (My birthday). I also want the gun to be marked with "U.S. Navy" 1928 Overstamp. I have been reading "American Thunder: The Military Thompson Submachine Guns" by Frank Iannamico." i found a copy at my local antique bookstore and have not been able to put it down. I understand these were issued commercially and to law enforcement. Would it have been possible for a Navy Overstamp to make it's way from a Marine outfit in the Pacific to the ETO? Were Navy Oversterstamps marked liked 1928's (1928A) (1928AC) (with/without compensator).

 

Does anyone have any high quality photos of such a gun? I want to show my local gunsmith and demonstrate the proper rebuild marks I wan him to engrave. Are there any other markings besides "JHB" I should know about for a gun with this number? What about the Thompson bullet logo? I understand there are two types of Auto-Ordnance logos for early/late 1921's. What about square versus rounded actuator slots? My late serial number should be rounded right? Thanks!


  • 0

#2 ron_brock

ron_brock

    Respected Member

  • Moderator
  • 1960 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wolverine State

Posted 29 March 2017 - 08:02 PM

Hi Michael,

Welcome to the boards.  You must feel like Michael Bolton on Office Space!  Sorry, I could not resist as it's one of my favorite movies.  However, based on your "serial number" you may have no idea what I am talking about.  

 

 

The 1928 overstamp was originally created for the Marines.  If your budget allows, I would suggest to pick up a copy of The Ultimate Thompson book as the coverage of the Colt's is the best in this book.  However American Thunder III also has good information.  You may want to post over on the general full auto Thompson forum or maybe our moderator will move this thread over there.

 

Searching should yield some good information on the approximate eras when certain logos and stamps would be found, however there is inconsistency in this as the number of guns that have been studied in extreme detail is still relatively small compared to the population of 15000 Colts.  You may want to see if someone has a gun close to your serial number and copy what they have.    

 

Certainly the overstamp would not be a gun widely found in the PTO, however I do not believe it would be a stretch to find them there in very limited numbers.  I like your thoughts on this and please keep us posted on progress.  By the way, we love photos.  

 

If you really wanted to treat yourself, consider joining one of the collector clubs and attending a show and shoot.  This offers a rare opportunity to see all models of Thompson gun and really discuss the fine details of guns.  Also there is usually an opportunity to shoot, as many of our members are very generous and willing to let new members experience the full auto grin.

 

Ron 


Edited by ron_brock, 30 March 2017 - 06:32 PM.

  • 0

#3 Black River Militaria CII

Black River Militaria CII

    Industry Expert

  • Regular Group
  • 829 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 March 2017 - 10:28 AM

Please don't shoot "as many of our members....." 8^)
  • 0

#4 ron_brock

ron_brock

    Respected Member

  • Moderator
  • 1960 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wolverine State

Posted 30 March 2017 - 06:32 PM

Please don't shoot "as many of our members....." 8^)

That would be bad for membership.  I will make a quick edit with redface LOL.

 

Ron :blush:

 

I think I have it fixed now, but my English major wife would frown upon my lack of comma usage.  


Edited by ron_brock, 30 March 2017 - 06:33 PM.

  • 0

#5 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3649 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 March 2017 - 08:22 PM

Greetings,

 

My name is Michael Phelps and I am new to the forum. I have a project in the works. I

 

Are there any other markings besides "JHB" I should know about for a gun with this number?

 

Congratulations on your 23 Gold Medals......

 

You could leave off the "JHB"  marking as that high serial number may not have been stamped.

Rounded slot.

Not the early "AUTO-ORD-CO"  logo on top of receiver for that serial number

Attached Files


  • 1

#6 MICK1WV

MICK1WV

    New Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3 posts

Posted 01 April 2017 - 06:04 PM

Everyone,

 

Thanks so much for the outpouring of help and support. I have always loved the Thompson, its unique history and lasting effects on history and American culture are astounding. The "Tommy Gun" is nothing short of an icon. It has evolved into an artistic representation that deserves as much recognition as Henry Ford, the '57 Chevrolet, and yes, even the brand of Colt itself. I'm so glad there are others with such a passion for history and appreciate the role people like John Thompson and our veterans played during our history.  

