NAC Thompson Gun
Posted 03 January 2004 - 10:42 PM
There is no end to this point of contention. It lives on like Gilgamesh. But I don't see anyone discouraging those of legal NFA age to get out and buy Class III Thomspons, or any type sub gun/machine gun, since there is strength in numbers.
Did Jayson Blair write that story?
Posted 04 January 2004 - 01:46 AM
Posted 04 January 2004 - 01:50 PM
I am still right and AF is still wrong, I know its hard to admit that a Colt is a copy, but facts are facts. The colt purist cant stand to believe that my savage and his colt came from the same daddy; thats right! We're brothers!!!
Posted 04 January 2004 - 02:14 PM
Genuine 1st generation 1921/28 Thompsons were spawned by an actual mating between John Thompson's Auto-Ord Co with Colt Arms of Hartford, Connecticut. The Savage Thompsons were conceived in a doctor's office, if you consider the fact that John T was no longer around when Maguire wanted to find a new manufacturer in 1940. It is understandable to see how you desperately want to regard the Colt TSMG's as a copy since you are blinded by your hatred of all things Colt. But the DNA doesn't lie.
Posted 04 January 2004 - 02:31 PM
It seems to me that the word "Copy" may be what everyone has a problem with. Perhaps it is better stated to say they are a different version of an original design. Using the automobile analogy seems the simplest, is a Crown Vic, a Mustang, or T bird a Copy of a Model A ?
There are originals and versions that are altered in one way or another, different colors, made in different places, even by different people. Is a car not a Ford because Henry himself didn't assemble it? I dont think so...why are we focusing on a specific version and calling everything else a copy when we could simply say there are many versions of a Thompson.
Let's face it the values of the different versions speak the loudest, so we know which ones are highest in demand and quality.
Posted 04 January 2004 - 03:32 PM
There was an 18 year gap between any manufacturing of the original Thomspons that came off the assembly line in 1921/22 and the next offering by Savage in 1940. That is a pretty good indicator of the definition of a generation. But you are right on when you state that the market place reinforced the hierarchy of "originals". Just follow the prices of these guns since 1968.
Posted 11 January 2004 - 04:57 PM
I am intimately familiar with both NAC-2 and NAC-14 and NAC-15 (check my e-mail address). :-)
NAC-2 is UNQUESTIONABLY Colt throughout. It has the COMPLETE Colt roll stamp info on both side of the receiver, and grip frame.. It simply has NAC-2 as the serial number, and it was handstamped in sloppily. It has original, all Colt internals.
NAC-15, is the same receiver with the same tooling marks inside, and it looks identical to the NAC-2 receiver, inside, except is has NO colt marking, only an Auto Ordnance Corp, Bridgeport, CT roll stamped across the TOP of the receiver, most likely with the roll stamp that Numrich found in the crates. As far as the machining tool marks of the receiver goes, it looks identical to NAC-2 and NOT like a AOC receiver inside.
It is regisetered with COLT as the manufacturer, and as a sample, as is NAC-2. the lower receiver has no marks either, no safety, fire, semi/auto, etc. it is bare.
NAC-14 is the same as NAC-15, but with some unique builders hand stamps.
When ever a company makes a run of something, they make more than to contract calls for, to allow for rejects, etc.
Apparently, Nac-1 thru Nac-15 were overrun receivers and grip frames, some in various stages of production. I suspect the NAC-2 was a complete gun that overran the Colt contract of 15,000 guns, so it was never serialed, and just put in the crate fully assembled.
Due to a machining disparity on the NAC-15 receiver, I suspect it was rejected for QC reasons,and relegated to an internal sample for use by Colt, though I cannot prove this. Most intenals are Colt, but the blish lock and actuator are not on NAC-15. It has original Colt wood, no question about that..
The only other documentation is a letter from Numrich arms saying this NAC series was purchased from Fred Willis, of NYC and registered on Dec 1, 1951, when Numrich was located in Mameroneck, NY. Numrich moved to Illion, NY in the late 1950's or early 1960's,and then to West Hurley, in the middle 1970's.
Most of the early number NAC guns were sold to the VA State police, in Roanke in 1952 or 1953, then to JC Earl in the late 1970's.
To say simply that they are all frankenstein guns, is a bit snobbish. That pretty much says any Colt with a savage actuator is a frankenstein gun.
Being documented as one of the 86 guns found in the crates, make them truely unique, even if some were just bare ceievers, though Helmer says that several complete guns were hound in the crates, according to George Numrich
Posted 11 January 2004 - 07:00 PM
What you say about these guns is of course correct. But the fact that Numrich stamped their initials prefix to the serial numbers does not make these guns unique, rare or mysterious. In fact, had they left their initials off the guns, they would not have picked up the moniker "Frankensteins".
