So, after lusting after a classic '20s-'30s era Thompson, but resisting for the better part of a decade, I recently decided that the '20s rolling around again just barely met the minimum level of justification to give in and splurge.
I bought a 1928 parts kit (adjustable Lyman rear sight, original finned barrel, knurled actuator, Cutts compensator, non-reinforcing bolt stock). Using what I've got, I'd like to try to build as close an approximation of a 1921 model Thompson, aesthetically, as I can (I'll have to overlook the lack of knurling on the selector levers, I know). I realize I've got some work ahead of me stripping finish, filing/stoning away tool marks, trying to blend out various gouges/scratches/burrs, smoothing out surface roughness, re-bluing, etc. However, while I'm waiting on an appropriate receiver, I'm trying to get a more developed picture of the scope of work necessary to accomplish this, to decide whether it's worthwhile (cost & time) to pursue as a longer-term project; the alternative being just building it back up as an M1928 model.
I'm aware of the contrast in level of finish quality between a 1921 Colt and 1928 Savage gun, but to what extent was there a similar difference in the fit of/degree of play in the parts between the two models (fit of the stock latch frame/slide to the lower frame, for example)?
Next question: the barrel I have has the compensator pretty firmly affixed, sans cross-pin. There was very clearly a pin present once, but it's been removed at some point. My ability to see muzzle threads through the cross-pin hole, coupled with the fact that there are what appear to be vise-jaw indentation marks on the sides of the compensator make me suspect that in the process of removing the barrel from the original receiver, the compensator may have been super-torqued onto the barrel. It definitely doesn't want to loosen through any reasonable amount of hand force, so I'm not sure how to proceed in attempting to unthread it. Has anyone ever dealt with a similar problem, or know of a method/tool/setup to apply torque to unthread the two without without damaging either the compensator or the barrel?
Third question: 50 round drum magazines -- what's popular opinion on the most reliable reproduction examples? Are the Kahr-produced magazines still pretty questionable? I've noticed some Korean-made magazines on the market for a decent price and that seem to be getting decent reviews, but wasn't sure whether there's a consensus on what to choose for best performance for the money.
I realize this post is a sort of 'shotgun' of different questions, but if anyone has any information/advice on anything I've asked (or should have asked, but didn't), I'd really appreciate it!