 

In regards to the project: I think I might have found someone local who is capable of assisting me with some of the more precise machine work. I'm really looking forward to this build. I found a website titled: ThompsonBarrels.com where I think I can get an original spec/quality 1921 barrel. I'm still trying to find sources for reproductions of the other parts like checkered rockers and a knurled actuator.

 

I'm considering leaving out these other more minor parts since--after all--it will be just a working semi-auto reproduction. Besides, theoretically, if it would have seen any combat, it is likely to have been rebuilt with the heavier style actuator anyway. I have a M1928A1 parts kit with a standard lower. Honestly, do you guys think this will detract greatly from the appearance? Is there a way to get the lower blued like a 1921 or should I just be content? To go full-throttle on this project might require a lot more time and money than the end result merits. I must be realistic (Colt parts are rare and expensive and I wouldn't use them on a repro to shoot anyway). I will be using for living history/reenactments and want to still be able to have fun with it. (And yes show it off to everyone! I've seen lots of 1928A1's at living history events but who has a Colt right? ;-)

 

On a possibly unrelated note:

 

If this project works out well, I might like to do another one. M1A1 would be cool. Complete M1 lowers seem to be rare. But Gunbroker always seems to have plenty of M1928A1 lowers available. Does anyone know where I can learn how to replace the rockers with M1 style switches? What about M1 receiver blueprints? Either semi-or full auto would probably work. I found a copy of Doug Richardson's design for the 1928 semi-auto design and could probably work from there. (Can't find M1 semi-auto receiver on the internet). Is there a certain board I should post M1 questions on?

 

Thanks guys. Until next time!!


  • 0

#7 ThompsonCrazy

ThompsonCrazy

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 497 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Georgia

Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:13 PM

Hi Michael!
Sounds like a project that you will enjoy. What part of the country are you located in?
Take a look in the pinned reference section for TSMG Smith PK. He can work wonders on turning plain paddled 28/M1 safety & selector levers into checkered Colt like parts as well as fill in and rechecked the magazine release thumb area, smooth out the machine marks and refinish. In the same area look up Dan Block for 21 style stock sets. I'm not sure if the photos are still visible but if you search the boards you will find another thread/member that took on a similar project with lots of great notes and chronological progress with a high degree of focus on authenticity.

Please post photos as you go and definitely read/learn as much as you can before making decisions so you are happy in the end with no "Regerts"!

TC
  • 0

#8 Adg105200

Adg105200

    RKI Member

  • Board Donor
  • 842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern USA
  • Interests:Ww2, Thompsons & many other guns, hunting, fishing, tools, woodworking

Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:33 AM

Great project! A lot of fun and learning along the way. Yes, take pictures and post them when you can. As far as complete original M1 trigger frames, occasionally some do pop up on eBay or gunbroker. There are some sellers on gunbroker that you can message that woul be likely to have. Just PM me when the time comes.

Me and my brother are into the same thing except with the ww2 Thompsons. Lots of fun. This board is the best place to come for the knowledge and enthusiasm. Gotta love it!

Andrew
  • 0

#9 Motorcar

Motorcar

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 740 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 April 2017 - 11:53 AM

Here is a source for pins or paddles, knurled actuator. http://www.robertrtg...1928A1-c313.htm

 

PK can fix you up, he is worth the wait.


  • 0

#10 buzz

buzz

    RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 2059 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 April 2017 - 01:35 PM

Let's see -
 
Unless I'm mistaken, something like 1700 Colts were purchased by the US military.
 
The number of non-Colt Thompson used in WWII was around 1.8 million.
 
That means that 99.91% of US Thompsons used in WWII were not Colts.
 
