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Colt 3rd Gen Drum Id - Rki


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#41 hawksnest

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 11:30 AM

Sig: I sent pictures of your drum plates to Tracie Hill. He identified your drum as a second model of the standard New York address "L" drum manufactured by Worcester Press Stamping Co. Tracie said he could see tack welds in the pictures. See Page 333, figures 365 and 366 of Hill's book. My impression that is was a "plain" Colt L drum is therefore incorrect. I yield to Tracie's expert opinion.
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#42 gijive

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 12:35 PM

Hawksnest,

I certainly wouldn't dispute Tracie Hill's expert opinion, however, the drum originally pictured by Sig doesn't appear to me to have any spot welds. The font spacing and punctuation is also identical to the unnumbered Colt drum pictured in Doug Richardson's Drum book. Now, I know that Mr. Richardson and Mr. Hill disagree on some aspects of Thompson minutiae, so there is obviolusly a difference of opinion.

Is it possible the seller doctored the photo to remove the spot welds?, I don't know, but it was suggected to the potential buyer to personally inspect the merchandise before buying it or having an inspection period. I believe he intended to do that.

The drum pictured appeared to have the proper finish, but only a personal inspection would satisfy that question. I don't have Tracie's book handy, but I believe he pictures the Colt drums as having the comma after the New York address and the Worcester's as not having it. Could you verify that for me? Maybe if someone has a copy of Cox's book, they could check that.

I will review the two books mentioned later this evening. If I was incorrect in my opinion on the drum, I certainly didn't intend to mislead the buyer, however, I believe if you examine more than one source you will see inconsistencies even among experienced collectors.
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#43 hawksnest

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:48 PM

gijive: I could not detect the tack-welds in the picture but Tracie could. Tracie opined the tack-welds would be more noticeable if the pictures were of a better quality. Both the Colt "no" (unnumbered) rear plate, as shown in figure 362 and the second model Worcester, as shown in figure 366, have a comma after N.Y. The Worcester first model does not have the comma. IMHO, if there are tack-welds, then it is a worcester, not a Colt.
I don't have a copy of Doug Richardson's drum book. Please let us know what you think after you have consulted both books. I think the tack-welds are the key.
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#44 Walter63a

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 01:59 PM

Hawksnest, gijive, et. al., I really appreciate you guys going the extra mile to figure this out. smile.gif However, personally, I wouldn't mind owning any Colt or Worcester (hell, even any WWII production) drums, since they all function very well (or can be made to) and are of historical value. That being said, it is still desirable to know exactly what one has or is purchasing. Well, that's my two cents. cool.gif Regards, Walter
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#45 Sig

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:55 PM

If there are tack welds this will be one interesting discussion by me with the seller.
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#46 gijive

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:00 PM

Sig,

For the last two hours I've studied all the pictures in the three reference books I have with closeups of drums: The Thompson Submachine Gun by Roger Cox; Thompson: The American Legend by Tracie Hill and Thompson Submachine Gun Drum Magazines by Douglas W. Richardson.

I sincerely hope the authors won't mind me posting photographs from their publications in the interest of clarifying the origin of the drum you originally pictured. If I get an email about copyright violations, I'll have to take the pictures down.

Unfortunately, I studied the original picture you sent and now see what may be spot welds on the back cover slide, as Tracie Hill indicates. I did not notice these in the original review of the pictures and if they are in fact welds, they are not as noticeable as the welds on my Worcester drum that was pictured earlier. This would lead me to believe that the drum you pictured has been refinished, making the welds harder to spot. See redited photo below:

user posted image

The font spacing and comma after New York, N.Y., is also the same as a New York drum pictured in Roger Cox's early work on page 30. See photos below:

user posted image
user posted image

Although, Cox's book is considered somewhat dated, he states on page 29:

"The third production was the standard and most common drum of the "New York" variety. This drum has the same markings as the blank number drum, but no place for a number. These drums were made by the Worcester Pressed Steel Co., Worcester, Massachusetts, for Auto Ordnance."

No spot welds are evident on the New York drum pictured in Cox's book.

In Hill's book, on page 331 in Figure 362, he pictures what is described as the slide plates on a Colt-produced "NO. Number "L" drum. See photos below:

user posted image
user posted image

The first picture, showing the front slide plate, has identical font spacing to the Worcester drum I originally posted. Notice the "S" in Submachine Gun lining up under the "I" in Magazine. The picture also shows what looks to be a spot weld on the face plate in an identical location to the one I pictured. I wonder if the pictures were inadvertently placed on the wrong pages by the publisher?

On page 332, Figure 364, are two pictures of slide plates of what is described as the first model Worcester Press "L" drum. The front slide plate font spacing is identical to the drum Sig pictured, but the back plate pictured is identical to the Worcester drum I pictured, including the lack of a comma after New York, N.Y. See pictures below:

user posted image

This is what makes me believe that the pictures may have been inadvertently placed on the wrong pages.

The slide markings pictured on page 333, Figure 366, in Hill's book are also the same as the drum you pictured, including the comma on the back plate. Hill refers to this as a second model Worcester drum. It seems strange to me that a first model Worcester, like the one I pictured, would not have the comma; but then the second model back slide would return to the comma like the earlier Colt drums.

Doug Richardson's drum book shows an identical photo of what is described as a Colt-produced New York "L" drum with identical markings to the drum Sig inquired on. The exception is the spot welds.

So Sig, you can see that there is disagreement among possible manufacturer's and slight discrepancies in markings, among the most well-known Thompson authors.

I guess you'll have to examine the drum closely when you get it and determine if there are spot welds and if it has been refinished. So, we are right back where we started, it's either a late Colt produced drum or a Worcester drum. Maybe no one will ever know for sure who produced which model for Auto Ordnance. Sorry we couldn't be of more help, but either one is collectible.
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#47 Sig

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:17 PM

Sorry you could not been of more help? Your kidding right??
You guys have been a ton of help. Thanks really.
We all obviously noted clear differences between authors.
The real question is are there spot welds and is it refinished possibly hiding any?
At this point without the item directly in my hands I can not say for sure.

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