This is how Earl described NAC-15 when it was on display at Champlin. "This Colt Thompson is unique in that every part is marked with the letter G. Other markings including 1928-AC vary from the normal. This gun was one of several purchased from the Virginia State Police. No other information on the history of this strangely marked gun is available.".....Earl knew the story behind the NAC prefix, but couldn't resist the same hocus pocus he used to launch the "Midas" TSMG. .
Posted 12 January 2004 - 12:56 AM
Now, i posit a question: If they didn't have the NAC, what were they supposed to have? :-)
These 15 receivers had no number at all, none, nada, zilch when uncrated.. They weren't numbered. Would they not be Frankensteins if they has serial numbers like X-25000?
Well, the fact that these guns/slash receivers sat around in crates for 30 years, unknown to anybody, does not make them unique? Hell, these guns got more press in Helmers book than any Colt TSMG save Dillingers. :-D
They are a unique bit of history. Nobody except Earl ever claimed they were worth more than a Colt serialed TSMG.
Posted 12 January 2004 - 10:56 AM
My data is in conflict.
I am not sure now if Numrich ever was in Illion, they may have gone straight from Mameronck to WH. If anybody can confirm this, please do so.
That's what happens when you get old, you start forgetting stuff. :-)
Posted 12 January 2004 - 12:13 PM
|Well, the fact that these guns/slash receivers sat around in crates for 30 years, unknown to anybody, does not make them unique?|
The Colt receivers in these crates were certainly not unknown to, or misplaced by, Auto-Ord back in 1922. Since it took the company 19 years to sell their stock of 15,000 guns, they were hardly scratching their heads asking, "Boy, if only we didn't space those over run receivers, we could fill some of these overflowing orders." Since Colt didn't want to continue making Thompsons again in 1940, Savage wasn't going to put out a Colt marked receiver. After the war, surplus Tommy's were in abundance, but where was the market for the now defunct company Auto-Ord's left-over pieces? Maguire knew what was in these crates when he warehoused them post WWII. So now in 1949, four years later, Kilgore (the cap pistol king) takes these crates off Maguire's hands, in the belief he had an Eqyptian connection for them, but soon realized that was a pipe dream. Fred Willis, formerly of Aut-Ord, is the next owner of these crates for a whopping two years. It is now 1951, when George Numrich "discovers" these receivers in the crates when he bought them. Numrich did not buy the Auto-Ord name, nor the Thompson name, but that fact seemed to slip his mind when he, and later Trast (an employee of his) eventually produced replicas in 1975. So where were these intervening 30-years where nobody knew of the existance of what was in these crates? Apparently the existance of what parts/guns/receivers lay dormant in these crates was only a "mystery" to Geroge Numrich.
|Hell, these guns got more press in Helmers book than any Colt TSMG save Dillingers. :-D|
The reference to these crate receivers/parts/prototypes in Helmer's book consists of one sentence. The reason Helmer mentions the crates at all is not for their historical significance in themselves, but rather to document the chronology of Auto-Ord's ignominious end. It would appear that the only "find" inside the crates were the earliest prototype guns
|Would they not be Frankensteins if they has serial numbers like X-25000?|
If anybody stumbled across this box before Numrich, and assembled a Thompson from the parts, they could go to ATF and get a serial number stamped on the gun. I guess they could also stamp their own initials in front of that number if they wanted to. So how does Numrich's over-zealousness with applying stamps to these parts make these receivers any more interesting than any private civilian marking the guns? Numrich might have been able to continue the serial numbers of the original 15,000 Colts by starting with 15,041 for the "long lost"crate receivers. That would have made these guns unusual and unique.
Posted 13 January 2004 - 01:14 PM
My understanding was Numrich purchased the assets of the AO Co, which included it's name and inventory, as Numrich was wont to do with other defunct companies.
Has there been any proof that this was not the case, that the assets did not include the name? If he did not purchase the name(s), who owned (owns) them?
Posted 13 January 2004 - 02:33 PM
That is correct that Numrich specialized in buying defunct arms companies like Hopkins & Allen, Standard, and Forehand. Even though the purchase of these companies by Numrich did include the company name, along with the spare parts, in the subsequent sales regarding "Auto-Ord," they were never sold, or granted any license to manufacture Auto-Ord Thompsons. The original Auto-Ordnance Corporation ceased to exist on March 15, 1944 when it was recreated as Auto Ordnance Division of Maguire Industries. McGuire did not manufactured any Thompsons under this new company. The McGuire family still owns this company today.