If a lot of the Colts were just riding around in navy ship armories in 1939, then the percentage of Colts that saw battle in US hands would be even lower. 
 
Also, the 1700 number doesn't account for losses of guns in Nicaragua or wherever they were used prior to WWII.
 
Really makes you wonder how many Colts saw actual combat duty in WWII. 
 
 
Why not make a Savage 28 clone if you want something authentic for an early war Thompson?

Edited by buzz, 03 April 2017 - 01:35 PM.

  • 0

#11 laurencen

laurencen

    Regular Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 573 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 03 April 2017 - 01:42 PM

Arthur, any idea what font the text was? been looking and not able to find it, maybe there is one close to for engraving


  • 0

#12 MICK1WV

MICK1WV

    New Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3 posts

Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:17 PM

Everyone,

 

Thanks for the continued interest and support in making my dream gun a reality. Unfortunately, I appear to have hit a snag. Although I have nearly all the resources at my disposal to complete the project, I am unable to find anyone with the necessary experience and expertise in completing the project. Local gunsmiths possess the tools to finalize my project, however, I personally feel because they are not Thompson aficionados, they misconstrue the true intentions of my final project. (I.E. they think I'm trying to trick them into helping me make an illegal/unregistered machine gun).

 

From my understanding, it is possible to transform a newly-made 1921 Colt-style receiver into a legal working semi-auto. If a firearm gunsmith/Class II manufacturer follows the Richardson Semi-Receiver blueprints then it is legal correct? I am fully prepared and willing to complete all necessary paperwork for this project. After calling at least 20 gunsmiths in my area, I am no farther along than when I first placed my order for a Repro receiver. I have had some folks completely misconstrue my requests and frankly, appeared downright rude when I sought clarification of BATF gun manufacturing laws.

 

Perhaps you folks can clarify the situation: What is different about about my project and someone who desires say... a custom safari rifle machined from an existing receiver? From my understanding---if done properly---it is legal to have a custom gun made as long as it's not a machine gun. I'll leave those $50,000 beauties for the big boys. For now, I'm just hoping for someone to help re-create a working1921 Colt (which Kahr and Auto-Ordnance don't offer).

 

I could probably fit the barrel for blanks and afterwards, register it with a Form 4 trust so I could pass it down to my children. After doing research, I understand that is legal for individuals to make their own guns (NON-NFA), they just can't ever sell them. I would do the all the finer machining myself however, like--Doug Richardson himself--I am partially blind. I suffer from myopic atrophy which is a form of extreme nearsightedness. It makes running a milling apparatus a tricky and potentially dangerous endeavor. I am capable of shooting safely at reenactments, but have difficulty with very small print or minute/precision type machines.

 

Thanks for any advice and I will continue to keep you posted.

 

--Michael


  • 0

#13 gijive

gijive

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2735 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Thompson SMG, WWII, Firearms in general.

Posted 05 April 2017 - 08:12 PM

MICK1WV,

 

I suggest you review the below- listed link from Doug Richardson's website.  This is why you are not getting any gunsmiths to sign on to complete your project.

 

http://www.thompsons...INFORMATION.htm


  • 0

#14 buzz

buzz

    RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 2059 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:12 PM

You can't "transform" a machine gun receiver into a semi-auto legally.

 

My understanding is that once a piece of steel is machined into an MG, it's an MG forever in the eyes of ATF.


  • 0

#15 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3649 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:49 AM

Arthur, any idea what font the text was? been looking and not able to find it, maybe there is one close to for engraving

 

"Times New Roman" seems to be the font.


  • 0

#16 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3649 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:54 AM


Why not make a Savage 28 clone if you want something authentic for an early war Thompson?

 

WWII began before Savage went into production with their 1928 TSMG.  Authenticity would demand the TSMG be a  Colt  if you want an early war Thompson.