Back in 1949, Kilgore Industries purchased from McGuire the left over crates from the abandoned Bridgeport AO factory. Since the original Auto-Ord Company no longer existed, whatever guns Kilgore might have produced would not have any association with Auto-Ord. He never did make any. Fred Willis, the former Auto-Ord excutive, bought the parts crates from Kilgore. Fred did not make any TSMGs either. The only thing Willis could have legally sold Numrich in 1951 were the parts crates. Numrich did not, and could not have, purchased any patents, trademarks, or license to manufacture Auto-Ord Thompsons since neither Willis, nor Kilgore, had these commodities to sell in the first place.
Remember that Auto-Ord never manufactured any firearm that was not a submachine gun. Even the Model 1927 was originaly a 1921A . Numrich was able to incorporate the bullet logo and the Auto Ordnance name since both had slipped into public domain after years of neglect.
Posted 21 January 2004 - 01:12 AM
|QUOTE (Arthur Fliegenheimer @ Dec 31 2003, 02:58 PM)|
If we consider that Cox, Hill, Herigstad, Helmer and others endorse Doug Richardson's pronouncement that, "No real Thompson gun has been made since 1944," .
Well, Considering Helmer thinks guns should be registered, and owners licensed, does that mean his opinions are worth anything?
He may be a good historian, but if one of his opinions stinks, don't they all???
Posted 21 January 2004 - 10:15 AM
|He may be a good historian, but if one of his opinions stinks, don't they all???|
Well, since NFA guns are registered, and Class III dealers are licensed, Helmer's opinion seems to only mirror reality. Even the NRA thinks of NFA firearm owners as red-haired stepchildren, so should their organization be boycotted?
But I think hawknest put it most succinctly: "No."
Posted 27 January 2004 - 01:01 PM
|Receiver: Colt 1922 patent dates, reblued, no grinding or welding, standard marks except S.N. Frame: Late Colt marks or same as Savage, no maker marks, no grinds/welds reblued. Stock: Colt Remington #507 with anchor mark. Vertical foregrip and pistol grip: Decent condition uncertain wood type or manufacture. Blish Lock: Savage. Bolt: Savage not bright. Rear Sight: Lyman adjustable. Attaching Rivets: Not blued either side. Ejector: Colt style. Front sight: Marked AOC. Barrel: No marks, thick fins with square edges. Actuator: Colt 21 style. Internal frame parts none bright, unknown manufacture. Magazine catch: wartime type. Pivot Plate: Refinished with a G marked in two spots and outside. Full Auto/Single Lever: Savage original lever, unknurled. Fire/safe Lever: no marks, fully knurled. The magazine is a 20 round repeat patent type. A rare and interesting M. 1921 with ties to Colt, Savage, Auto Ordnance and Numrich Arms on a Form 3|
The above description of consignor Philip Fecher's NAC 5 TSMG is from JC Devine. Devine's description includes Fecher's own article in TCN as a resource to the background of this Thompson. They expect this gun to bring between $20K to $25K at auction. This means that those who wish to sell a 50% condition Colt TSMG's should strip out all the Colt parts, spiff up the condition by rebluing the receiver and frame, sell the Colt parts independently, and still make $20K on the parts kit gun. Hardely a "rare" item considering anyone can assemble one of these with parts from Colt, Savage, AO, and Numrich. Maybe if one added Kahr parts it might be even "rarer".
Posted 27 January 2004 - 09:29 PM
I too was amazed by the $20,000 to $25,000 estimate of what the auction company thinks this NAC Thompson will bring at auction. Obviously, we will not know until the auction is complete. I would not think it would bring anywhere near what a Colt production Thompson would bring in similar condition. However, during the heat of an auction with some of the bidders like I have seen on eBay - anything is possible! What is your thoughts or guesstimate of price range of what this NAC Thompson is really worth based only the provided description and posted pictures. To that end, have you seen any early NAC Thompsons sell in the recent past? And if so, do you recall the price?
Posted 27 January 2004 - 11:37 PM
JC Devine and Philip Fetcher have no compunction when it comes to buffalo potential bidders by suggesting there is some enigmatic composition to these NAC guns. Whether the auction attracts bidders who believe in alien abduction will be settled if anyone bites on the $20,000 figure. Devine's last auction projected a West Hurley TSMG would bring $12K. It only brought $6,500. So in spite of pre-auction hoopla, rational thinking prevailed. The truly vexing part of the Devine auction is that he regularly refers bidders to the books of Hill and Iannamico for endorsement of his auction descriptions and appraisals. Devine does not say whether there is a reserve on these guns. Of course one can never under estimate auction fever. One need only look at last weekend's Barrett/Jackson car auction in Scottsdale. Someone paid $226,800 for a 1955 Chevy Belair Sport Coupe customized into a hot rod!
That chrome plated monstrosity is rediculous. Why someone would ruin an early Colt 21A? Of course your right that this is a $10,000 piece. Should this gun manage to demand more than $15,000, it would be the best Thompson sale swindel perpetrated since the "Midas" sale.
Posted 28 January 2004 - 08:15 PM