  • 0

#17 buzz

buzz

    RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 2059 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 April 2017 - 10:01 AM

Arthur,

 

The earliest US land battles of WWII were:

 

Wake Island   December 8, 1941

 

Bataan   January 7, 1942

 

Guadalcanal   August 7, 1942

 

All of those battles occurred at least 18 months after Savage was already making Thompsons, which started in April 1940.

 

And we know that the number of Colts in US military inventory was microscopic.

 

Unless I am mistaken, Savage had made 500,000 Thompsons by February 1942.  

 

So that means by the time the US was fighting in WWII, Savage had already produced more than 99% of the Thompsons in military inventory at that time. 

 

 

It's true that the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, but they did not invade France until May 1940, which is technically after Savage began production in April 1940.

 

Certainly the Poles and Germans did not fight with Colt Thompsons.

 

The French might have had some Colts but AFAIK there is no record of them being issued or used.  Does anyone know what happened to them?

 

 

It would be very interesting to know how many Colts found their way to an actual battlefield in WWII as an issue weapon.  Or at all.

 

Not that the information would make the slightest impression on anyone.  The Colt is mythology, all things to all people at all times.


Edited by buzz, 06 April 2017 - 10:17 AM.

  • 0

#18 lightguy

lightguy

    Regular Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 312 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:Guns, Cars, coins, pinball, movie posters

Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:29 AM

Well reading this thread gave me some info and a solution to a problem that doesn't exist (yet).

That is paranoia over shooting a Colt thompson and having a squib round lodge in the barrel only to be bulged at the next round.

I have a found a source for replica operational barrels as posted above; http://thompsonbarrels.com/

So the plan is to find that Colt, swap and store the original barrel, then blast away.


  • 0

#19 lightguy

lightguy

    Regular Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 312 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Interests:Guns, Cars, coins, pinball, movie posters

Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:35 AM

As far as having a gunsmith "put together" an operational firearms from supplied parts...not going to happen.

That makes him a manufacturer.

Unless he has all the paperwork as a Short Barreled Rifle manufacturer no-one is going to take that risk.

Even if you do it yourself the SBR classification throws in a whole new batch of monkey wrenches.

IMO the last presidential administration has made everyone paranoid on guns in general.


  • 0

#20 Arthur Fliegenheimer

Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Respected Member

  • Regular Group
  • 3649 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 April 2017 - 12:00 PM

Arthur,

 

It would be very interesting to know how many Colts found their way to an actual battlefield in WWII as an issue weapon.  Or at all.

 

Not that the information would make the slightest impression on anyone.  The Colt is mythology, all things to all people at all times.


Would British combat in  Narvik, Norway, April, 1940 qualify for WWII land battles?
 

"Twenty-four years ago, 7th April 1940, saw the 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS embarking from a Scottish port for their first campaign of World War II, a campaign that although little known at the present day, produced some of the finest deeds of bravery under great hardships in the snows and mountains of Norway."

"Hopen Bridge, the last action we (“B” Company) the Scots Guards fought in Norway, was the scene of the withdrawal through our lines of the Micks five to six days after we had passed through them at Pothus and Rognan. In 1964 as I stood at the modern Hopen Bridge, I remembered that it was here the transport had passed with many Micks wearing old civvies and trilby hats, etc., as they had lost everything whilst crossing the roaring river at, or around Pothus. I had recognised an old friend, Paddy Tellin, who was later killed in action, siting on the tail board of a lorry, as he passed I asked him if he had been demobbed, owing to this rather short civvy-suit and a very natty trilby, but he was holding a tommy-gun and his reply was rather rude, and I gathered that he was in a bad temper."

 

http://ww2talk.com/i...way-1940.47714/

 

The first Savage TSMG did not come off the production line until April 15, 1940.   Eight days after 1st Battalion Irish Guards left  Scotland. The tommy-gun that Sgt. P Abrahams, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, saw  Paddy holding near Pothus Bridge was indeed a COLT.


Edited by Arthur Fliegenheimer, 06 April 2017 - 12:17 PM.

  • 0